If you sustained injuries in a Florida car accident, you’re probably wondering how much you can recover from a settlement. The average settlement for a car accident in Florida varies greatly, depending on the case’s unique circumstances.
The most crucial factors affecting your settlement value are the severity of your injuries and the amount of insurance available.
This article will help you understand what factors will most impact your potential accident settlement. Accident victims who understand how accident settlements are determined can make more informed decisions after a crash.
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Factors That Affect Your Settlement Amount
Florida has no accurate “average” settlement amount for car accidents. That’s because settlements are based on the unique circumstances of a case. Since every case is different, settlement values will also vary greatly. Factors that will affect a settlement amount the most include:
- The nature and extent of your injuries
- Whether or not the injured person has any pre-existing injuries
- Negligence of the other party
- Comparative negligence of the injured party (Florida follows the pure comparative negligence rule)
- Insurance coverage for Bodily Injury
- Insurance coverage available for underinsured or uninsured motorists
- The extent of property damage and severity of impact
- Whether the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
- The ability to prove the injuries were a result of the accident
- The ability to prove the extent of your damages (including pain and suffering, past and future lost earnings and medical bills)
Can a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Help Me Get a Bigger Car Accident Settlement?
Yes. Studies, research, and case results show that car accident victims with solid legal representation win larger settlements than those without it. Florida has complex accident injury laws. Therefore, it can be challenging to navigate a car accident claim without enlisting the help of a skilled attorney.
How Will a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A lawyer knows how to evaluate a claim and help you navigate the complexities of Florida laws. Here are a few ways an attorney will help guide you through a claims process and make your life easier:
- Helping conduct a thorough investigation of the accident
- Gathering and preserving all accident-related evidence
- Researching and considering all insurance coverage options
- Helping to prove the full extent of your injuries
- Calculating your lost wages and future lost earning potential
- Communicating and negotiating with insurance companies to get the maximum compensation possible
- Representing you in court if your case goes to trial
Gathering and Preserving Evidence for Your Car Accident Claim
Evidence collection and preservation are crucial factors that will affect your case outcome. That means your settlement amount relies on having sufficient evidence to support your claim. More evidence makes your case more compelling, and you are more likely to get a higher settlement. Examples of evidence your attorney can help you gather:
- Video surveillance footage of the accident, if available
- Eyewitness statements (testimonies if your case goes to trial)
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Expert statements and testimonies (doctors, police, etc.)
Helping You Understand Your Claim Options
You may have several different options after a car accident. An attorney can help you better understand your options and how to proceed. They can advise you on the best route to get the most out of your Florida car accident settlement. Additionally, your attorney can handle negotiations with your insurance company and the other party’s insurance and prepare for court on your behalf. Furthermore, they can help you file a claim or lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Having someone handle the legal proceedings while you recover and get your life back in order will save you a lot of stress.
Communicating With Insurance Companies on Your Behalf
Insurance companies will try to contact you and get a recorded statement. Sometimes, they try to use your statement against you. If that happens, you can expect a reduced settlement amount.
Or they might offer you an immediate settlement. Be cautious of the initial settlement offer, as it’s usually much lower than a fair amount. Refrain from signing any releases or accepting an offer until after you consult with a legal professional. Doing so could jeopardize your chance of seeking the fair compensation you deserve for the accident.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement With Insurance Companies
Your best chance at recovering maximum compensation is having a Florida car accident lawyer negotiate with insurance companies for you. Unfortunately, insurance companies want to pay injury victims as little as possible. That’s because they lose money from accident settlements.
Insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize the victim’s injuries and consequently minimize payouts. They sometimes try to take advantage of people who don’t have legal representation. Working with an attorney will help you avoid these traps and level the playing field.
How Do Florida’s “No-Fault” Insurance Laws Impact Your Case?
Florida is a no-fault state. That means your insurance pays for some of your medical bills after an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. Therefore, all drivers must carry “PIP” or personal injury protection insurance.
PIP pays for 80% of your medical bills up to $10,000. It will also cover 60% of your lost wages.
What Is Considered a Serious Injury in Florida?
There are many accident cases where the PIP limit is not enough coverage. As a result, accident victims are often entitled to additional compensation. Most of the time, this is the case when people sustain very severe accident-related injuries.
Your injuries must meet the following criteria to pursue a liability claim in Florida,
- You must prove that the other driver was negligent and that their negligence caused your pain and suffering
- You experienced significant limitations in the use of a bodily organ
- You experienced substantial limitations in the use of a body function or body system
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Or a fatality
If you experienced any injury above, you could pursue additional compensation beyond your PIP insurance. You are entitled to seek compensation for non-economic losses like pain and suffering in addition to economic losses.
What Other Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident in Florida?
After a Florida car accident, you can also recover compensation for other damages like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages if you are unable to work due to accident injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
Contact A Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
It’s best to discuss the specifics of your case with a knowledgeable Florida personal injury lawyer.
Our team can extensively investigate your case and represent you during all negotiations. An experienced attorney can make all the difference in how much you get paid for a car accident settlement.
Contact us today for a free consultation.