Filing a lawsuit for a car accident can be a long and complex process. We understand that you may have medical bills or lost wages due to injuries sustained from your accident. As such, reaching and receiving a settlement is crucial to your well-being. There are various factors pertaining to how long a car accident settlement takes in Florida.
1. Filing a lawsuit in Florida due to Injuries Sustained from a Car Accident
If you were injured in a car accident, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the individual or group responsible for the accident. The accident may have been caused by negligence on the part of the other driver. Negligence Occurs when the other driver fails to provide the typical level of care while driving that the ordinary person would have under the same circumstances. When proving negligence in a car accident, you will need to show that the other driver owed a legal duty to drive with care, the driver breached that duty, you sustained an injury, and it was the other drivers’ error that caused your injury.
2. Compensation for Damages Sustained in Car Accident
If you have sustained injuries because of a car accident, you may be entitled to various compensation for damages. This could include the following
- Medical and hospital bills,
- Lost wages,
- Future lost earnings,
- Vehicle repair or replacement,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Future losses and expenses.
If there has been a wrongful death claim, family members may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in which the family members may be able to see compensation for the family’s loss.
3. Contacting Insurance Companies in Florida
While many states have an “At-Fault” Insurance system, Florida is a “No-Fault” State. Our team of experienced attorneys can help explain how Personal Injury Protection (PIP) No-Fault Benefits must be used. If your injuries are moderate or minor, you can receive compensation through your PIP insurance. If you have sustained a serious or catastrophic injury, you may pursue compensation from the negligent driver.
It is very important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to have the insurance company cover damages. When discussing the accident with the insurance company, do not provide additional details including admitting fault, recording a statement, or accepting a settlement offer.
An experienced law firm can help ensure your rights are protected when attempting to secure your claim.
4. Receiving Medical Care
We recommend that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. We can help you document your medical records and bills so that you can pursue damages at the appropriate timing.
5. Repairing Your Vehicle
You should get your vehicle repaired. You may need to use the shops that your insurance company works with. Your insurance company will determine whether your vehicle should be repaired or determine if the vehicle is totaled.
6. Insurance Investigation
The insurance company will investigate the accident by interviewing witnesses, reviewing surveillance cameras, studying phone records, obtaining police reports, and reviewing medical records. The length of this investigation depends on the specifics of your case. If you contact our office, we will also assist with conducting an investigation into the accident.
7. Calculating Damages and Sending a Demand Letter
As mentioned above, there are various forms of damages you may be entitled to in a car accident lawsuit. Our team of attorneys will calculate your damages beyond what you receive from PIP insurance. We will also evaluate non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. We will send a letter to the parties liable for the accident saying what damages you are entitled to due to the other party’s negligence. In this letter, we will also indicate the time period the negligent party has prior to us pursuing a lawsuit.
8. Lawsuit and Settlement Negotiations
We will help to file a case against the other party. Ideally, at this point, your insurance company will cover your medical bills and property damage. Florida’s no-fault insurance laws allow you to file a suit against the negligent party if you suffered a “serious injury.” The case may go through mediation or a trial. This will impact the timing of when you receive a settlement. A fair settlement amount may be reached during mediation without going to trial. Settlement negotiations typically occur after a period of “discovery” – which is just a legal term for a process where all people have the ability to review the facts and evidence in the case and acquire all information needed.
When Should You Contact an Attorney?
The sooner you start the process for a lawsuit, the faster you will be able to receive compensation. As you can see, there are many components to a car accident lawsuit. We can work with you to make the process as seamless as possible. Our team of attorneys can help with all the details of your claim to ensure you get the compensation you need.