In Florida, determining how much your car accident settlement may be worth is no easy task. It’s critical to work with an experienced Orlando car accident lawyer who can assess the value of your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
We will explain key factors that influence your settlement, or your damages if the case goes to court.
Florida Applies Comparative Negligence to Accident Claims
Starting in March 2023, Florida has adopted a modified comparative negligence law. Only a person who is less than 50% at fault for the accident has the right to seek compensation.
This adds another layer of complexity to car accident settlements in Florida. Insurance companies may try to shift blame onto you or downplay their policyholder’s responsibility in order to reduce their payout. Your lawyer will stand up for your rights if the insurance company offers a low settlement.
Factors Affecting Car Accident Settlements
When it comes to car accident settlements in Orlando, there are several factors that can significantly influence the final outcome. These factors can vary from case to case, making each settlement unique:
1. The Extent of the Injuries
The severity and long-term implications of your injuries will have the biggest impact on the value of your compensation. Catastrophic and life-changing injuries usually generate very high medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
2. Degree of Responsibility
The comparative negligence principle for accident claims will influence the actual amount you may recover. Your claim amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Therefore, if your damages amount to $50,000 and you were found 10% at fault for the crash, your car accident settlement will be $45,000.
3. The Available Evidence
Evidence plays a crucial role in determining car accident settlements. Strong evidence such as police reports, witness testimonies, and photographs of the scene or vehicle damage can support your claim and increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
4. Time Frame
Your PIP insurance policy will cover a part of the medical expenses related to the accident. However, you must seek medical care within 14 days after the crash. If you delay by just one day, your PIP claim for medical costs may be denied.
5. Caps on Punitive Damages
Sometimes, your car crash attorney in Orlando may determine that you qualify for punitive damages if you sue the at-fault driver. However, these damages are capped at the larger amount between:
- Three times the compensatory damages
Your Post-Crash Actions Impact Recovery Odds
The moments following a car accident can be overwhelming and chaotic. However, taking certain steps immediately after the crash can significantly increase your chances of a successful recovery in an Orlando car accident settlement. These steps are:
- Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is important to have them properly evaluated by a healthcare professional
- Gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident. Take photographs of the vehicles involved, any visible damages, and skid marks on the road. Additionally, obtain contact information from all parties involved and any witnesses present
- Report the accident to law enforcement promptly. This will create an official record that can be used as evidence during settlement negotiations or litigation
- Avoid discussing fault or admitting guilt at the scene or with insurance adjusters without consulting with an attorney first. Insurance companies may try to use statements against you later on
- Consult with an experienced Orlando car accident attorney who can guide you through every step of the process and advocate for your rights. They will ensure all necessary documentation is gathered and submitted correctly while negotiating aggressively for fair compensation on your behalf.
Car Accident Settlement Components
A car accident settlement is the amount of money that an injured party receives to compensate for their losses and damages resulting from a car crash. The eligible damages are:
- Medical expenses: They include current and future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, prescription medications, and any necessary assistive devices.
- Lost wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work or have impacted your ability to earn income in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for this financial loss.
- Pain and suffering: This refers to physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish experienced as a result of the accident.
- Property damage: Repairs or replacement costs for damaged vehicles or other personal property involved in the collision.
Seek an Experienced Orlando Car Accident Attorney!
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is complicated and exhausting, especially if you suffered severe injuries. You cannot wait until you are fully recovered to file a claim, either. Instead, you need to rely on a skilled lawyer to fight for your rights while you recover.
An experienced Orlando car accident attorney will handle all aspects of your case, including gathering evidence, filing paperwork on time, and negotiating with the insurance company.
Do not let insurers take advantage of you! Contact us at (786) 249-7999 to schedule a free case review and understand the fair compensation amount you may be entitled to collect!