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Auto Accidents – The Boca Raton and Florida Injury Threshold

Florida is one of the few states that has a no-fault car insurance system in place regarding personal injury following a vehicle accident. This simply means that, in most cases, if you are involved in a car accident in Florida, your own insurance will be first in line to provide compensation for your medical bills and lost income due to the injury. Insurance is a requirement for Florida drivers. Among the coverage in an insurance policy, there must be“Personal Injury Protection” (PIP). Personal Injury Protection will pay your medical treatment up to a certain amount. For many, this is the only avenue of compensation when filing your own claim.

22268402_l-300x186However, if you suffer a “serious injury,” you can pursue other avenues of compensation. So, what is a “serious injury” in the eyes of Florida Injury Law? Unlike some other states, compensation for pain and suffering can be very difficult to pursue and will most likely require skilled help from a personal injury attorney. Proof to a jury will have to be provided that the injured party suffered at least one of the following: 1) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function. 2) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement. 3) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement. 4) Death. This is also referred to at times as a “permanency threshold,” since the basic need is to prove permanent injury.

The challenge in this statute and many others is interpretation. What is an “important” bodily function? One person’s idea of “significant” scarring may not be considered significant by someone else. Working with an experienced auto accident attorney will ensure that you have access to expert medical opinion and that you have a clear idea of what to expect as you take on the no-fault law that Florida follows.

Another important aspect of Florida injury law is the time limits imposed for medical treatment and no-fault coverage. Benefits are forfeited if you don’t seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident. If treatment is obtained within the two week limit, only $2,500 in coverage is provided unless you are diagnosed with an “Emergency Medical Condition” (EMC). The full amount of Personal Injury Protection ($10,000) is available if the injury victim if an EMC exists. This brings up more difficult interpretation based on the diagnosis of a physician or dentist. The word “serious” dominates the definition of an EMC. One thing that there is little doubt about; an insurance company will have their own definition and it will be the one that best serves their bottom line.

If you have been injured in an auto accident or any type of accident, don’t take chances with you choice of representation. Contact Glick Law Firm, PA, to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Boca Raton auto accident attorney regarding your injuries.