Florida is a no-fault insurance state. That means, regardless of who was at fault in your car accident, your own auto insurance pays your damages—but there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes you can sue the person who caused your accident if you meet the Florida permanent injury threshold.
For help recovering additional compensation after a car crash, call the Montero Law Center today at 954-767-6500. We offer free consultations.
Under What Circumstances Can I Sue Someone for a Crash in Florida?
Under state law, to sue the owner, registrant, driver, or passenger of a motor vehicle in Florida, you must meet the permanent injury threshold. If you or a loved one suffered any of the following effects because of the accident, you may meet the threshold:
- An injury your doctor reasonably expects to be permanent;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
- The permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function.
What Damages Can I Get If I Meet the Permanent Injury Threshold?
You can make a claim for compensation for several damages that resulted from your injuries, illness, or disease as a consequence of the crash. These include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish; and
Which Insurance Company Pays My Claim If I Meet the Permanent Injury Threshold?
Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will pay up to the limits of your policy. When you have injuries significant enough to meet the permanent injury threshold, your damages are likely to exceed your policy limits. In this case, you can seek additional damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you request damages that exceed this policy’s coverage limits, you cannot make a claim for punitive damages.
Our attorneys can help you file a claim with the other driver’s insurer. If it refuses to offer a fair settlement, we can file suit and take your case to court.
Can the Judge Throw My Case out of Court?
Since the general rule is not to allow lawsuits based on fault in the context of motor vehicle accidents, Florida developed a unique procedure that makes it easy for judges to dismiss these claims without a trial. The at-fault driver can file a motion with the court questioning whether you have met the permanent injury threshold requirements.
This could occur at the pre-trial hearing or 30 days prior to the trial. If it does, the court will look at the pleadings and evidence to decide whether you will be able to present evidence of a permanent injury. If you cannot put together any evidence that you meet the threshold, the judge must dismiss the case without prejudice. This means you could still refile your suit at a later date.
How Can I Get Help If I Suffered Permanent Injuries in a Florida Car Wreck?
If you have suffered significant injuries from a car accident, the personal injury team at the Montero Law Center will evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation to you. Call us today at 954-767-6500 to set up your free case evaluation.
Florida permanent injury threshold