Even if you are lucky enough to avoid injury and major damage, car accidents are still significant life events that can disrupt your peace of mind and well-being. Dealing with repairs, going to the doctor to get checked out, speaking with the police, and filing insurance claims all take time and energy away while you are still getting over the stress of the collision itself.
That’s why even with minor car accidents, it’s important to ensure you receive all of the compensation you are entitled to in a settlement. Knowing the average settlement for a minor car accident in Florida can help ensure a fair settlement offer. Many factors determine the dollar amount of a settlement, including whether there were injuries, who caused the accident, and how much damage occurred to the vehicle and any personal property.
In short, there is no magic formula for determining an average settlement for minor car accidents. If it is under $500, there’s a good chance you will cover out-of-pocket costs. Beyond that, a settlement can range from $500 to $10,000 or more before an accident is considered “serious.”
This guide will provide an overview of how minor accidents are defined, how damages are calculated, the process for reaching a settlement, and how a lawyer can help.
What is a non-injury accident?
Most minor car accidents are defined as such because they involve no injuries, or very minor injuries to the parties involved. Non-injury accidents usually result from low-speed collisions and/or collisions with minimal contact between vehicles. Not only do the lack of impact forces limit damage to the vehicles, but they also reduce forces that can cause whiplash, head injuries, fractures, and even more severe issues like spinal cord injuries.
Non-injury accidents still need to be taken seriously. Even if there is little to no damage and both parties do not seem injured, you should still contact the police to create a record of the accident.
It is also critical to take pictures, get contact information from the other driver and witnesses, and file a timely insurance claim.
Finally, even if you think you weren’t injured, you should still get checked out by a doctor or qualified medical professional. Many car accident injuries have a delayed onset, and it’s critical to receive prompt care and establish a medical record if you did sustain injuries. The statute of limitations for claiming a personal injury in Florida is 14 days, so it is crucial to be sure you did not sustain injuries during this timeframe.
Calculating Damages and Submitting an Insurance Claim for Minor Accidents
It is important to thoroughly assess and calculate the amount of any damage or injury you sustained in the aftermath of your accident. Potential damages that can be claimed in a minor car accident in Florida include:
- Damage to the vehicle
- Personal property that was lost or damaged in the accident
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
In general, because minor accidents are defined as accidents with little-to-no injury and psychological trauma, most of the damages in a minor car accident settlement will be related to the vehicle or damaged personal property.
How Settlements Are Calculated by Insurance Carriers
Once you submit an insurance claim for an accident, your carrier will investigate the facts of the collision to determine the damage sustained, whether there were injuries, and who was at fault.
For any damages you claim, you need to be able to provide detailed evidence and prove that you were not at fault. Any evidence you can provide in the form of police reports, pictures, witness testimony, and repair bills can help ensure you receive the best possible settlement.
Florida is a no-fault state, meaning your insurance provider requires you to have personal injury protection (PIP) and will cover medical expenses regardless of who was at fault. Insurance companies will still decide who was at fault and which party is liable for any damages to property.
The amount you receive in a settlement can be impacted by how much coverage you have for your property and how much liability insurance the other party has if they were determined to be totally or partially at fault.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Receive a Fair Settlement After a Minor Car Accident
Even in a minor car accident in Florida, there are many situations where it can be beneficial to work with an experienced accident attorney. Car accident lawyers have extensive experience with the insurance claim and settlement process and know insurance companies’ tactics to deny claims and minimize settlements.
By working with a lawyer, you can ensure that your claim and supporting evidence are filed properly and that you receive all compensation you are entitled to that is in line with average settlements for minor accidents in Florida.
If you receive a settlement offer you don’t believe is fair, your attorney can also work with you to negotiate and make a good-faith counteroffer.
Call Clark Law for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you know has been involved in a minor car accident in Florida and there are questions or concerns about your settlement, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. At Clark Law, we have experienced attorneys who regularly represent clients involved in accidents from minor to catastrophic. We can help you determine your best next step.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.