Your Car Accident Settlement: What You Need To Know

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Being involved in a car accident is an unfortunate reality that many of us have to deal with at some point in our lives. While many of us are able to walk away unscathed from these accidents, others of us are not quite as lucky. Nobody wants to deal with the injuries and the significant financial burdens following this type of trauma. If you are seeking a better car accident settlement in Florida, there are some important things our legal team wants you to know.

Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the complexities involved in pursuing a significant car accident settlement in the Sunshine State.

Man takes picture for car insurance claim after accident in Pinellas, FL

Read on to learn more about the specific factors that can affect the amount you can receive after a car accident and how a qualified injury lawyer can help you achieve a significantly better outcome.

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post

We laid out a guide on car accident settlement; however, here are the key bullet points if you are in a rush:

  • Working with a personal injury attorney is beneficial in any personal injury lawsuit.
  • An experienced lawyer can help you navigate decisions, build a strong case to achieve rightful settlement, and provide access to resources regarding the impacts of an accident.
  • The amount of a car accident settlement is dependent on its unique circumstances (negligence, damages, impact of drugs/alcohol, insurance coverage, severity of injuries, etc.).
  • A personal injury attorney will go through fundamental steps to represent you in your settlement: Notification Letter; Reservation of Rights; Demand Letter; Adjuster’s Response; Negotiation Process; Final Negotiations; Acceptance & Signing.
  • Once the settlement agreement has been signed, it should take a couple weeks to receive the financial compensation.
  • Reach out to Herman & Wells for free consultation and representation in Florida if you’ve suffered injuries due to a car accident.

Why You Should Work With a Personal Injury Attorney 

In most scenarios, the best thing to do after a car accident is to settle out of court. However, every personal injury lawsuit has a unique set of circumstances surrounding the accident, and settling out of court is not always the best choice or even possible. If you’ve already been injured in an auto accident, you don’t want to leave your fate up in the air. What you need is a qualified and aggressive attorney who is ready to go the extra mile for you in your personal injury lawsuit.

While almost 90% of personal injury cases don’t go to trial, it’s still in your favor to hire an experienced attorney to represent you in your personal injury lawsuit. In the chance that your case is the 1 out of 10 that makes it to the courtroom, having a qualified lawyer with previous trial experience will prove to be beneficial for your case and settlement outcome. Having a personal injury lawyer also allows you access to an individual that can help you navigate the many difficult decisions that you will come across as you pursue your claim.

Ultimately, finding a qualified attorney to work with should be one of your top priorities when filing a personal injury lawsuit following a car accident. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the process of navigating the monetary impact of your accident, the loss of wages and inability to work, the psychological impact of the accident, the physical impact of the accident, as well as the impact the accident has had on your family and loved ones. The goal of your personal injury attorney is to help you use these elements to make a strong case against the defendant, which will, in turn, help you achieve your rightful settlement.

$700,000 settlement for a rear end car accident at a red light

What is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Florida?

While it would be great to know how much compensation you can expect to receive in your car accident settlement, there is really no cut and dried answer. Every accident and settlement is based on a unique set of circumstances, making it nearly impossible to come up with an average settlement amount for Florida car accidents. However, there are some key factors that will be taken into consideration when it comes to your specific settlement.

  • Any contributing negligence of the defendant or of the injured party.
  • The extent of impact and damages.
  • The involvement of drugs or alcohol in the accident.
  • Amount of available bodily injury insurance coverage of the at-fault driver.
  • The severity of the injuries you sustained in the accident.
  • The extent of your pre-existing injuries.
  • Your ability to prove that the accident caused your injuries.
  • The full extent of the damages you received regarding your pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.

Settlement amounts are highly contextual, and the settlement amount you receive will significantly be based on the aforementioned factors.

Fundamental Steps of a Car Accident Settlement 

Once you find a qualified personal injury attorney to work with, there are some basic steps that they will need to go through to represent you in your car accident settlement.

Notification Letter 

The first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is for your attorney to send the other party’s insurance company a letter. This letter lets the insurer know that you were injured in the accident and are now being represented by an attorney. It also starts the beginning dialogue between your attorney and the defendant’s insurance company.

Reservation of Rights 

After the insurance company receives your notification letter, they will most likely respond with a reservation of rights letter. In this letter, the insurance company will acknowledge your claim, but also receive the right to investigate it.

Demand Letter 

After initial correspondence has transpired between your attorney and the defendant’s insurance company, the next course of action is to send the insurance company a demand letter. In this letter, you and your attorney will provide a thorough investigation of your case. The letter will detail not only the injuries you sustained in the accident, but also the damages to your property, medical expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering, and any other losses incurred. In this letter, your attorney will also set the grounds for your desired compensation.

Adjuster’s Response 

After the insurance company receives your demand letter, you will receive the insurance adjuster’s response. No matter what your settlement demands entail, the insurance adjuster will, without a doubt, say it is too high. The adjuster’s job is to make your claim sound meritless. However, don’t let the adjuster fool you — you are the one with the real leverage in this situation. If the insurance company does not pay you, you and your attorney can proceed with legal filings against their driver. This means a jury would become involved with deciding what your claim is worth. Nobody wants to get caught up in an unnecessary and expensive court trial, least of all the insurance companies.

Negotiation Process 

After your attorney receives the adjuster’s initial response, there will be a lot of back and forth between the two parties. An experienced personal injury attorney will be qualified to properly handle this tough negotiation process and use the pressure of litigation to obtain a better offer for your settlement. This process can go on for a while. However, if you’re working with an experienced attorney, the achieved settlement will most likely lean in your favor.

Final Negotiations 

Once negotiations have gone back and forth, the insurance company will present its final or top offer. After this offer is given, you will have to confer with your attorney as to whether or not you are going to accept this offer or proceed and take your case to trial.

Acceptance and Signing 

If you decide you want to accept the settlement offer, you will be required to sign a release or settlement agreement. Signing this release agreement just means that you will accept the insurance company’s money in exchange for not taking any additional legal action against the insured driver. Your attorney will be able to walk you through this process and help you determine if settlement outside of court is the right decision for your situation.

Client review from past personal injury case in Florida

How Long Will It Take Before You Receive Compensation?

After everything you’ve been through, from injury to recovery to dealing with hardships caused by the accident, we understand you just want to be done with your settlement process and move on from the situation. The good news is that once you’ve signed the settlement agreement, it should only take a couple of weeks for your compensation check to arrive. Once you’ve reached your agreement, you have a binding contract with the insurance company, and they must meet their end of the deal in a specified amount of time. Therefore, you should not have to wait long before receiving your financial compensation.

Let an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Negotiate Your Settlement

At Herman & Wells, we are dedicated to helping car accident victims with their personal injuries settlements. If you’ve suffered injuries due to a car accident in Florida, you need to contact us today. We have a combined 30 years of legal experience and are ready to help you successfully navigate your personal injury settlement. We offer a free consultation to all potential clients. Yes, our law firm never charges anyone if they come in for a case evaluation.

During your free consultation, you will discover how we can help you with your case and learn more about how the settlement process works. We have offices in both Pinellas and Sarasota and would love to speak with you about your case. If you are interested in hiring great legal representation in Florida, contact our law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation. We look forward to representing you and helping you to reach your desired outcome. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about the services we have to offer.