Being involved in a car accident can change your life. Car accidents have the ability to cause serious physical, financial, and emotional distress for those victims involved. Sometimes, the only way to attain balance once again is to pursue a legal case for compensation. But how much could you get if you decided to settle?
So many factors go into determining a settlement offer that it is difficult to provide a blanket statement on cost. However, by using the specific facts of a case, we can help predict what a reasonable settlement offer might be in a given case. Important considerations will include the severity of the injury, the identity, and background of the victim, the likelihood of success in court, and the presence of legal counsel.
Yes, hiring an attorney will likely improve the settlement offers you may receive after a car accident. Enlisting the help of the respected Ft. Lauderdale, personal injury attorney at South Florida Law will show your opponents that you mean business. Schedule your initial consultation for free by calling (954) 932-7877 today.
How Are Car Accident Settlement Amounts Determined in Florida?
Insurance companies often attempt to offer settlement agreements to car accident victims injured by their clients. An insurance settlement is an agreement where the injured person agrees to waive their right to sue in exchange for a payout. Settlements can be beneficial because the insurance company avoids the time-consuming and expensive process of going to court, and the victim sees their compensation sooner.
However, insurance companies are businesses, and they will do what they can to save money. Sometimes, that means offering poor settlements in hopes that a desperate victim will accept without pushback. Insurance companies typically use a formula in order to determine what they should offer in a given situation.
The most common type of formula used to determine car accident settlement amounts is called the “multiplier method.” The insurance company will take the total amount of expenses that the car accident created (such as medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs) and multiply that number by a number between one and five. This number (“the multiplier”) is determined based on the severity of the injuries and relevant details about the victim. Insurance companies use the multiplier to reflect the likely damages for pain and suffering that a court might award.
For instance, let’s say that Mary and Bob are in a car that is involved in an accident. Mary is a 21-year old on an athletic scholarship at her college and Bob is a 70-year old retiree. Both Mary and Bob suffer broken collarbones. Each incurs $10,000 in medical expenses, and both face an 8-week recovery from their injuries. However, Mary’s injuries prevent her from playing on her college team. In this situation, the other driver’s insurance company might pick a multiplier of two for Bob and three for Mary to reflect Mary’s heightened pain and suffering. However, if there are complications and Bob’s arm must be amputated, Bob’s multiplier might increase to four or five, as he is now permanently disabled.
How to Respond to a Low Car Accident Settlement Offer in Florida
If you are involved in a serious car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be contacted by the other driver’s insurance provider shortly after the accident. Sometimes, the insurance company may immediately offer to settle.
Insurance companies make settlement offers early for a reason. They usually attempt to exploit the car accident victim’s fear and vulnerability. Often, car accident victims are concerned by the mounting medical bills and the prospect of missing time at work. Further, most haven’t had the chance to seek out a Pembroke Pines car crash lawyer. A settlement offer can serve as a quick fix to financial worries, and many victims jump at the chance.
For this reason, early settlement offers are often substantially lower than what the victim might deserve. It is always worth the time and effort to speak to a Hollywood, FL car accident attorney about any settlement offer that you may receive.
You should know that you can negotiate and agree to a settlement offer at any point before or even during your lawsuit. In fact, many settlement agreements occur immediately before the trial is set to begin. These are called “courthouse steps” settlements, and they are often significantly larger than the first offer received.
Remember, if you sign anything, you may be giving up your legal right to pursue your case further. We strongly suggest that you speak with one of our Florida car accident attorneys before making any decision that could cost you the compensation that you deserve.
How Can a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Help Improve My Settlement Offer?
The reality is that insurance companies likely won’t take you seriously until you hire a lawyer. Getting legal counsel shows the insurance companies that you are serious and legitimately contemplating taking your case to court if need be.
Lawyers can also be useful in negotiating a settlement offer. Rather than taking time off from your recovery to communicate with claims adjusters, let our Ft. Lauderdale car accident lawyers handle the day-to-day of your settlement negotiations so that you can avoid the added stress and focus on your health.
Our Florida car accident attorneys have the experience to know when an insurance company is behaving fairly. If they aren’t, we can help fight the case in court. No matter how serious your car accident injuries may be, you should never have to go into a battle with the insurance company alone.
Find Out What You Deserve for Your Car Accident Settlement in Florida Today
South Florida Law will work with you to determine what a fair settlement offer would be in your case so that you don’t get short-changed by the insurance company. To find out what you stand to gain for your potential case, schedule a consultation with our Hallandale car accident lawyers today by calling (954) 932-7877.