Florida Mediation and Personal Injury Attorney


What To Expect From A Car Accident Settlement in Florida

Daytona Beach injury lawyer explaining the car accident settlement process
If you've been hurt in a Florida car crash, our Daytona Beach injury lawyer explains what to expect from the accident settlement process.

Car accident injuries can cause a lot of suffering both psychologically and financially. While compensation may not reverse the resulting pain and lifelong damages, it can offer some form of relief to the suffering you have to endure. Pursuing compensation after a Florida car accident is not always easy. It often calls for working with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Daytona Beach, Florida to help you understand your legal rights and available options.

Steps in a Florida car accident settlement process

Step 1 - Filing a complaint or demand letter

The first step in a Florida car accident settlement process is filing a complaint against the negligent party. This process should take a few weeks to complete but can take much longer if the defendant is hard to track.

Step 2 - Defendant’s response

After being served, a defendant or their insurer must file a response. In Florida, the defendant has up to 20 days after the complaint is served to file a response.

Step 3 - Discovery/Investigation

The discovery /investigation phase is when both parties gather all the relevant information, scrutinize the evidence, and investigate the facts. In some cases, the investigation stage may include accident reconstruction. This often involves examining the state parameters of the road environment and the vehicle to identify other possible circumstances and contributing factors associated with a collision. For that reason, the investigation phase is usually the longest and can take a few months to more than a year. 

Step 4 - Negotiations with the insurance company

Most Florida car accident claims do not make it to trial, and a consensus on the settlement is often reached through negotiations. This process can take several weeks, depending on how quickly the parties can agree.

Step 5 - Mediation

When parties can’t negotiate without outside help, neutral third parties, also known as mediators, can be included during negotiations to help the parties reach a consensus. 

Step 6 - Trial

Once all avenues of consensus are exhausted, the case goes to trial. The trial process is one of the shortest phases in the process and can take a day or two.

Step 7 - Payout

Receiving an accident settlement check is the final process in a car accident claim. It involves the plaintiff signing off receipt of the agreed settlement. This usually happens in the lawyer’s office and takes a day.

How much should you expect from a Florida car accident settlement?

fighting over money in a Florida car accident settlement
Our Daytona Beach injury lawyer will fight to make sure you get full compensation for all your damages in a Florida car accident settlement.

The value of a car accident settlement in Florida is dependent on several factors, including economic damages, non-economic damages, and your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

Economic damages

Economic damages include all damages that can be quantified in monetary terms such as:

  • Present and future medical expenses based on the doctor’s prognosis until the victim attains maximum medical improvement
  • Lost wages, both current and future
  • Property damage 
  • All other expenses resulting from the accident

Non-economic damages

These are intangible damages that can be difficult to quantify such as: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of companionship
  • Permanent disability 
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage

Florida is a no-fault state. That means every driver must carry a minimum personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of $10,000. This coverage pays for damages in the event of an accident, regardless of fault. Having this coverage means you only file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer if the damages resulting from the accident go beyond the amount covered by the PIP coverage limits.

Maximizing the potential of your accident settlement amount

Maximizing your compensation is key to ensuring you make a full recovery for your damages. Here are five ways to maximize your compensation.

  1. Exchange information. Be sure to exchange contact and insurance information with all drivers involved in the accident.
  2. Call the police. It’s important to call the police immediately after an accident happens. The police report can be a critical piece of evidence and can help in determining fault. 
  3. Seek immediate medical attention. Your health should be a priority after an accident. Besides, medical records also serve as a critical piece of evidence in your case to prove your injuries and prognosis.
  4. Gather evidence. If you’re able, it is important to gather as much evidence at the accident scene as possible. Collected evidence may include photos and video footage of the vehicle damage and injuries and any witness statements.
  5. Hire an experienced attorney. Insurance companies will most often offer victims less compensation than their claim may be worth. It is therefore critical that you work with a skilled injury attorney in Daytona Beach to ensure you recover fair compensation.

Speak with an experienced Florida car accident attorney today

If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, our skilled Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer at Rick Kolodinsky, P.A., can help. Rick Kolodinsky is a Florida Board-certified civil trial lawyer with over 40 years of experience representing injured accident victims and a track record of success to back it up. Contact us online or give us a call at 386-200-1866 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Mr. Kolodinsky has been honored by his induction into this prestigious nationwide organization of trial lawyers. Of some 900 lawyers in Volusia Country there are four lawyers so honored.

- American Board of Trial Advocates
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