Can You Get Money For Pain and Suffering From A Car Accident in Florida

Car Accident Pain Suffering Florida  MiamiSo you are injured in a car accident and you were not at fault. A driver of another car was at fault. The accident happened hours ago. Your adrenaline is pumping. You are angry at the car that hit you. Your day is ruined.

There is no guarantee that you can get money for your pain and suffering. How can this be? After all, you did nothing wrong and therefore are have no comparative fault. Your friends tell you that they got a lot of money after they were in a car crash.  Let me explain.

In most situations where someone is injured and the accident was caused by a car, in order to get pain and suffering you would need to be able to show that your injury falls into 1 of the categories below:

(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. [You have rights if your family member is killed in an accident in Florida.]

Florida Statute 672.737(2)

Now, in order to have the right to get money for pain and suffering, your injury does not have fall into more than 1 of the categories above. It just has to meet 1 of them.  I said that in “most” situations you would have to meet one of the criteria in a-d above.  This includes if you are a non-resident of Florida and you are injured as a passenger in a Florida automobile in crash with another Florida automobile. Johnson v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 297 So.2d 858 (Fla. 4th DCA 1974).

If you are in a rental car that is rented in Florida, you need to show that you have a permanent injury in order to have a chance at getting money for pain and suffering. There are situations where you do not need to meet criteria a-d above. Those situations where you do not to have to show one the injuries described in “a-d” – in order to try to get money for pain and suffering – above are that if your accident was caused by a:

  1. Motorcycle
  2. Moped
  3. Mobile Home
  4. Government-owned vehicle used for 5 or more passengers (mass transit) (e.g. Miami-Dade county public bus)
  5. Farm Tractor or Farm Trailer (subjecting to licensing exception)
  6. Vehicles used only on private property
  7. Dune Buggies, Go-Carts, recreational vehicles that are not used on roads
  8. Golf Carts
  9. Off-road construction machines (rollers, graders, bulldozers)
  10. Vehicles on tracts (e.g. railroad)

You also do not to have show that you have one the injuries described in “a-d” – in order to try to get money for pain and suffering – above are that if you are:

11. In a car that was hit by a taxi.
12. In a taxi and the driver caused the accident. Check out how to get your medical bills paid after a taxi accident in Florida.
13. In a car that was hit by a public bus.
14. Driving or a passenger of a motorcycle. You can learn how to get your medical bills paid after a motorcycle crash in Florida.
15. A nonresident of Florida who is a pedestrian.
16. In a public bus that was struck by a car, truck or other vehicle.
17. A driver or passenger of a scooter than was more similar to a motorcycle than a scooter.

So if you were involved in any of the situations in #1-#8, you do not have to prove that your injuries fall into categories a-d above to get money for pain and suffering. For example, if you were in a car and a taxi ran a red light and struck your car, a jury could give you money for pain and suffering even if all you did was go to the hospital for one visit for neck pain and never followed up with the doctor again.

Situations Where Permanent Injury Is Required – category “b” above

Now the reality is that in most car accidents, there are 2 cars involved.  So if you were a passenger in a car and the crash was caused another car, your injury would have to generally meet 1 of the criteria in categories a-d above. Just going to the hospital for 1 visit complaining of neck pain will not get you any money for pain and suffering. Now, if you treat with a doctor for a few months and your pain does not go away, the doctor may believe that you have a permanent injury and you may be entitled to money for pain and suffering.

Other categories (a,b,d) Scarring, Death, Loss of a body function

If you were a passenger in a car and the car was hit by another car, you may be able to get money for pain and suffering if you have significant and permanent scarring. You may also be able to get money for pain and suffering if you lose an important bodily function, such as the loss of your spleen. And of course, your survivors are entitled to pain and suffering damages if you are killed in an accident. Obviously, a car accident qualifies as an accident.

Now that you know the law, you have to hope that the person – or possibly owner of the car or motor vehicle – that caused your car accident purchased bodily injury liability insurance. If he or she did not, maybe he or she was working at the time of the crash and you can make a claim with their employer’s business liability insurance policy – or perhaps they work for a big company like Walmart that is self-insured.

If you simply can’t find any insurance that may pay for your pain and suffering and other damages, hopefully you purchased uninsured motorist insurance – or lived with a relative who did – which may pay for your pain and suffering and other damages. You can check out some of my car accident settlements for people injured in Florida where I was able to get my clients money for pain and suffering and other damages.

In Florida, there is no limit (cap) on the amount of money that you can get for pain and suffering damages in a car accident case. But you obviously have to prove that you have damages that justify getting money for pain and suffering.

Were you injured in an accident? If so, what are you injuries? Was it a work-related accident? What was the date of the accident and in what city and state? Where do you live? Please provide a brief description of the accident.

- Ask your question below. It’s free! Be specific. The more information that you give the better my answer will be. But leave out any personally identifiable info. 

- Get answers – I will post a public reply to your question —usually within 12 hours, and sometimes within 25 minutes or less.

- Rest assured – Your privacy is important to us. All questions are posted publicly but anonymously.

I have settled over 4 million dollars in personal injury cases in Florida, including car accidentsslip and falls, and cruise ships accidentsI want to represent you if you were injured in an accident in Florida, on a cruise ship or boat. Call me now at (888) 594-3577 to Get a Free Consultation.

There are No Fees or Costs Unless We Recover Money. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We speak Spanish. We invite you to learn more about us.

I will not become your attorney by you leaving a comment. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit. All comments are posted anonymously but will be public.   I only can represent you if your injury happened in Florida or on a cruise ship; or if the injured person lives in Florida or a family member (in the case of a death) lives in Florida. This is because I am only licensed in Florida.

Comments

  1. Person who is from Georgia says:

    I was rearend in Florida i am from Georgia while there on vacation my wreck happened in 2011 case is still open i was out of work 6 months and even was on short term disability i am seeking a good attorney from flordia

    • Justin Ziegler, Miami Injury Lawyer says:

      Hi Person who is from Georgia,

      I am sorry to hear that you were rear ended. Thank you for your comment. I have sent you a private email so that we can discuss any claim privately.

      TIME LIMITS ON FILING A LAWSUIT (STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS). There is a time limit to file any lawsuit. These time limits under the law are called statutes of limitations. These time limits are different for different types of claims, and how they are applied may depend on a number of factors. Also, more than one of these time limits may apply to your claim. If you do not file a complaint on your claim or potential claim within a certain period of time, you will be forever barred or prohibited from filing any complaint ever. You would then be unable ever to make a claim for your injuries or damages.

  2. Person Hit by Car While on Motorcycle says:

    I hired a lawyer that was recommended to me by one of his previous clients. I was told he did a great job, but I am disappointed with his work so far. In October, I was hit by a car while riding my motorcycle. The accident was the other driver’s fault, and she is on her grandparent’s $100,000 insurance policy. i immediately hired a lawyer. I have waited patiently, and an initial offer finally came in for only $7,000. That doesn’t even cover my medical bills! My lawyer says he would like to come up with a counter offer. I am trying to be patient, but I feel I must guard myself. I suffered injuries to my back (a herniated disc that will never completely heal) and an injury in my foot resulting in (possibly permanent) nerve damage. Also, I have suffered 17 weeks of lost wages and my motorcycle was totaled. I have received $1,800 so far for the supposed value of my bike, and I used that to replace the bike as it was indeed my only form of transportation. I expected to hear a settlement number in the range of $50,000-$60,000. If my lawyer and I disagree about the amount of justifiable compensation, is it advisable to switch legal representation 4 months after the accident?

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer says:

      Dear Person Hit by Car While on Motorcycle,

      I am sorry that you were hit by a car and have back injuries and a foot injury. My answer assumes that you were injured in Florida, which is where I am licensed to practice. I am not your attorney.

      If you fire you attorney, then most likely he will be entitled to a lien (for the time that he spent working) on the case. I don’t know whether you should fire your attorney because I do not know his name and/or reputation. For all I know you have an amazing attorney.

      Did the other driver receive a ticket? If so, for what and how did the accident happen (e.g. hit an intersection making left hand turn, rear ended, etc.)? How much are the medical bills that you currently owe? When did you first begin getting medical treatment after the accident.

      When evaluating the settlement value of a herniated disc, it is important to consider arguments that the liability insurer may make in an attempt to deny the existence of a herniated disc or minimize the severity and/or cause of the herniated disc.

      Have you ever had neck pain and medical treatment on your neck before this incident? If so, how long before the incident?

      One thing that I like about cases where someone is injured while on a motorcycle and hit by someone else in Florida is that you do not need to prove that you have a permanent injury in order to have the possibility of getting money for pain and suffering.

      What type of foot injury to you have? Is it a tear or do you have any broken bones? Have you had an MRI?

      As you can see by my questions, a lot goes into determining whether an offer is reasonable. I need much more information to give an opinion. My initial client questionnaire is 12 or so pages long, because there are so many questions that I want to know to properly evaluate a claim.

      There is a time limit to file a lawsuit. Please feel free to ask me any more questions.

  3. Person who has had L4-L5 disectomy surgery says:

    Hi,

    I was backed into in a parking lot in deltona florida which bent the main frame of my veh in 2011. The case is still open I have had a L4 and L5 endoscopic disectomy surgery and currently I’m still in alot of pain the other party has 100/300 and I have uninsured 100/300. What’s the maximum I have on the table when it has to do with policy limits to sue? Also, in Florida does pain and suffering come from the policy limits? I have an attorney but it seems that he wants to mediate than take it to trial. But I know I have a life time injury and if the policy limits max by both policies is 200k then when they pay everything out basically whats left for me!!! Thats why I want to take it to trial thats why I want to know if the jury awards me for pain and suffering an example of 300k where does the rest of that money come from? Thank you for your time.

    • Justin Ziegler, Injury Lawyer says:

      Hi Roy,

      Thank you for asking a question! I am sorry that you have had to have surgery as a result of this accident. I am not your lawyer. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit.

      Your attorney is responsible for discovering all available insurance policies and should know the facts of your case much better than I do. Therefore, your attorney is the best person to ask this question to. There are so many exceptions and nuances when it comes to analyzing insurance coverage and my answer just covers some basics.

      Assuming that the other party had 100/300 of bodily injury (BI) liability coverage under his or her 1 and only policy, then generally speaking the most that their insurer under that BI coverage would have to pay you is 100k, absent bad faith. However, there may be other available insurance policies that may provide coverage. Again, you should speak with your lawyer.

      If the only underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage that you have on your auto insurance policy is 100/300, I would need to know whether it is stacking or non-stacking, as this can affect the total amount that may be owed from UM coverage. My answer assumes that your policy was a Florida auto insurance policy.

      In Florida, any amounts that a car insurance company pays you for pain and suffering generally “comes from” the limits of coverage under the bodily injury liability coverage or UM/UIM coverage in the auto policy.

      If a jury awards you an amount above the applicable insurance policy limits, then the insurance companies may have to pay above all available policy limits in certain situations, including but necessarily limited to, if you can show that they acted in bad faith.

      You should also see whether there is PIP coverage or Medical Payments coverage available. Since you have a lawyer, he or she should know the answers to your specific matter much better than me so you should ask him these questions and he should give you answers.

      You should note that there may be exceptions to what I have said. That is why it is so important to speak with your lawyer. I suggest you speak with him immediately. Good luck.

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