How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
If you are involved in a car accident, you will have to deal with the aftermath which often includes painful injuries, significant damages to your vehicle and other property, and the costs of replacement, rentals, and lost wages. Medical costs and lost wages will add up quickly, especially if you can’t return to work. This can cause a lot of stress and make it difficult to focus on your recovery.
Gain peace of mind when you hire a personal injury lawyer from Zimmet & Zimmet. Our experienced and reputable legal team can help you recover the compensation you deserve for all your losses and damages. Here, you can learn more about how the settlement process works in Florida and why having a personal injury attorney representing your interests is beneficial.
Steps to Take After the Accident
When you drive in Florida, it’s important to note that there are certain times when it is required that you contact law enforcement after an accident. Always call the police if there are injuries, someone dies, or if property damage exceeds $500. If the accident doesn’t require police presence, you should still file an accident report within 10 days of the incident.
If you are involved in an accident in Florida, there’s also the expectation of reasonable assistance. This means you must provide help to anyone who is injured and exchange information with the other drivers involved. It’s also recommended that you get information from witnesses to the accident, document the road conditions and weather, and take pictures of all the vehicles involved.
Even if you believe you were at fault for the accident or know that you were speeding, you should never say this to someone else. Instead, hire a car accident injury lawyer who can conduct a full investigation of the situation to determine fault.
Get in Touch with Your Insurance Provider
Florida has a no-fault insurance system. This means that your insurance company will cover your accident-related costs, no matter who is at fault. Even though this is the case, it’s also possible to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to receive compensation for damage to your vehicle or other personal property.
Be sure to contact your insurance provider after the accident to find out how to file a claim.
Statutes of Limitations
In the state of Florida, there is a statute of limitations for all car accidents. The amount of time you have to file a claim depends on if injuries or fatalities were involved. If the accident caused an injury or damaged your vehicle, you can file a lawsuit for up to four years after the accident occurred. If someone dies because of an accident, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
It’s smart to get in touch with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that you don’t miss these important deadlines and lose your right to file a claim for compensation.
How Much Money Can You Receive from Your Car Accident Settlement?
The amount of your settlement depends on the severity of your accident. If you only experienced vehicle damage, then the insurance company will only pay a reasonable amount to repair or replace the vehicle. If the property damage was over $500, you might be able to receive a settlement from the at-fault driver to cover the property damage costs.
For situations where you experienced an injury because of the accident, the settlement will be negotiated separately from the property damage compensation you receive. Usually, what insurance companies pay out is determined by your medical costs, lost income, and the severity of your injuries. You can work with an accident attorney to learn more about how settlement amounts are determined.
It’s possible to recover damages for pain and suffering caused by a car accident, too. This includes past and future issues that result from your accident-caused injuries. It’s necessary to complete your doctor’s treatment plan and have a release from your doctor before filing for this type of compensation. Insurance companies are only required to pay out one settlement for pain and suffering, which means you need a full understanding of your medical condition and the long-term care and treatment you may need. This will ensure you receive a fair settlement offer.
If the offer isn’t fair, your auto accident attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement. If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, you can go to trial to have your case decided by a judge or jury.
Settlement Payout for Accident-Related Costs
It’s required for all drivers in Florida to purchase a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of their auto insurance policy. If you have been involved in an accident that has caused your bills to accumulate, you need to hire an experienced car accident attorney to help you with your case.
We have worked with countless car accident victims in the past and understand the costs you may incur in these situations.
Some of the costs we will include in your car accident settlement include:
Medical bills resulting from a car accident vary based on the collision’s severity and your injuries. Minor accidents may require you to go to the ER and chiropractor, while more serious accidents will cost even more. For example, with a serious accident, you may need to be transported from the scene by an ambulance, require treatment in the ER, stay in the hospital for surgery and ongoing treatment, require physical therapy, and more.
Be sure to keep receipts and records of all your medical treatment so your car wreck attorney can include the amount in your settlement claim.
If you require medication for the injuries you sustained in the car accident, you can add the cost of these to your settlement. In many cases, medication costs will be covered by your health insurance, but it’s smart to keep records related to these costs to ensure you have all the information needed to ensure a fair settlement amount.
In Florida, the average cost to stay in a hospital ranges from $1,500 to $2,250 per day. Unless you experience severe injuries, you probably won’t have to stay overnight. However, no matter how long you are in the hospital, the cost of it can be included in the settlement amount. Be sure you maintain records to give to your injury attorney.
After a serious accident, you may need ongoing care and treatment. Usually, this comes in the form of physical therapy and rehabilitation. These help to improve your strength, flexibility and motion that may have been lost because of an accident caused injury.
Damaged or Lost Property
As mentioned above, if you have property damage worth more than $500, you can recover the cost by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If any other property was damaged in the accident, you could add the value of those items to the settlement amount, as well.
If your car accident causes you to be unable to return to work, you may be able to claim the wages you lose because of this. Be sure to speak to your accident injury lawyer about this to see if this is recoverable in your settlement.
How Much Is Your Car Accident Claim Worth?
Each accident case is unique. Because of this, there is no set formula for how much you will receive in your accident settlement agreement. It’s smart to contact our legal team at Zimmet & Zimmet right after your car accident, so we have time to investigate the case and determine liability.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.