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How to Maximize Compensation in a Car Accident Claim

Personal injury attorneys can make sure you’re treated fairly in the aftermath of a car accident.

Summary

  • To maximize compensation in a car accident claim, take steps like gathering evidence, documenting expenses, and not admitting fault.
  • In Florida, car accidents are handled under a no-fault system, where your own insurance covers most initial medical expenses.
  • You can sue the at-fault driver for serious injuries exceeding PIP coverage limits or if they have no insurance.
  • Hiring a car accident lawyer can help negotiate with insurance companies and fight for fair compensation.

Car accidents can have a tremendous impact on the physical and emotional health of victims and leave them in serious financial danger. If you’ve been injured or suffered damages in a car accident, you likely have questions about how to maximize compensation in a car accident claim. Taking the right first steps can make a world of difference in making that happen.

Don’t try to handle your personal injury claim alone and risk walking away disappointed. Instead, reach out to our team at WHG for a free consultation with a respected auto accident attorney. We have a solid track record of securing outstanding settlements for our injured clients. You can contact us online or call us at (800) 320-HELP to schedule a free case evaluation.

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Florida Car Accidents

With millions of drivers on American roads, car accidents are bound to happen. These unfortunately common events can range from minor fender-benders to deadly high-speed pileups. Even the less serious types of car accidents can cause pain and run up an expensive bill.

Your Rights in Florida

Florida is a no-fault state. Regardless of who caused an accident, each driver is covered by their own insurance policy first.

In Florida, all drivers must carry certain types of auto insurance:

  • $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers 80% of all necessary medical expenses
  • $10,000 of Property Damage Liability (PDL), which pays for property damage

If you receive serious injuries that aren’t covered by this insurance, you can then file an accident injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Comparative negligence plays a significant role in Florida car accident claims. This means that the court can deduct the amount of compensation you receive based on your percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.

The ways that no-fault and comparative negligence rules interact can be complex. Consult with an experienced car accident attorney for information about your unique case.

Compensation for Car Accident Victims

Car accidents can take an enormous toll on victims. You may be left with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and unforeseen expenses. These injuries may impact your quality of life in a significant way.

Victims of car accidents may be entitled to compensation for their damages, including:

  • Medical expenses: This includes all past, present, and future medical bills associated with your auto accident injuries, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and therapy.
  • Lost wages: You can recover compensation for wages lost due to time missed from work because of your injuries. This can include lost income from vacation time, sick leave, or missed promotions due to your injuries.
  • Disability: If your injuries leave you permanently disabled and unable to work, you can recover compensation for lost future earning capacity.
  • Property damage: You can recover compensation to offset repairing or replacing your car or the possessions that were in your vehicle.
  • Pain and suffering: This intangible damage compensates you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
  • And more: Depending on the specific circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to additional damages, such as loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, or inconvenience.

These car accident damages can be difficult to calculate, and insurance companies will rarely give you a fair estimate without pushback. Work with a car accident lawyer for a breakdown of your damages and what a fair settlement might look like.

First Steps to Take After a Car Accident

The actions you take immediately after a car accident are crucial. Your first steps after a car accident can impact your health and safety, as well as your ability to recover compensation. By following these guidelines, you can help set your case up for success.

  • Prioritize safety: Ensure everyone involved in the accident is safe and, if possible, move your vehicle to the shoulder or a nearby parking lot. Call 911 immediately.
  • Gather evidence: While waiting for help to arrive, take video and pictures of the accident scene from multiple angles. Make sure you capture any damage to your vehicle, any visible injuries, and the broader accident scene. Ask for contact information from any nearby witnesses.
  • Exchange information: Get the names, contact information, and insurance details of all drivers involved in the accident.
  • File a police report: Reporting the accident, even minor ones, creates an official record of the event. The police report will document details about the accident and the parties involved.
  • Seek medical attention: See a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel immediate pain. Some injuries may not present symptoms right away, but worse with time. Additionally, your medical records can establish a causal link between your injuries and the car accident.

Building a Strong Case to Maximize Compensation in a Car Accident Claim

While you are recovering from your car accident injuries, there are still ways for you to pre-emptively protect your claim. Remember that in most cases, you and the insurance company are working at cross purposes. As the victim of negligence, you need to maximize your compensation in a car accident claim.

However, the insurance company wants to minimize the hit to their profits. Likely, they will try to justify paying you the lowest amount possible. As you start the process of filing your car accident claim, here are some key steps to keep in mind:

  • Document expenses: Keep dated and detailed records of all accident-related expenses. This includes medical bills, receipts for car repairs, lost wage documentation, and any other out-of-pocket costs. These will help support your claim for fair compensation.
  • Maintain detailed personal records: Document your pain levels, treatment plans, and any limitations your injuries cause in a daily journal. This will help establish the severity of your injuries and their impact on your daily life.
  • Don’t give statements: Don’t admit fault at the accident scene. Definitely don’t discuss the car accident details with the other driver’s insurance company beyond providing basic information.

These steps should help you recover compensation after an accident, especially with the help of an auto accident attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can be invaluable in maximizing your compensation.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve

Hiring a personal injury lawyer with experience handling car accident cases can significantly increase your chances of securing a fair settlement. Car accident lawyers can assist you with several critical tasks, including the following.

  • Gathering evidence: Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene, review police reports, and collect witness statements. They may also consult with accident reconstruction experts to demonstrate how the accident occurred and who was at fault.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies are notorious for trying to minimize payouts. Your lawyer will negotiate aggressively with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement that reflects the full extent of your damages.
  • Defending you in court: For severe injuries exceeding PIP coverage limits, your lawyer can help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. They can also represent you in court if necessary.

Engaging a personal injury lawyer early in the process is a wise choice. They are experienced in spotting traps that can compromise your ability to maximize compensation in a car accident claim.

Get in Touch With WHG About Your Car Accident Lawsuit Today

The financial and emotional burden of your damages doesn’t have to define your future. The reputable personal injury attorneys of Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia can offer you the robust representation you deserve.

There’s no time to waste if you were injured by a careless driver. Our team of seasoned auto accident lawyers at WHG will dedicate ourselves to your case so we can maximize compensation in a car accident claim. To schedule a free consultation, give us a call at (800) 320-4357 or contact us online.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to file a Florida car accident claim?

The statute of limitations for filing a Florida car accident claim starts running the day you were injured in the collision. After that, you have two years to bring a claim, or you may lose your chance at recovering compensation.

What happens if the driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance?

If you were injured in an uninsured driver accident, you can still recover compensation in other ways. For instance, in Florida, your personal injury protection coverage should compensate you in most auto accidents.

If you have damage not covered by your insurance, you can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover further compensation.

Can I recover punitive damages in a car accident claim?

It is unusual for a court to order a defendant to pay punitive damages, but it is not unheard of. Usually, the defendant has to have shown gross negligence and caused considerable harm for their behavior to merit this penalty. Your focus is best spent on maximizing your compensatory damages.

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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