To get the most out of your car accident claim, you should keep a few things in mind, so you can get through the process and put the car accident to the back of your mind so you can get on with your life.
Following a Car Accident
To protect yourself and your car accident claim in Florida, you must take the right steps. This means gathering as much evidence as possible from the scene, including photos and video, witness statements, and contact information.
Even if the other driver caused the accident, you will usually not engage directly with them to settle for damages. Instead, you and your attorney will work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
You will make a third-party claim against the other driver’s liability car insurance. However, you will use your collision coverage since Florida is a no-fault state, or you find the other driver involved is not insured.
While the number of uninsured drivers can vary by state, Florida has one of the highest reported, with over 20% of all drivers being uninsured.
When making a car insurance claim, you should know that the insurance company will require a ton of information, and the other driver’s insurance company will not be on your side.
Tips for Settling Your Claim
Now let’s answer a few questions you may have about the car accident claim process and offer tips on how to maximize your claim and settlement.
1. Asking for Pain and Suffering
The amount you should ask for pain and suffering depends on the accident’s severity and your damages. Your personal injury attorney can ask the insurance company to make a fair offer. When you do this, you don’t actually request a certain amount. For this to work, you should know how to value your car accident so you can recognize if they offer a lower settlement.
For example, if you fracture your leg during an accident, you may ask for over $200,000 in pain and suffering. If the leg fracture is severe, you may want to request more. You must consider pain and suffering, how long you may be out of work, reoccurring medical costs, and lost wages.
2. Gathering Medical Records
When filing your claim, you must submit appropriate documentation proving your damages, including any medical records and expenses. Your attorney will help you with this. It helps to make a spreadsheet of your charged bills and the amounts you still owe on each account. Your health or auto insurance company will also be entitled to payments from the settlement, which should be factored into any potential settlement you receive.
It can help to ask your employer to document your lost wages. For example, you were involved in a serious car accident and couldn’t go back to work for weeks. If you are out for 10 weeks, your employer can complete a wage and salary verification worksheet for all the weeks you were out. While this may be oversimplifying the process, it offers a better idea of what you may want to request in terms of compensation for your settlement.
3. Getting the Most Out of Your Settlement
Our final tip for settling your car accident claim in Florida is to follow through with each step of the process. Don’t miss or skip any medical treatments or appointments, don’t overlook any evidence, and if you don’t know how much your claim is worth, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help make that determination.
The average car accident settlement in Florida, when injuries and damages are involved, can be worth anywhere between $10,000 and $300,000 and more. A clear economic valuation of all the losses involved is the first step toward receiving a break-even and fair settlement offer.
And with over 194,632 reported car accidents in Florida over the last year, according to the FLHSMVs Crash Dashboard, you want to ensure you have an experienced personal attorney on your side.
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