Commitment Precision & Results - Jacksonville, Florida

What are "Soft-Tissue" cases?

Perhaps no other area of personal injury law has been the focus of more attention in recent years than the soft-tissue case. This is true especially where the Plaintiff suffers from no disc herniations, and has submitted to various tests which do not show “objective” signs of injury.

While all of the available medical literature indicates that there is no particular test which can completely rule-out whether someone has actually sustained a “real”soft-tissue injury, Defendants heavily rely upon certain tests to advance their claim that the Plaintiff has not suffered a permanent injury.

Under Florida law, if a Plaintiff has not suffered a permanent injury or significant scarring, they are by law NOT entitled to any damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or emotional anguish, which can be substantial aspects of your claim. In other words, if the jury finds that the Plaintiff did not suffer permanent injury or significant scarring, then by law the only damages the Plaintiff could collect are out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost income actually suffered in the past, and which will be suffered in the future.

Often, the lost income and substantial portions of the medical bills have been paid by PIP and/or health insurance, and, therefore, there are simply no damages that the law permits the Plaintiff to collect if the jury finds no permanent injury. Further, Florida law allows the Defendant to have performed on the Plaintiff an “Independent Medical Examination”, which is explained in more detail later.

The point is, it is a virtual certainty that the results of the Independent Medical Examination will be that the Defendant has procured a medical opinion has not suffered a permanent injury, and, in addition, needs no future care. The crucial point to remember is that our experience has been that juries are very, very suspicious of soft-tissue injuries, especially when the property damage to the vehicles is minimal (indicating only a slight impact), when there are no substantial lost wages, and when the Plaintiff does not have substantial objective testing confirming the injuries claimed in the lawsuit.

All of these factors are crucial in determining the value of any personal injury claim. However, where juries are presented with evidence of substantial lost income, substantial medical bills, substantial property damage, and objective tests confirming permanent injuries, there is a potential for a substantial jury verdict, and the value of the claim is correspondingly affected. However, depending on how soon after the incident you hire your attorney to represent you (it is always best to hire your attorney as soon as possible), it is increasingly difficult to evaluate your claim.

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