What to Know About Car Accident Insurance Settlements in Florida
Some things you should know about car accident insurance settlements in Florida include:
- No two car accident cases are the same, so there is no flat rate figure for settlement deals.
- Settlement awards are based on the specific damages you suffered from the car accident.
- If the insurance company is uncooperative in settlement negotiations, you can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation within your case’s statutory deadline.
If you would like assistance with your insurance claim, you can hire a car accident lawyer to help build your case. Our law firm works on a contingency-fee basis, so you do not have to pay attorney’s fees unless we win your case.
Your Insurance Company May Offer the Minimum Amount to Settle Your Case
When you file a claim with your insurer, they might reach out to settle your case right away with an initial offer. This settlement amount might seem sufficient if you are struggling to keep up with your financial expenses after the accident. Still, it could also be the minimum coverage the company offers in its policy, which might not serve you in the long run.
It is crucial that you take the time to calculate your damages so that you know how much compensation you may be entitled to collect. You should also factor in future damages to pursue if your injuries are long-term or permanent so that you do not undervalue the financial setbacks you’ll be facing. Once you settle your case, you will not be able to pursue additional compensation.
Regarding your car accident case, you may qualify to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses: This includes current and future costs for surgeries, hospitalization, doctor’s appointments, prescription medicines, emergency room care, and post-operative care.
- Property damage: If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you might recover costs to repair the property. If your vehicle is beyond repair, you may receive compensation based on its cash value.
- Pain and suffering: If you suffered losses related to physical or emotional pain, your lawyer could assign a monetary value to these damages. This value may be related to your economic damages or reflect the extent of pain you have suffered.
- Income loss: If the accident forced you to take time off work to treat or recover from your injuries, you might be able to recover the wages or benefits you lost during that time.
These are just some examples of damages you may recover in your case. In addition, your lawyer may suggest other damages to pursue, such as damages related to suffering a permanent disability or emotional distress.
Also, if you lost someone to a preventable car accident, you or another qualifying family member may pursue wrongful death damages on your loved one’s behalf. These damages may include funeral expenses or loss of consortium, among other emotional losses that reflect your grief and suffering.
One thing to expect if you want to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company is that the insurer may use tactics to stall negotiations. These tactics include:
- Delaying responses or sending out materials to you
- Denying your claim on minor technicalities
- Only informing you of materials you need to include in your claim after you submit it
If you decide to work with a car accident attorney from our firm, we can spot these tactics and take measures to move your case forward. If the insurance company refuses to cooperate with negotiations, we are also prepared to take your case to court.
Florida Law Limits Your Time to Take Legal Action in a Car Accident Case
If you decide you want to file a personal injury lawsuit about your car accident, Florida States § 95.11(3)(a) generally gives you four years from the date of the accident to do so. While four years seems like more than enough time to submit your case, keep in mind that certain aspects of the claims and litigation processes might delay your efforts more than you anticipated. For example:
- It could take weeks for you to retrieve surveillance footage that captured the accident from a business or residence. If you don’t recover this footage soon after the accident, you may not be able to if the camera software automatically deletes old footage.
- The claims process can cause delays, especially if the insurance company continues to request new information.
- If your case involves a hit-and-run driver, law enforcement may need to search for this driver, which can result in weeks- or months-long investigation.
Start the process as soon as possible rather than risk submitting your case late. Our law firm will investigate, collect evidence, and handle other legal tasks to build your case. We can identify your case’s filing deadline and submit your lawsuit for you.
No. Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d) sets a different statutory deadline for wrongful death cases, which is two years from the date of the victim’s death.
Discuss Your Insurance Settlement Options with a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident in Florida, you might have grounds to file an insurance claim and pursue compensation. A car accident attorney at Distasio Law Firm can prepare your claim and work toward negotiating a settlement that is fair and covers your damages. If necessary, we will take your case to court to pursue compensation on your behalf.
Call (813) 259-0022 today to get a free consultation to discuss car accident insurance settlements.