How the “Serious Injury” Threshold Effects No Fault Car Accident
When you’ve been involved in a major car accident, it is, unfortunately, common to find yourself unable to work and pay your bills. In most states, you can either file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance or file a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation you need to support yourself. However, if your accident occurred in a state with no-fault insurance, your options for receiving compensation are very limited.
No-fault insurance states have a rule known as the “serious injury” threshold. This threshold restricts your possibilities for filing a personal injury lawsuit, which reduces your ability to be compensated after a car accident. Discover the basics of the serious injury threshold, learn how you can break the threshold and find out why you need a car accident lawyer on your side.
Serious Injury and No-Fault States
Essentially, the serious threshold is a way for people who have suffered extensive damages from a car accident to step outside the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit. If you’re injured in a car accident in a no-fault state, you are only allowed to file a claim against your own insurance. No-fault states prohibit both claims against another person’s insurance and filing a personal injury lawsuit.
However, if the damages sustained in your car accident exceed the serious injury threshold, you are no longer restricted by the standard no-fault rules and are eligible to file suit.
How You Can Break the Threshold
In no-fault states, drivers are generally required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that they can file a claim against after a car accident. The drawback to this system is that most PIP plans limit the amount you can receive for medical bills, and if your expenses exceed this amount, you’re left to pay your remaining bills out of pocket. This is the primary reason people seek to break the serious injury threshold.
The requirements for breaking the serious injury threshold vary from state to state but are almost always stringent. In New York, for example, a wide range of conditions qualify to break this threshold, including dismemberment, disfigurement, and loss of a fetus. Florida, on the other hand, has strict regulations for breaking the threshold; only permanent loss of a limb, major disfigurement and scarring, serious injury other than scarring, and death qualify.
The Importance of Consulting a Car Accident Lawyer
If you live in a no-fault state and are having trouble understanding the often vague rules for breaking the serious injury threshold, it can be a good idea to discuss the facts of your case with a car accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer who is familiar with these complex no-fault rules will be able to listen to the details of your accident and the extent of your injuries and tell you if you are eligible to break the serious injury threshold.
Ask the Disparti Law Group for Help
After you’ve been injured in a car accident and are considering attempting to break the serious injury threshold, you need to be sure to get advice from a car accident lawyer from the Disparti Law Group. In our Florida offices, the Disparti Law Group regularly handles cases involving no-fault rules and the serious injury threshold, and we have the experience necessary to help with your suit.
Discuss your case with us today and whether you’re eligible to break the serious injury threshold.