Peter Catania | October 26, 2021 | Car Accidents
Have you been injured in a car accident in Tampa, FL? If so, there is a good chance you can recover compensation for such losses as your medical bills. You can typically do so by filing an insurance claim.
Victims in these circumstances often wonder how much they can expect to recover when they file a claim. There is no universal answer to this question. A wide range of factors can influence the value of your claim.
Discuss your case with a Tampa car accident attorney for more information. Be aware that seeking representation from an attorney will optimize your chances of arriving at a fair settlement or being awarded damages in court.
Pursuing Compensation After a Tampa Car Accident
Florida is a no-fault state. In no-fault states, car accident victims usually begin seeking compensation for their losses by filing claims to collect from their own insurance. Even if another party caused the accident, this is still their first means of seeking compensation.
However, the settlement you arrive at with your own insurer may not be enough to properly compensate you for your losses. If so, you may be able to recover additional compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit to collect from the negligent party’s insurance as well. This is an option if your injuries and losses are severe enough to meet certain criteria under Florida law.
Factors Affecting Your Car Accident Claim’s Value
Again, various factors may contribute to the amount of money you could be offered in a settlement.
The value of your claim could be affected by:
- The cost of your medical bills in the immediate aftermath of the accident
- The cost of any future treatment you may need
- Your lost wages if your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from working
- The amount of coverage available through your policy (and, potentially, the policy of a negligent party)
In some instances, you may also be able to recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. For example, you may face a significant degree of physical and mental pain in the aftermath of an accident. While these losses might not have a strict dollar value, that does not mean you don’t deserve compensation for them.
Mistakes to Avoid That Can Limit the Amount You Settle For
Your own words and behavior can also influence the value of your claim. You must understand that insurance companies are like all businesses: their goal is to protect themselves financially.
Thus, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to seek justification for denying a victim’s claim or at least offering them less than they may be eligible to collect.
Don’t Admit Fault or Make Unnecessary Comments
In the aftermath of an accident, calmly exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. Call the police and await their arrival. Be truthful in answering their questions, of course, but you should avoid making any statements admitting fault for the accident.
Don’t Put Off Seeing a Doctor
Another mistake some victims make is not seeking immediate medical attention. If a victim doesn’t believe they’ve been seriously injured, they might decide they don’t need to see a doctor.
Sometimes, the signs of an injury don’t manifest until days or even weeks after an accident. If you wait too long to see a doctor, you may not receive the care you need right away. This can prolong your recovery.
It can also give an insurer reason to suggest that there’s no proof your injuries were actually a result of your accident. Because you didn’t seek medical care immediately, they could argue there’s a possibility your injuries resulted from an incident that occurred later.
Don’t Try to Handle Insurance Adjusters On Your Own
It’s best to avoid working directly with the insurance companies after an accident. An adjuster will pay attention to anything you say that can affect your payout. Instead, review your case for free with a Tampa car accident attorney. If they decide to represent you, they will handle all correspondence with the insurance company.
Many factors will affect what your claim is worth. By avoiding common mistakes, and by consulting with an experienced lawyer, you can put yourself in the best position to receive a fair settlement.
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