What Kinds of Factors Could Affect My Car Accident Settlement?
We see more than our fair share of car accidents in Fort Lauderdale. Most victims, however, don’t need to go to court to collect compensation, but are able to settle their claims in an out-of-court setting. The question for these individuals then becomes how much they expect to recover via a settlement. There are actually a lot of factors that go into calculating these kinds of agreements, so if you have questions about what kinds of damages you could receive after a crash, please call a member of our experienced car accident legal team for help.
Your Insurance Coverage
One of the biggest things that could affect the value of your car accident settlement is the types and extent of your insurance coverage. Technically, all drivers in Florida are required to carry at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and the same amount in Property Damage Liability (PDL) coverage. The former pays for a policyholder’s own injuries regardless of fault, while the latter covers property damage caused to someone else’s car. Unfortunately, these limits are often exceeded, even in cases of relatively minor injuries.
The Other Driver’s Insurance Coverage
When an accident victim’s own policy limits are exceeded, he or she may need to look to the coverage of the at-fault driver, or if that driver was uninsured, to his or her own uninsured/underinsured policies. If the other driver has additional collision coverage, the injured party may need to file a claim under this policy as well. How much that driver carries in coverage will largely dictate how much an accident victim can expect to recover in a settlement.
Fault for the Accident
Another factor that could come into play during settlement negotiations is who was primarily at fault for the crash. Florida’s law recently underwent a major change in this area, as parties that are now found to be more than 50 percent at fault for a crash are barred from recovering damages in court. If a person was less than 50 percent at fault for a crash, but still contributed to the accident, then his or her settlement will likely be reduced in proportion to the victim’s degree of fault in causing the accident. Of course, if the driver was more than 50 percent at fault, then insurers will likely refuse to offer a settlement at all.
The Extent of Your Injuries
The severity of a claimant’s injuries will also affect the type of settlement offer that he or she receives. Generally, the more serious an injury is, the more an accident victim can expect to receive in a settlement to cover medical bills. The severity of a victim’s injuries will also affect how much he or she incurred in lost wages while recovering. Fortunately, this is also a compensable loss under Florida law.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in a car accident and have questions about your recovery options, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced Florida auto accident lawyers at Boone & Davis for help. You can reach us at 945-566-9919 or via online message.