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Our Offices

  • Mt Dora Office

    Address

    4130 United Avenue
    Mt Dora, Florida 32757

  • Inverness Office

    Address

    405 Tompkins Street
    Inverness, Florida 34450

    Phone

    352-344-1882

  • Clermont Office

    Address

    481 E. Highway 50
    #201
    Clermont, Florida 34711

    Phone

    352-242-1933

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What Is the “Serious Injury” Threshold in Florida Auto Accident Cases?

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If you are injured in an auto accident, who pays for your damages? Florida uses a statutory scheme called no-fault insurance, which limits the circumstances under which you can sue someone else for your injuries. Initially, you must make a claim to your own auto insurance carrier under your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which pays your medical bills, income loss and other financial loss due to the accident up to the policy limits. PIP does not compensate you for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.

However, there is an exception to this limitation. You may bring a tort claim against the driver who caused the auto accident, or against anyone legally responsible for the vehicle, if you or a family member suffered a “serious injury.” You can recover your full economic damages from that person or persons, along with damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience.

A “serious injury” is bodily harm, sickness or disease that results in any of these consequences:

  • Death
  • Significant, permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • Significant, permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Any other permanent injury that is within a reasonable degree of medical probability

Proving that you or a family member meet the “serious injury” threshold usually involves producing medical testimony to substantiate the injury and its connection to the accident. In addition, Florida law requires that within 14 days of an accident, a victim must undergo a medical exam or receive medical care from a primary care doctor, dentist, specialist, chiropractor or other services provider. This can include medical services in an emergency room or at an urgent care or outpatient facility.

If you file an auto accident lawsuit, the defendant has the option of making a pre-trial motion to challenge whether you or a family member did, in fact, suffer a serious injury. The court will hold a hearing at which both sides may present evidence. If the court determines that you will be able to present some evidence of serious injury, the case can proceed to trial. If not, the court will dismiss the case. However, you may be able file another suit if the statute of limitations has not expired and you produce new evidence of a serious injury. The limitations period is four years unless the injury resulted in death, in which case the period is two years.

With deep experience in auto accident cases, Largey Law Firm can make an informed decision about whether you or a family member suffered a serious injury and we will build the strongest case possible for full recovery of damages. Call 352-253-0456 or contact us online for a free consultation at any of our offices in Clermont, Inverness or Tavares, Florida. Se habla español.