How Are Settlements for Whiplash Determined in Florida?
The damages paid in any personal injury claim depend heavily on the type of injury, the effects it has on your life, and the defendant’s fault in causing the accident. Whiplash is a relatively common car accident injury, but it can occur in other types of accidents as well. While whiplash might not be a particularly serious injury, you may still be entitled to substantial damages for your whiplash injury case. Miami whiplash injury attorney Prosper Shaked explains how the whiplash settlements are determined in Florida. For a free consultation on your case, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today.
Calculating Settlements for Whiplash Injuries in FL
Whiplash can range in severity from a few days of discomfort to permanent, long-lasting pain and discomfort. It can be difficult to know what your whiplash case should be worth, since things can be so drastically different from case to case. First, it is important to talk to a doctor about your injury to get a good idea of how severe the injury is and what your prognosis is like. Some whiplash injuries may involve more severe spinal cord injuries or lasting effects you need treated. Second, you should keep records of all expenses from the injury and the pain and suffering you face to help calculate damages.
When calculating damages, there are 3 major categories of damages your lawyer will usually focus on. First, you should be entitled to collect damages for any medical expenses you paid because of the injury. This can include medical imaging, doctor’s visits, chiropractor appointments, rehabilitation, medical devices (e.g. neck braces), and other expenses. Second, you should be a be able to claim damages for any miss you worked. If you are unable to go back to work or must take a lower-paying job because of your injuries, you can also claim those lost future wages. Third, you could be entitled to damages for the pain and suffering you face, alongside intangible things like emotional distress. These damages are difficult to calculate, but primarily depend on the severity and length of your injury.
To come to the actual amount of damages you should be entitled to, you can use multiple tools and pieces of evidence at your disposal. The hospital bills you receive can provide a simple way to calculate the medical expenses you face. The sum total of all of these bills should be incorporated 100% into the damages you receive. On top of this, pay stubs, bank accounts, and tax forms can demonstrate your typical wages. Any work you missed can use those amounts to calculate what you should be entitled to in lost wages. If the injury reduced your earning potential, a financial expert can help calculate the damages you should receive. Lastly, your personal experiences and the damages received in other peoples’ similar cases help calculate what you are entitled to for pain and suffering damages.
Settling a Whiplash Case Vs. Suing in Court
When you take your injury case to court, you are entitled to claim the full amounts for all of these damages, and more. Judges and juries may award additional damages to injury victims in order to punish the at-fault party. These damages are rare in court, but you will almost certainly never receive them in a settlement. In addition, a settlement may not cover 100% of the damages for medical bills and lost wages, and it may exclude pain and suffering damages entirely.
Insurance payouts often fail to cover pain and suffering. What they do cover for medical expenses and lost wages are often reduced to a certain percentage of the damages or may simply include lower offers to try to save the at-fault party and the insurance company money.
In many cases, the total damages you receive by taking your case to court could be higher than what you receive in a settlement. The defendant must pay court fees and attorneys fees, so they often try to settle the case to avoid those expenses. Early settlements may be low offers that fail to account for your needs. Ultimately, you should talk to an attorney before accepting any settlements. The choice of whether to take the settlement or press the case in court is your decision – not your lawyer’s – but your attorney can help guide you through the decision.
If you received your whiplash injury in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident you may be limited in your ability to sue in court. Florida’s no-fault car accident laws only allow you to take your injury case to court if it is worth more than $10,000 or if the injuries are permanent. Talk to an attorney about whether your case qualifies for a lawsuit in the first place.
Miami Whiplash Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident or another accident and faces serious whiplash injuries, talk to an attorney today. Miami personal injury attorney Prosper Shaked represents the victims of whiplash injuries and other serious injuries and fights to get them the compensation they need after an accident. For a free consultation on your case and for help understanding what your case is worth, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244.