Injuries & Damages
An automobile accident can be a simple fender bender or a high-speed collision. Each could result in an injury due to the unexpected jolt on the body from the momentum and abrupt stopping force. The injuries sustained can range in severity as well as the care that is needed. The real issue then arises from how you will be able to pay for the necessary medical expenses that you incurred from the fault of someone else.
In Florida, in order to recover much of your car accident injuries and damages, you must have suffered an injury that is enumerated or set forth in Florida Statute 627.737(2). You can click here and see what Florida law allows one to obtain. The statute provides that:
(2) In any action of tort brought against the owner, registrant, operator, or occupant of a motor vehicle with respect to which security has been provided as required by ss. 627.730-627.7405, or against any person or organization legally responsible for her or his acts or omissions, a plaintiff may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of such motor vehicle only in the event that the injury or disease consists in whole or in part of:
(a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
(b)Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
(c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
This statute describes what is called the “threshold” in personal injury law. That means that you have to meet or surpass that threshold to recover money for those damages. Over the years, with tort reform, it has gotten harder to recover damages that require getting past the “threshold”.
So, as you can see, to recover, your car accident injuries have to be serious before you can get pain and suffering damages. Herniated disks in the neck or low back area known as the lumbar and cervical spine can be permanent injuries if you do not have a preexisting condition. However, if you have a preexisting condition, you may still be able to recover for a permanent aggravation of a pre-existing condition. And, sometimes, pain across the shoulder can be from the neck and radiating from the neck. Broken bones are usually permanent injuries by nature including, at times, fractured ribs. Meniscal tears to the knee are serious and can result in surgery. A doctor may give a permanent impairment rating for such an injury. Tears in the ligaments of the knee such as the lateral, medial, and anterior cruciate ligaments can be permanent and recoverable. A fracture in the neck is very serious and is usually a permanent car accident injury. There are all kinds of injuries that you can recover for. Whether or not the injury is a permanent one depends on the doctor’s testimony. One doctor may call an injury permanent while the other doctor may say that it does not meet the “threshold” and is not permanent.
To get future pain and suffering, the reality is that a doctor is going to have to testify that you have a serious permanent injury such as some of what is described above. You really need to make sure that the Car Accident Medical Doctor you are seeing is a good doctor. If your doctor does not want to come to court to testify about the truth of your injuries because he or she does not want to leave the office, that could be very bad for your case. These days a lot of doctors simply tell folks they do not treat accident victims. Make sure that you have a respected doctor who will come to court and tell the truth. If you have any questions now or during your case with us, call us.
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