Stuart Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
When life takes a sudden, devastating turn due to a catastrophic injury, the impact is life-altering. At Lance P. Richard, P.A., our Stuart catastrophic injury lawyer is committed to fighting for the rights of victims and their families during these difficult times.
What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury in Florida?
In Florida, a catastrophic injury is defined as a severe injury that results in long-term or permanent disability or disfigurement. This type of injury significantly impacts the victim’s quality of life and often requires extensive medical care and rehabilitation.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Catastrophic injuries can take many forms, with some of the most common including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe burns, amputations, and multiple bone fractures. These injuries often have profound consequences, altering victims’ lives and their ability to work or lead a normal life.
Pain and Suffering Laws in Florida
In Florida, victims of catastrophic injuries can seek compensation for pain and suffering. These non-economic damages compensate for the physical pain and emotional distress a victim endures due to the injury. However, it is important to note that Florida applies a “serious injury threshold,” which means that to claim these damages in a personal injury case, the injury must be considered serious.
Serious Injury Threshold in Florida
The serious injury threshold in Florida refers to the severity of the injury a victim must sustain to step outside Florida’s no-fault insurance system and bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Injuries that meet this threshold include significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death.
Bodily Injury vs. Personal Injury in Florida
In Florida, the terms bodily injury and personal injury are often used interchangeably, but they do have different legal meanings. Bodily injury specifically refers to physical harm to a person’s body, while personal injury is a broader term that can include emotional, psychological, and reputational harm, in addition to physical injuries.
Emotional Distress as Bodily Injury in Florida
Emotional distress is considered a form of personal injury in Florida, not bodily injury. Victims can recover damages for emotional distress in personal injury cases when they can show that the distress is a direct result of the defendant’s negligence and has significantly impacted their daily life.
Florida’s No-Fault System for Personal Injury
Florida operates under a no-fault system for certain personal injury cases, such as auto accidents. This means that after an accident, victims first turn to their own insurance coverage for compensation, regardless of who was at fault. However, victims of catastrophic injuries often exceed the limits of their own insurance and may pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover additional compensation.
Contact Your Stuart, Florida Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has sustained a catastrophic injury due to another’s negligence, don’t navigate the complexities of Florida’s personal injury laws alone. Reach out to Lance P. Richard, P.A., your experienced Stuart, Florida catastrophic injury attorney, to discuss your case and understand your legal options. Contact us today at 772-934-4070 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.