When you sustain injuries in a car accident, you might have the right to pursue a personal injury claim for damages.
Understandably, prospective clients want to know what their case is worth. However, average personal injury settlement amounts vary.
Every claim is unique and could resolve for significantly different dollar amounts.
Rather than looking for information on the average car accident settlement in Florida, contact an experienced Tallahassee car accident lawyer at Nonni Homola.
Our legal team has decades of experience resolving personal injury cases in Florida. We understand how to accurately identify a potential settlement range and help you fight for maximum compensation after a car accident.
Factors That Impact Average Florida Car Accident Settlements
Multiple factors determine what your car accident case might resolve for in Florida.
Some of these factors include injury severity, damages, liability, and the amount of available insurance coverage.
Severity of Injuries
The severity of your injuries sets the foundation of your potential case value. The more severe your injuries are, the more your car accident claim could be worth.
Consider an accident where the victim suffered soft tissue injuries, which were resolved with several months of physical therapy. Compare that with someone who sustained a spinal cord injury that left them paralyzed from the waist down.
Total Amount of Damages
Your total damages also impact car accident settlements in Florida.
Damages are your losses, such as medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. Someone with more severe injuries likely has a higher amount of damages.
Pain and suffering can be a significant portion of your damages. The amount you should be asking for is proportional to the severity of your injuries.
Someone with permanent injuries will have more pain and suffering than someone with less severe injuries.
Under Florida’s negligence law, victims have the right to collect compensation in a personal injury case, even when they share some fault.
However, the law says your percentage of fault will reduce your payment. Consider two rear-end accidents with similar injuries and damages.
If the victim in one accident was partly at fault, whereas the victim in the other accident was not, the settlements will differ despite similar injuries and damages.
That is why sharing the average settlement for a rear-end collision in Florida is impossible.
Available Insurance Coverage
The available insurance coverage also influences your potential settlement value. If there is only $25,000 in applicable insurance, it won’t matter if your case is worth $300,000.
You would need to sue the defendants directly in hopes of obtaining compensation beyond their insurance limits..
Unfortunately, many defendants are “judgment proof,” which means there’s likely no chance of receiving any money from them even if you receive a court award.
Nevertheless, your attorney can help you explore other potential avenues of recovery, such as another at-fault party or your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
Calculating Car Accident Settlements in Florida
Once you understand what factors can impact your settlement, it’s time to learn how insurance adjusters and some attorneys reach a potential value for your injuries.
So many variables affect your case, from injury severity to how the insurance adjuster calculates your non-economic damages.
That’s why you should not put any faith in articles claiming to reveal the average car accident settlement in Florida.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
Start by calculating your economic damages. These losses include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc.
These damages are relatively straightforward to calculate because you can attribute them to specific expenses and lost earnings.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and can be more challenging to quantify. They include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and more.
That is where the multiplier and per diem methods come into use. To show you how different case results can be, let’s look at the two most common methods for calculating car accident settlements: per diem and multiplier.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method involves assigning a daily value to your pain and suffering and multiplying that value by the days you experience those effects.
A common way to arrive at a per diem rate is to consider your salary.
For example, you made $100 a day before the car accident and underwent 100 days of treatment and pain before your injuries resolved.
You can calculate non-economic damages: your pain and suffering for 100 days multiplied by $100 per day. That equates to $10,000 in non-economic damages.
Multiple factors can impact the per diem value, such as the severity of your injuries, the length of your recovery period, and the impact on your daily life.
The multiplier method involves applying a multiplier to your economic damages to determine your non-economic damages. The multiplier is typically between 1.5 and 5. Higher multipliers are used for more severe injuries.
For example, if your economic damages total $50,000 and the multiplier is 3, your non-economic damages would be calculated as $50,000 x 3, resulting in non-economic damages of $150,000.
Someone with permanent damage might have $300,000 in economic damages with a multiplier of 5. $300,000 x 5 would be $1,500,000 in non-economic damages.
Circling back to the initial example in the per diem method, let’s assume that the victim had $7,000 in damages.
Using a multiplier of 2 rather than the per diem method, this individual would have $14,000 in general damages.
Given that they underwent treatment and physical therapy for 100 days, you might multiply by 3, resulting in $21,000 in general damages. Both of these amounts are higher than the per diem number of $10,000.
Which Is the Preferred Method of Calculating Non-Economic Damages?
Insurance companies often prefer the per diem method because the total amount is typically much less.
Understandably, victims feel short-changed as the pain and suffering shouldn’t tie your salary to the level of pain you endured.
After all, it doesn’t make much sense to say two victims with the same injury receive significantly different amounts because one victim earns $100 a day while the other earns $500 a day.
Attorneys often prefer the multiplier method, but even it has limitations. These calculations don’t consider all a claim’s subjective elements.
The multiplier method can be a good starting point, but it shouldn’t be the definitive source for determining a person’s car accident settlement.
After calculating the total amount for non-economic damages, you must remember factors such as liability and available insurance coverage can impact your final settlement amount.
Consider a case with $300,000 in economic damages and $1,500,000 in general damages. If the victim was 20% at fault, that’s a reduction of $360,000 for a potential settlement of $1,440,000.
But what if there’s only $100,000 in available insurance coverage? That means the victim might need to agree to resolve the case with the one defendant and look for other available sources of compensation.
Perhaps the victim has an applicable underinsured motorist policy, or other defendants also share liability.
Calculating the total value of a car accident settlement requires experience and strong negotiating skills. That’s why you need a Florida car accident lawyer representing you.
Otherwise, you risk missing out on the valuable compensation you deserve.
Contact a Tallahassee Auto Accident Lawyer
Did you sustain severe injuries in a Florida car accident? How much can you get from a car accident?
If so, don’t waste time researching average Florida auto accident settlements.
Speak with a skilled lawyer in Florida who can tell you what your case is worth. The information you find online will likely differ significantly from your actual case value. Don’t jeopardize your potential settlement by relying on irrelevant numbers.
Our decades of experience can help you estimate an accurate settlement value of your accident claim.