Is an auto accident settlement based on impairment rating in Florida?

When negotiating the settlement of a car accident, in Florida, impairment rating is a major factor determining the amount of compensation you can receive. However, several other aspects will be discussed as well, including how the impairment affects your body and your working ability, how is pain and suffering valued, and how much insurance coverage the potential defendant has.

Personal injury impairment rating

The insurance company is going to make a settlement offer. Payment will come in the form of a single check for whatever you've negotiated.

You do not have to accept an auto insurer’s settlement offer, let alone the first one. Insurance companies want to reduce their losses, but you have every right to ask for more money and seek fair compensation for your injuries incurred as a result of a road traffic crash. Personal injury protection is only worth up to a maximum of $10,000 in medical benefits and lost wages. You can get beyond the $10,000 if a doctor specialized in treating the kind of injury you have suffered assigns you a permanent impairment rating.

What is a personal injury impairment rating?

According to the AMA Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, impairment is "a significant deviation, loss, or loss of use of any body structure or body function in an individual with a health condition, disorder, or disease."

A medical doctor certified by the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners should be the one who establishes the impairment rating. That is necessary, as the opposing insurance carrier will do its best to obtain a contrary opinion from another examiner.

A permanent impairment is described as one that has reached maximum medical improvement, is well stabilized, and not probable to change considerably in the next year with or without medical treatment.

Impairment may involve the following conditions and rating evaluations:

  • A ruptured disc: 5% whole body impairment
  • Knee injury requiring surgery: 5% whole body impairment
  • Back surgery: 10% whole body impairment
  • Serious back injury & fractures: 25% whole body impairment

How can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary help you?

To assign an impairment rating, the examining doctor has to inform on the patient's general functional ability and limitations. This broad review should include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Physical examination
  • Evaluation of motivation and sincerity of effort
  • Credibility of alleged pain and other limitations
  • Estimation of causal effects

If the claim is substantial, the insurance company might refuse to settle without having the claimant undergo its own medical exam.

If you or a family member was involved in a car accident in Miami, Florida, was seriously injured, and was assigned an impairment rating, our experienced car accident attorney can help you protect your legal rights while pursuing the compensation you deserve. When you receive a lowball offer, instead of thinking this is all you will get and accepting, contact the Miami personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.