Many accident victims want to know how much they could receive if they proceed with a car accident claim. The amount of compensation depends on your losses, and the amount of your losses make the difference between filing an insurance claim and filing an injury lawsuit.
Since losses vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case, it literally pays to accurately calculate how much your life has been affected by the crash.
Types of Compensable Losses in a Florida Crash Claim
While no victim can completely predict how much compensation they'll receive in a car accident case, they may be able to estimate the range of compensation available in each category of loss.
When totaling the costs of your claim, remember to account for:
Past and future medical bills
Medical costs of an accident can quickly soar into the tens of thousands, especially if a victim needs ongoing care. Everything from emergency medical treatment and initial hospital stays to prescriptions and follow up appointments should be factored into the total, as well as a doctor’s estimate of your future treatment costs.
It's common for injury victims to miss work for several weeks after a crash, and they often have limitations on the amount they can earn while they recover. Lost wages should include:
- All time spent off work due to the accident
- Any money lost due to working part time because of injury limitation
- Work missed to attend doctor’s appointments
- All wages you are likely to lose in the future due to the effects of the accident
If you are unable to work at all for the rest of your life, the total amount of your lost income is typically estimated by taking your annual earnings and multiplying by the number of years you have left until retirement age. This amount is adjusted for inflation, raises and bonuses, and cost-of-living adjustments.
The damage to your vehicle can make up a significant portion of your claim. When your car is damaged in a Florida crash, you have the right to choose a body shop and have your vehicle repaired with "like" kind and condition parts. You can also hold the at-fault driver accountable for the cost of a rental car, as well as for the time that you were without a vehicle due to the accident.
If the cost to repair your vehicle is more than 80 percent of its fair market value, your insurer can declare the vehicle a "total" loss. In this case, the at-fault driver can be on the hook for some or all of the value of the totaled vehicle, as well as any other personal property—such as eyeglasses, electronics, car seats, stereos, or luggage—that were lost or damaged in the crash.
If you needed to make changes in your living situation due to the accident, you can claim the costs of these expenses. These may include installing a wheelchair ramp, hiring visiting nurses or caregivers, moving into a one-floor home, or moving into a 24-hour care facility.
Permanent physical effects
Long-term or permanent effects of an accident can have financial and psychological consequences for a victim. Permanent disability may often lead to depression, while scarring or disfigurement can significantly impact a victim’s career options and earning capacity. It's best to have an experienced injury attorney calculate the full impact of these losses.
Non-economic damages, also called punitive damages, are an amount above and beyond the exact dollar amount that you paid or will pay for the accident. The court will assign these based on its impression of the suffering you've endured, whether the accident forced you to change your regular activities, effect on your marriage or relationships, and your overall quality of life. The judge may assign further punitive damages to compensate you for the other driver’s negligence, such as if the other driver was drunk or texting at the time of the crash.
We Can Help
If you need help calculating your losses after a crash, we can provide a personalized assessment of your case at no cost to you. From your first consultation to the conclusion of your case, you won't have to pay our firm until you receive compensation. Fill out the contact form on this page today to have us begin an investigation into your accident claim.