Taking a personal injury case to court is often the best way to maximize the compensation you are entitled to. Your insurance policy may not be sufficient to fully cover your injuries if you were involved in a catastrophic accident, but you may still be able to take the case to court and seek full compensation. Auto accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains just how often car accident claims go to court in Florida and some of the reasons why these numbers are so low. For a free consultation on your car accident claim, call our law offices today.
Can You Sue for Car Crashes in Florida?
Florida sees less car accident lawsuits than many states because of its “no-fault” car accident rules. Every insurance policy in Florida is required under state law to be a “no-fault” policy. This means that when you are involved in a car crash, your first claim might be through your own insurance rather than the at-fault driver’s insurance. Your no-fault insurance’s personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of first-party benefit that your insurance company pays you when you are injured in a car accident.
States without no-fault rules often see the at-fault driver’s insurance paying the victim for their injuries. If you decide to file through insurance and your injuries are worth more than your policy’s PIP can cover, the at-fault driver’s insurance kicks in to cover additional damages.
In Florida, you can only take your car crash case to court if you meet certain thresholds. State lawmakers, in an attempt to drive down the number of lawsuits for car crashes, block lawsuits for minor cases. To get your case to court, you must face $10,000 worth of medical bills and lost wages or suffer injuries that are “serious” under Florida’s legal definition. This usually covers severe injuries that cause permanent disabilities or intense scarring, plus cases involving wrongful death, paralysis, or other serious harm.
Your insurance might cover more than $10,000 worth of injuries, which means that you could have even severe injuries covered. However, your insurance might not pay you 100% of the damages you deserve. Many insurance policies only cover a percentage of medical bills and lost income, preventing you from recovering the full damages you could be entitled to in court. In addition, insurance tends not to cover pain and suffering damages for victims. Because of this, you should always discuss your car accident claim with an experienced car accident lawyer before accepting an insurance payout.
Should I Settle My Car Accident Claim?
If you do take your case to court, you may be pressured toward accepting a settlement for your damages. When you sue for personal injury, the at-fault party’s attorney will want to reduce the amount of money their client has to pay for the injuries they caused you. One strategy for doing this is to offer the victim a settlement that might be lower than what they would receive at trial. While an early settlement saves both sides from the attorney’s fees and court costs of taking a case all the way through trial, these low offers might not be enough. To prevent this, you should always consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement.
Many settlement offers are too low to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. If you take your case all the way to a jury verdict, the jury may award you higher damages that cover 100% of your claims, which you would miss out on by settling early. It is vital to review your case with an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer to ensure that you get what you need from a settlement offer.
Ultimately, approximately 95% of personal injury cases are settled every year. While this is obviously a high percentage, there are so many lawsuits each year that this still means that courts across the State of Florida see injury lawsuits on a daily or weekly basis.
While accepting an insurance offer or settlement might be the best outcome in many of these cases, every case is unique. Some of these settlements are handled without attorneys, and victims may not receive sufficient damages to cover their needs. Even more are rushed to settlement before the case is fully explored. It is vital to talk to an attorney about what the best options are in your specific case.
Our Miami Car Accident Lawyer Offers Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Miami or the surrounding areas, talk to an attorney today. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked represents injury victims. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA’s experience in personal injury litigation can help guide you through the trial process and fight your case all the way to court if that is the best option for your case. For help understanding how much your case should be worth and what your best path to compensation is, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Our number is (305) 694-2676.