When the neck is suddenly stretched beyond its normal range of motion, the upper spine area and the soft tissue located on the neck can get damaged and cause whiplash. …
Miami Serious Injury Lawyer
Did you sustain a serious injury in a Miami car accident? Serious injuries can materialize almost anywhere and without warning. One of the most common ways that one can sustain a serious injury is in a car accident. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common reasons for bringing a personal injury claim. In many cases, car accident victims withstand severe and life-threatening injuries in car accidents in South Florida. Florida is considered a no-fault state, which means each person’s own car insurance will pay for injuries and damages resulting from an accident, no matter who was at fault. Additionally, each driver is obligated to carry a personal injury protection (PIP) policy, covering a minimum of $10,000 per person per crash.
In Florida, you are also allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident if the injuries meet the serious injury threshold. Florida is a no-fault state. This means that drivers and passengers who are injured in motor vehicle accidents must first turn to their own insurance coverage to get their medical bills paid, and if applicable, get reimbursed for lost wages. Both drivers and passengers are only allowed to file a liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party if they sustained serious injuries as a result of the car accident. If you have been injured in a car accident, please call the law offices of Suarez & Montero to schedule a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys and dedicated staff will ensure you get the compensation you deserve!
What is Considered a Serious Injury in Florida?
Under Florida’s no-fault law system, you are not liable for another’s personal injuries—even if you caused the car accident—unless those injuries meet a certain medical threshold. If the injuries do not meet the “serious injury threshold”, then the injured person may not recover for their injuries, pain, suffering, mental anguish, or inconvenience experienced as the result of those injuries. Florida law defines serious personal injuries as those resulting in significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death.
Accidents That Can Cause Serious Injuries
You may be wondering what types of accidents result in serious injuries? While most car accidents can lead to severe and life-threatening injuries, the following types of accidents frequently result in serious injuries:
T-bone accidents can cause severe injuries. These types of accidents can occur when the side of a vehicle is hit. It can be impacted by the front or rear of another vehicle or in some cases a fixed object.
This type of accident is when the front ends of two vehicles hit each other in opposite directions. Head-on collisions are an often-fatal road traffic accident. Being aware of traffic signs, street conditions and staying in your lane play a critical role in avoiding these types of accidents.
Rollover accidents often occur because a car hits something, like a curb or bump or a barrier which disrupts the forward motion of the car, causing it to roll forward or sideways.
A traffic accident where a vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. These are usually due to driver inattention or distraction, tailgating, panic stops, and reduced traction due to irregular road conditions caused by weather.
Types of Serious Injuries in Miami
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, you probably have a lot of questions. You may wonder how common your type of injury is, and whether it’s worth pursuing a claim. First of all, after any type of accident, it is important to seek medical treatment. It is also important to consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer if you have questions about your options going forward. Your insurance and the other driver’s auto insurance may provide some relief but filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the best means of being fully compensated for your damages. In no particular order, these are some of the most common serious injuries we see after car accidents in South Florida:
Traumatic Brain Injuries:
A traumatic brain injury is usually the result of a forceful blow to the head or body. An object that penetrates brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury. Objective medical evidence of a brain injury is usually sufficient to satisfy the serious injury threshold in Florida. However, complaints of cognitive or memory impairment, headaches or affective changes that are unsupported by medical testing are insufficient to demonstrate serious injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries:
Spinal cord injuries often affect victims for the rest of their lives. They often happen in serious bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pool accidents, or other accidents where there is a high risk of serious trauma to the head, neck, or back. When the nerves of the spinal cord are damaged, it can be difficult or even impossible for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. As a result, spinal cord injuries can result in loss of range of motion, numbness, pain, sensations of pins and needles, and even paralysis below the point of injury.
Serious burns can happen in a wide variety of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, explosions, fires, and electrical accidents. In serious cases, victims can be left with disfiguring injuries and permanent scarring that can significantly affect their appearance and physical ability.
Soft Tissue Injuries:
Soft tissue injuries encompass a wide variety of injuries, including sprains, strains, lacerations, and contusions. While these injuries are often minor, they can also be extremely serious and may even require emergency medical treatment such as surgery to correct. Soft-tissue injuries, such as muscle strain and damage to ligaments, may qualify as serious injuries if they result in significant limitation of a body function, permanent loss of use of a body organ, or permanent consequential limitation of a body function or system.
Fractures and broken bones:
Broken and fractured legs, ribs, arms, ankles, and wrists are fairly common in car accidents. Severity ranges from simple breaks that require a cast to serious breaks or compound fractures that may require surgery to repair.
Handling Complications in Serious Injury Cases
Satisfaction of the serious injury threshold can sometimes be a challenge for attorneys representing plaintiffs. On many occasions, defendants and even insurance companies will try to absolve themselves from liability for the serious personal injuries sustained as a result of an accident. Additionally, defendants are not always quick to provide vital information which confirms their liability. It is incumbent upon any attorney evaluating an automobile claim in Florida to determine at the earliest stage possible whether or not a client has the ability to satisfy the serious injury threshold. To make this determination, it is critically important to obtain all necessary information concerning the client’s medical condition including all medical records from hospitals and health care providers that have been involved in the plaintiff’s diagnosis and treatment. It is also necessary to establish at the outset whether the client suffered from any pre-existing conditions or injuries that would adversely affect a determination on the issue of causation. The causation issue is a highly contested issue in motor vehicle accidents.
For example, a common issue in serious-injury threshold cases is the level of deterioration of a spine after being subjected to the trauma of a motor vehicle accident. An attorney can effectively assist in obtaining the necessary documentation by communicating with all health care providers at the very earliest stages of the professional relationship.
Let our Miami Serious Injury Lawyer Help You
There is no replacement for quality legal advice after being involved in a car accident. The car accident attorneys at Suarez and Montero would love to have an opportunity to explain the law in Florida to assist you in presenting a strong claim against the at fault party. Every firm is distinctive and auto accident victims have needs that are also distinct. As such, it’s important to contact a local personal injury attorney familiar with the case law, judges, and injuries that meet the threshold in the state of Florida. If your auto insurance company denied your personal injury claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain the compensation necessary to pay for your medical treatment and expenses. The lawyers at Suarez & Montero can help you get the compensation you deserve after suffering a serious injury in a car accident. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Florida law defines serious personal injuries as those resulting in significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death.
Unfortunately, you will be limited in the types of damages you can seek. For instance, you will not be able to collect non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. However, if your car was damaged in the accident, you’re free to file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider under that driver’s property damage liability coverage. Or, you can file a claim through your own collision coverage if you have it, if the accident was your fault.
Florida normally requires that your whiplash be a permanent injury in order for you to recover damages for pain and suffering. In general, the average nationwide settlement for whiplash injuries is between $10,000 and $20,000.
As a general rule, the attorney and client may structure their contingent fee agreement as they choose. But Florida law sets limits for the percentage of recovery that an attorney may charge. If the agreement exceeds those limits, it will be presumed to be excessive unless prior court approval is obtained to allow the attorney to charge more than the presumptive limit. Different limits are established for different stages of the litigation. Through the time of filing an answer or a demand for appointment of arbitrators, the contract may provide for a recovery of 33 1/3% up to 1 million dollars.