21 May What Compensation Can I Get After a Polk County Car Accident?
In 2020, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported a total of 340,581 traffic crashes. These crashes resulted in 3,329 fatalities and 212,150 injuries. These statistics go a long way in showing just how unsafe the roads in Florida can be and how high the chances are of getting into a car accident despite taking precautions.
Experiencing a car accident can be devastating and may leave you with life-altering injuries as well as overwhelming medical bills. But thankfully, there’s recourse: you can get compensation to cover medical costs and provide the financial support you need.
However, it can be difficult to calculate how much compensation you should seek, especially for intangible costs like pain, anguish, and suffering. This is why you need a Polk County, personal injury attorney.
If you have an experienced Polk County personal injury lawyer by your side, your lawyer will help ease the stress off you throughout the process.
What Compensation am I Entitled to After a Polk County Car Accident?
After being the victim of a Polk County car accident, you are entitled to various types of compensation. Some of these are quantifiable, while others are not. They include:
- Medical expenses: This covers the medical bills and other expenses related to the treatment of your car accident injuries. It’s the reason why it’s important to keep your medical records intact. This is so that you can show how much you have spent on your medications, doctor’s appointments, scans, surgeries (if any), etc.
- Compensation for Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering refer to the discomfort and physical pain that you experience due to your injuries. Because pain and suffering are intangible and cannot really be quantified, you need a Polk County personal injury attorney to help you decide the compensation to get for them.
- Compensation for loss of Capacity for Enjoyment of Life: Injuries can greatly reduce the capacity to enjoy many of the best things in life. You can get compensation for this inability to enjoy life like you used to before the car accident.
- Compensation for Disability: This type of compensation includes past wage losses and future earning ability. If you lose any credit because of your injuries, you can get compensated.
- Loss of Consortium for Relationship: The spouse of a person who has been injured can get compensation for their partner. This is the right of a spouse to enjoy all that comes with having a relationship with their spouses.
- Punitive Damages: The court awards punitive damages court as a way to punish the guilty driver. It applies where the driver who is at fault was intoxicated or grossly negligent.
- Compensation for Death of a Loved One: Car accidents can be fatal. The immediate family (wife, husband, or children) of a person who died in a Polk County car accident can bring a civil claim to get wrongful death. The compensation will include the expected income which the deceased person would have acquired if he was still alive.
- No-Fault Car Insurance: This is a payment that your own insurance company should make immediately after you report that you have been in a car accident. It is a primary source of payment for your medical expenses. Florida is a “no-fault” state. This means that if you have been hurt in a car accident, your insurance company is responsible for paying you for any damages. This provision for no-fault compensation in Florida pays you up to your insurance limits (which is usually $10,000) at 80/20. So this is what happens: you are paid 80% of your medical expenses, up to $10,000. That is what a no-fault payment is.
Other types of compensation you can obtain after a car accident may include compensation for any significant or permanent loss of an important bodily function or compensation for permanent injuries. You may also receive compensation for significant or permanent scarring or disfigurement.
How Do I Calculate Compensation for Pain and Suffering?
It’s not easy to specify an exact amount for intangible things like pain and suffering. Insurance companies use several methods to calculate pain and suffering as part of an injury settlement. The two most popular methods are the multiplier method and the “per diem” (daily rate) method.
The Multiplier Method
To use this method, you add up all the tangible medical costs and expenses (these are your easily calculable economic losses) and multiply them by a second number. The second number could be between 1.5 (on the low end) and 4 or 5 (on the high end).
This second number is called a “multiplier.” The number to use depends on certain factors related to your choice.
This includes the severity of your injuries, your prospects for a quick and total recovery, the impact those injuries have on your daily life, and whether or not the other party was clearly and completely at fault for the underlying accident.
Most insurance companies use this method. The value of the multiplier is usually a point of contention. While you may want a higher multiplier, the defendant, or their insurer, will want to use a lower multiplier.
The “Per Diem” (or Daily Rate) Method
“Per Diem” is the Latin for “per day.” This method involves demanding a certain amount for every day you had to live with the pain that your accident caused.
The issue with this approach is justifying the daily rate that you use. A reasonable daily rate can be your actual daily earnings. This means that you are comparing having to deal with the pain caused by your injuries every day to the effort of going to work daily.
The downside to this method is that it may not work with permanent or long-term injuries. In cases that have to do with permanent injuries, you want a lawyer to help you determine the best amount to demand.
People often use both methods, particularly at the start of the claim. They demand the highest possible compensation amount and hope for the best. This strategy may work for some, but it could also make you look like you’re trying to take advantage of the situation. And this can put you at a clear disadvantage.
At Sara Jones Law, P.A., we know the strategies and methods to use that are best suited for your case.
Contact a Polk County Personal Injury Attorney
Quantifying how much compensation you should get after a car accident can be challenging. When you do decide on an amount, it can also be a chore to actually receive that compensation from the guilty parties.
But with the assistance of a Polk County personal injury attorney, you won’t have to face these challenges. This is where we come in.
At Sara Jones Law, P.A, our Polk County personal injury attorneys can help you quantify how much compensation you should get for pain, suffering, and discomfort. We fight aggressively to ensure that the compensation amount you receive is appropriate and fair.
Our lawyers have experience handling Polk County car accident cases, especially where a person has suffered severe injuries because of another driver’s negligence.
If you or someone you know have been the victim of a car accident in Polk County, contact our competent legal team at Sara Jones Law, P.A. We will treat your case diligently, applying the knowledge, dedication, and compassion you need to get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today.