How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Miami Car Accident Receive?
October 29, 2022 | Sagi Shaked | Car Accidents
The average settlement for a child in a car accident or an adult passenger in a car accident depends on several factors. A passenger in car accident settlement negotiations can receive economic damages for their financial losses. They can also recover compensation for their non-economic damages.
However, if passenger negligence was a factor in the cause of the accident, you could receive much less as a passenger in a Miami car accident. Also, Florida’s no-fault laws could impact your ability to sue an at-fault party for damages if you were a passenger in a Miami car accident.
How Much Money Can You Get From a Car Accident if you Were a Passenger?
Several factors impact how much money you could receive as a settlement for a car accident claim. Those factors include, but are not limited to:
Florida is a no-fault insurance state for car accidents. Car owners must have a minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection (no-fault) insurance coverage. Therefore, you file a claim with the PIP insurance carrier for the vehicle in which you were a passenger.
Unfortunately, PIP insurance is limited to paying up to 80% of your medical bills and up to 60% of your lost wages. It does not pay anything to compensate you for your pain and suffering or other damages.
The good news is that you can receive compensation quickly from the no-fault carrier because you do not need to prove fault. Also, if you meet the injury threshold, you can proceed with a liability claim against the at-fault driver.
Meeting the Injury Threshold
If you sustain serious injuries as a passenger in a car accident, you can pursue a claim against the party or parties who caused the accident. Those parties could include, but are not limited to:
- The driver of the vehicle you were riding in at the time of the crash
- The drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash
- The vehicle manufacturer for defective systems or parts
- Government entities for defective roads
- Pedestrians and bicyclists who contributed to the cause of the car accident
However, before pursuing a claim, you must prove that your injuries meet the serious injury threshold. In most cases, the injury must be permanent and significant to meet the threshold. For example, amputations, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other catastrophic injuries could meet the threshold.
As the passenger seeking compensation for car accident injuries, you have the burden of proving liability. Negligence is the most common cause of action in car accident cases. For a negligence claim, you would need to prove the following:
- The other party owed you a legal duty of care, such as a driver having a duty of care to follow traffic laws and drive with reasonable care
- The other party breached their duty of care through their acts or omissions
- The breach of duty was the proximate and direct cause of the accident that resulted in your injuries
- You sustained damages because of the party’s breach of duty
The at-fault party might allege that you are partially to blame for the cause of the crash. In most cases, passengers are innocent victims because they have no control over the driver’s actions or other people’s actions. However, passenger negligence could result in contributory fault claims.
If you were partially at fault for causing the car wreck, your compensation is reduced by your level of fault. Therefore, if a jury finds you were 10% at fault, your compensation is reduced by 10%.
The Amount of Your Damages
The amount of your losses determines the value of your case. Your losses include economic damages such as:
- Lost wages
- Personal care
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical bills
- Diminished earning capacity
- Nursing care
- Physical injuries and pain
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Decrease in quality of life
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Emotional distress
You must prove the value of your damages. In some cases, that might require hiring expert witnesses to calculate the value of future damages. However, careful documentation of damages throughout your case can increase the chance of recovering reimbursement and compensation for all damages.
The Availability of Insurance Coverage
How much money a passenger receives for a Miami car accident also depends on how much insurance coverage the at-fault party had at the time of the car crash. Florida does not require drivers to have liability insurance. Therefore, if an uninsured driver hits you and your vehicle owner does not have uninsured motorist coverage, you might not receive as much money for your claim.
You could file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the at-fault party. However, that option might not be the best way to recover money for your damages.
You might want to consult a Miami car accident lawyer about your options. A personal injury lawyer evaluates your passenger injury claim and determines the best way to get the money you deserve from the parties who caused your injuries.