You can recover damages for pain and suffering caused by your Jacksonville car accident if your injuries meet Florida’s severe injury threshold. Read on to learn more about taking legal action under the state’s no-fault insurance system and how an attorney can help you pursue compensation.
When Can You Seek Compensation For Pain And Suffering In Florida?
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Under this system, drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) to pay for their medical expenses after a Jacksonville car accident, regardless of who caused the crash. PIP also compensates for 60 percent of your lost wages and lost earning capacity and pays $5,000 in death benefits per deceased party.
PIP does not provide compensation for pain and suffering, property damages, and various losses. However, you can seek these damages if you meet the severe injury threshold established in Florida Statutes § 627.737. According to the statute, you can step outside the no-fault system and pursue financial awards from a liable party if your car accident resulted in:
- “Significant and permanent” scarring and disfigurement
- A permanent injury (other than scarring and disfigurement)
- Permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Death of a loved one
What Does Pain And Suffering Compensation Include?
In general, if you qualify for pain and suffering damages, an attorney with our firm can fight for monetary awards for:
- Severe and chronic physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of mobility or paralysis
- Loss of cognitive functioning
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment
- Reduced quality of life
What Other Damages Can You Recover For A Jacksonville Car Accident?
In addition to pain and suffering damages, you may be able to seek compensation from an at-fault party for:
- Medical treatment. You can pursue out-of-pocket medical costs that exceed your PIP and awards for non-covered treatments. Medical damages may include emergency services, hospital stays, doctor fees, physical therapy and rehabilitation, medical devices and equipment, prescription drugs, and long-term nursing care.
- Lost income. You can recover the total value of your lost wages and lost future earning potential, not just 60 percent. In addition to your salary, compensation may include lost tips, bonuses, health and retirement benefits, and other earnings.
- Personal property damages. You can seek the cost of vehicle repairs or your car’s fair market value if damages are a total loss. You can also pursue awards for other damaged or destroyed personal items like cell phones, laptops, and jewelry.
- Miscellaneous expenses. We can review your case and identify various accident-related expenses, including travel costs, rental car fees, household services, and medically necessary home or vehicle modifications.
- Wrongful death. If your loved one sustained a fatal car accident injury, their personal representative (executor) can seek Jacksonville wrongful death damages on behalf of their estate and surviving beneficiaries. Compensation may include funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, lost income (including income the deceased would have earned had they lived), and loss of the deceased’s protection, services, support, guidance, and companionship. Surviving family members can also recover damages for mental and emotional pain and suffering.
How Long Do You Have To Pursue Your Case?
According to Florida Statutes § 95.11, you have four years from your accident to file a Jacksonville personal injury lawsuit and two years from your loved one’s passing to sue for wrongful death. If the statute of limitations expires, the court will likely dismiss your case. Furthermore, if the deadline passes, it will negatively affect your bargaining power when seeking an insurance settlement from a liable driver.
Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney?
You can navigate your insurance claim or lawsuit alone, but understand that building a car accident case can take significant time and effort that may be better spent on your recovery. Working with a lawyer with our firm takes the burden of the case off your shoulders and gives you an ally with legal and insurance experience. We can:
- Investigate your car accident to determine who is at fault
- Collect evidence to prove your case, including police reports, photographs, videos, eyewitness accounts, and expert testimony
- Obtain medical records and medical opinions to prove you meet the severe injury threshold
- Identify and calculate your losses (including fair compensation for pain and suffering)
- Draft and file your PIP or liability insurance claims
- Communicate with involved parties and aggressively negotiate on your behalf
- Prepare your lawsuit and represent you at trial if necessary
Call The Law Offices Of Anidjar & Levine After A Jacksonville Car Accident
You can recover damages for pain and suffering caused by your Jacksonville car accident, and our Florida personal injury attorneys with our firm can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services with a free consultation. We offer 24/7 support and can take your case for nothing upfront or out of pocket.
We Can Help.