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Mark J. Leeds P.A.
Main Office Ft. Lauderdale
633 S. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Cell: 954 683 0355
Fax: 954 337 2435
5621 Strand Boulevard
TelePhone: 954 683 0355
Email: [email protected]
Fast Facts: Car Accidents
CAR ACCIDENT INJURY EXPERIENCE
Florida has some special laws for car accidents that are more or less shared by fewer than 20 States. Florida is a “No-Fault” State. This means that no matter who is at fault, your OWN car insurance will have to cover the first $10,000 dollars of medical bills, and also some of that same ten thousand dollars can be used for loss of wages. But, of course, the law is never as clear and simple as the easy explanation I have just given you.
There is a difference between money compensation requirements for different varieties of harm. For example, medical bills and loss of income are different from pain and suffering compensation and it is possible that a personal injury accident victim may be eligible for lost income and medical bills but not pain and suffering. Read further, please.
The kind of insurance that you have on your car that pays for the first ten thousand dollars of medical bills is called “Personal Injury Protection” insurance, and we Florida Personal Injury Attorneys call these benefits PIP.
This PIP insurance also may pay some combination of loss of wages and medical bills. Some of you may have purchased additional medical coverage, called MED PAY –in Florida Med Pay is usually only another extra $5,000 in benefits.
It may not make sense or seem fair to you, but the law was designed to protect you and force your own car insurance company to pay some of your early emergency bills, because there is no guarantee that the other driver is at fault or that the other driver even has any car insurance at all. To get the insurance benefit of this PIP insurance it is not a requirement that you be free of fault.
You could even have been the real cause that the accident happened. That is why they call it “Florida No Fault”.
There is a requirement in order to get money compensation for pain and suffering from a jury. The law is called the “Florida No Fault Threshold”. It says that you must have a:
PERMANENT INJURY WITHIN A REASONABLE DEGREE OF MEDICAL PROBABILITY.
I put that last phrase in capital letters because it is so important!
There are a variety of damages which are split into different categories under Florida’s fairly complicated automobile accident laws.
If you were hurt in a Florida Slip and Fall accident, or by a defective product, your legal rights to money damages for pain and suffering would be quite different to your legal rights had you been injured in a Florida Car Accident.
In order to get money compensation for your pain and suffering due to injuries in a Florida Car Accident, you have to have a “PERMANENT INJURY”.
If you know that your injury is surely permanent, because you have had a major fracture, or clear and immediate accident trauma-related surgery, then sections 7, 8 and 9 are perhaps not for you.
This car accident permanent injury requirement has a few loopholes and exceptions.
Scars may be a way to bypass the requirement, for example.
But for the most part, the law was intended to make it very difficult for accident victims who have suffered a milder car accident injury – such are those that are most commonly sustained after a whiplash accident – to get money for their pain and suffering.
It may be considered a permanent injury if you have been medically treated for a while and the pain happens off and on, and your doctor says he thinks that it is probable that the pain will come and go for the rest of your life.
However, the Insurance Company and their attorney can easily produce multiple respected doctors to say that in their opinion, your injury is not permanent.
These kinds of contested cases, where you still feel poorly after a whiplash, and the insurance company has their doctor saying you are not truly badly injured are difficult. Not all lawyers will take these cases to a jury trial, and prefer to settle them for much less money than you may think is fair
Your Florida Injury Lawyer who is Florida Bar Board Certified in Civil Trial eats, drinks and sleeps all about what is, and what is not, a “permanent injury” and sometimes it can all boil down to your continuing complaints being backed by a good and qualified physicians opinion and the jury’s belief in your being truthful.
Each case is individual. Each case should be discussed with an experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer.
The Law Firm of Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, Mark J. Leeds is willing and able to offer a Free Legal Consultation to discuss your case, by calling our toll-free number at (888) 446-1999; you can also fill out the car accident injury case evaluation form for a prompt response thereafter.