If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida, you know how many variables can occur in different situations that can affect the outcome of a car accident settlement case. Every state has specific laws that figure into the determination of a settlement for a car accident personal injury case. While there really is no “average” settlement amount that can be determined by Florida courts, due to several individual factors that must be taken into account, resources point to numbers ranging from $10,000 to $60,000 or more. These factors include the severity of any injury(ies) sustained, how the insurance policy was written, how the incident itself occurred, and the strength of the legal team representing your case.
THIRD PARTY CLAIMS
In Florida, certain legal requirements must be met for a third-party claim to be filed due to personal injuries sustained in a car accident. Facts and information are interpreted and dissected by those with extensive knowledge and experience in personal injury cases. It is important to note here that, open to interpretation is also the definition of “car accident.” What one person may consider a “car accident” may not result in the same definition to another person. This process is likely to take a significant amount of time, which isn’t always conducive to the person(s) involved when needing medical attention and payment of bills.
REPORTING FACTORS IN FLORIDA
If you are involved in a car accident in Florida, the law states that law enforcement must be contacted immediately if the accident resulted in three factors: 1) personal injury; 2) death, or 3) property damage exceeding $500. (Note: whether you consider the accident to be of sufficient merit to warrant calling police officials at the time or not, you should always, always, always take pictures and good notes of the event in case you find you need them later.) Document everything and keep all cost estimates and paid receipts.
FLORIDA’S NO-FAULT POLICY
Florida’s no-fault system is perhaps one of the biggest factors that needs to be understood when filing a lawsuit and getting a feel for an average car accident settlement in Florida. The state’s no-fault accident law requires that persons injured in a car accident apply first for coverage through the provider of their car insurance. The no-fault policy was designed for drivers to get paid for minor damages through their own insurance as opposed to seeking damages through litigation. The advent of no-fault insurance policies was to lower premium costs by trying to avoid expensive litigation when it might not be absolutely necessary. To file a lawsuit outside the no-fault system requires that certain eligibility prerequisites be met.
WHAT IS DEFINED AS A SERIOUS INJURY IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA?
To file a personal injury lawsuit outside Florida’s no-fault system means that the injury sustained must be a “serious injury” and defined as one of the following: 1) injury resulting in the loss of a bodily function; 2) permanent injury; 3) permanent or significant disfigurement; or 4) permanent or significant scarring. In Florida, you can begin to receive coverage before the person at fault has been fully established but you have to call your vehicle insurance provider. However, it is important to note that you should seek medical treatment, contact the local law enforcement authorities, and consult a personal injury attorney FIRST before making that call.
Because there are no typical car accident settlement amounts in Florida, a personal injury attorney is very much needed to help you navigate through Florida’s laws so that you will be best able to get the help you need after a car accident.