How much is my accident claim worth? Unfortunately, as a South Florida accident attorney I can say that this is a difficult question to answer. Whether you are involved in a car, motorcycle, bicycle, premise liability, or an aviation claim there are various factors to consider when determining the value of a claim.
It should be noted that it is not appropriate for a personal injury attorney to make any guarantees as to results or outcomes. That being said, the primary factors that an attorney looks at in evaluating the value a claim are the following;
1. The injuries sustained in the accident,
2. the cause and gravity of the accident,
3. and the ability of the individual or entity who caused the accident to compensate for damages.
For example, if you were involved in a car accident the attorney looks at the injuries resulting from the accident. Then the attorney would look at the cause of the accident and also the force and damage caused by the impact. Finally, the attorney looks at the type of insurance involved or the ability of the person or entity causing the accident to compensate for damages. Other factors used to evaluate the claim are thing like age and profession of the victim.
A good claim for a car accident is one where there is a visible and evident injury, the impact causing the accident does not just leave a small mark on vehicle, and the person or entity causing the accident can pay for damages. That does not mean that if there is a small impact there is no claim. Sometimes small impacts cause great physical damage. The opposite is also true and thus sometimes big impacts cause little physical damage.
The secondary factors in determining the value of an accident claim are the insurance company involved, the location of the accident, and sometimes the adjuster involved. Each insurance company has its own way of responding to a claim. Some insurance companies in South Florida treat every claim as if it was a nuisance and a fraud. Other insurance companies are forthright and for the most part settle the claim based on;
1. The gravity of the injuries,
2. the force of the impact,
3. age of the victim(s),
4. involvement in other accidents,
5. pain and suffering,
6. and medical expenses.
Another factor to take into account is the policy limit. Indeed, a victim can sustain $100,000 in injuries and policy limit can be limited to $25,000. If that is the case and the person causing the accident has no other sources to pay for the excess then the victim will have little recourse. In fact, very few people in Florida have coverage beyond $25,000 to respond to bodily injury caused to a third party. Thus, for this reason it is very important to have UM or underinsured motorist insurance.