Suffering a personal injury can be a distressing and life-altering event. Whether it’s due to a car accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, understanding how to increase the value of your personal injury case in Florida is crucial. Top-rated Palm Beach Gardens Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Konecky dives into the top 5 strategies for you to increase the value of your personal injury case.
If you would like more information regarding how much your Florida personal injury case may be worth, check out our free guide, "What the Heck Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?".
How to Prove Liability in a Personal Injury Case in Florida
Establishing liability is one of the most important factors that can make or break your personal injury case. In order to successfully increase the value of your case, it is crucial to demonstrate that the other party was at fault for the accident which caused your injuries. In order to prove liability for a personal injury case in Palm Beach Gardens Florida, you must prove negligence. In order to do this, you must be diligent in collecting evidence at the time of the accident if possible, or at the very least after the fact through witness testimonies, accident reports, medical records, and film or video footage. This evidence can help prove liability for an accident and help you reach a favorable settlement.
What is Comparative Negligence Law in Florida for 2023?
On March 24, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill 837 covering tort reform in Florida. Consequently, Florida moved away from being a pure comparative negligence system to a modified comparative negligence state. Under this new bill, any party who is found to be 50% or more liable for the accident is not entitled to any compensation for damages. Previously, as a pure comparative negligence system, parties found partially liable would still be able to recover the amount they were not liable for. For example, if a plaintiff was found to be 55% liable for an accident, they may still be able to recover damages and receive compensation for the other 45%. Under the newly modified comparative negligence system, this would not be allowed since the plaintiff is more than 50% liable. To learn more about the newly passed House Bill 837 and how it may affect you, check out our blog post.
The Importance of Photos in a Personal Injury Case in Florida
We know you’re on your phone all the time anyways… use it to your advantage! Visual evidence via video and photos carries immense weight when it comes to determining the worth of a personal injury case. It’s important to know that high-quality photos of the accident can help bolster your claim. High quality means the camera is in-focus enough to be able to properly identify the scene and determine what is in view. Details such as skid marks, road conditions, weather, and property damage will all help determine liability and damages caused by the accident. Even if you forget to take pictures of the accident or are otherwise unable to, any other photos you have on your phone on the day of the accident may help. For example, if it was raining the day of your accident you may have snapped a picture. This is important because hazardous conditions such as inclement weather are crucial in determining liability, accident severity, and severity of injuries.
Do You Have Proper Car Insurance Coverage in Florida?
Florida law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage, including Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage Liability (PDL). Despite these requirements, many Florida motorists are underinsured or uninsured altogether. In order to protect yourself and maximize the value of your case, ensure that you have the proper insurance coverage for your vehicle. You may also consider purchasing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM.) This type of car insurance in Florida can be very important if you are ever or have ever been involved in an accident with a driver who did not have the necessary car insurance.
How does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work in Florida?
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) is there to protect you in the event that someone without insurance or the proper insurance causes an accident. This insurance is also important to have in case you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. While this kind of insurance coverage is mandatory in many states, Florida residents are not required to purchase uninsured/underinsured motor vehicle coverage. Without it, it may be impossible to receive any sort of compensation. If you have this coverage with your insurance company, they will guarantee a minimal amount of compensation.
How to Calculate Lost Wages for Florida Personal Injury Case in Florida
Compensation for a personal injury case is based on various factors including property damage, medical bills, and even pain and suffering. When seeking compensation for your accident, it is critical to account for ALL economic damage done due to your injuries. Lost wages are one such factor that can significantly alter how much you are entitled to for compensation. If your injuries have required you to miss any work due to pain, medical appointments, or otherwise, be sure to calculate and keep track of any time you’ve missed as well as average earnings. Be sure to have thorough documentation for missed time and work as well as corresponding salary in order to maximize the value of your personal injury case. It is even possible in severe accidents that your earning capacity for the future is affected due to injury. If this is the case, be sure to speak with an expert who can properly assess the potential long-term financial impact.
What is Considered Personal Injury in Florida?
Personal injury in Florida occurs when a victim suffers an injury to their physical body, mind, or emotions. It may also involve damage to personal property, as in the case of a motor vehicle accident, but personal injury more specifically involves physical harm as well as pain and suffering. The cause and extent of your injuries will determine the value of your personal injury case. While any kind of injury should be taken seriously, more severe injuries tend to result in higher settlements. Minor injuries that only require minimal medical treatment may not command significant compensation. Severe injuries tend to be things such as broken bones, if surgery is required, or anything that may result in a long-term or even permanent disability for the victim. This is why keeping track of medical records, and treatment plans, and getting a professional medical opinion are all crucial for your case. These will all serve as evidence in trial or settlement to demonstrate the severity of your injuries and justify the compensation you need.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens Florida
Overall, increasing the value of your personal injury case in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, North Palm, and the rest of Palm Beach County Florida requires a strategic approach to take into account all factors involved. You can control some of these factors by focusing on proving liability, gathering compelling visual evidence, ensuring you maintain adequate insurance coverage, accurately calculating lost wages, and understanding the relationship between injury severity and compensation. Remember that is it vital to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible following an accident. Seeking out the advice of a trusted Palm Beach Gardens personal injury attorney such as Matthew Konekcy, P. A can help you navigate the legal process and maximize the compensation you deserve.