If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, you may be wondering whether your injury is serious enough to file a personal injury claim. Regardless of the severity of your injury, you should always undergo a medical evaluation by a medical professional and consider speaking with a licensed attorney about the accident, especially if it was caused by the negligence of another party. There are many benefits to discussing your situation with a legal professional, even if you think your injury is not that severe.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we offer free, first-time injury claim evaluations for accident victims in Boca Raton and the surrounding areas (by appointment only). Call our firm anytime, day or night, as our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During your complimentary, initial claim evaluation, we can help determine whether you may be eligible for financial compensation to pay for your injuries and any other damages or financial losses related to the incident, such as lost wages and benefits from missing work and property damage.
Continue reading to learn what is considered a serious injury according to personal injury law in the state of Florida. Knowing how serious injury law works in Florida could help you understand your legal rights to seek financial compensation, so you can avoid paying for your own damages out-of-pocket.
What is Considered a Serious Injury in Florida?
Whether you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, workplace accident, or other setting, if the injury was the result of the negligence of another, you could be eligible to file a claim to cover the costs of your damages. According to Florida’s comparative negligence statute, even if you share partial fault for causing the accident, you could recover a reduced amount of compensation, depending on your percentage of fault. For example, if your compensation award was determined to be $1 million and you were found to be 30 percent at-fault for causing the accident, you would only receive $700,000.
When it comes to determining whether an injury is serious in Florida, the serious injury law threshold states that one of the three types of conditions must be met:
- Any injury that is determined to be permanent
- Any permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement, or
- Any permanent and significant loss of a bodily function
Since the law allows for these terms to be open for interpretation, it is up to you and your attorney to show how your injuries may have negatively changed your ability to perform daily activities.
What Are Some Common Examples of Serious Injuries?
It is important to understand that no matter the severity of your injury, it is vital to have a doctor examine your condition immediately to prevent your condition from worsening. Although you may not feel symptoms immediately after the accident, your condition could deteriorate rapidly, which could lead to serious, long-term health issues.
Some of the more common serious injuries we have worked with in the past include:
Whiplash: Any unexpected, rapid movement of the neck can result in neck sprains, nerve damage, and other neck damage, which is often referred to as whiplash. This type of injury is commonly associated with car accidents and serious crashes can often cause temporary or permanent disabilities, loss of function, and/or paralysis. Although whiplash can range in severity from mild to extremely severe, it is important to consult with a physician to avoid further harm. This type of injury has been known to linger when left untreated.
Broken bones or fractures: Although most fractures and broken bones can heal over time, sometimes these injuries can be considered serious, as they may cause temporary or permanent disability and/or mobility issues. Some signs of a broken bone or fracture may include bruising, the inability to hold one’s own body weight, lacerations, experiencing pain when pressure is applied to certain body parts, and any abnormal deformities or bones protruding through the skin. Even if your symptoms are mild, you should still have a medical professional check for signs of broken bones or fractures.
Spinal cord damage: Any serious damage to the spinal cord can have debilitating effects on the human body. Since the nerves and tissue around the spinal cord are delicate, any serious blow to the area could lead to long-term and sometimes permanent damage. Because the nerves in your spinal cord are the main connection between your brain and the rest of your body, this type of injury can cause temporary or permanent loss of bodily function, chronic pain and suffering, disabilities, and/or paralysis.
Traumatic brain injuries: Suffering a significant blow to the head area can cause damage to the brain and the nerves which connect to other body parts, in what is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This type of injury can cause intense headaches, dizziness, mood swings, memory loss, vision impairment, and more. While these symptoms may come and go from time-to-time, it is critical to be checked by a physician to avoid future health problems. Truck accidents, motorcycle crashes, and slip and fall accidents have all been known to possibly result in serious TBI’s.
Amputations: Unfortunately, there are times when an accident victim is so badly injured that doctors have to make the difficult decision to amputate a body part to save the individual’s life. This usually happens when the limbs sustain serious nerve damage, become unresponsive, and/or become infected (even after medical treatment). These catastrophic injuries are commonly the result of serious car crashes, truck accidents, motorcycle crashes, construction accidents, train accidents, and pedestrians being struck by a vehicle.
Paralysis: A serious accident can cause injury victims to suffer paralysis in certain parts of the body or entire body, which can sometimes be temporary or permanent. Besides physical disabilities and loss of bodily functions, sometimes paralysis can affect a person’s ability to speak the way they did prior to the accident. Victims of paralysis must often endure ongoing medical treatments, physical and psychological therapies, as well as at-home care, which can prove to be costly over a long period.
Learn More From a Licensed Attorney
Serious injury law can often be complex without the help of a licensed attorney, especially if you wish to pursue the full amount of compensation you may need to make a full recovery. Most serious injury victims who seek the services of a legal professional usually garner larger settlement awards, as opposed to those who go at it alone. Keep in mind that once you file your personal injury claim, you can no longer file another claim later for the same accident. A skilled attorney will help calculate the past, present, and future costs of your medical needs and loss of income, if you missed work or can no longer return to work.
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers offer no-cost, initial consultations for injury victims in the Boca Raton area and beyond (by appointment only). There is no obligation required and your personal information is kept completely confidential, so there is no risk in giving us a call today.
Altogether, our firm has helped our clients recover more than $100,000,000 combined in successful verdicts and settlements.
Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today at (561) 800-8000 and fight for your right to seek the compensation you may deserve.