Florida has an estimated 21 million residents and another 116 million tourists a year. A huge portion of them drive a motor vehicle to get to where they’re going. If you’re involved in a West Palm Beach car accident (or a collision anywhere in the Sunshine State), it’s worthwhile to know the worth of the average claim for auto insurance.
As long-time injury attorneys in Palm Beach County can explain, claims for damages in Florida crashes work a bit differently than those in many other states because of the fact this is a no-fault state. That means every motorist is required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, pursuant to F.S. 627.736.
PIP benefits impact the amount of the average claim for auto insurance because the initial amount – up to $10,000 – is paid by your own auto insurance company, regardless of who is at-fault in the crash. That includes up to 80 percent of your medical bills, 60 percent of your lost wages and death benefits, up to that $10,000 limit. However, that presumes your injuries are “emergent,” (as outlined in F.S. 395.002) meaning they require immediate medical services within a period of 14 days. Otherwise, the most compensation you can expect to receive in PIP benefits is $2,500 (a 75 percent drop in benefits). It is only if your injuries cross the “serious injury threshold,” as outlined in F.S. 627.737 that you can step outside of Florida’s no-fault system and pursue litigation against the at-fault party.
So the average claim for auto insurance in Florida is going to vary significantly depending on whether we’re talking about PIP benefits (maximum $2,500 or $10,000, depending on the circumstances) or you qualify to step outside the no-fault system and seek damages from the other driver. Florida doesn’t technically require motorists to carry bodily injury liability, but the financial responsibility law does mandate drivers at least be able to pay $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident for bodily injuries sustained.
Your West Palm Beach car accident lawyer will be able to give you a round estimate as to how much your claim for auto insurance is likely to be, based on the individual facts of your case. Auto insurance claims in Florida vary depending on numerous elements.
Factors in How Much Your Florida Auto Insurance Claim is Worth
There are a number of factors that will play into the amount you can collect as a result of your crash. Your Palm Beach car accident attorney can help ensure you receive a fair deal. Although most crash claims are settled out-of-court, many not even requiring litigation, be sure you choose a lawyer who is not afraid to take your claim before a judge and jury if need be.
Some elements that will be considered are:
- The severity of the crash in which you were involved.
- The dollar amount of damages sustained to the automobile (and whether it is considered “totaled”).
- The full value of your automobile.
- The value of any other property impacted by the crash.
- The exact type of physical injuries sustained by passengers and non-occupants (this is often a hotly-contested issue).
- The number of passengers who are injured.
- Who was at-fault in the crash (and to what degree), as Florida is a comparative fault state, per F.S. 768.81, meaning your damages can be proportionately diminished by your percentage of fault.
- The amount of time you are forced to take off work as a result of the crash.
- The impact of the crash long-term (medical expenses, career impacts, relationship impacts, etc.).
- The amount of insurance the at-fault driver.
- Whether you have uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage (helps make up the difference between your losses and the at-fault driver’s maximum bodily injury liability limit).
- Whether the insurer handles your claim in good faith (bad faith insurance action can result in treble damages, though typically only after extensive litigation).
Keep in mind that your Palm Beach car accident lawyer will be paid on a contingency fee basis, which means he or she will not be paid attorneys’ fees unless or until you are successful in winning a settlement or verdict. Seek a free consultation for a determination on the viable of your claim and an estimate on the value of your auto insurance claim.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Personal Injury Protection Benefits, F.S. 627.736
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Company to Pay $3.3M for Fatal Truck Crash That Killed Woman, Daughter, Niece, Aug. 10, 2018, West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorney Blog