There is no average settlement for a car accident, as the value of your settlement can vary wildly, and a number of factors influence how much you will receive. Some factors are beyond your control, while others you can certainly influence. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we have helped many car accident victims in Miami collect compensation from the responsible party and from the insurance company. We always fight for the full and fair compensation our clients deserve.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 747-3733
Factors That Can Determine the Value of Your Car Accident Settlement
Because so many variables can influence the value of a car accident settlement, it is impossible to declare with any sort of accuracy what an “average” settlement would be in Florida. Among the factors that can make your settlement higher or lower are:
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
Because medical bills comprise a huge component of most car accident settlements, it stands to reason that the more severe your injuries are, the higher the value of your car accident settlement. This includes money you have already spent on medical care, as well as money you estimate you will have to spend in the future.
In addition, more serious injuries can cause you more physical and emotional pain over a longer period of time. Therefore, you can seek greater compensation for categories like pain and suffering, disability, and reduced quality of life.
2. The Amount of Damage to Your Car
We can pursue the responsible party and the insurance company for compensation to pay for the damage to your car. The more severe the damage, the more money we can demand. In many cases, we can recover not just the lost value of your car but the value of a comparable replacement vehicle.
3. Damage to Other Personal Property
If you were carrying valuable personal property in your vehicle at the time of the accident, we may be able to help you recover compensation to pay for the loss of these items, which may include electronic equipment, jewelry, antiques, artwork, and more.
4. The Circumstances of the Accident
Under Florida’s comparative liability law (Florida Statutes § 768.81), you can recover car accident damages even if you were partly at fault for the crash. However, the amount you can recover in this scenario will be proportionally lower based on your share of the fault. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can fight to minimize your share of liability and maximize your compensation.
5. The Loss of Wages and Work Benefits
No matter what kind of work you do, a serious injury can keep you home for a long while. Even if you can work, you may have to go on light duty or restrict yourself to part-time hours, greatly reducing the paycheck you bring home every week. In extreme cases, you may no longer be able to work at all.
A car accident lawyer serving Miami can help you calculate how much money you would have earned without the injury versus how much you earned in reality. The difference between the amounts is what you can seek in a lawsuit.
Who Pays a Car Accident Settlement in Miami?
An insurance company will most likely pay for whatever damages you receive. This insurer may be:
- Your own: Florida is a no-fault state. This means you can receive compensation from your own auto insurance company regardless of who caused the accident.
- The liable party’s: If you can prove that another party was negligent and caused your accident, you can seek a settlement from their insurer.
- Both: If your expenses and losses exceed your insurance policy’s limit, you can seek the remainder from the liable party’s insurer.
As you may imagine, getting compensation from the liable party’s insurance company requires determining the liable party’s identity and collecting evidence to prove that they are legally responsible for your injuries. In car accident cases, the most common liable parties include:
- The other driver: The vast majority of traffic accidents are attributable to driver error. Examples of driver error include speeding, tailgating, and driving drunk.
- A parts manufacturer: Sometimes, a car part proves to be unsafe, and its malfunction contributes to an accident.
- Maintenance crews: Everyone relies on maintenance crews to keep their vehicles and the roadway safe. Negligence on their part can increase the risk of an accident.
- The local government: It is your local government’s job to keep the streets usable by, for example, seeing to the repair of potholes and downed stop signs.
To prove that one or more of the above caused your accident and that you are entitled to damages, a car accident attorney can collect evidence such as:
- The police’s official accident report
- Previous complaints or reports filed against the liable party
- Bills, receipts, and other documents that catalogue your expenses
- Paystubs, tax filings, and other documents that catalogue your financial earnings and losses
- Video footage of the accident from cell phones, traffic cams, and so on
- Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident or its aftermath
- Statements from individuals who are experts in medicine, accident reconstruction, economics, and so on
We believe that no one in Miami cares more for their clients or fights harder for what they deserve. We want the chance to prove it to you, and it starts with a free case evaluation.
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Why Settle After a Car Accident?
Accepting a settlement is often the fastest way of getting money from the at-fault party. Your lawyer can meet with that party’s insurance company and negotiate for a settlement amount that meets your present and future needs.
That said, there are some cases where reaching a settlement agreement is not possible—for example, if the insurance company does not want to negotiate and continues to offer a lowball settlement. In these cases, your lawyer can prepare your case for court and try to convince a jury to award you fair compensation.
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Who Should You Settle With After a Car Accident?
The party you get compensation from depends on who caused your accident. In many cases, the at-fault party is another driver who hit your car. Page 27 of a report compiled by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) shows that some of the most common human-related causes of “incapacitating” car accident injuries are:
- Reckless or careless driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running red lights
- Failure to stay in the correct lane
- Running stop signs
Before you sue the driver, however, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to investigate your accident. Your attorney can do one or more of the following:
- Confirm the driver’s culpability
- Exonerate the driver and find the real at-fault party, who may be a car part manufacturer, a mechanic, a government entity responsible for maintaining the road, or someone else
- Find that the driver shares culpability with one or more other at-fault parties
If there are multiple at-fault parties in your case, you can file separate lawsuits against each of them and receive compensation from each party’s insurance company. Doing so could enable you to recover the money you need, but it can also complicate and lengthen your case. Your lawyer can help you figure out what to do.
For Your Free Miami Car Accident Case Evaluation, Call Today
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is ready to get to work on your Miami car accident claim today. We can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve before the statute of limitations imposed by Florida Statutes § 95.11 passes. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a member of our team, call us at 1-800-747-3733.