Settling a car accident claim in Florida takes between a few months to several years. The duration depends on the specifics of your case and factors such as the severity of the accident, the complexity of the legal matter and insurance coverage can all affect the time it takes for your case to be settled.
In this post, Andrew Pickett,a leading car accident attorney in Florida, explains what you need to know about settling a car accident claim in the state. Here, he discusses in detail the statute of limitations, settlement negotiations, and the role of insurance companies, attorneys and other professionals during the pre-litigation phase.
Factors That Influence How Long It Takes to Settle a Car Accident Case in Florida
From the severity of fault to the availability of witnesses to the insurance companies involved, several factors can influence how long it takes to settle a car accident case in Florida.
Nature of the Injury and Damages of Your Florida Car Accident
The exact nature of the injury or damage sustained in your car accident will determine how long it takes to settle your case. If you have suffered a severe injury or significant property damage, it may take longer for your case to be resolved. For example, medical bills and other expenses associated with a severe injury require more time to be properly documented and calculated.
The Serious Injury Threshold
Florida has a “serious bodily injury” threshold, which means that if your case meets this threshold, it will take longer to settle than if you had sustained minor injuries. This is because the court must determine whether your injuries meet the serious bodily injury threshold before proceeding with the case.
Availability of Evidence and Witnesses
The availability of evidence and witnesses can also impact how long it takes for a car accident claim to be settled. If there is extensive damage, multiple witnesses and/or other forms of evidence, such as video or photographic evidence, that must be gathered to prove liability, then this can take more time.
The Parties Involved in the Case
In addition to the injured parties, other individuals or entities involved in the accident may also affect how long it takes to settle a car accident case. For example, if a government agency is involved in the accident, such as in a construction zone, then it can take longer to resolve the case due to bureaucracy and paperwork.
How wealthy the party is can also have an effect on the timeline, as those with more resources may have the means to drag out a case for longer periods.
The Insurance Companies Involved
The insurance companies involved in your car accident can also have an influence on how long it takes to settle a claim. This is because negotiations between insurance companies and attorneys can take time, depending on their respective positions. Additionally, if two or more insurance companies are hearing a case, then it can take longer than usual to settle the claim.
Court Backlog in the State of Florida
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that court backlogs can have an impact on how long it takes to settle a car accident claim. The court system in Florida can be very busy, especially during peak times, which can cause delays in the resolution of your case.
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Why it’s Important to Hire an Experienced Attorney in Florida
One of the best ways to ensure that your car accident claim is settled as quickly as possible is to hire an experienced attorney who understands the process and knows how to negotiate with the insurance companies. An experienced attorney will know how to best protect your rights and interests and can help you get the settlement that you deserve in a timely manner.
Negotiation Skills and Strategies Used by Attorneys
In addition to hiring an experienced lawyer, it is also important to understand the negotiation skills and strategies attorneys use when representing your case. For example, attorneys may use tactics such as making settlement demands early on in the process to push for a faster resolution or utilizing legal strategies that are more likely to be successful.
Litigation Should be a Last Resort When Settling a Florida Car Accident Case
It is important to remember that once you have exhausted all other options, litigation may be necessary to settle your case. Reasons that this should be a last resort include the high cost associated with a lawsuit, the lengthy process involved and the possibility of an unfavorable outcome in court. Ultimately, you should be aware that litigation can take anywhere from one year to sometimes as long as five years to reach a resolution.
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Statute of Limitations for Filing an Auto Accident Lawsuit in Florida
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after an auto accident is four years from the date of the incident underFlorida Statute § 95.11. The filing period starts on the date of your auto accident. If you fail to file within this four-year time frame, then you may be barred from seeking compensation for your damages, save for cases where there are mitigating factors (e.g., a person under the age of 18, mental disability, etc.).
If you fail to file your lawsuit within this timeframe, you may be barred from pursuing compensation through litigation, meaning you can’t use a lawsuit as leverage during negotiations with the insurance company. Therefore, it is important to be aware of this deadline so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities to file a lawsuit.
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Settlement Negotiations During the Pre-litigation Phase
Typically, car accident cases are settled through negotiations between the two parties involved before they enter into litigation. This is known as the “pre-litigation” phase, and it is important to understand how this process works to ensure that you get the best outcome possible. During this stage, both parties can make settlement demands and counter-offers to reach a resolution that is beneficial for everyone involved.
Role of Insurance Companies in Negotiations
During the pre-litigation phase, insurance companies play an important role in negotiations. They will evaluate the damages incurred by both parties, determine who is at fault and then offer a settlement amount that they believe to be fair. The goal of the insurance company is to settle the claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible, so they may attempt to offer a lower amount than what you are entitled to in order to save money.
Role of Attorneys and Other Professionals During Negotiations
In addition to the insurance companies, other professionals may be involved in negotiations as well. Attorneys and other legal professionals can provide valuable insight into how to approach the negotiation process and can help you secure a favorable outcome. They can also provide advice on how best to handle any disputes or disagreements that arise during negotiations.
Furthermore, other experts, such as medical doctors or accident reconstruction specialists, may be consulted to verify the extent of any physical and psychological damages that either party incurred.
Moving Forward With Litigation If Necessary
If negotiations result in a settlement, then the case is usually resolved without the need for litigation in about three months. However, if an agreement can’t be reached and litigation is necessary, then the process could take up to five years, depending on the complexity of your case.
If negotiations break down, and one or both parties decide to proceed with a lawsuit, then the court will be responsible for deciding who is liable and what damages, if any, should be awarded.
In this scenario, you will need an attorney who is experienced in litigation and has knowledge of the state’s laws regarding car accidents. Your attorney will be able to provide advice on the legal strategies that are most likely to be successful. They will also help you prepare for the case by gathering evidence, filing documents and more.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, you can contact Andrew Pickett Law at (321) 341-5084 to discuss your case. We have years of experience handling car accidents and personal injury cases in Florida, so you can be sure that we are well-equipped to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average settlement for a car accident in Florida?
According to legal resources in Florida, car accident settlements can vary widely, and there is no set average. Settlement amounts can range from as little as $10,000 for minor injuries and property damage to $60,000 or more for serious injuries, extensive medical treatment, and other damages.
The exact amount awarded in a settlement or lawsuit varies, andAndrew Pickett Law has recovered millions of dollarsfor car accident victims in Florida. Bear in mind that the chances of receiving the compensation you deserve increase when you work with an experienced attorney.
How long does an auto insurance company have to settle a claim in Florida?
Auto insurance companies have a limited time to accept or deny your claim. UnderFlorida Statututes § 627.4265, they have 20 days to issue payment for your claim once a settlement is reached. If the claim is denied, they must provide a written explanation of their decision within 30 days, according toFlorida Statutes § 627.736.
If the claim is a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) type, the auto insurance company has 30 days to settle the claim from the time it is submitted, according to Florida Statutes § 627.736. In this case, they must also provide a written explanation if they deny your claim.
What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company denies my claim?
If the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim, you should contact an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review your case and determine if the insurance company has violated any laws or regulations in handling your claim. If so, your attorney can help you seek compensation for any damage you suffered due to the other driver’s negligence.
How long do most car accident settlements take?
On average, negotiating the settlement of a claim takes about 4-6 months in Florida. The time frame depends on the complexity of your case and whether the other driver’s insurance company is willing to accept responsibility for the accident and provide an appropriate settlement.
Hiring a top-notch car accident attorney who is well-versed in Florida law can help speed up the process. An experienced attorney will also be able to negotiate a better settlement and ensure that you receive proper compensation for your damages.
Why is my car accident settlement taking so long?
If you’ve hired a top-notch car accident attorney in Florida, you may find that your claim is taking longer to settle than expected. Several factors could contribute to the delay, from complex legal issues or evidence gathering to a dispute between you and the other driver’s insurance company over liability. Your attorney will advise you on what steps need to be taken to reach an optimal settlement as soon as possible.
What is the average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury?
Florida car accident back and neck injury settlements range from about $300,000 to $650,000 on average. However, the amount of compensation you can expect to receive for the back and neck injury received during the automobile wreck will vary depending on the severity of your injuries, how much medical treatment you need, and other factors.
Generally speaking, individuals who have suffered serious or long-term injuries may be eligible to receive more damages than those with only minor or short-term injuries. Your car accident attorney will be able to evaluate your case and give you an estimate of the amount of compensation you can expect to receive. It’s important to understand that there is no set formula for calculating the value of a car accident claim, as each case is unique.