You need a permanent injury to be entitled to compensation for most (not all) car accident cases in Florida. This is stated in Florida's law as follows:
“In order to recover damages in tort against the owner or operator of a motor vehicle (with respect to which security has been provided as required by Florida Statutes ss 627.730-670.7405), the plaintiff may recover damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of bodily injury, only if the injury consists of:
To receive any compensation for any losses or damages, you must first prove that the driver responsible for the accident was negligent. While you may have to sue other parties involved, roughly 95% of car crashes result from careless driving.
Compensation for suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, and pain are known as non-economic damages. Unfortunately, in Florida, most motor vehicle accidents will only provide the plaintiff money if they suffer a permanent injury (or another injury listed above). This permanent injury requirement is also known as the tort threshold.
Fortunately, there are exceptions to the tort threshold. Whether you qualify for compensation may depend on the specific types of vehicles involved in the accident. More specifically, you may or may not get compensation depending on whether:
If you are involved in an accident and obtain "a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability," you would have the most common injury meeting the tort threshold requirement. No law in Florida defines a "permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability." Instead, it is defined and established by testimony given by medical experts.
Therefore, you should see a treating doctor to determine whether your injuries would be considered permanent. In Florida, they will be able to present and explain their conclusions about your supposed "permanent injury" to a jury. If your auto accident requires that you have a permanent injury for compensation, then the jury will be granted the opportunity to award you any damages for pain and suffering once a medical expert confirms so. Also, chiropractors are qualified and allowed to determine whether an injury is permanent or not.
If you are trying to sue a driver in a Florida car collision, their insurance company may want to have your medical records reviewed by their medical expert. However, make sure to give your medical records to the claims adjuster immediately following so that they can set the appropriate reserve. Doing so will help the case settle sooner.
In most cases, the insurance company's chosen doctor will conclude that your injury is not permanent. This scenario is especially true in cases where the soft tissues, bulging discs, or herniated discs are the injuries at hand following a car accident. Unfortunately, this will decrease the value of your injury claim and may result in less compensation. In the end, the jury will have to decide whether they believe your doctor or the insurance company's doctor.
Do You Need a Permanent Injury in a Florida Lyft Accident?
Because Lyft's insurance policy has PIP coverage for both its passengers and drivers, you will most likely need a permanent injury to get money for pain and suffering if you are a Lyft passenger and the Lyft driver was at fault in the accident.
As a Lyft driver, you will most likely need a permanent injury in your claim against the other driver to receive compensation for pain and suffering (unless the driver was not required to have PIP coverage).
As a driver who was hit by a Lyft driver, you will likely need a permanent injury to receive compensation for pain and suffering (unless the other vehicle was not required to have PIP coverage).
Injury Assistance Law Firm is a personal injury claims lawyer in Orlando. As an Orlando personal injury lawyer, we know what it takes to win a case against an insurance company, and we can provide you with all the help you need to feel confident in your case. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.