When a car accident occurs, and your bills begin to mount up, it is good to know how much compensation you could be awarded and how much you should settle for. However, the truth is that the amount of money awarded to Florida car accident victims can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, such as your insurance policy, the insurance policy of the other driver, the severity of your injuries, and the circumstances of the incident.
However, it’s good to learn what is generally considered normal and what to expect from a car accident settlement so that you can form realistic expectations and know your rights. Below, we have provided some information to give you an idea about average car accident settlements in Florida. But for more information, you can contact us at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation. Our phone lines are open 24/7.
What to Expect From a Car Accident Settlement in Florida
In order to determine how much money you may be able to recover following an accident, your insurance company and personal injury lawyer will look at very specific information about the accident you were involved in. But, on average, accident settlements in Florida are around $15,000. For accidents that result in more serious injuries, the average settlement is much higher, and if your injuries are relatively minor, your car accident settlement may end up lower than $15,000. You may hear of cases where a victim has been awarded millions in compensation, but these cases are extremely rare. However, it is not much to expect to receive enough money to cover your expenses following an accident and be compensated for your pain and suffering.
In many cases, the only way to guarantee that you will be compensated for all of your losses is to hire a car accident lawyer.
Florida’s No-Fault Average Car Accident Settlements
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that when a car accident occurs, both parties can file a claim with their insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. This is why all drivers in Florida must have sufficient Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance included in their auto insurance policy.
These no-fault laws exist to make it easier for anyone who is injured in a car accident to seek professional medical treatment. However, unfortunately, there are some restrictions. For example, PIP insurance will only pay up to a certain amount, so if your injuries are serious and the treatment you require exceeds your PIP coverage, you may be forced to file a lawsuit against the other driver to cover these expenses.
One issue with your no-fault insurance is that it will only pay 80 percent of your medical expenses and 60 percent of any lost wages. This is simply not enough for many drivers who cannot afford to cover the remaining amount. Furthermore, your insurance company will not compensate for damages like pain and suffering, and this is where a car accident lawyer will come in.
An Average Settlement for Whiplash
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that is sustained from car accidents in Florida. It occurs when the soft tissues (ligaments and muscles) in your neck are forced to extend beyond their normal range of motion. Victims of whiplash can suffer from a wide range of symptoms, from back and neck stiffness to issues with concentration and memory. It can be a serious and painful injury with long-term effects and should not be underestimated.
The average settlement for a whiplash injury is between $10,000 and $20,000. Your individual settlement will be based on your medical expenses, how serious your injuries are, and any other losses. The effects of whiplash can be ongoing and difficult to quantify, so an insurance company may not be able to cover these damages.
The personal injury lawyers at our law firm have secured fair settlements for many clients who have sustained a whiplash injury in a car accident. Call us today for a free consultation.
An Average Car Accident Settlement for Lost Wages
Many car accident victims are forced to take time off work following a car accident due to vehicle damage, injuries, and follow-up appointments. As a result, most accident victims will lose out on vital earnings, for which they have the right to be compensated.
Your PIP insurance may cover a portion of these lost wages, and the PIP coverage of the at-fault driver may cover the rest. However, if the coverage is used up to cover vital medical bills, the at-fault driver would be liable for 100% of these lost wages.
Of course, the at-fault driver does not often pay for the lost wages willingly. Usually, an attorney is required to obtain payment for these damages. You may have been told that your settlement will not account for past and future wages if you have not sustained a permanent injury, but this is not true. Call us now to find out more.
An Average Car Accident Settlement for Pain and Suffering
A crucial part of making an average accident settlement estimation is determining what you are owed for your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a type of compensation that covers any physical, mental, and emotional distress that you may have endured as a result of an accident. Many accident victims suffer physical pain for an extended period following an accident, and many others will experience PTSD, stress, and anxiety.
The issue with this type of compensation is that it is mostly subjective and cannot be calculated like medical bills and loss of wages can. Accident victims will need the support of an experienced lawyer to help them to recover it by obtaining expert testimony and any relevant documentation.
You should always fight for a settlement for pain and suffering that is reasonable and proportional to your injuries. If you have serious injuries that will affect you for the rest of your life, you might fight for pain and suffering compensation that equates to five times your medical bills and other losses. If you have sustained minor injuries and have an estimated recovery period of days or weeks, you might ask for pain and suffering compensation that is equal to your medical bills. On average, car accident victims will ask for pain and suffering compensation that is 1.5 times their monetary damages.
3 Steps Towards a Car Accident Settlement
There are 3 crucial steps you need to take to secure a reasonable settlement.
Step 1 – Contact Your Insurance Company
Following an accident, you should get in touch with your insurance company straight away, especially if you need an immediate payout to cover medical bills.
Florida’s no-fault insurance laws do have their benefits. Medical treatment for injuries sustained in an accident can be authorized straight away, no matter who was responsible. But there are also some issues – drivers have different options when it comes to how much insurance coverage they have. Some will have additional enhancements whilst others choose cheaper policies that provide coverage for medical bills only. Those who choose to carry state insurance minimums will quickly max out their coverage, and any other parties are left to pay for their outstanding expenses.
Insurance companies can be difficult when it comes to determining non-economic damages, and victims are left with no choice but to file for any additional damages from the at-fault driver after the insurance is maxed out.
These legal issues can become overwhelming and complex, and this is why it is important that you contact a personal injury lawyer who can tell you what to expect from a car accident settlement.
Step 2 – Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Unless there are few complications and the amount of insurance coverage in your case is sufficient, you should never handle an accident claim alone. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is able to cover your expenses, they can still contest the amount of comparative negligence in your accident case in an attempt to reduce the claim. Furthermore, the insurance company will usually aim for a quick settlement offer to avoid litigation. This may be tempting, but you should note that this settlement normally includes a full release from paying out for any future medical bills. An injury may cost you money in the future, and you have the right to be compensated for these future expenses. An experienced accident lawyer will investigate your case and calculate the full extent of your damages in the pursuit of a fair settlement.
Step 3 – File a Personal Injury lawsuit
Insurance companies will always avoid paying out in full where they can. They will attempt to deny or reduce a settlement to the point where they can take a case to court, even if they are your own insurance company. Your insurance company will have a team of experienced lawyers to provide a legal defense to lower your claim amount. For example, wrongful death cases can result in huge payouts because family members can make a claim for loss of consortium.
Ultimately, the insurance industry is always focused on profit margins and will do everything in its power to avoid paying you in full. That’s why it is so important to have qualified and trusted accident attorneys fighting on your side, who can file a lawsuit on your behalf and secure the settlement that you rightly deserve.
The Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Florida
In Florida, there are legal time limitations on all types of legal actions, so you need to think about pursuing a claim sooner rather than later. These time limits are also known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida is four years.
These legal time limits exist to ensure that:
- Victims take action within a reasonable time frame. This means that any witness testimonies are reliable, and evidence is still available.
- The defendant does not have a lawsuit hanging over them for an unspecified period of time.
To discuss the statute of limitations that applies to your case, call us now for a free consultation.
Let The Law Place Take on Your Case
The Law Place is no ordinary law firm. It is an established practice with some of the best attorneys in Florida, who will combine their knowledge and experience to aggressively defend their clients and achieve a successful outcome.
The attorneys in our firm are continuously striving to keep up to date on the law and are always fine-tuning their skills. We have handled claims across all of Florida and have experience in a wide range of cases. Many of the attorneys in our law firm have an AVVO rating of 10.0, calculated based on trial skills, associations, length of practice, and most importantly, client reviews.
The lawyers at The Law Place have helped client’s like you through their most difficult times and will be there for you every step of the way to provide support and legal counsel.
Call Us Now for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in an accident in Florida and your injury costs exceed your coverage, or if your claim has been denied altogether, it’s time to get in touch with a personal injury attorney. The car accident attorneys at The Law Place can tell you what to expect from a car accident settlement and evaluate your case during a free consultation. By getting in touch with us, you are taking an essential step towards getting the compensation that you deserve.
Whether your case is simple or more complex, we will work tirelessly until you have a fair settlement that fully covers your losses. Call us today for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444; our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.