At our car accident law firm, the most asked question by our clients is: What is my case worth?
And the simple answer is……It depends.
A Florida car accident settlement depends on many factors. The key factors are:
- The percentage of fault of the drivers
- The severity of the impact and the amount of property damage
- The type injury(ies) suffered
- The amount of medical bills
- The amount of lost wages
As our Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyers will tell you, the difficulty in estimating the value of your car accident settlement is the answer to these factors is usually different in every car accident claim.
For instance, when considering the amount of property damage that occurs in a car accident, a minor impact to a new Mercedes Benz may result in a more expensive repair to the car than a major impact to an older model car. Hondas and Toyotas, and many other brands are far less expensive to repair than luxury cars. So, in considering the amount of property damage as it relates to the value of your car accident settlement, the value of the property damage does not tell the whole story. The best way to document the severity of the impact is to take photographs of the damage to your car. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
How Your Injury Affects Your Total Compensation in a Lawsuit
The type of injury also plays a significant role in determining the amount of a Florida car accident settlement. Injuries that require surgery usually have a higher settlement value than injuries that do not require surgery. However, certain types of injuries can affect people differently, so you must evaluate injuries on how they affect the client in their normal daily activities.
For instance, a lower back injury can have devastating consequences for a person that works in manual labor. Those types of jobs often require a person to lift and pull heavy tools and machinery on a daily basis. If a person working manual labor injuries his or her back, they may not be able to return to their job and may not have the skills or training to transition to a lighter duty job. But a person that works at a lighter duty job who performs most of their work behind a desk, may have better odds of returning to their employment even with a serious back injury.
The age of a car accident victim also plays a role in determining a car accident settlement amount. Young people usually bounce back from serious injuries much quicker than older people. So an older person that suffers a broken arm in a car accident and has a slow, partial recovery may be able to recover more in a car accident settlement than a young person that responds quickly to the medical treatment and is back at work or school quickly.
If You Needed Surgery After a Car Accident, It’s Likely You Can Recover a Larger Amount of Compensation
Generally, car accident settlement values are higher for persons that require surgery following a car accident. Some of the more common surgeries that occur after a Florida car accident are:
- Spine surgery to the neck and back
- Ankle and foot surgery
- Wrist and elbow surgery, and
- Shoulder surgery
These joints in the body undergo a tremendous amount of stress when a car stops suddenly.
To best determine the value of your Florida car accident settlement, contact the attorneys at Maus Law Firm for a free, no obligation consultation.