This is often the first question injured clients ask their attorneys. As bills start to mount, they wonder if they will be compensated for all of their losses. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. That is because every injury case is unique and the amount of your settlement will depend on factors related to your specific case. While we can’t really even give a ballpark figure here, we will discuss the factors that can raise or lower the amount of a settlement. When you meet with us to discuss your case, we will be able to give you a better idea of its value.
Factors Affecting the Value of a Personal Injury Claim
The factors deciding the value of the claim depend on whether you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, an assault, or other incident that falls under a personal injury claim. Because of Florida’s no-fault auto accident law, recovery for motor vehicle crashes is different than for other types of accidents. The following is a guideline:
- Available money. If another party is found to be at fault in your accident, you can sue them for damages. Those damages would come from whatever liability insurance they carry and would be limited to the amount of coverage. For a motor vehicle accident under Florida’s no-fault law, you would first turn to your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy to pay your medical bills, which should pay 80 percent of your medical costs and 60 percent of lost income, minus your deductible and up to the limit of your policy. Florida requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage, but you can opt for more coverage.
- Extent of injuries. Determining the amount of damages you are owed will primarily depend on the extent of your injuries and your medical bills. If the other party is 100 percent at fault for your injuries and they have enough insurance, you should receive damages for the total amount of your medical bills. For a car accident, there are exceptions to the no-fault law. If you suffered permanent injuries, a loved one died, or your medical bills are expected to exceed $10,000, you may be able to sue the other driver for compensation if he or she was found to be at fault. In this case, your compensation would come from that driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy, if he has it, and would be limited to the amount of the policy.
- Other losses. An attorney will be able to argue for additional damages to cover other losses, including lost wages, pain and suffering, wrongful death, childcare, and more. These losses can be difficult to quantify and you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you.
Call Our Office to Learn More
Florida’s injury compensation laws are complicated; however, it is important that you not take the word of insurance agents or other people about the value of your claim. Call our office to discuss your case and find out what the value of your claim could potentially be.