A car accident in Orlando can leave you out of work with mounting medical bills. You may have many questions as you face a difficult and uncertain financial future while waiting for your accident settlement. What is the average settlement for a car accident in Orlando? How long does the car accident settlement process take? 

Waiting for a car accident payout can be frustrating. Receiving an auto accident settlement may take weeks, months, or even years. The more serious your injuries, the longer this process tends to take. 

The role of your personal injury lawyer is to pursue the full value of your damages. Your lawyer will seek the compensation you deserve without settling for less than you are owed. However, this is balanced against the strength of your claim and the risks and costs of going to court. 

Here is what you should know about how much to expect from a car accident settlement and the factors that affect the value of your claim

There Is No Standard Auto Accident Settlement Formula or Calculator

It can be tempting to look for a specific amount to expect for your claim. However, there is no formula or calculator to determine the value of an injury case. Every case is unique. This means even cases involving the same types of injuries can have vastly different values depending on the victims and circumstances. 

It’s also important to understand that, unlike jury awards, settlements are confidential. There is no way to know the average car accident settlement amounts because this information is not publicly available. 

How Injury Severity Affects Car Accident Injury Settlement Amounts

Injury severity is one of the biggest factors affecting typical car accident settlement amounts. Generally, the more serious and long-lasting your injuries, the greater the value of your car accident case. 

There are a few reasons for this: 

  • Medical bills. Car accident settlement amounts almost always include medical bills. You can expect your settlement to cover the total medical expenses you have already incurred. If you were seriously injured or disabled, your settlement should include money for future medical care, too. 
  • Lost wages. The more serious your injuries, the more work you are likely to miss. For serious or catastrophic injuries, you may be entitled to money for diminished earning capacity if you cannot return to work. 
  • Non-economic losses. The value of damages like pain and suffering and mental anguish usually increases with the severity of your injuries. These damages consider how your injuries impact your daily life. 

A personal injury lawyer may work with medical, economic, and vocational experts to calculate future losses. Factors like your age may even come into play to estimate future lost earnings and medical bills. For example, the average lifetime cost of paraplegia is $2.3 million for a 25-year-old at the start of their adult life. For a 50-year-old suffering the same injury, the lifetime cost is $1.5 million. 

Your Settlement Offer Is Limited By Available Insurance Coverage

Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, you must first turn to your own auto insurance policy to cover your damages. Under Florida law, minimum car insurance coverage includes at least $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL) and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. You will not receive a car accident insurance claim settlement that exceeds your policy limits. 

Florida car insurance minimum requirements are very low. PIP coverage pays 80% of your medical bills and up to 60% of lost wages up to your policy limit. 

Optional coverage can ensure you are more fully compensated after a crash with the following:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage – Pays for injuries to others if you cause an accident. 
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage – Pays for your damages if the at-fault driver has no or too little bodily injury liability coverage. It pays for damages beyond PIP coverage and also allows you to recover pain and suffering damages. 
  • Medical Payments (Med Pay) coverage – This supplements PIP to pay remaining medical expenses. 
  • Collision coverage – Pays for damage to your vehicle if you are involved in a crash. 

If you suffered serious or permanent injury, you may be entitled to step outside the no-fault system and sue the at-fault driver. This allows you to recover compensation beyond your PIP coverage. 

The at-fault party’s insurance coverage still limits the average auto accident settlement, although carrying UM/UIM coverage can mitigate this. You may pursue the negligent driver’s personal assets, but uninsured/underinsured motorists usually do not have sufficient assets to pursue. 

Shared Fault Affects Car Accident Settlement Payouts

If you were at fault for your accident, you will be limited to coverage through your own auto insurance policy. If the other party shares fault, and you meet Florida’s serious injury threshold, you can pursue them for their share of your damages. 

Florida has a new modified comparative negligence rule that may affect the money you can recover. Under the new system, you can only recover damages from the other party if you are 50% or less at fault for your accident. In this case, your recovery is reduced according to your share of fault. If you were 51% or more to blame, you would be barred from recovering any damages. 

For example, if you sustained $50,000 in damages but were found 40% at fault, your recovery would be reduced by 40% to $30,000.

How the Strength of Your Case Affects Your Settlement

What settlement amount for car accident injuries is fair? No matter the total of your damages, it may depend on the strength of your evidence. If you suffered serious injuries and qualify to pursue the other driver for your damages, you have the burden of proving they caused the crash. 

Most car accident cases are based on negligence or carelessness. 

You must present evidence that establishes the following: 

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care, 
  • Their behavior breached this duty of care, 
  • The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries, and
  • You sustained damages as a result. 

Did the other driver violate a safety statute designed to prevent the harm you suffered? Your case may be easier to prove thanks to a concept called negligence per se. This presumes someone breached their duty of care by violating a law like speeding or driving under the influence. Proving causation can be challenging, depending on the circumstances. 

An Orlando Car Accident Lawyer Can Help With the Settlement Process

A car accident lawyer will gather evidence and work with experts to strengthen your case. Your lawyer will also fight back against unfair attempts to blame you for your accident. 

It may help to understand how the above factors affect what you may recover. A personal injury lawyer can also help you understand how much your case may be worth only after assessing the unique circumstances of your case. 

Contact a Car Accident lawyer at Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law Today

For more information, please contact Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law to schedule a free consultation. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Orlando, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Cocoa, and Titusville.

Orlando, FL Office
964 Lake Baldwin Ln Ste. 200, Orlando, FL 32814, United States

Palm Bay, FL Office
4620 Lipscomb Street N.E Suite #3K, Palm Bay, FL 32905, United States

Melbourne, FL Office
1600 W Eau Gallie Blvd #205j, Melbourne, FL 32935, United States

Cocoa, FL Office
717 S Cocoa Blvd STE 203, Cocoa, FL 32922, United States

Titusville, FL Office
4527 S Hopkins Ave Suite B, Titusville, FL 32780, United States