Mark Roman | December 18, 2020 | Car Accidents
When you have been involved in a car accident, there are many uncertainties. It is completely normal to have a range of unanswered questions. How will I cover my medical bills? Who is legally responsible for my crash? Should I speak with a personal injury attorney?
You are probably also wondering if you can seek financial recovery and, if so, how much you can expect. A skilled car accident attorney can review the factors of your case and help you determine how much your claim is worth.
Below, we will examine ten of the most important factors for determining how much you can expect from a car accident settlement.
#1 – The Question of Insurance Coverage
The value of a particular accident or injury will depend on the types of insurance policies carried by each driver. The maximum limits of the drivers’ insurance policies will influence the range of possible settlement amounts.
While the maximum amount will vary by insurance policy, the state of Florida requires drivers to have a certain minimum amount of auto insurance coverage.
The required minimums are:
- $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)
- $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL)
- $125,000 in bodily injury liability (BIL) per person for taxis
- $50,000 in PDL coverage for taxis
Florida is one of a small minority of states that adheres to a “no-fault” car insurance system. This means that your own insurance coverage should pay for medical bills and other financial losses for everyone covered by the policy. This is true no matter who caused the accident.
No-fault/PIP coverage is good through the upper limit of the policy. However, this type of coverage does not compensate you for non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering.
#2 – Proving Who is At-Fault
The foundation of any successful car crash settlement is your ability to prove liability. The success of your case depends on the evidence that you can provide. By proving liability, your attorney can effectively secure financial recovery from a third-party insurance company or another at-fault party.
Most personal injury cases, including car accidents, involve proving negligence. In order to prove another party’s negligence, your lawyer will need to show:
- The responsible party owed you a duty of care in driving their vehicle safely and lawfully
- The responsible party did not uphold this duty of care–for instance, by driving while distracted or drowsy
- The breach of the duty of care caused your accident and subsequent injuries
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you prove liability in your case.
#3 – Medical Expenses
Another important factor in determining the value of your case is the amount of medical expenses that you suffered as the result of your injuries. It is important never to accept the first offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Typically, they will make a lowball offer early in the process.
You probably won’t know how much your medical treatments will eventually cost. This is especially true if your injuries have long-term effects. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer will ensure that you do not accept a lower settlement than you should.
#4 – Lost Wages and Missed Work
Your injury also may have affected your ability to work. Likewise, you may have missed work for medical appointments. Financial losses from missed work and lost wages are relevant to the car accident settlement amount.
Because these are economic damages, a personal injury lawyer can prove that your injuries resulted in a lower earning potential. The damages from lost wages could be significant. This is especially true if your injuries have a long-term or permanent impact on your ability to work.
#5 – Damage to Property
If your car sustained any damage during the crash, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy should cover the costs of repair up to the policy limit. An experienced lawyer can help you discover other potential resources for covering property damage costs.
#6 – Miscellaneous Out-of-Pocket Costs
There are many additional costs associated with recovering from a car accident. You can claim additional related expenses, such as:
- Car rental while your car is being repaired
- Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
- The price of prosthetic limbs
- Hiring home help for household tasks that you are no longer able to perform
In order to claim these expenses, you will need to keep any relevant documentation–such as bills and receipts.
#7 – Impacts on Your Quality of Life
As we mentioned above, PIP insurance will not cover any non-economic damages from your injuries. However, you can claim non-economic damages when seeking compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Claimable non-economic damages include:
- Humiliation and embarrassment
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
The ability to show that your injury impacted your quality of life is a powerful tool in the hands of an experienced attorney. Showing that your injury had difficult and detrimental effects can help to secure the compensation that you deserve.
#8 – Uncooperative or Bad Faith Insurance Providers
When an insurance company will not offer a fair settlement amount, you should discuss your options with a trusted legal professional. An attorney will never make the decision to pursue litigation for you.
They will, however, discuss the advantages and challenges of pursuing legal action against an uncooperative insurance provider. Sometimes litigation is the only option to secure the financial recovery that you are owed.
#9 – Patience
The claims process is usually a complicated and drawn-out procedure. Undergoing this process is difficult, especially for those who are simultaneously focusing on their physical recovery. The more patient that you can be throughout the process, the better your chances will be to secure the maximum settlement amount possible.
#10 – Contacting A Personal Injury Attorney
Having a qualified legal professional represent your interests is one of the most influential factors in claims cases. If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident, speaking with a skilled lawyer about the factors of your case will greatly increase the likelihood of an adequate settlement amount.
Contact the Clearwater Car Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655