Many vehicle accident claims in Florida are resolved by a no-fault system, one of the few no-fault systems in the US. It is an accepted principle that all drivers purchase insurance that will cover their own damages if they are involved in an accident, regardless of fault. There are a few notable exceptions, however. When you’ve been injured in a Florida car accident, you should know about the serious injury threshold. If you are unfamiliar with this aspect of Florida law, continue reading as it could be crucial information if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to hire a personal injury attorney following a serious car accident.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post

  • 1
    Car accidents can result in a range of injuries, from minor to life-threatening. Injury severity can affect compensation and treatment needed.
  • 2
    Common serious injuries linked to accidents include Traumatic Brain Injuries, Serious Extremity Injuries (Limb Loss or Amputation), Serious Spinal Cord Injuries (Paralysis), Chest Injuries, Cuts and Scrapes, Fractured Bones, and Soft Tissue Injuries.
  • 3
    Factors that can lead to more severe car accident injuries include: wearing seat belts, the direction of impact, speed of collision, airbag deployment.
  • 4
    Florida has a tort threshold for personal injury victims which establishes non-economic damages like pain and suffering or mental anguish for those who meet the serious injury thresholds like substantial disruption of central body functions and disability for 90 days or more.
  • 5
    When injured in a car accident in Florida, victims should save all related documents including medical records and police reports to ensure proper compensation with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Impact vs Penetrating Car Accident Injuries

A car accident can result in almost any kind of injury, ranging from minor to catastrophic to fatal. Generally speaking, impact injuries and penetrating injuries can be classified. Penetrating injuries result from an object entering a victim’s body, while impact injuries happen when the victim strikes part of the car. Depending on the severity of the injury, it might heal on its own or after a moderate course of treatment, but it might need costly medical procedures or may persist indefinitely. A victim’s compensation may be affected by this.

Types of Serious Injuries Commonly Linked to Car Accidents in Florida

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Often, traumatic brain injuries occur due to car accidents, which cause brain damage through blows to the head or piercing injuries to the brain. Victims of high-speed collisions may strike their heads against steering wheels, windshields, or side windows. A sudden jolt to the head can lead to a closed head injury such as a concussion, as well as possibly cause more permanent forms of damage to the brain. Every year, TBI causes the deaths of 50,000 people and causes long-term disability for 80,000-90,000 more.

Serious Extremity Injuries (Limb Loss Or Amputation)

A sudden impact may cause a leg to strike the dashboard, the front seats, or a door if there is little legroom in a car. Accidents like these can lead to broken bones and shattered joints. It is possible to throw a victim’s arm or shoulder against a door, with similar results. The amputation of a limb may be necessary in extreme cases. An amputation is the loss of a limb (leg, arm, hand, finger, toe, or amputation of a leg) during a vehicle accident and involves removing the injured limb or digit. Despite being relatively rare, accidents lead to amputations on a regular basis. Accidents cause significant damage. In the event of a collision, all vehicles are composed of glass and sharp metal, so body parts can easily be cut or amputated.

Serious Spinal Cord Injuries (Paralysis)

As part of our central nervous system, our spinal cords collaborate with our brains. We can think of the brain as the command center of the body. In addition to transmitting signals to the body, the spinal cord also allows the brain to transmit signals back to the body. Maintaining spinal cord health is crucial for cognitive and physical functioning. In a car accident, the spine is at risk of injury in multiple areas. A number of factors can negatively impact the vertebrae, ligaments, and discs of the spinal column. Damage to the spine can cause the victim’s strength and the ability to detect sensation to be permanently altered. An injury to the spinal cord is graded according to its impact on the victim. Injuries to the spinal cord can be categorized into various levels of severity. A complete spinal cord injury occurs when the victim is completely unable to control their physical movement below the site of injury. The following can happen as a result of a spinal cord injury:

  • Loss of mobility;
  • Muscle spasms;
  • Loss or weakening of sensation;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Sexual dysfunction;
  • Paralysis; and
  • Death

Chest Injuries

A driver or front-seat passenger’s chest can be damaged during an accident if it strikes the steering wheel, the dashboard, or another internal area of the vehicle. This may result in broken ribs as well. In addition, drivers or passengers may be abruptly pushed against their seatbelt or shoulder harness, which can lead to severe contusions.