Read This Before You Accept A Settlement Offer For Your Sarasota Auto Accident
With most Florida auto accidents, it’s rare to go to court. Instead, usually accident victims work with the insurance companies to negotiate a settlement for their damages. However, insurance companies are motivated to make a profit. Paying claims cuts into their profit margins. So they will often lowball a claim or drag it out in hopes of avoiding paying. That is why it is extremely important that accident victims understand the settlement process to protect themselves. Here is everything you need to know about settlement offers before accepting one from an insurance company.
You Have A Right To Damages
Under Florida state law, accident injury victims have a right to compensation for their damages. The insurance company knows that most accident victims are not legal experts. So they will use their lack of knowledge on the law to try to get out of paying. Do not let them push you around. The law is on your side. If you feel like they are infringing on your rights, trust yourself and consult with an attorney. A knowledgeable accident attorney will not only determine if they are infringing on your rights to damages, but they will also fight to protect those rights.
What Does “Damages” Mean?
Damage is a legal term used by the Florida courts to define all the harm caused by the accident. Most of the time people think of economic damages like their medical bills. However, Florida recognizes that an accident can impact all areas of your life. So damages can also include things like lost wages from the time that you missed work. It can also include things like compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering you’ve endured from the accident. When negotiating a settlement, it’s important to understand the full extent of the damages. Otherwise, the insurance company may pay you less than what is owed.
What Are Some Of The Damages I Can Seek?
Depending on the circumstances, there’s a range of damages you can seek. These include but are not limited to:
● Economic Damages:
○ Past, current, and future medical bills include pharmaceutical and therapy
○ Loss of income and benefits from missing work for your injuries
○ Job retraining if you can’t work in your normal field because of your injuries
○ Costs associated with traveling to and from medical care facilities
○ In-home healthcare or home modifications to accommodate your injuries
● Non-Economic Damages:
○ Pain and suffering for the physical and emotional pain endured
○ Loss of enjoyment of the hobbies you can no longer enjoy because of your injuries
○ Loss of society, companionship, and consortium for the challenges of managing your normal relationships as a result of your injuries
These are just some of the damages you may qualify for under Florida law after your accident.
What Happens If The Settlement Is Too Low?
Oftentimes insurance companies will review your claim and return with a lowball settlement offer. One of the things we always advise our clients is to never take the first offer. Insurance companies are banking on you believing that they are offering you a fair settlement. If you are offered a settlement that is too low, refuse it. Then speak to a knowledgeable auto accident attorney who will review your case. They’ll investigate your circumstance and calculate the full value of all the damages that are covered under Florida law. They will then send a demand letter for the true settlement value and fight for your right to compensation.
Before accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company after your Florida accident, you should consult with an attorney. The team JusticePays.com, Goldman, Fernandez, Babboni, and Walsh can help. We’ve recovered over $500 million dollars in damages for accident injury victims. We will fight for you.