What Qualifies as a Serious Injury?
Because Florida is a no-fault state for insurance claims, getting compensated for many of the injuries you can suffer because of someone’s negligence is a matter of filing a claim with your own insurance company.
After an accident, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will help you get reimbursed for medical bills, lost income, and related damages.
However, serious injuries often require more than the $10,000 in compensation that you’re entitled to through PIP coverage. In these cases, you might be able to file a third-party claim to recover additional damages. Your local personal injury lawyer will have information on this, and in the meantime, you can read on to learn more.
When You Can File a Third-Party Claim
Even though the primary way that you can get compensated for your personal injuries in Florida is via the PIP system, it’s not impossible to file a claim directly with the at-fault party.
In Florida and other no-fault states, these types of claims are called third-party claims, because they are taken outside the confines of your insurance.
However, to take the step of filing a third-party lawsuit in the state, it’s necessary to sustain serious injuries.
The definition of “serious injuries” or “catastrophic injuries” varies from state to state. In Florida, if the total damages from your accident or incident exceed the policy limits of your PIP coverage—usually $10,000 in damages—then you could file a third-party claim.
A third-party claim is also a possibility if your injury meets the definition of “serious,” which, according to Florida law, could include any of the following:
- Significant and permanent loss of a body function
- Permanent injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
In a third-party lawsuit, you can receive certain non-economic damages, such as for pain and suffering, that aren’t available to you in a no-fault context.
Contact an attorney to learn more about serious injuries and how to file a personal injury claim in Florida.
Injured? Call an Attorney Now
Have you been injured in the Sunshine State? A personal injury attorney with The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo wants to help.
Call 561-659-6366 or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation.