When you’re in a car accident that has resulted in serious damage to your vehicle or your person, you need to find some way to pay for these expenses. In the majority of states, you would file a claim with the insurance policy of the person responsible for your accident.
However, some states use a no-fault system, and in no-fault states, you’re only allowed to file a claim against your own insurance policy. If the costs of your wreck exceed the limits of your policy, you’ll have to cover your remaining expenses out of pocket unless your injuries qualify under the legal concept known as the “serious injury” threshold.
Read about the rules of the serious injury threshold and learn why it’s a good idea to get advice on your case from a car accident lawyer.
What is the “Serious Injury” Threshold?
The serious injury threshold is a legal method for stepping outside of the no-fault system and seeking further compensation after you’ve been involved in an accident. If your injuries qualify under the serious injury threshold rules of your state, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for your wreck and you may be able to receive compensation for issues such as pain and suffering.
Depending on the state in which you live, breaking the serious injury threshold can be very difficult, making it helpful to examine typical qualifications a little more closely.
Different Rules for Different States
Some no-fault states like Florida require drivers to carry personal injury protection coverage (PIP). After you’re involved in an accident in a no-fault state, your PIP coverage will be used to cover your expenses like medical bills and lost wages. The minimum amount of PIP coverage you must carry in Florida is $10,000. However, it is possible to purchase additional coverage if you wish.
If you find your PIP will not fully cover your expenses, you can try to step outside the no-fault system using the serious injury threshold. Being eligible to break the threshold depends on your injuries meeting the serious injury laws in your state. In Florida, for example, your injuries must either result in the permanent loss of a bodily function, extensive scarring or disfigurement or another permanent injury that does not involve scarring or disfigurement.
If your injury matches the requirements laid out in your state, you can pursue compensation outside of the no-fault system.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
The rules for breaking the serious injury threshold are different from state to state, and it’s common for the language to be unclear. To fully understand the rules in your state, consider consulting with a car accident lawyer who is familiar with the no-fault system. The right attorney can help you decide if your injuries qualify to break the serious injury threshold and can advise you on the best way to get the compensation you need.
Contact Robert White, Attorney at Law
When you need a car accident lawyer to help you understand the serious injury threshold or to help you plan a personal injury suit, you need Robert White, Attorney at Law. The legal professionals at Childs, Bishop & White, PC understand how important it is to get compensation after a serious car accident, and we are ready to help you plan your case.
Schedule a consultation with us today.