What’s the Process of Settling a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?
If you were injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation by filing a personal injury claim with your insurance company. Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means you must file a claim with your own insurer regardless of fault.
But how does the process of settling a personal injury claim look like in Florida? Typically, personal injury claimants can settle their claim once they complete their medical treatment, though insurance companies may attempt to persuade you to accept an initial settlement offer even before you complete your treatment or reach maximum medical recovery.
It is not advised to accept a settlement offer without consulting with a personal injury attorney first. Here at The Turnbull Firm, our Lakeland personal injury lawyer will handle all negotiations with the insurance company to make sure that you are getting the compensation you deserve and help you settle your claim out of court.
Calculating Personal Injury Damages in Florida
When it comes to settling a personal injury claim in Florida, the first thing you need to do before negotiating a settlement with the insurance adjuster is to determine how much your case is worth. Typically, the settlement value of a personal injury claim is determined by calculating two types of damages that you sustained after the accident:
- Economic damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, the loss of earning capacity, and out-of-pocket expenses; and
- Non-economic damages, including loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and many more.
The third type of damages – punitive damages – may be available if you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party who caused your injury.
It is important to seek the legal assistance of an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney in Florida when calculating the amount of economic and non-economic damages. You will not be able to obtain the compensation you deserve if you do not know how much your claim is worth.
Sending the Demand Letter to the Insurance Company
When you complete your medical treatment or reach maximum medical recovery, your attorney will send the demand letter to the insurance company. According to the Florida Statutes Section 627.736, insurance companies must respond to personal injury claims with an offer within 30 days of receiving the claim.
If your attorney determines that the insurer’s settlement offer is not fair or acceptable, they will help you negotiate a higher settlement. During this step, it is vital to be represented by a knowledgeable and results-driven attorney who has experience in dealing with insurance companies and knows how to present your case’s strengths to negotiate a better deal.
Once you accept a fair settlement offer, you will be asked to sign a release that states that you cannot pursue a claim or lawsuit for the same accident. After the insurance company has your signature, you will get your settlement check.