Being involved in a Florida car accident can be a scary and overwhelming experience. If you find yourself in this situation, hiring a car accident lawyer from Fetterman Law is highly recommended.
It’s also important to know what factors may impact your case and claim for damages. Here you can learn more about these factors and how to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Understanding What Goes into Your Accident Settlement Value
Many factors are considered when determining your accident settlement. What you receive is dependent on the specifics of your case. Remember, no two accidents are the same, so your settlement won’t be the same as anyone else’s.
Even though it is hard to determine your settlement value without knowing all the details of your situation, a few factors will impact your car accident claim payout. Some of the factors that will come into play and that your accident attorney can provide more information on can be found here.
Liability means who caused your car accident. For a rear-end accident, liability is typically clear. The person who struck you from behind is to blame. However, some cases involve “mixed fault,” such as a collision at an intersection.
The state of Florida uses a “comparative negligence” law. This means that the blame for the accident may be on both parties. If this happens, the recovery will be divided.
If a jury believed you were 50% liable, then you can only recover 50% of your total damages. This is how liability would impact the overall value of your car accident claim. The injury attorney you hire will work hard to reduce your percentage of fault and maximize the other driver’s fault. By looking into evidence like witness statements, photos, and statements from the other driver about the accident, it’s possible to do this.
Another consideration in liability is if you received a citation for the car accident in question. If the police who responded to the collision believed you were the only one to blame and gave you a ticket, then most accident attorneys won’t take the case. Sometimes there are exceptions if you experienced serious injuries or if there’s a good argument that the other driver caused the collision.
Liability plays a huge role in what type of settlement you will receive for your car accident case.
The Severity of Your Injuries
How serious your injuries are will play a role in the accident settlement you receive. This makes it one of the most important and impactful factors when determining how much of a settlement you receive.
In most cases, your auto accident attorney will gather evidence to show your tangible accident-related costs. Your medical bills will be a good reflection of how much you had to pay for medical treatment. Other factors that will prove the severity of your injuries include your lost wages due to time away from work and if you experience a permanent disability.
Pain and suffering are other factors that impact the value of your car accident claim. You can keep a journal highlighting how the accident and injuries have impacted your life and resulted in your inability to do things you once enjoyed.
You will receive a higher settlement payout when your injuries are more severe.
Total Cost of Accident-Related Medical Bills
The total cost of your accident-related medical bills will impact your settlement amount, too. In fact, these costs often make up most of a settlement offer.
Usually, the severity of your injuries will impact your medical costs. For example, a broken ankle will likely be viewed as a more severe injury than a sprained ankle. Because of this, the medical costs for treatment and rehabilitation will be higher, and therefore your settlement offer should be higher to reflect this.
When You Are Evaluated by a Medical Professional After an Accident
After an auto accident, you may feel fine. One reason for this is that in high-stress situations, your fight-or-flight response is activated. This results in hormones being released throughout your body that mask potential pain after the car accident.
Even if you feel fine, it’s best to see a doctor or get emergency care immediately. A doctor can run tests and determine if you experienced any injuries that require treatment. If you don’t get this medical treatment right away, your injuries may worsen and even become life-threatening.
There’s another reason to get medical care right away after a car accident. If you wait, you may risk any potential accident claim and settlement you would be entitled to. If you wait for a medical evaluation, the insurance providers may not believe your injuries are as serious as you claim or that your injuries aren’t even related to the accident. By seeking medical care immediately, it can positively impact the value of your settlement.
The evidence you have related to your car accident case is the foundation of your claim. The amount of evidence you can gather will directly impact the value and type of settlement you receive. When you have evidence to back up your damages, there’s a good chance the damages will be included in the settlement offer you receive without an argument.
Some of the evidence to collect after a car accident includes photos of the scene, police reports, witness statements, and medical documents provided by doctors to prove your claim’s value.
In a Florida car accident case, the first option is to file a claim with your own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance when you begin to pursue damages. That’s because Florida is a no-fault state. PIP insurance provides compensation for medical costs and lost wages. The mandatory minimum amount of PIP insurance you must have is $10,000.
If you experienced a more serious injury, the $10,000 might not be enough to cover your injuries and lost wages. At this point, it is smart to work with a Florida car accident attorney to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in your accident. This is when you can pursue compensation from them.
Don’t Wait to Hire a Car Wreck Attorney for Help with Your Case
If you are involved in an accident and want to know what factors will impact your settlement value, the information here should provide you with a brief overview. You can contact an experience injury attorney at Fetterman Law. An accident injury lawyer from our firm will review the facts of your case and work to help you recover the most compensation possible. The first step is to call and schedule a free initial consultation.