If you were the victim in a personal injury accident, you may be wondering what the tort threshold in Florida is and how it impacts your ability to receive compensation for injuries.
The tort threshold in Florida is a law stating that victims of personal injury accidents must sustain one of four types of injuries in order to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish.
The four injury types in Florida’s tort threshold are:
- Permanent injury
- Severe scarring or disfigurement
- Significant or permanent loss of a major bodily function
The tort threshold in Florida does not apply to economic damages, which may include actual financial costs you incurred as a direct result of the accident. Medical bills and costs associated with replacing a totaled vehicle are two examples of economic damages.
Non-Economic Damages in Florida
Pain and suffering and mental anguish are examples of non-economic damages. The tort threshold in Florida limits awards for these damages to victims of personal injury accidents that sustain significant and chronic injuries.
Compensation for non-economic claims may take into account factors such as your age, your annual earnings, your future earning potential, and the severity of your injuries.
The law sets aside these special damages for permanent injury victims because of the long-term effects of these conditions. Permanent injuries may limit your ability to work, engage in certain activities, or otherwise have the same standard of living as before your accident.
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Meeting the Tort Threshold in Florida
To prove that you meet the Florida tort threshold and qualify for non-economic damages in your personal injury case, you may need to provide evidence of the extent of your injuries. This may include:
- Medical records
- Statements from your doctor
- Testimony from medical experts
- And more
Working with your medical professional after your accident can ensure that there are not any gaps in your treatment. You want to maintain regular appointments to track the progression of your injuries and document how they are impacting your daily life. Follow-up with any recommendations your doctor makes and keep your records in a safe place.
Documents to Retain for Your Case
We recommend that you keep all documentation related to your personal injury accident so that it may be used as evidence in your case, if necessary. This includes:
- Police reports
- Receipts for any services you required related to the accident
- Medical bills
- Contact information of witnesses
- Photos of the accident scene
If you have to take time off from work due to your injuries, make sure to keep copies of communication with your employers to prove how many days of work you missed.
Depending on what type of accident you were involved in, you may also receive communications from the other party involved. This may include letters, emails, or phone calls from their insurance company, as well as yours. Try to keep these documents organized.
If you are unsure of whether to accept a settlement offer or how to communicate with an insurance agent, you may want to discuss your options with a personal injury lawyer.
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Filing for Disability
Severe injuries may lead to disability, which may require filing additional claims with various agencies, such as the Social Security Administration. If you have to file for disability benefits following a personal injury accident, those records may help prove that you sustained a permanent injury in your personal injury case.
Likewise, if you have to file for unemployment benefits because your injuries preclude you from working, these records may enhance the validity of the claims in your personal injury case.
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Representation in Your Personal Injury Case
Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers represents Florida’s personal injury victims. We may be able to take on your case and help you prove that your injuries meet Florida’s tort threshold.
Keep in mind that your case may be beholden to a statute of limitations, or legal time limit. The statute of limitations for Florida’s personal injury claims is generally four years. However, certain circumstances can extend or shorten this time frame.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today at (855) 529-0269 to schedule a free consultation with our team. We can discuss what legal time limits pertain to your case, as well as your options for recovering compensation.
Our firm operates on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front costs to the clients we represent.
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