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Car accident compensation you could receive after an accident in Miami can include medical bills, wage losses, car repair, and other damages. However, insurance companies often seek to minimize, delay, or even deny rightful compensation. Therefore, getting what you need and deserve when someone else causes your crash can be challenging and complicated.
However, you do not have to stand for this, and assistance is available. Morgan & Morgan has been helping victims of car accidents receive their due for over 30 years. Our experienced and dedicated car accident lawyers could help you navigate the complex and confusing legal process and fight for a fair settlement. Contact Morgan & Morgan now for a free evaluation of your car accident claim.
What Is Car Accident Compensation?
Miami and Miami-Dade County are Florida’s hotspots for car accidents and injuries. Figures from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) show over 51,000 crashes in Miami-Dade County with more than 24,000 injuries and 314 fatalities in the year 2020 alone. Car accidents can be expensive for victims who may have high medical bills, car repair expenses, and other costs. If you got hurt in an accident that happened due to no fault of your own, you could be entitled to car accident compensation.
Another Party Caused Your Accident
Victims could receive compensation if someone else is responsible for their accident. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), the at-fault party is another driver in most accidents. A driver could be liable for your damages if they made an error or drove carelessly. Some negligent or reckless driving behaviors can include:
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving and other distractions
- Following too closely
- Failing to yield
- Driving fatigued
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals
- Driving generally dangerously
However, other drivers are not always responsible for accidents. If a poorly maintained or badly constructed road contributed to a crash, a local government entity could be liable for your damages. Occasionally, a collision occurs due to a vehicle manufacturing defect, such as:
- Defective airbags or seat belts
- Faulty brakes
- Defective tires
When a manufacturer or part manufacturer is responsible, you could file a claim against them and receive compensation.
Car accident cases can have various liable parties and several avenues for pursuing compensation. Our car accident attorneys can help you identify all defendants in your accident case.
Compensation You Could Receive
After a car accident, what you could receive will depend on your injuries and actual damages, such as medical expenses, wage losses, and others. In general, you could qualify for the following compensation awards and others:
- Medical expenses now and in the future
- Wage losses and future expected income loss
- Replacement or repair costs for your vehicle
- Reimbursement for items lost or destroyed in the accident
- Pain and anguish
Depending on the circumstances of your accident and injuries, you could receive other and additional damages.
How to Determine the Worth of an Accident Claim
The value of your car accident claim will depend on the extent of your injuries and the expenses you incurred due to the crash. If you were involved in a fender bender and have only minor injuries, for example, you will typically receive a smaller settlement than someone who suffered life-changing injuries. Monetary damages that determine the worth of your case include, among others:
- Car damage
- Medical bills
- Wage losses
- Out-of-pocket expenses
However, if you suffered significant injuries, you could also be entitled to so-called “non-economic” damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced life quality
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of a limb
- Permanent disability
Calculating your economic damages can be straightforward. You could simply add up all your bills, receipts, and lost wages. However, calculating non-economic damages can be tricky and usually requires the help of an experienced attorney.
Calculating Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses, such as your pain and suffering or inconvenience due to the accident injuries. Putting a price on your suffering can be tricky. However, there can be various ways to calculate non-economic damages.
The Multiplier Method
Most insurance companies use the multiplier method to determine what you can receive for non-economic damages, such as loss of life quality and pain and suffering. This method involves adding up all your monetary damages such as income loss, medical bills, and out-of-pocket expenses. The sum is then multiplied by a figure between 1.5 and 5. The more severe your injuries, the higher the multiplying number will be.
For example, if you only suffered minor injuries, the multiplier will likely be 1.5 or 2. However, if you suffered catastrophic or life-changing injuries in an accident, the highest multiplier figures, such as 4 or 5, may be used to determine your compensation amount.
The Per Diem Method
Some insurance companies use the “per diem” method instead of the multiplier method for determining your non-economic damages. This method involves calculating a daily amount, for example, the wages a victim would normally receive. This amount will then be multiplied by the number of days the victim is affected by the car accident injuries.
You Could File a Car Accident Lawsuit
If you struggle to receive the settlement you need to pay your bills and move forward with your life, you could file a personal injury lawsuit. One of our car accident attorneys can assess your case and, if necessary, file legal action against the responsible party or insurance company on your behalf.
It is important to note that there are time limits for filing car accident lawsuits. According to Florida’s Statute of Limitations § 95.11, you have four years to file a suit in the state. The time starts running down on the day of your injury. However, some factors could shorten the time available for filing a suit. Therefore, to give yourself the best chance at recovering an adequate settlement, consider contacting our car accident attorneys as soon as possible after a collision.
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What Does My PIP Insurance Cover?
As per Florida Statute 627.7407, Florida residents are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Your PIP insurance will cover accident expenses regardless of who is responsible for the crash. Coverage includes:
- 80 percent of your medical costs
- 60 percent of your wage loss
- Death benefit up to $5000
If you got hurt in a car accident in Miami, contact your insurer promptly to file a claim. If your damages exceed your PIP coverage, you can speak to a car accident attorney at Morgan & Morgan to determine your legal options for receiving further car accident compensation.
What Does “No-Fault State” Mean?
Florida is a no-fault state which means that regardless of who is to blame for an accident, you could claim damages from your personal injury protection insurance (PIP) if you sustained car damage and injuries.
However, PIP only pays a certain amount of your medical bills and lost wages. If you suffer significant injuries, your insurance benefits will be exhausted quickly, leaving you out of pocket. Although Florida is a no-fault state, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover additional damages. An attorney from Morgan & Morgan can advise you and move forward with a claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Determine the Worth of My Accident Claim?
You may not necessarily require a lawyer to determine your case’s value if you were involved in a minor accident without injuries. However, in most cases, consulting with an attorney after a car accident in Miami can be crucial for receiving an adequate settlement after a car accident. Having an attorney assess your damages and losses can help you get what you deserve.
Most victims do not know where to start calculating their accident losses, particularly damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. However, if you got badly hurt, non-economic damages could make up a considerable portion of your overall settlement. Moreover, insurance companies may try to reduce the amount you can recover to preserve their own profits.
An experienced car accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan can protect your rights, assess your damages, and fight for what you deserve. Our lawyers know how to calculate the proper value of your car accident claim and could prevent you from accepting a lowball settlement offer.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement to the At-Fault Party’s Insurer?
Before explaining why you should never provide a recorded statement to the liable party’s insurer, it is essential to understand that the insurance company is not on your side. This means that you have to be extremely careful when handling any communication or negotiation with an insurer. Asking for a recorded statement can be an attempt to manipulate you into saying something that you later regret, or worse, something the insurer can later use as an excuse to deny your claim.
Insurance adjusters may try to push you into giving a recorded statement. However, you are not legally required to give a recorded statement, and not doing so should not influence the outcome of your claim. If you receive a request for a recorded statement, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. An attorney from Morgan & Morgan can handle all communication with the at-fault party’s insurer and ensure that you have the best chance of receiving fair compensation.
Which Damages Could I Receive if My Loved One Died in a Car Accident?
If your loved one passed away due to a crash in Miami, you could receive the following damages and others, depending on the circumstances of your case:
- Emotional anguish and trauma
- Loss of consortium (spouse)
- Loss of parental guidance and care (minor children)
- Medical expenses before death
- Burial and funeral costs
- Loss of income from the deceased
- Loss of services
We know that nothing can soften the blow or dull your grief when a loved one is killed in a car accident. However, receiving compensation can help to shoulder the financial burden that often arises when a loved one passes unexpectedly.
Our compassionate attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can be here for you during this distressing and challenging time. We can take care of the legal process while you are free to concentrate on healing and spending time with your loved ones.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most car accident lawyers work with a "contingency fee," meaning the attorney's fees come out of the settlement or court judgment. However, before you sign an agreement to hire a lawyer, ensure you read the fine print regarding costs and expenses. You may be responsible for an upfront payment of legal expenses, such as:
- Court filing fees
- Costs of obtaining official documents such as police reports
- Court reporter fee
- Expert witness fees
- Mailing costs
If your agreement states that you have to pay legal expenses, you will likely be responsible for payment when the fees are due. Failing to pay these costs may mean that your case is put on hold.
Morgan & Morgan will not charge you a dime until we resolve the case in your favor and you recover compensation. We understand that money can be tight after getting hurt in an accident. We firmly believe that injured victims deserve the best legal representation regardless of their financial situation. Therefore, you pay nothing upfront when we take your case.
Morgan & Morgan Fights Hard for Car Accident Victims
If you need help with recovering an adequate settlement for your car accident damages, get in touch with us. We know the games insurers play to try and get away with paying the bare minimum. Unlike some other law firms, Morgan & Morgan never settle for less. We do not shy away from taking your case to trial to give you the best shot at receiving the full value of your claim. Get started and contact us now to find out for free whether we could help you receive car accident compensation.