What Is the Average Florida Auto Accident Settlement?
July 18, 2023 | Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers | Car Accident
Suppose that you or a loved one has just been hurt in a Florida car accident. You likely have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. The odds are good that at some point during the pendency of your claim, a settlement will be proposed as a possible resolution.
In the typical settlement process, the insurance company or negligent driver will offer to pay you a fixed, determinate sum of money. In return, you agree to release the insurance company and the driver from any further responsibility for your injuries and losses.
Although precise numbers are unavailable, many cases, perhaps as many as nine out of every ten, settle before going to trial.
One consideration in deciding whether to settle is how much you can expect from a settlement agreement. Unfortunately, this is not as easy of an inquiry as it may sound.
Factors that Influence a Settlement Offer
A settlement offer can be proposed by either side at any time before a trial in a case. There is no legal obligation that either party accepts a settlement, and it is not uncommon for negotiations to result in multiple offers being exchanged back and forth between the parties.
If a settlement is reached, the amount of that settlement will be influenced by several factors.
The Extent of Your Injuries and Losses
A settlement should compensate you to some degree for your injuries. Therefore, the more extensive your injuries, the larger the settlement will be.
For instance, the average cost of a hospital stay in the United States is over $13,000. If you were hospitalized for your injuries, you can reasonably expect a settlement to cover the cost of your hospitalization, whether it’s less or more than this average.
The Costs of Litigation
For defendants accused of negligence, a settlement often represents an opportunity to avoid the costs of litigation. Some estimates suggest that it can cost defendants more than $45,000 to litigate an auto accident case, not including any judgment that might be awarded.
The more the settlement offer represents potential savings to the defendant, the more likely it is that the settlement will be accepted.
The Strength of Your Evidence
Some car wrecks have numerous credible eyewitnesses and other evidence that points to the defendant’s responsibility for the crash. Other wrecks leave no witnesses and little evidence suggesting fault.
The more evidence there is showing the defendant is at fault, the more likely your settlement will approach the true amount of your losses. Conversely, if evidence of liability is weak, the settlement amount may not be quite as high.
The Insurance Policy Limits and Financial Resources Available
Last, the amount of insurance coverage and other assets the defendant has will play a role in the settlement amount.
If your losses exceed your minimum of $10,000 in PIP policy benefits, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver. However, if they don’t have liability coverage or other assets, they may be unable to pay the full extent of your damages. In that case, you may receive a lower settlement amount.
However, if they do have a liability policy with high limits or other financial assets, it may be worth holding out for a higher settlement amount.
How Large Should Your Florida Car Accident Settlement Be? It Depends
These and other factors will determine how large the settlement agreement should be in your case. Ultimately, though, it falls to you to decide whether any settlement offer made is adequate to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
An experienced Florida car accident attorney can help you consider the relevant factors and decide whether it makes sense to settle your case or take your claim to court.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
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