Florida’s courts see a high volume of personal injury cases each day. From car accidents to slip and falls, these common types of injury incidents have the potential to leave victims with damages to their property, mind, body, and emotional being.
While Florida injury claims come in different sizes, large and small, you can’t simply pursue a lawsuit as a matter of principle because you’re upset about the situation. This could be a mistake that derails your Florida personal injury claim.
If you want to hold someone accountable for their wrong-doing, and reach successful results, a serious injury threshold must be met.
Understanding Florida’s serious personal injury threshold rule
The serious injury threshold is an important part of the injury case that determines how much financial compensation you may walk away with.
Of course, if you suffer injuries after an accident, such as a car accident, you have the right to take legal action to recover medical bills, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the accident injury.
However, Florida law places limits on your rights to damages.
If your injuries do not meet Florida’s injury threshold, you won’t be able to receive financial compensation from the at-fault party. Your only option, at this point, would be to file a claim through your own insurance company.
Serious injury v. non-serious injury in Florida
An injury is serious when it significantly changes your life. The injury could have an impact on your life for several months, years, or for the duration of your life.
On the other hand, a non-serious injury is one that has little to no impact on your life. It’ll heal quickly, usually without pain and medical bills.
Below is a comparison of a serious injury versus a non-serious injury so you can easily see the difference between the two:
- Serious injury: A spinal cord injury as a result of a boat or marina accident.
- Non-serious injury: A scratch across the arm as a result of walking through the woods.
Now that you understand the difference between a serious and non-serious injury, let’s take a look at serious injuries that qualify for filing a personal injury claim, according to Florida law.
What injuries allow for filing personal injury claims in Florida?
The serious injury threshold law, Florida Statute 627.737, clearly defines what a serious injury looks like in a personal injury matter.
To qualify for a serious injury and meet the required threshold, your injuries must include:
- Significant and permanent loss of a bodily function;
- Permanent injury with a degree of medical possibility;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; and
Some examples of injuries the law covers include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), broken bones, burns, and injuries to vital organs of the body. No other type of injury will qualify you for Florida’s serious injury threshold.
The good news is, you only need to meet one of the above standards of the threshold. All four requirements are not necessary to file a personal injury claim in Florida.
Because each injury claim is unique with its own variables, what is deemed serious for one case, may not be serious for another case. The law is not black and white, and that’s why it’s crucial for a Florida personal injury victim not to attempt this type of case without experienced legal counsel.
When the victim of a personal injury accident brings a lawsuit before the Florida court, the victim is the one who bears the burden of proving the injuries.
Unfortunately, the court will not simply take your word for it.
Documentation such as medical records are always the best form of evidence in a Florida personal injury case. This is where the expertise of a Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer comes into play. Your attorney will gather evidence to show the court that your accident-related injuries are serious in accordance with Florida law.
Besides medical records, additional evidence of a serious injury may include:
- Police report
- Medical expert testimony
- Incident report
- Emergency medical transport records
- Eyewitness statements
In the event you cannot prove you’re experiencing serious injuries because of the accident, the court may dismiss your claim.
Still unsure if your injury is serious enough to file a claim? Give us a call
Don’t sit on your opportunity to file your Florida personal injury claim. With your medical treatments and constant visits to the doctor office, the four-year time limit can quickly pass by. Be sure to hire a competent and experienced Daytona Beach personal injury attorney immediately to ensure you meet the serious injury threshold and begin pursuing full compensation.