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What Is Florida’s Serious Injury Threshold?

Because Florida observes a no-fault system, the only way a person may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit after an automobile or motorcycle accident is if their injuries fall into the serious injury category. What is Florida’s serious injury threshold? It is outlined in Fla. Stat. Ann. Section 627.737:

“Plaintiff may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of such motor vehicle only in the event that the injury or disease consists in whole or in part of:

(a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function.
(b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.
(c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
(d) Death.”

This statute outlines all of the circumstances that fall under the serious injury threshold, but what does this mean in terms of the injuries you may have faced as a result of your accident?

Typically if your injuries have caused some type of disability, permanent disfigurement, or have required extensive medical care, you have experienced an injury that would fall under the serious injury threshold. Also, if your PIP, or personal injury protection, policy does not cover the extensive damages your injuries have caused, you may be able to consider your injury within the serious injury threshold as well. If you are to pursue a personal injury lawsuit as a result of an accident related injury, it is best to speak with an experienced attorney about your personal injury lawsuit first to ensure you have a case.

It is also important to note that a personal injury lawsuit can only be carried out if a negligent party caused the accident, and their negligence can be proven beyond a doubt in a court of law. Because of this, it is also important to collect your evidence and provide proof that you had no part in the cause of the accident.

Damages Recovered From Personal Injury Lawsuit

Florida’s no-fault system makes pursuing a personal injury lawsuit something of a rarity in automobile or motorcycle accident cases, as insurance companies of drivers are responsible for paying for damages regardless of who is at fault in a typical accident. However, in cases of injuries surpassing the serious injury threshold, this is a route that may be sought, and a person may be awarded compensation through a lawsuit that they would not have been awarded through an insurance claim. Before pursuing a personal injury lawsuit due to serious injuries, it’s worthwhile to see just what other damages you may be entitled to.

Through personal injury lawsuits, you may be able to recover all of the same types of economic damages you would receive from an insurance payout. These include missed work wages, medical bills, household help, and medications required to recover from your injury. However, the lawsuit would cover the portions that insurance could not, and what is not covered by your PIP policy.

Non-economic damages may be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit, and it’s these damages that differ from what is typically covered by insurance. These non-economic damages may include loss of support in the event of a loved one’s death, pain and suffering, and mental anguish, and can award you compensation otherwise not offered in the event of a serious injury.

At, we want to make sure that you know just what type of Florida automobile or motorcycle accident situation you’re working with, and what damages may be awarded to you depending on your individual situation. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident and you’re looking for more information on a Florida personal injury lawsuit, contact us today.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

What Is Florida’s Serious Injury Threshold?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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