What You Need to Know About Florida’s Impact Rule

What You Need to Know About Florida’s Impact Rule

Anytime a person is seriously injured during a car accident or another kind of injury accident, their injuries often go beyond physical harm and pain. The event is usually both physically and emotionally traumatic.

According to Florida’s impact rule, however, it may be substantially more difficult to receive financial compensation for a victim’s non-economic damages like emotional distress or pain and suffering.

To obtain non-economic compensation, you will be required to demonstrate that any emotional damages you are alleging you suffered caused you physical harm or were caused by physical injuries. This means that, under Florida law, you may not be awarded compensation for injuries that are strictly emotional.

A practiced Florida personal injury attorney who has previously dealt with these onerous legal conditions will know the best way to assist you in recovering your damages and ensuring that you see justice. 

Understanding the Impact Rule

Also referred to as the physical impact rule, this cumbersome edict is a holdover from the late 19th century when Florida’s Supreme Court ruled against a claimant seeking damages for mental disappointment and suffering by citing the futility of setting values for damages for what they said were spiritually intangible injuries. Basically, a claimant has no basis for pursuing financial compensation if they didn’t endure any bodily harm.

What You Need to Know About Florida's Impact Rule

Exceptions to the Impact Rule

There are only a few states today, of which Florida is one, that still abide by the impact rule. Case law has, however, over time, whittled out several exceptions such as in 1985, when the Florida Supreme Court stated that victims may pursue a claim for emotional distress provided that the distress manifested itself physically. 

For instance, you might have a legitimate claim for emotional distress if you witnessed a family member suffer a critical injury and, as a result, endured adverse physical manifestations of your emotional trauma.

Physical manifestation can show itself in a way comparable to the symptoms of PTSD or it could show as chronic headaches, a stomach ulcer, tachycardia, or chest pains. 

There are other exceptions to the impact rule in Florida, but the best way to determine if they apply to your case is to speak with an experienced attorney.

As with every kind of personal injury case, the endless number of variables makes your claim unique. Someone with a case that sounds very similar to yours could end up with a very different outcome than what you should expect. This is just one of the many reasons why hiring a skilled attorney is beneficial to your Florida personal injury claim

Your attorney will know the most thorough and efficient way of collecting vital evidence that proves you were not at fault for the accident. Establishing this fact is essential to the success of your Tampa personal injury case.

If you have sustained injuries during any kind of accident that was caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness, there is evidence out there that will substantiate your claim. A reputable personal injury attorney from Fulgencio Law will be able to help you. Call us at (813) 463-0123 to schedule your free Tampa personal injury consultation today.

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