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Naples Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Auto Accident > Understanding The “Serious Injury” Threshold In Florida Auto Accident Cases

Understanding The “Serious Injury” Threshold In Florida Auto Accident Cases


If you’ve been in a Florida auto accident, you may be able to file an auto accident claim and recover compensation from an at-fault party. In Florida, whether or not a car accident victim can file a personal injury claim against another party depends on whether their injury meets the serious injury threshold. Under Florida law, car accident victims can only hold at-fault parties liable for damages if their injuries meet the serious injury threshold.

If you were in a Florida auto accident, it is crucial that you understand the serious injury threshold. Your Florida car accident attorney can best explain how the serious injury threshold applies to you. But it wouldn’t hurt to understand some basics about the serious injury threshold in Florida auto accident cases.

The Serious Injury Threshold in Florida Explained

Simply put, a serious injury is one that affects the victim’s life. It is not an injury that heals within a few days. Usually, a serious injury will impact a victim’s life for months, years, or for life. That is the simple definition. Florida law provides a more detailed explanation of what a serious injury is in Florida in terms of tort liability.

According to Florida law, a car accident victim can only file a claim against an at-fault party if their injury consists of;

  • Permanent and significant loss of a crucial bodily function
  • Permanent injury
  • Permanent and significant disfigurement
  • Death

If you meet the standards to file a car accident personal injury claim in Florida, your claim can include non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, and mental anguish. When you file a car accident claim against an at-fault party, you are not limited to recovering economic damages.

The Serious Injury Threshold Is Unique to Each Victim

As you might have noted, Florida law does not mention the specific injuries that qualify as serious injuries. This is not a mistake. The same injury may have a serious impact on one person and a minor one on another. An injury may significantly impair a bodily function for one victim and may not do the same for another victim. Simply put, what qualifies as a serious injury depends on the case and victim.

Proving the Serious Injury Threshold

After suffering an injury in an auto accident in Florida because of another party’s fault, it is up to you to establish the seriousness of the injury. To do this, you’ll need to provide supporting evidence. The evidence will then be analyzed to determine if your injury is serious.

The following are some of the pieces of evidence that can help you prove the seriousness of your injury after a Florida auto accident;

  • X-rays and scans
  • Your doctor’s records
  • Test results
  • Treatment plans
  • Pictures and videos
  • Testimony from a medical expert

Proving your injury meets the serious injury threshold can be challenging, especially if you try to go at it alone. A qualified car accident attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove the seriousness of your injury. For example, an experienced attorney can help you find a medical expert who can help explain how your injury meets one of the qualifying legal standards.

Proving Negligence in a Florida Auto Accident Case

In a Florida car accident personal injury case, on top of showing that your injury meets the serious injury threshold, you must establish negligence on the part of the other party before you can recover compensation. You need to prove the other party owed you a duty of care. Doing this is relatively easy. You need to show the other party breached their duty of care. Then, you need to prove that the defendant’s actions led to you suffering your injuries. Proving that a person breached their duty of care and that their actions caused your injuries can be challenging. Fortunately, a car accident attorney can help you.

If you sustained a serious injury in a Florida auto accident, it is crucial that you reach out to a skilled car accident attorney as soon as you can. You only have a limited amount of time from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury claim in Florida, so ensure you do not delay speaking to an attorney. Also, you want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible so they can help you gather crucial evidence before it has been altered.

Contact a Fort Myers Auto Accident Attorney

At the Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, we are dedicated to helping car accident victims who suffer serious injuries because of other people’s fault recover the compensation they deserve. Allow us to help you. You can contact our Fort Myers car accident attorneys at 239-329-8360 or by filling out our online contact form.


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