Last Update: 12/26/16
No two injury cases are the exactly the same.
And, insurance companies do not evaluate car accident cases and slip and fall injury claims the same way injury lawyers do. Insurance carriers are for-profit companies that are concerned with dollars and cents and keeping claim settlements as low as possible so at the end of the fiscal year, they have maximized their revenues and net profits for their shareholders.
To this end, insurance companies staff themselves with not only defense attorneys, field investigators and claims adjusters, but they also have professional actuaries and statisticians on their payroll – all of these jobs are used to place a dollar value on each claim filed with the insurance company.
These people will consider things like life span left to live, educational level, family predispositions to disease, and more, to try and cut back on the money that they have to pay the victim. It is a heartless task fueled by financial considerations.
It’s Not About Fairness in a Settlement Negotiation
Obviously, when the plaintiff’s lawyer sits down at a settlement table and looks over at the insurance defense attorney, they aren’t seeing things eye to eye. The plaintiff’s lawyer is seeking justice and maximum compensation for things like pain and suffering and future medical needs. The insurance company’s lawyer is considering how factors can be argued to keep any settlement payment as low as possible.
Still, almost every personal injury claim in Florida ends up being settled; few are tried to jury verdict. How much the injury victim will be paid in a settlement of a Florida injury claim will depend upon those negotiations and how aggressive, prepared and knowledgeable their attorney is in fighting against that financial perspective of the defense team.
Settlement Amounts in Florida Injury Cases
In an injury or accident settlement negotiation, the victim’s lawyer must be prepared and have available to them things like:
- Documented medical bills
- Invoices of prescriptions
- Pay stubs to show lost wages
- Doctor’s reports on future medical needs
- Expert reports on permanent physical limitations
- Expert reports on permanent mental limitations
- Lifestyle evidence of things the victim will never be able to do again
The injury victim’s lawyer should know, based upon experience, what a Florida jury will likely award the victim if the case does go to trial – you can bet the defense team will know if the plaintiff’s attorney is experienced in the courtroom and if he or she will take the case to a jury.
What that final settlement amount will be, therefore, depends not just on the facts themselves but also on the advocacy skills of the injury victim’s lawyer in settlement negotiations.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in an accident and are trying to negotiate a fair settlement, is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.