If you or a loved one has been involved in a Miami auto accident, it’s understandable to have questions and concerns about your accident, what to do next, and how to seek the compensation you deserve. The experienced attorneys at Bernstein & Maryanoff are committed to giving you the representation you deserve so you have a full understanding of your legal rights and options following a car accident in Miami.
Turn to the experts at Bernstein & Maryanoff, and get your free legal consultation regarding your car accident injury.
How much is the average car accident settlement in Miami?
Auto accidents happen every day on our country’s roads and highways. An estimated 38,000 individuals die every year because of auto-related accidents. Damages associated with auto deaths, collisions, and losses amount to roughly $55 billion annually.
An accident can be stressful enough, but when it happens at the hands of someone else’s negligence, that stress can be compounded. When you have to deal with an accident lawsuit or a wrongful death case, the settlement amount you can expect will depend on several factors. Knowing the average settlement amount can help you get an idea of what to expect with your case.
Miami’s average car accident settlement is $15,443, but it can be hard to know a typical settlement because not all cases formally go through the legal system. Plus, when a claim is brought to court, the terms of the agreement may not be made public.
Factors that impact the settlement amount of an auto accident typically include the following:
- The severity of a victim’s injuries or whether a death has occurred
- The type of injury sustained
- The amount of property damage
- The individual or parties that caused the accident to happen
- Insurance companies involved and their claim settlement offers
How car accident settlements are determined in Florida
A car accident settlement is reached after a variety of factors are considered, pertinent evidence is collected, and both parties come to an agreement. Before any settlement can take place, however, a claim needs to be brought forward. An auto claim can be brought forward with your insurance company, but this typically won’t cover all the costs associated with your injuries and losses.
If you have suffered a severe injury, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best way to secure a settlement that compensates you for monetary damages as well as other losses that occurred because of the accident. When you bring forward a personal injury lawsuit related to a motor vehicle accident, you’ll be able to seek damages including economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages and non-economic damages
Economic damages are a way to recover the financial losses that resulted because of the accident. This includes things such as hospital bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and other calculable monetary losses.
Non-economic damages are designed to help you find relief for things such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, or other difficult-to-calculate losses that resulted from the auto accident.
Factors that affect car accident settlements
Every injury case is unique, and many factors will affect the outcome of a car accident settlement. However, some factors are more significant than others.
The type of injury sustained
The more severe and life-altering the injury, the more you’ll potentially be able to seek damages. Individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord or brain injuries will need extensive medical care after the accident and throughout the rest of their life. How life-altering your injury is will impact the damages you can seek.
The losses you have sustained
If you’ve suffered significant property loss, you’ll be able to seek compensation for these damages. If you’ve been left unable to work or earn an income, this will be considered in your losses as well. Medical losses — both physical and mental — are considered. This includes emotional trauma, anxiety, PTSD, or any other issues that have resulted because of the accident.
To have a successful auto accident claim, you must provide strong proof of losses that were sustained. This can come in the form of documentation, video surveillance, physician statements, and other types of evidence that support your claims of losses.
Other factors that are considered when determining a settlement include but are not limited to the following:
- The amount of liability insurance coverage you have
- The strength of the evidence you’ve presented in your lawsuit
- Your ability to return to work
- The willingness of both parties to settle the lawsuit
- The experience level of the car accident attorney you are working with
Who was at fault?
Understanding who was at fault is perhaps the most critical aspect of any auto accident lawsuit. Typically, if the at-fault party is a business entity as opposed to an individual, you may be able to recover more damages because there may have been a greater breach of duty.
With many auto accident lawsuits, common defendants typically include
- Other motorists
- Truck drivers and associated trucking companies or employers
- City officials if roadways, signage, or other city safety measures were not adhered to
- Any other defendant applicable to your case
Who determines the settlement in Miami?
When seeking an auto accident settlement, negotiations will happen between your auto accident lawyer and the named defendants. These defendants may include auto insurance companies, other drivers, trucking companies, or auto manufacturers.
When filing a lawsuit, after the discovery or investigation phase, negotiations can take weeks or months to resolve. If negotiations do not result in a settlement, a lawsuit can head to trial. Once at trial, a judge or jury will decide on a final verdict based on the evidence your Miami auto accident attorney brings forward.
Recoverable damages in a car accident claim
As mentioned previously, recoverable damage in an auto accident claim can include economic and non-economic damages. In cases where the accident was a result of extreme negligence, some victims may also be able to seek punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for gross negligence. The main purpose is to ensure that the responsible parties do not behave in a similar negligent manner in the future.
Florida’s no-fault law and car accident settlements
Florida is one of 12 states that is deemed a no-fault auto state, which means that Florida’s auto coverage laws do not care who was at fault for the accident. All drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to seek coverage in the event of an accident.
Florida is a no-fault state to ensure that drivers who get into auto accidents can cover the cost of medical bills and property loss after the accident has occurred. Typically, an individual’s PIP coverage should offer the following:
- Up to 80% of medical expenses
- Up to 60% of lost wages
- Travel reimbursement for visits to doctors
- $5,000 in death benefits
It’s important to understand that, although all Florida drivers should have PIP insurance, car accident victims can still sue other motorists if they’ve been involved in a car accident. If you’ve filed a claim with your auto insurance, but are not satisfied with the settlement offered, seeking a personal injury lawsuit against responsible parties can be a way to recover the full compensation you deserve.
How long does an average car accident settlement take?
Personal injury lawsuits associated with car accidents can be lengthy, taking anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years to resolve. Thankfully, not all lawsuits take this long. On average, car accident lawsuits will usually be resolved anywhere from 9 to 18 months with the majority of these lawsuits ending in a settlement.
No-fault states like Florida typically see faster resolutions of car accident settlements because initial settlement negotiations are decided on faster than in at-fault states.
Why is my car accident settlement taking so long?
If your car accident settlement is taking longer than average to resolve, there may be a couple of reasons for this. One of the most common reasons is the lack of strong evidence to support your case. An experienced Miami car accident lawyer will work to collect critical evidence to support your case and prove negligence on behalf of the defendants. Gathering this evidence can take time, especially if the circumstances of the accident make evidence collection difficult.
If your accident settlement is taking longer than average to resolve, that isn’t always cause for concern. It’s better to have a car accident lawsuit take as long as it needs to for a thorough discovery process to happen than to have a rushed investigation that weakens the evidence you bring forward.
Miami’s premier car accident lawyers will help you get the settlement you deserve
One of the best things you can do to help strengthen your auto accident lawsuit is to work with a car accident attorney who is experienced in their field and is well versed in auto law and auto insurance policies.
At Bernstein & Maryonoff, our legal team is committed to helping all the clients we serve to build a robust, evidence-backed case that will help you recover the settlement amounts you deserve. Our legal experts work with our highly trained staff and investigators to help you build the strongest case possible.
To learn more about our services and how we can best serve you, contact our team today for a free case consultation.
Bieber, C. (2022). Typical Car Accident Settlements.
Car Crash Costs and Statistics. (2015).
Peterson, B. (2023). How Does Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Work in Florida?
States with No-Fault Insurance. (2023).
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.