Recently, a client asked why it was necessary for her doctor to determine if she suffered a “Permanent Injury” in her car crash case. A “permanent injury" is essentially a legal and medical term. In Florida, a person who is injured as a result of someone else's negligence in an auto accident case is only entitled to certain types of damages. First, the injured person is entitled to recover for past and future medical expenses as well as lost income. These damages are available regardless of “permanency”.
However, the injured party is not entitled to “non-economic damages" such as pain and suffering unless a doctor determines they suffered a permanent injury, received significant and permanent loss of an important body function, suffered significant permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death. Consequently insurance companies often argue and defend cases based on the premise that the injured person did not suffer a permanent injury and therefore is not entitled to pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, mental anguish, etc. If the jury does not find a permanent injury, scarring, disfigurement, etc caused by the crash, then the verdict and recovery will be substantially less because the person is not entitled to pain and suffering. That is why it is important in most car accident cases to determine whether the person suffered injuries that are permanent in nature. The doctor will also give a permanent impairment rating and list the various areas of the person's body which were permanently injured.
This is not the case with Motorcycle Accidents. Because motorcyclists are not required to carry Personal Injury Protection, they are not subject to the “threshold requirement” such as permanency. As you can see, seemingly minor nuances such as whether an injury is considered permanent or not can change the value of a case significantly. Therefore, it is important to find a personal injury lawyer very familiar with auto accident law in order to maximize your rights and recovery.
At The Lowman Law Firm, we auto accident, motorcycle accident, and truck accident cases throughout Florida including Hernando, Citrus, Pasco, Lake, Polk, and Hillsborough counties. Every consultation is Free and we offer home and weekend appointments. Call, Email, or Text today for a Free Case Evaluation.