Florida law requires personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for all vehicle owners...
The traumatic impact of a car accident on your life can be devastating to your health and finances. This is especially true in areas like Miami, Florida, which experience the most auto crashes in the state every year due to poor road conditions and reckless driving habits. If you are unfortunate enough to end up in a collision, you will have many legal concerns, the most important of which would be how much your case is worth.
The best approach to answering this question is to speak with an experienced legal firm like Elstein Legal in Miami. With our extensive knowledge of Florida injury compensation law, you can get all of your questions answered and understand what factors of your accident might have an impact on your claim.
Read on to learn how insurance companies and lawyers calculate the value of a claim and the methods they use.
How Personal Injury Compensation Gets Tabulated
After a Florida car accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries and property damage. This undertaking requires careful calculation of repair costs, medical care expenses, lost wages from inability to work, and more.
When assessing property damage claims, several factors will affect how much of an award you might receive, including:
● Age of vehicle
● Condition at the time of the accident
If working with a reputable Miami car accident attorney, you will not rely on general estimates. The actual parts of your vehicle needing replacement, and the cost of labor to do so, will be determined as accurately as possible.
Assessing compensation for personal injuries because of your accident is more difficult because putting a price tag on a lost limb, death, or loss of quality of life takes a significant demonstration of evidence. Additionally, how you heal from your accident-related injuries may be different than other parties involved in the crash.
Typically, cases where an injury catastrophically impacts a person’s livelihood, like an athlete or construction worker, may require extensive emotional, financial, and physical pain consideration when evaluating the worth of a claim.
Fortunately, highly skilled personal injury lawyers understand this aspect of a car accident injury case, and they can assist you in gathering the needed evidence to formulate the value of your Miami car accident claim.
Why You Cannot Trust Insurance Adjusters to Determine the Value of Your Claim
Following an accident, the at-fault party should pay you for the losses you suffer due to their negligence, including:
● Medical bills and related expenses
● Lost wages from work and other lost income
● Pain and physical suffering
● Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
● Emotional suffering
If your accident doesn’t involve pain and suffering, your attorney may only pursue the cost of vehicle repairs and medical expenses, but typically, this is not the case. Even in accidents where you may not suffer any physical injuries, a week later, you may realize the experience has traumatized you and made you nervous behind the wheel to the point you don’t want to drive anymore. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common side effect for many accident victims, regardless if they suffered severe injuries or not.
Insurance companies have their representatives, also known as adjusters, calculate the value of your overall claim using a variety of variables and multipliers. While these individuals may appear concerned about your well-being and getting you back to normal, this is not ever the case. They are there to minimize the payout you will receive. Insurance companies count on their customers to never file a claim so that their profits remain high. Every time an accident claim gets filed, they lose money on their bottom line, so their adjusters need to find any evidence that will allow them to minimize your pain or deny your claim altogether.
This makes it crucial for accident victims to work with a Miami car accident attorney who has a proven track record of success against the manipulative methods used by insurers to rob customers of their due compensation.
How Does the Multiplier Method Affect the Value of My Car Accident Claim?
Typically, the use of the multiplier method will help your lawyer and the insurer determine the compensation you are due for pain and suffering damages. The basic premise of this approach to damage claim valuation is that severe car accidents that have involved injuries with significant losses require a multiplier applied to the total sum of these damages. By doing so, experts believe the total loss suffered is quantifiable.
An example is if you had an accident with $10,000 in medical cost, which led to missed wages of $2,300. Your lawyer would take the total sum of these losses, and multiply this amount by a number between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of your case. Normally, the higher the multiplier, the higher the compensation you should recover to fairly account for your loss.
In Florida, your car accident attorney can demand a higher multiplier if the negligence by the at-fault party was particularly egregious or had aggravating circumstances, like DUI. However, if your behavior contributed to your injuries, this may cause your insurance company to push for a lower multiplier.
Impact of Comparative Fault Laws in Florida on Your Car Accident Claim Value
Another significant impact on the value of your Miami car accident claim is the comparative fault laws that Florida uses in personal injury cases. As a pure comparative fault state, you could potentially see a reduction of your compensation valuation and award if the insurer can prove you shared any fault in the accident. Fortunately, Florida uses a pure model of this method, which means there is not a threshold where your case could get dismissed. Whether you are 99% liable or only 12% liable, you will receive compensation for the percentage you are not.
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters manipulate this law to attempt to deflect blame, even when accident victims hold no liability. They manage to do this by tricking claimants into admitting fault or misconstruing statements that are made regarding the accident. This is why working with an aggressive Miami personal injury lawyer familiar with these abusive tactics is critical before ever giving any statement to the insurer or their representatives.
Limiting Your Comparative Negligence
No matter the type of car accident you have in Miami, or the severity of injuries you suffer as a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, or driver, you should avoid speaking with any adjusters until you consult with an attorney first. Legal counsel can advise you on any potential liability you may have and what you should or should not say when discussing your case so that your recovery is not jeopardized. Miami car accident lawyers understand the hazards of local traffic in that area and know who to contact for accident reports, traffic camera footage, and can help you track down potential eyewitnesses and industry experts who can recreate the crash in testimony.
It is critical to your claim that you limit any potential fault from being deflected onto you. Your attorney will also ensure that the responsible parties are identified, their actions that contributed to the accident be made known to the court, and establish how their actions caused you harm and the impact of that harm. By preventing Florida’s pure comparative negligence statute from reducing your compensation, your personal injury award will be fair and just.
Are Car Accident Calculators Websites Accurate?
No amount of calculation is precise when trying to determine the value of a car accident claim. When trying to incorporate non-economic damages like pain and suffering with quantifiable losses like property damages or lost wages, an exact compensation amount is hard to predict. The multiplier method is arbitrary since the insurer will favor a lower number simply because they want to save money, and your attorney will use a higher number because your well-being is at stake. Using an online estimator is even more inaccurate because it doesn’t take into account the long-term impact of the car accident on your life.
Trust a Miami Car Accident Lawyer to Assess the Value of Your Claim
At Elstein Legal, we represent car accident victims throughout the state of Florida. Attorney Brian L. Elstein brings insurance industry knowledge to his practice by using his previous experience as an attorney for large insurance companies to ensure his clients receive fair and just personal injury compensation.
Our firm works closely with our clients as individuals. You deserve compassion, a genuine understanding of the trauma you have experienced, and representation that can handle the complex nature of injury claims and manipulative insurance companies. Choosing Elstein Legal for your personal injury representation after suffering a devastating car accident means you get an attorney who has the knowledge and proven track record to maximize your compensation award.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how our firm can help you recover.