The short answer to what your auto accident case is worth is: it depends. Every personal injury case is unique and requires an expert auto accident lawyer to review your claim and give you an honest opinion. Not an attorney that “dabbles” in personal injury claims, but one that can give you a reasonable number based on his/her experience and results. Andrew Pickett, a personal injury lawyer in Melbourne, Florida, wrote an excellent article addressing this issue. Clearly, the claim for the injured person that treats for 6-weeks is different than the person who lost a leg. Hence, why experience and results matter.
How Much to Ask for in a Personal Injury Settlement?
Once again, the answer to how much you ask for in a personal injury settlement is: it depends. You should ask for no less than the average based on your situation, which could be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 or even as much as millions for catastrophic, permanent injuries. Other factors, include lost wages, pain, suffering, loss of consortium, loss of future earning capacity, etc.
Every case is different. For example, I once represented a physician and an unemployed handyman in the same motor vehicle accident. The physician made approximately $2,800,000 a year (approximately $50,000 on average per week) and the unemployed handyman had no lost income. Both were in an auto accident together and both suffered similar injuries; however the handyman’s injuries were slightly worse than the physician’s injuries. The handyman’s out-of-pocket medical bills were approximately $12,000. The physician’s out-of-pocket medical bills were approximately $10,000. The physician, on the other hand, had missed 4-days of work. So yes, the handyman collected more for his pain and suffering, but the physician collected $40,000 more for lost wages.
When Is a Person Considered to Have a Personal Injury Claim?
A person is considered to have a personal injury if they have suffered harm due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else. A typical example is where you were in a car accident with a driver who was not paying attention and accidentally rear-ended you and you suffered a traumatic brain injury. Had that person been driving in a responsible, careful manner, the accident and your subsequent injuries would not have occurred.
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What Is The Average Car Accident Settlement In Florida?
The average number stated among Florida law resources for car accident settlements is anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 or more. As you can imagine, settlement amounts can vary depending on a wide range of factors. The extent of your damages and how much you have spent out of pocket determine what constitutes a fair personal injury settlement. For example, if your injuries are minor and temporary, the at-fault party’s insurance company might be able to easily cover the damages. On the other hand, if you have suffered a permanent, disabling injury, you would not want to accept a settlement offer of $5,000. In this situation, a fair settlement would probably be many times more than that amount.The amount of money awarded to Florida drivers in a car accident settlement can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as the insurance policies involved, the severity of the resulting injury, and the nature of the incident.
Providing an exact amount for your settlement requires gathering information that can best be addressed by a competent team of personal injury attorneys.
How Much Does the Average Personal Injury Plaintiff Get as a Settlement?
The average personal injury settlement amount is around $12,000-$15,000 for soft tissue or whiplash injury cases. Most injured plaintiffs end up recovering $3,000 to $10,000 for their damages. However, this only accounts for minor to moderate injuries. If your injuries are severe and have also caused you significant pain and suffering and mental anguish, you might be able to recover a settlement amount of six or even seven digits.
Why Should You Ask for a Higher Amount for Your Personal Injury Settlement?
When you convey a settlement offer in a demand letter to the at-fault insurance company or their defense attorney, you should ask for a settlement amount that’s on the high side. Typically, in a personal injury case, the initial amount you request is rejected and the other side will make an offer that’s lower.
Why You Shouldn’t Ask for Too High a Settlement
It’s important to avoid asking for too high a settlement amount. You want to keep them at the table and not run them off. If the initial asking amount is unreasonably high, the defense attorney or insurance company will outright reject it and likely send you a low-ball offer back. This can also hurt your chances of negotiating and they will simply offer a lowball amount that’s much less than what you actually deserve to cover the costs of your medical expenses, ongoing treatment and other damages. This is why experience and results matter.
What Happens if the At-Fault Party Lacks Insurance?
If the party at fault for your personal injury lacks insurance coverage, you cannot recover compensation from an insurer. From the at-fault party, you could demand they pay, but most likely, they will not have any funds to contribute. Hence, the reason you should purchase through your own insurance company’s uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Unfortunately, in this situation, it’s very possible that the individual would not have the funds necessary to adequately pay for a settlement if you file a personal injury lawsuit directly against them.
Insurance Policy Limits Affecting Personal Injury Settlements
Typically, when getting a settlement for personal injury from an insurer, there are policy limits on what you can recover. This caps the amount of compensation the insurance company will pay. In other words, if your damages go beyond what the policy covers, you are out the difference in that amount. This is why uninsured motorist coverage through your policy is so important. Yes, it is remotely possible to collect from the at-fault party or even the insurance company of the at-fault party, but these are the exceptions, not the rule.
What Factors Affect Settlement Amounts?
Different factors affect a settlement amount in personal injury claims. They include the severity of your injury, how it disrupts your life, your treatment and recovery, emotional and psychological trauma and the at-fault party’s level of liability. Depending on all these factors, your settlement might be higher or lower.
For a free legal consultation, call or text 813-755-9500
Tampa Auto Accident Injury Lawyer
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No one wants to eliminate the enjoyment and happiness that the fall and holiday season brings to all of us. But it is easy to see how careless planning and failure to take common-sense precautions could lead to a tragedy that would overshadow any holiday joy. Following the simple steps outlined here can help you and your family genuinely enjoy a safe and fun-filled season.
Holidays are a fun time of year but also the most dangerous so it is important to be vigilant while having fun. After a record high few years of pedestrian accidents, this should be a priority for everyone.
When you are completely exposed to crash impact, an accident can result in devastating damage for you and just minimal damage to the car and driver. Your injuries and expenses after could be life-changing, and it is only right for you to want justice.
Many accident victims are unsure about whether or not to get an attorney, especially while going through such a hard and painful time. That is completely understandable, but lawyers know the legal side of recovering from accident losses, which can benefit you in some major ways. Hiring an attorney you trust can maximize your compensation, give you peace of mind, and help you return to your life.
Trial Attorney Martin J. Hernandez can build a legal case for you to hold the at-fault party responsible–not only for your financial losses, but for the pain and suffering you’ve had to go through. To learn more about what your claim might be worth, call or text us at (813) 755-9500 or find us online to set up your free consultation.