What To Expect From A Car Accident Settlement in Florida
When filing a claim for a car accident in Orlando, you have only one chance to get the compensation you need to recover. As experienced Orlando car accident attorneys, our goal is to get you the maximum amount you are entitled to. Read on to learn what to expect from the car accident settlement process in Florida.
What is the Florida car accident lawsuit process?
If you are in a car accident in Orlando, don’t be surprised if your insurer offers an immediate settlement. Unfortunately, the amount is likely to be far less than what you need or are entitled to. Before accepting, contact our Orlando car accident attorneys first. After conducting our own investigation into your case, we can send a demand letter to the insurer, stating the exact amount of compensation you deserve. It may take several months to consider counteroffers and conduct additional negotiations but once a settlement is reached, the insurance company has up to thirty days to pay.
If policy limits fail to adequately cover your costs or a reasonable settlement amount cannot otherwise be obtained, the best course of action may be to file a car accident lawsuit. What is involved and how long does it take to get a car accident settlement? The following provides a timeline for this process:
- Filing a complaint: A civil complaint must be drafted, filed with the court, and formally served to the insurer or at-fault driver. This can take several weeks to complete.
- Receiving an answer: Once served with a complaint, the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure gives the opposing party 20 days to respond.
- Discovery: Discovery involves sharing evidence gathered by both sides in the case. Each side has 45 days to respond to discovery requests.
- Mediation: To avoid the costs and time of going to trial, the judge may order mediation through which a settlement may be negotiated within a day or less.
- Trial: If mediation fails, taking your case to trial and having the jury deliberate on a verdict can take anywhere from several weeks to three months or more.
Once a final order is obtained, arrangements can be made for payment of your car accident injury settlement. You may receive a lump sum amount or structured payments through an annuity.
How much can I expect from a Florida car accident settlement?
The amount you can expect from a Florida car accident settlement will depend on the extent of your injuries. We are one of ten states in which drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Generally referred to as ‘no-fault’ insurance, it compensates you for car accident injuries regardless of who was to blame for the accident. Based on the required minimum mandatory amounts of PIP coverage, the maximum you could expect in a settlement is $10,000.
If your injuries are severe and your damages exceed this amount, filing a car accident lawsuit can help you get the total amount of compensation you need to recover. How much can you expect from a Florida car accident lawsuit settlement? It depends on the following factors:
- Economic damages: This varies based on damage to your vehicle, your current medical expenses, and lost wages. Any medical care you are likely to require in the future and losses in income or benefits due to long term disabilities also need to be factored in.
- Non-economic damages: This compensates you for intangible costs, including pain, suffering, loss of companionship, and any loss of enjoyment resulting from your injuries.
- Punitive damages: This is an additional amount we can push for in cases where the at-fault driver acted in a particularly willful and negligent manner, such as driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Under the Florida Statutes, this can equal up to three times the amount of other compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
How to maximize the amount of your car accident settlement
Your actions in the aftermath of a car accident in Orlando impact your rights in a claim. To maximize the amount you are entitled to in a settlement, follow these steps:
- Report any type of car accident immediately to the police and get contact and insurance information for all drivers involved.
- Gather as much evidence as possible, including names and contact information for any witnesses and photos of your injuries and the accident scene.
- Seek immediate medical attention, regardless of the severity of your injuries and take your doctor’s advice regarding follow-up care and work or activity restrictions.
- Contact an experienced Orlando car accident attorney before making any statements to insurers or accepting any settlements.
Our Orlando car accident attorneys will manage the settlement process from start to finish
At the Law Offices of Pardy & Rodriguez, protecting you is our number one priority. We are a Firm Dedicated To You, with over three decades’ worth of combined experience helping injured accident victims across Florida get the compensation they are entitled to in a settlement. Contact us online or give us a call to request a free consultation with our Orlando car accident attorneys today.