Car accident victims in Florida have plenty to think about immediately following a crash. They worry about their health, the welfare of any passengers in their car or other vehicles involved, calling the police, and getting medical attention. However, other practical matters soon come into focus, including paying for the damage to their vehicle, medical bills, and the potential of losing time at work. Many people wonder if they have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit and how much compensation they could possibly recover.
Under Florida law, there is no limit on the amount of compensation an injured victim is entitled to seek in a car accident lawsuit. Nonetheless, a plaintiff is not permitted to ask for an arbitrary amount – it should be reasonable and must be supported by evidence. Our experienced Hollywood Florida car accident attorneys have the expertise and resources to value your claim and gather evidence to substantiate the amount.
South Florida Law, PLLC advocates for the rights of car accident victims. Whether you choose to negotiate with an insurance company or file a claim in court, our Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyers will fight to maximize your compensation. Call (954) 932-7877 to schedule a time to review your case.
Seeking Damages Through a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Florida
No guideline exists for establishing how much you could sue for if you were injured in a car accident. An experienced Ft. Lauderdale car accident attorney will collect evidence and documentation to estimate your claim’s value. This value is based on numerous factors, including actual financial losses such as your medical expenses and lost income. Additionally, more intangible damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, anxiety, and the loss of enjoyment of life, will be calculated. Once the extent of your injuries and an estimate of your future medical treatment and lost income have been determined, our office will have a reasonable value for your claim. Reasonableness is critical when determining an amount to sue for because an unreasonable figure could be frowned upon by a jury or judge, jeopardizing your case.
It is important to note here that Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state when it comes to automobile accidents. Under this rule, if you are in an accident, you are required to file a claim under your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage – no matter who was to blame for the crash. You are only allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit for additional compensation not covered by your insurance if your injury meets several statutory thresholds. If you have been hurt in an accident, it is crucial to speak with a Florida car accident attorney to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
No Limitation on Car Accident Damages in Florida
As stated early, Florida law does not limit the number of damages a plaintiff could recover from an at-fault defendant following a car accident. However, whatever amount is sought should be reasonable and supported by evidence. Speculation and vagueness are not grounds for recovering damages.
Nonetheless, the amount someone could receive is not unlimited. After a successful personal injury lawsuit or settlement, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will likely be paying any judgment that was awarded. This amount, no matter what was the amount awarded, will be capped by the insurance policy limits. Therefore, if a jury awards an injured victim $200,000 in damages but the insurance policy limit is $100,000, that is all the plaintiff will be paid.
There are options available, including suing additional parties or going after the defendant personally. Miami car accident attorneys will be able to advise you if any of these options have merit after reviewing your case in more detail.
Comparative Negligence the Amount of Damages Available in Florida Lawsuits
Another factor that could possibly limit the number of damages an injured car accident victim receives is Florida’s comparative negligence rule. When another driver is entirely at fault, their insurance company will likely compensate you for your medical expenses, lost income, and other economic losses you suffered because of the accident. However, if you were partially to blame, Florida’s comparative negligence rule comes into play.
Florida uses a pure comparative fault rule when the plaintiff and defendant have contributed to an accident. In a car accident case, a jury is usually asked to calculate two things based on the evidence presented: the total amount of damages the plaintiff suffered and the percentage of fault that each party contributed to the accident. Under the comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff’s total compensation will be reduced by their share of the blame. For example, if a jury awarded $100,000 of total damages and found the plaintiff to be 40% at fault, the compensation would be reduced to $60,000. Many states that follow this rule employ a modified version that prohibits a plaintiff from receiving any compensation if they are more than 50% at fault. Because Florida follows a pure comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff who is found to be 90% at fault could still recover damages – they will, however, be reduced by 90%.
Judges and juries in Florida are bound by the comparative negligence rule. Furthermore, insurance companies also adhere to this rule during negotiation settlements. When offering a settlement amount, an insurance company will use what could happen in court as a guideline. To maximize your potential award, no matter what amount you choose to sue for, it is critical to have an experienced Hialeah car accident attorney at your side.
Call Our Florida Car Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
A successful car accident lawsuit requires evidence establishing another party was at fault and proof to substantiate your damages claim. At South Florida Law, PLLC, our Hollywood car accident lawyers are committed to maximizing your potential compensation. Call (954) 932-7877 to evaluate your claim.