How Much Can You Sue For Car Accident – As an Orlando car accident attorney, new potential clients who call my office want to know how much money they can claim in a Florida car accident. That answer depends on many factors related to the accident, but often the biggest factor is not related to the accident. One thing’s for sure – car accident values can range from zero to millions of dollars, largely * depending on how badly you’re injured and the amount of insurance coverage for the at-fault driver.
So the short answer is anywhere from zero to several million dollars depending on the unique facts of your case. In most cases, the amount of insurance for the at-fault driver is limited in value. More on that dilemma below.
How Much Can You Sue For Car Accident
(If you’re looking for the best auto accident attorney in Orlando, you’ll want to read more about our experience and background.)
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So you are in danger. I’m sorry it happened to you (or your loved one). Accidents are traumatic and completely life-changing (or ending) when they’re bad. You and your loved ones may never be the same. Driving on the road will never feel like it if your accident is really serious. If the other driver was entirely at fault, or at least shared some fault, you must absolutely, fairly and equitably get some money back.
But how much can you recover in a car accident case? As with most things in law, the answer is complex and depends on many factors. I will try to outline some of the key factors in this article. But if you need an in-depth analysis of your specific case, please contact our office. Every case is different – and I can’t write all the possible factors in a single blog post. Still, here’s my best attempt to summarize the key factors and the amounts you can recover:
There are three key questions for any car accident when assessing potential value. The first is whether you are injured and what treatment you need going forward. Second, if the accident is the fault of another driver. The third is whether the other driver has bodily injury coverage on his or her auto insurance and the limits (amount) of that coverage. Those are the three branches of probabilistic analysis of a car accident case. So let’s break them down one by one.
Again, the first question is whether you are injured, if so how bad, and what treatment you need. Assuming you didn’t cause the accident and the other driver had adequate insurance coverage, your injuries and treatment will increase the value of any personal injury/car/truck accident case.
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Minor wounds that heal completely in a few days or weeks are worth nothing. Most good attorneys will only take these cases “just in case,” only to find out weeks later that your injuries are far more serious than they actually are. (These injuries actually get worse often—for example, people think a neck or back injury is minor, but the pain gets worse and they realize they have severe pain that requires surgery to get better. ) Unlimited Even with insurance coverage, these lawsuits could end up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the end.
Then there are moderate injuries. These may require less invasive surgery. Again, assuming adequate insurance coverage, these can save you tens or hundreds of thousands (depending on the severity of your injuries and the impact on your life and work) in your bank account at the end of the case. (One thing to be aware of is that your medical bills and legal fees are deducted from your original settlement amount. This is how Florida law works.)
Finally, there are catastrophic injury or wrongful death cases (wrongful death cases are pursued by legal “survivors,” defined too narrowly under Florida law to include spouses, children under the age of 25, or, the spouse or minor If there are no children of age, then the parents).
Catastrophic claims, again assuming unlimited coverage (that’s a giant assumption – most drivers don’t have unlimited coverage – more on that issue below), are the highest value cases. These cases usually settle for millions of dollars. Catastrophic injuries include life-altering, totally disabling conditions such as amputations, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, severe burns, blindness and the like. The reason these lawsuits are the most valuable is that Florida law allows car accident victims to recover three categories of damages: (1) accident-related medical bills, including anticipated future medical bills, and (2) accident-related lost wages. lost wages expected in the future, and (3) pain and suffering caused by the accident, and probable future pain and suffering. With catastrophic injuries, ongoing medical bills can be very high and last a lifetime. For example, someone with a brain injury or paralysis may need lifelong care, modifications to their home, and medical equipment. They may also want to replace their salary for life. (Because catastrophic injury cases often include life expectancy calculations, catastrophic injuries to a young person are worth more than catastrophic injuries to an older person—but both young and old catastrophic injury victims can recover much more if the other driver has them. Adequate insurance coverage.)
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In car accident cases, we must prove all your injuries with solid evidence. So we need to prove your injuries with extensive medical records. And we must prove your lost wages with your previous accident payslips. and things.
Wrongful death cases *with adequate insurance coverage* often settle for an average of $1 million, but that figure can be higher or lower based on various factors. For example, we settled a semi truck accident/accidental death case for the policy limit of $2 million because the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Aggravating/aggravating factors can increase the value of a settlement or verdict.
As Orlando car accident attorneys, our main job is to help you gather the evidence you need to prove whatever level of damages you have. This includes helping you find excellent doctors with litigation experience (so they won’t be novice witnesses if they testify in front of a jury and think about your case). In moderate injuries, we generally rely on the evidence and testimony of your attending physicians. Along with catastrophic claims, we employ experts in various fields to prove the extent of your injuries and potential life needs.
As mentioned several times above, these estimated values all depend on one big assumption, namely that there is adequate insurance coverage. Unfortunately, in no uncertain terms, Florida auto insurance laws are woefully bad for car accident victims. That’s why the best car accident lawyers in Orlando (myself included) refer to the Florida car accident “lottery.”
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In Florida, drivers are not required to carry bodily injury insurance (with limited exceptions for certain rental vehicles and semi-trucks). Bodily Injury Insurance, or “BI” coverage, is the only insurance coverage that pays you for someone injured by another driver on the road. Florida only requires drivers to have 10K of PIP coverage. PIP coverage does not pay any money to other drivers on the road. Drivers must have full Optional BI coverage to recover a penny from an at-fault driver for your injuries. (Key Eligibility – You can recover if you carry uninsured motorist cover or UM cover on your own vehicle or an eligible vehicle in your home carries UM – then your incidental value limit will be the limits of the at-fault drivers BI. cover, your UM cover combined with.)
This coverage limit, of course, sucks for Florida car accident victims. (For this reason, Florida has had a years-long push to expand BI coverage. 2021 may be the year our state government finally approves something. We’ll see.) Because most drivers are on the road with minimal coverage, about ⅓ of all accident victims are covered by their injuries. An at-fault driver will receive a zero regardless of severity.
If one has BI coverage, the next question is how much? BI policies can be 25K, 50K, 100K, 300K, 1 million or more. Most non-commercial BI policies are 100K or less. A few enlightened non-commercial drivers have 300K to 1 million in coverage, but not many.
The highest auto insurance coverage covers commercial vehicles like semi trucks or 18 wheelers or commercial trucks like Fed Ex or UPS. These vehicles usually have at least 1 million miles of coverage and sometimes millions.
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Therefore, the most valuable cases, worth several million dollars, are usually associated with catastrophic injuries
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