Why an Attorney Can Increase the Value of Your Florida Car Accident Injury Claim
Florida law requires car accident victims to file a claim against their own insurance for injuries incurred in a collision with another driver. However, an injured motorist still has the right to pursue a personal injury settlement or lawsuit against a negligent driver when the damages exceed that of the injury victim’s coverage. Injured motorists must first look to their own insurance before seeking damages from the other driver. If the claim is only for property damage, such as vehicle replacement or repair, crash victims do not have to first pursue a claim against their own insurance carrier. While a car accident injury victim may file a civil lawsuit against a negligent driver without a lawyer, effective legal representation can dramatically increase the value of a claim.
Multiple studies have quantified the potential financial benefits of retaining a personal injury lawyer. The Insurance Research Council (IRC) conducted a study that found accident victims that retain legal counsel recovered approximately forty percent more than those without an attorney. Another IRC study found that 85 percent of all money paid out to settle claims go to those who have retained a lawyer.
Although there are numerous ways that retaining a Florida car accident lawyer can increase the value of your claim, we have highlighted two important reasons below:
Understanding Legal Standards, Procedures, and Evidentiary Rules
Despite slick advertising campaigns, insurance companies do not function as altruistic entities designed to provide financial protection to injury victims or valiant warriors fighting for their policyholders. Insurance companies strive to maximize shareholder profits, which does not entail approving all viable claims or maximizing the payout on valid claims. Insurance companies have every incentive to drag their feet and offer token settlements to resolve claims when they know a claimant has no legal representation. Pursuing a civil claim that results in a settlement or judgment constitutes the only way to compel an insurer to settle a claim for a case’s full value under Florida law. Insurance companies employ an army of experienced insurance defense lawyers to navigate the extensive matrix of legal standards, procedural requirements, court and evidentiary rules, and other legal complexities that govern the process of pursuing a legal claim for damages (i.e., legally recognized categories of financial compensation). The insurance companies salivate at the prospect of taking on a layperson when dealing with this confusing abyss of difficult to understand information and processes.
Complex Process of Evaluating a Legal Claim
Insurance companies have their own process for determining the value of a claim, which predictably significantly favors the insurer. Many factors influence the value of a claim, including but not limited to the following:
- Severity of injuries
- Lost compensation from employment
- Appeal of the injury victim
- Egregiousness of the negligent driver’s conduct
- Value of property damage
- Any permanent disfigurement of disability
- Cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Extent of mental anguish endured by the victim
While the insurance company might attempt to suggest a simplistic mathematical formal for calculating damages, the few examples above amount to a small number of factors that a personal injury lawyer must consider when evaluating your claim. If appropriate under the circumstances, the attorney will also research past verdicts and settlements in similar cases. The insurance company relies on the fact that the typical accident victim will not have experience evaluating injury claims nor have access to the necessary research materials to accurate determine the range of value of their claim.
Given the importance of pursuing the fullest compensation for lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, vehicle damage, and other losses, injury victims can benefit from speaking to an experienced Florida auto accident lawyer.
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If you or a loved one suffered an injury, contact Montlick Injury Attorneys, for your free consultation today. Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries or lost a loved one in an accident for over 39 years. Our trial attorneys have recovered billions of dollars for our personal injury clients through negotiated settlements, litigation/lawsuits, settlement of lawsuits, jury verdicts, mediation, and arbitration awards.
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