When you are injured in a Florida personal injury accident, it’s understandable that you want to know how much your case is potentially worth. Many accident victims search online for the tools to figure out the highest value for their case. If you find a Florida personal injury settlement calculator online, don’t expect the results to reflect your case value accurately. Instead, please speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer who can review your case and tell you what it’s potentially worth. Attorney Wendy Doyle-Palumbo has years of experience in Florida personal injury law. She also spent 12 years working as a paralegal, so she is well-versed in personal injury law and what similar cases typically resolve for in Florida.
Why a Personal Injury Settlement Calculator Doesn’t Work
If you’ve run across a personal injury settlement calculator for Florida claims, you might be wondering why the value isn’t accurate. Don’t insurance companies rely on them when evaluating claims? The use of claims calculators by insurance companies is one of the very reasons we disagree with adjusters on settlement value, especially online options. A free personal injury settlement calculator cannot accurately calculate many of the subjective aspects of your claim.
Insurance companies also rely on claims calculators because they tend to undervalue claims. The claims adjuster for the defense will look good to their bosses if they can convince you that your case is worth less. Before filing a lawsuit, the at-fault party’s insurance company may deny your claim outright or extend an insulting offer that is significantly lower than your case is worth.
To better understand why a personal injury settlement calculator does not work, here’s a look at all the factors that make up your case value.
Factors That Impact Your Personal Injury Case Value in Florida
Your potential settlement consists of several different factors. Here are the most influential elements in a personal injury claim.
Injury Type and Severity
The first factor that affects your claim’s value is your injury type and severity. Accident victims with severe to catastrophic injuries will have a higher case value than someone with a sprain or strain injury that healed without any complications. Even two cases with similar injuries can have different values.
For example, consider two accident victims with a broken leg. If one of them happens to be a professional dancer, the time away from work, the extent of their rehabilitation, and even the permanent effects of their injury may be much more severe than for someone who works in an office. These are the nuances that a free personal injury settlement calculator cannot account for.
Liability plays a significant role in your potential settlement value. Florida is a no-fault state for auto accidents, but some exceptions allow you to pursue a claim against another party. For other personal injury accidents, general negligence law applies. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. You can still collect a portion of your damages, even if you are partially at fault for the accident.
Your percentage of fault will reduce your overall recovery in a Florida personal injury case. If a jury finds you 30% at fault, you could recover only 70% of your damages. If a jury finds you 80% at fault, you will receive 20%. The defendant’s insurance company will look to put as much blame on you as possible because it reduces their potential exposure and payout.
Negligence laws are one reason you could have two very similar injury cases with very different settlements. Liability is directly linked to your settlement value, and a Florida personal injury settlement calculator cannot assess liability.
Your overall damages also impact your potential settlement. Your damages include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. The higher your damages total is, the more your case is likely worth. Someone with a permanent injury will have a higher pain and suffering value than someone who was able to return to work a few weeks after the accident.
Some damages are subjective in value. A personal injury settlement calculator cannot understand this when providing a case value. That is one reason why we suggest accident victims keep a pain journal. It would help to track how your injuries affect your daily life. Perhaps you can no longer get dressed on your own or partake in hobbies you once enjoyed.
When you retain a Florida personal injury lawyer, our job is to prove your damages and help you fight for the maximum compensation possible. That usually means arguing with the defendants on overall case value. Insurance companies are notorious for offering less than your claim is worth. Sometimes that is because they rely on the values provided by their claims software and personal injury settlement calculator.
Amount of Available Coverage
The amount of available insurance coverage can also impact your settlement amount. You could have $200,000 in damages, but if the defendant only has $100,000 in liability coverage, you may find it difficult to receive the total value of your case. You would likely need to sue the defendant personally or pursue other sources of recovery if there are other responsible parties.
How a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
While you are not legally obligated to retain an attorney to pursue a Florida personal injury claim, we highly recommend it. When you hire Wendy Doyle-Palumbo, we will immediately start an independent investigation. We will preserve all evidence, order your records, and speak with any witnesses. We will also handle all communications with the defendant’s insurance company.
In a liability claim, the insurance adjuster will try to get you to provide a recorded statement in hopes you will reveal information that helps their case. By having an attorney represent you, you can avoid inadvertently saying something that could harm your case.
We will also handle all negotiations with the at-fault parties. We are strong negotiators with decades of experience. We can help protect your rights and pursue the compensation you are owed.
Contact Our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you sustained injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
We understand how frustrating and stressful the claims process can be. Do not rely on a free personal injury settlement calculator to determine your case value. Instead, let us put our expertise to work for you. Wendy Doyle-Palumbo is well-versed in complex personal injury cases and is not afraid to take your case to trial.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with us. Let us evaluate your case and help you pursue the total value of your Florida personal injury claim.