My Car Quest

June 29, 2022

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle, 341,399 car accidents were reported in 2020. These car accidents cause injury and property damage, so the victims need to file settlement claims to get the compensation they need.

If you were involved in a car accident in Florida, you should speak with a Lakeland car accident attorney if you want to get fair compensation for your damages. The amount of time it takes to settle a car accident claim will depend upon the circumstances of the claim.

Several factors play a role in the settlement, like the type of injuries, type of claim, type of damages, negotiation with insurance companies, and much more. However, a car accident attorney can help you speed things up.

Law

Type of Injuries

Getting detailed information about your injury helps a lot in estimating the amount for settlement. You can start a settlement claim once you have reached your maximum medical improvement. It means you have reached a point where further medical improvement is not possible. For example, minor injuries in an accident are easier to assess and resolve than catastrophic injuries such as a traumatic brain injury. Settlement claims also require testimonies of medical professionals, which can only be obtained once you have reached MMI.

Type of Insurance Claim

According to Florida’s no-fault law, every driver in Florida must have personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability insurance of $10,000. PIP will cover 80% of all necessary medical expenses and 60% of the lost wages of the insured. The insured must receive treatment within 14 days of the accident to avail of the PIP. PIP will cover expenses up to $2,500 for minor injuries and up to $10,000 for emergency medical conditions.

General insurance will cover bodily injuries as well, but it is not compulsory to have bodily injury coverage in Florida. If you have suffered injuries other than personal injuries, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver.

Negotiating with the Insurance Company

Insurance companies tend to reduce or deny claims to save money since they are for-profit businesses. Florida’s laws require insurance companies to respond to the insured within 14 days of receiving a demand letter from the accident victim.

If the insurance company denies the claim, they must state the reason why. You would get 15 days to submit a revised claim if your claim was denied. After negotiations are done, the insurer must pay the settlement amount within 20 days of the settlement agreement. You can receive a 12% annual interest on the settlement amount if the insurer fails to pay the amount on time.

Type of damages

Damages can be compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages will cover economic costs like medical expenses and loss of wages and non-economic costs like emotional trauma or pain and suffering. Punitive damages can be awarded if the at-fault party was especially careless or reckless.

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