Get the Car Accident Settlement You Deserve
Posted in Car Accidents on October 15, 2014
Following an accident, figuring out the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled under state law, your policy terms, the other driver’s policy, and from other sources can be frustrating. Many make mistakes when pursuing a car accident claim.
For information about the types of compensation available in a car accident settlement, refer to the following.
Florida is a No Fault Auto Insurance State
The first thing that’s important to know following an accident is from whose insurance you can recover damages.
Florida is a no-fault state in which a person’s own car insurance company (through personal injury protection, or PIP) is responsible for paying his or her medical bills after an accident, regardless of who was to blame for the accident. But Florida still requires that drivers carry property damage liability insurance to cover property damage they cause others.
So if another person caused your accident, you would file a PIP claim with your insurer for your medical bills and a property damage liability claim with the other insurer for property damage costs. You may also be able to file a bodily injury liability claim with the other driver’s insurer for injury-related damages not covered by no-fault PIP coverage, like pain and suffering.
If you were to blame, you may only file a claim with your own insurer for PIP benefits, collision coverage benefits, and/or medical payments coverage depending on your policy.
Types of Compensation in Car Accident Settlements
In Florida, every driver is required to carry a minimum car insurance policy that includes $10,000 in PIP benefits and $10,000 in property damage liability. PIP covers 80 percent of reasonable medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages. In order to qualify for PIP, you must seek initial treatment within 14 days of the accident. Further, you are entitled to $2,500 in coverage unless you suffer serious injuries, in which case you can recover up to the full $10,000 in coverage.
If you’re pursuing a property damage liability claim against the at-fault party, you can seek full damages to repair your vehicle. If you are pursuing a bodily injury liability claim, you may be able to recover any remaining medical bills or lost wages damages not covered by PIP, as well as pain and suffering.
Florida Calculator for Determining Car Accident Settlement Value
Calculating a fair car accident settlement can be difficult and confusing with so many different types of coverage available and the various rules and stipulations. You should add up any medical treatment costs and lost wages, and collect any vehicle repair receipts and bills. This can give you a basis of the damages coverable by your PIP coverage and the other driver’s property damage liability coverage.
If you were to blame for the accident, you may be limited to 80 percent of medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages available under your PIP coverage, unless you have other coverage. Collision coverage covers property damage to your vehicle regardless of fault, and medical payments coverage can help you pay the left-over of your medical bills after PIP.
If pursuing a bodily injury claim or civil lawsuit for a car accident, you may be able to recover non-economic damages – such as damages for pain and suffering – in addition to economic damages. Pain and suffering damages are much harder to calculate than economic damages, and are determined by weighing factors such as lifestyle, severity of injury, age, required medical treatment, and more.
If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important that you recover a fair car accident settlement. Having an attorney can help you achieve this goal. To start filing your claim today, call Chalik & Chalik Law Offices at 855-529-0269. You can also fill out our online contact form to set up a case evaluation.