A car accident settlement can reimburse you for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, emotional distress, among losses you incur after a car accident. The amount of settlement depends on the nature of the accident.
If you are involved in a car crash, you’re entitled to seek compensation for your damages. You should consult a car accident attorney to learn more about your case before filing a claim. Our lawyers at Eltringham Law Group have years of experience handling car accident cases.
We help our clients determine the at-fault party, determine the true cost of damages, and negotiate a fair settlement for the losses. Call us for a free consultation.
Who Pays for a Car Accident Settlement?
After a car crash, insurance companies pay for the cost of injuries and property damage. Your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance companies will compensate you for the damages.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
All drivers in Florida must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance and Property Damage Liability (PDL). The PIP covers up to 80% of reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000. However, you’re required to seek medical attention within 14 days of the car accident. If you fail to do so, you can lose up to 100% of your PIP coverage.
If your loved one passes after a car crash and you pay for the funeral expenses, PIP pays a death benefit of $5,000. Lastly, PIP also pays 60% of lost income after a car crash, payable every two weeks.
Mandatory PDL only covers property damage up to $10,000. After that, if the driver has another auto-insurance coverage policy, then the insurance company pays according to the driver’s policy.
Usually, your insurance company pays you a settlement and recovers the amount from the other driver’s insurance company. However, you may need to sue an individual separately to recover any amounts the insurance company is not obligated to pay.
What Factors Affect Your Car Accident Settlement?
Several factors go into the calculation of a car accident settlement. The amount should cover medical expenses, property damage, and other expenses or losses incurred from the accident. Here are some of the damages your car accident lawyer will factor into your calculations.
Medical expenses include the costs of hospitalization, surgery, medicine, physical therapy, and any other long-term expenses associated with injuries from the car crash. Severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, or the loss of a limb increase the amount of settlement.
Likewise, the duration of treatment and the strength of your medical evidence affect the compensation you can demand. As a rule of thumb, it’s essential to store all medical documents as evidence for your settlement negotiations.
Lost income damages cover the costs of lost wages, lost future earnings, and lost earning capacity. Your attorney uses records to calculate the number of payable work hours, overtime, and salary.
- Lost wages compensate you for any past and present earnings lost due to the accident
- Lost future earnings cover the loss of future wages and benefits
- Lost earning capacity compensates you if you cannot make as much income as you did because of the accident
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is non-economic damage that compensates you for the physical and psychological pain and trauma you endure after an accident. There is no easy way to calculate this amount, but you can seek compensation for:
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Nerve damage
You can also seek compensation for:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss in quality of life
If someone negligently crashes into your car, their auto insurance company compensates you for the damage to your vehicle up to the driver’s policy limits. A good settlement pays you for:
- Car repair bills
- Alternative transportation costs, e.g. car rental
- Towing after a car crash
- Lost property inside your car
- The total value of the car at the time of the crash is the vehicle is totaled
To prove your property damages, your car crash attorney may ask you to store pictures of the vehicle before and after the car crash, receipts from the repair shop, and eyewitness testimonies.
Loss of consortium compensates you for the loss of companionship, intimacy, and caregiving from a partner. You can claim loss of consortium if you lose a partner after a car accident. Children are also allowed to claim the loss of a parent after a fatal car crash.
Will I Get the Total Amount that Was Calculated?
After consulting your car accident lawyer in Florida, you may think the process is complete. However, insurance companies always find ways to reduce your settlement. There are several excuses insurance companies may use against you.
- The other driver was not at fault and, therefore, not required to pay compensation
- You contributed to the accident through negligent driving
- You failed to seek medical attention on time after the accident
- The complications after the accident are the result of a pre-existing condition
- Your injuries are not as severe as you claim
- The other driver does not have insurance coverage
- You could have gone back to work after your accident
Working with an experienced car accident lawyer helps you dodge any curveballs the insurance adjusters and agents may throw at you.
Get Help with Your Car Accident Settlement
Our attorneys at Eltringham Law Group are compassionate and dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We guide you through the settlement process so that you can focus on healing after a car crash. Call us or visit our contact page for assistance.