If you are badly injured in a motor vehicle accident, in addition to your medical expenses, in addition to your wage loss you may have other expenses. You may have hospitalization, your spouse may have to take care of you and you may have emotional problems. You may have pain, suffering, other types of damages that don’t directly take dollars out of your pocket, but in a very real way are a loss to your enjoyment of your normal lifestyle.
Permanent Injury Required
These damages are only available if you have a permanent injury, death or permanent scarring or disfigurement. So the question in every automobile case that we consult with is whether or not the accident has resulted in real and permanent injury to the person. Because that’s the only time that the law allows you to be compensated for the very real loss in the change of your lifestyle and the change in things that you would like to do, the change in the way that you relate to your family. All of these things are very important to people, but all of these things are uncompensated unless your injury is permanent.
So, where do you get compensation for these damages? PIP covers 80% or perhaps a 100% of your medical expenses if you purchased the supplemental medical payments coverage. 60% of your wage loss may be covered up to a certain maximum. Where do you get the balance of your losses? How is that covered? If you have a permanent injury, there are essentially two places to seek compensation for those other losses, the non-economic losses. One is from the person who hit you and caused the accident if they have bodily injury liability coverage. This coverage is not required by Florida law, but it’s a good idea for everybody to carry it to protect yourself in case you make a mistake and hurt somebody else. The second place is from your own insurance company if you have insurance that covers you when others at fault are uninsured or underinsured.