Nine Factors that Determine How Much to Expect from a Miami Car Accident Settlement
November 4, 2021 | Sagi Shaked
In the aftermath of a Miami car accident, one question reigns supreme: how am I going to afford this? Between property damage, medical bills, and time away from work, a car crash can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. And that’s only considering the quantifiable damages.
Each year, the U.S. spends an average of $230 billion on car accident costs. Fortunately, your single accident won’t cost anywhere near that amount. But you may still feel crippled by the mounting costs.
If you qualify for a settlement, you may wonder just how much you can expect in compensation. Keep reading to learn more about the factors that come into play after a car accident in Miami.
1. Do Both Drivers Have Insurance?
Florida law says all drivers must obtain car insurance and carry proof of that insurance whenever they are driving. If either driver is uninsured at the time of the accident, this can have an impact on the final amount of a settlement.
2. Can You Prove Liability?
Because Florida is currently a no-fault state, costs are covered by personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This means that each driver would file a claim with their own insurance for their damages or injuries after an accident.
But suppose the other driver was negligent in causing the crash and your injuries are severe or permanent. You could be entitled to more money by stepping outside of the no-fault laws and filing a personal injury claim.
To determine whether the other driver is liable, start by answering these questions:
- Did the other driver fail to show reasonable care while behind the wheel?
- Was the other driver distracted or drowsy?
- Were you cleared of any fault in the accident?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, an attorney may be able to help you prove liability and pursue a personal injury case for your damages.
3. What Are the Damages?
Repairing or replacing your vehicle is not cheap. If your car or any other belongings were damaged in the accident, those costs should be considered in the settlement.
4. Will You Have Future Medical Expenses?
Medical expenses aren’t always immediate. Your final settlement should include past medical costs as well as future costs that are a direct result of the accident.
For example, if your leg was injured in a car crash and you’ll require physical therapy for several months, any ongoing therapy costs should be covered in the final payout.
5. Are You Able to Continue Working?
Has the accident forced you to take time away from work? Keep your lawyer informed of any impact the accident makes on your income so that it can be factored into your settlement.
6. Are There Out-of-Pocket Expenses to Consider?
Did you have to pay for a rental while your car was in the shop? Did an injury force you to make modifications (like a wheelchair ramp) to your home? Were you forced to hire a cleaner, nurse, or driver?
These are all out-of-pocket expenses that can impact the expected value of your settlement.
7. What Non-Economic Damages Have You Faced?
Non-economic damages can be hard to quantify, but they are just as important as repair and medical bills. Pain and suffering, decreased pleasure in life, and disfigurement all fall under the umbrella of non-economic damages.
8. Is the Insurance Company Offering a Fair Settlement?
The best way to answer this question is through a consultation with your attorney. If the insurance company is making a lowball offer, it may be time to take the issue to court.
9. Are You Willing to Play the Waiting Game?
Unfortunately, the legal system is often over complicated and drawn out. With that being said, a little patience may work out in your favor as you take the time to carefully build a case.