What is the Average Payout for a Personal Injury Claim?
When you are in any kind of accident, you could be left with severe injuries that could change your life. The accident could leave you with incredible pain and suffering, not to mention expensive medical bills and lost wages from time away from work. While money can’t undo the accident, it could help you move forward. A
Tallahassee personal injury attorney can help you file a claim against the at-fault party to pay for your losses.
In Florida, personal injury claims average between $3,000 and $75,000 in payouts. However, each case is unique, and this could mean that you receive more or less than that for an injury. Understanding the factors that affect personal injury claim payouts may give you a better idea of how much compensation you can receive in your case.
What Factors Affect Personal Injury Payouts on Claims in Florida?
It is important to know how both insurance companies and the courts assess a personal injury case in Florida. There are a variety of factors that could impact the value of your claim.
Insurance companies will review your case to determine how much the injury has impacted you and your family. After that, it will accept or deny your claim. The insurance company may even offer to pay a settlement.
The factors that they consider are the severity of your injuries and your future health prognosis. They will also review whether or not your injuries will leave you with a long-term disability.
Additionally, insurance companies review the cost of your medical care, what you spent out of your own pocket thus far for your medical bills that resulted from this accident, and the extent of property damage. In short, they will go over everything including the limits of your insurance policy and your
Often, it will hand out an offer of a personal injury settlement based on what it thinks you deserve for both tangible and intangible losses. While this may sound like a fair deal, keep in mind that this amount will likely be less than what is required to cover your medical bills, loss of wages — both current and future — pain and suffering, and other damages.
This is why hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is an important step after a major personal injury accident. Make use of the free initial consultation to find out more about how an accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve in your situation.
How are Compensatory Damages Calculated?
When it comes to compensation, it is split into two categories — economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the financial losses you suffered due to your injuries from the accident. These are typically easy to show because they tend to have a specified dollar amount from things like your medical bills, property repairs, and lost wages.
However, they can also include future medical expenses, estimated future lost earnings, and legal fees. If you require long-term or ongoing care, you will need to calculate your lost or diminished wages plus future medical expenses.
Because calculating these costs can be complicated, it is important to find an accident attorney who can help you determine an accurate projection for all of your economic damages.
Then there are non-economic damages, which are trickier to show through receipts and bills. These are intangible items like your physical pain, lost quality of life, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
Often, the Multiplier Method is used to make these calculations. It takes the total amount of your economic damages and then multiplies it by a number assigned to the severity and extent of your injuries. In most cases, a multiplier is a number from one to five.
As an example, if your injuries are somewhere in the medium range – not minor but not catastrophic — you may have a multiplier of three. If your economic damages amounted to $100,000, you may be eligible for about $300,000 in non-economic damages. Since there are so many variables in every case, you will want to discuss your circumstances with a personal injury lawyer to find out what compensation you can receive.
Adding Punitive Damages
In some Florida personal injury cases, punitive damages may also apply. These are different from compensatory damages, which are available to bring relief to the plaintiff. Punitive damages are meant for punishing the negligent party.
Judges may award punitive damages in cases that involve the gross negligence or intentional misconduct of a defendant. Punitive damages in Florida are capped at $500,000 or three times the amount of the compensatory damages, whichever is the greater of the two.
How Personal Injury Laws in Florida May Affect Your Claim
Florida’s laws, particularly Florida Statute 627.736, may alter what your case could be worth. This statute lists the required auto insurance benefits. You are mandatorily required to carry a certain amount of insurance that will cover you if you get into an accident. It does not matter if you were the one at fault or not.
Because Florida is a no-fault state, your personal injury protection from your insurance may limit the amount you get from a settlement.
Additionally, Florida uses pure comparative negligence. This means an insurance company can reduce your settlement amount by your percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if you are found to be 25% at fault for the accident, your automotive insurance company could reduce the amount they payout by 25%. An investigation will determine the percentage of fault by all involved parties.
Seeking experienced and qualified representation from an attorney is always advised to understand Florida laws. Most people injured in an accident want to put the situation behind them. Many accept the initial settlement offer just so they can move on with their lives.
However, by taking the settlement amount, you could be losing out on compensation that will cover your expenses resulting from the accident. In other words, you may wind up signing away your rights to pursue the amount you need to cover the medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, property damages, and other expenses.
How to Get the Right Payout for Your Personal Injury Claim
Following an accident, it is a difficult time for you and those you love. With the help of an experienced lawyer in personal injury, you can be sure you will accurately calculate both economic and non-economic damages in your case.
While knowing the average payout for a personal injury claim in Florida may give you a ballpark figure, it is impossible to know the true value of your case based on an average. Sit down for a free consultation with an accident attorney to discover more about the factors that can affect your personal injury claim. You can be certain that you will not settle for less than the value of your medical bills and other related expenses.