How Much Is My Auto Accident Case Worth?

It’s very challenging to tell a client what his or her case is worth at the beginning because so many things can change. What do I mean by that? Well, let us say your neck hurts. If the condition gets worse and you wind up having neck surgery, and then you suffer from complications of that surgery and can no longer work as a result, we would be dealing with a very different case then, if you made a full and complete recovery.  It is very hard to predict what a case is worth; it depends on the specific injuries, how your life has been affected by those injuries, which insurance company is involved, and the liability situation. Was this a rear-end accident, or is there a dispute as to who is at fault in the crash?

Florida law uses comparative negligence to determine fault. This means that the percentage of fault that belongs to you, determines the amount that you can receive in damages. The Court will subtract your percentage of fault from the money awarded for your injuries. A gross range of value may be estimated after all of the medical bills and records have been read. Then we consider what the doctor says about past and future medical care. We then evaluate your future wage loss and loss of  earning capacity to determine a gross estimate of value based upon past experience of claims settlements and jury verdicts in your geographical area.

How Does The Insurance Company Decide What I Am Entitled To?

The insurance companies use statistics and very complex formulas to determine the value of a case based on the injuries, the age of the person, the venue where the collision occurred, and previous jury verdicts. The insurance company then tries to settle your case for a lot less. They know that there is a cost to litigation, which can be expensive. They know that a lawyer may have to expend costs more than the claim is worth itself, and therefore offer less than what the claim maybe worth.

It gets a little bit more complicated in Florida because we have the no-fault law, which says that before you can get money for pain and suffering, must have a permanent injury, significant scarring or loss of bodily function. Basically what that means is that if you go to court and the jury finds that you were injured but your injury completely healed and you made a full recovery, the jury will not give you anything for pain and suffering. That lowers the amount of money that the insurance company will offer you for intangible damages (damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish etc.).

Why Does The Other Party’s Insurance Need To See My Unrelated Medical Records?

The reason they need to see all of your medical records is that they want to verify the truth about your injuries. They want to determine whether you have preexisting conditions affecting or contributing to the injury, which you claim to be solely the result of the accident. By law, they are entitled to get those records. There are some exceptions whereby you can cite the right of privacy, but it is very challenging; the rule is that if it may lead to relevant evidence, the judge is going to allow it as such. Before a lawsuit, insurance companies will usually request that you provide them with your primary care doctor’s records or records from any doctor that you saw before the accident.

For more information on Worth Of An Auto Accident Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (305) 903-8892 today.

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