Do You Need A Permanent Injury To Recover Damages For Your Injuries?
Imagine that you are in an accident, and you are seriously injured. But thankfully, you make a near complete recovery. Still, what you went through with your injuries, from the pain to the disability to the trauma and anxiety, certainly would seem to entitle you to compensation. Can you still recover damages, even if you have totally and completely recovered from your injuries?
In Florida, the answer to this question depends on the type of accident that you have, because car accidents are treated a little differently.
With non-car accidents, such as falls, nursing home injuries, malpractice, negligent security, or any other type of case, the answer is yes, you can recover for damages, even if you have completely recovered or healed from your initial injuries.
You can recover both for the pain and trauma you did suffer while you were still injured, but also from the money you may have lost through list wages or having incurred medical expenses.
But car accidents are somewhat different. In a car accident, you can always recover for your out of pocket expenses (called economic damages). That means things like lost wages now and in the future, or current, future, or past medical expenses, can always be recovered.
But to recover for the things that don’t have a “price tag,” like your pain, discomfort, disability, anger, frustration, or loss of the quality or enjoyment of your life, you need to have an injury that is considered permanent.
This doesn’t mean you can’t get better—of course you can improve medically, and still be entitled to damages. But if you heal completely, you will not be considered to have a permanent injury, which is required for you to recover for damages in a car accident case.
This isn’t to say that you need to have a severely debilitating and life altering injury: you don’t. But you do need to have some element of your initial injury that is not expected to ever fully heal.
Go To Your Doctor
This is why it is so important to treat with a doctor after your car accident. Your doctor needs to establish a medical baseline for you, track your progress, and at some point, determine that you likely won’t progress (heal) any more in the future.
When and if that happens, the doctor will give you what is known as a “permanency rating.” But a doctor can’t do that if they have only seen you sporadically, or if you haven’t actually done what the doctor suggested that you do, in order to heal.
Of course, the defendant in your case will argue that your injury is not permanent, or at least, that you have recovered almost completely so as not to be allowed to recover any non-economic damages.
Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today to help you recover compensation after your accident.