What is my personal injury claim worth? Factors that affect Florida personal injury cases.
What are some examples of personal injury incidents?
A personal injury accident occurs when someone is injured because of another person’s negligence. For example, in a slip and fall accident, someone may forget to clean up a spill. If someone slipped because of the mess, the party who forgot to clean it up acted negligently and could be liable for the accident.
They didn’t forget to clean up the spill because they knew it would cause someone harm. It was a complete accident. However, that doesn’t change the fact that their actions directly caused the injury of another person.
Negligence is a breach of duty of care, the duty that we all have as human beings to make sure that we’re taking care of one another. For example, when operating a motor vehicle, the driver is subject to duty of care, responsible for making sure they keep everyone on the road safe by not driving dangerously.
In the United States, unintentional and accidental injuries are the third leading cause of death, accounting for 6% of all deaths in 2018. Types of personal injury accidents include:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
Per year in the United States, there are approximately 4.4 million injuries and 38,000 fatalities because of car accidents. Meanwhile, slip and fall accidents account for an average of 8 million hospital visits—the leading cause of visits—per year.
Factors That Impact Personal Injury Claim Values
The value of your personal injury claim is based on many different factors, such as how the accident occurred, how severe your injuries are, how high your damages are, how much insurance coverage the defendant has available, and more.
Each personal injury case is different and must be treated as such. An experienced attorney can help you calculate your projected claim value based on the factors listed below.
The injuries you sustain in an accident play a huge role in how much compensation you’ll receive for your case. The more severe your injuries are, the more medical debt you’ll accumulate and the more time off you’ll require from work, leading to lost wages.
Severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, can also affect your quality of life. A life-changing catastrophic injury will have a higher case value than a minor injury that only requires minimal treatment and recovery.
The damages you incur set the guidelines for how much compensation you should receive for your personal injury claim. If you were to receive full compensation for your claim, you would receive the total of your combined damages. However, some factors, such as available insurance coverage, can prevent you from receiving the full amount.
For damages, you can recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages cover monetary losses like lost wages and medical bills. In contrast, non-economic damages cover non-monetary losses like pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and loss of consortium.
Punitive damages are rare and are only awarded to punish the defendant for their wrongdoings further. They’re often awarded when the defendant acted with gross negligence, such as in drunk driving accidents.
Insurance Coverage Available
The amount of compensation you receive from your personal injury settlement or trial win greatly depends on the amount of insurance coverage the defendant has available. Unfortunately, you can’t collect more compensation than the defendant has to offer.
In cases where the defendant doesn’t have insurance coverage or has very little insurance coverage, filing a lawsuit might not be worth it. In these circumstances, you may be better off using your own uninsured/underinsured coverage if available. Your attorney can help you make the best decision for your case.
Comparative negligence is a law principle used in auto accidents that states that fault is determined based on each party’s respective contribution to the accident. There are three different types, pure comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence, and slight/gross comparative negligence.
Pure comparative negligence allows the plaintiff to recover damages even if they are 99% at fault for the accident. In these cases, the plaintiff can still recover 1% of the damages. Florida follows this rule.
Modified comparative negligence disallows the plaintiff from recovering any damages if they pass a certain percentage of fault, 51% or greater.
Slight/gross comparative negligence doesn’t use percentages to assign fault. Instead, the words “slight” and “gross” are used when determining who was at-fault for the accident. For example, those whose contributions to fault were slight will receive more compensation than those who grossly contributed to the accident’s fault.
A Personal Injury Attorney Will Represent Your Claim to Get You Maximum Compensation for Your Injuries
If you or someone you love was injured in a personal injury accident, please contact our talented attorneys here at Jones Law Group in Tampa Bay. By choosing us, you’ll ensure that your personal injury case is in the best hands. We have years of experience working on auto accident and slip and fall cases. And we will use our expertise to serve you better.