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How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident in Orlando?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Orlando, don’t sit back and wait for good things to happen. An injury or damage to your car can set you back thousands of dollars. It can also cause lingering medical issues, and disrupt your work or life routine for months or years.  Some times the injury can completely change your life and result in lifelong pain.

Now is not the time to sit back and wait for the situation to resolve itself. Now is the time to act. 

But what should I do?”, you may be asking yourself. When something horrible like a car accident happens, the right actions will keep you and your family protected. Any missteps can be very costly. 

Get expert help today. At Leighton Law, we specialize in winning car accident cases for our clients. As a leading Orlando car accident attorney team, we’ll get you the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been hurt or your vehicle has been damaged by another driver, contact us today! 

We can offer important guidance around how much you can sue for in the wake of an accident. Let’s explore what determines appropriate amounts and how judgments are decided. 

Tip 1 – An Expert Lawyer Will Help You Build a Case

On the day of the accident, how much you can sue for from a car accident is probably the last thing on your mind. 

Your health, anyone else who was in the car, the other driver, and physical damage to your vehicle are likely going to be what’s on your mind.

Understandably, car accidents throw a massive wrench into things. Even minor accidents can send you to the hospital and keep you on the phone with insurance companies to get repairs sorted out.

With everything going on, understanding whether you have a personal injury case can add even more stress to the situation. We get it.

At Leighton Law, we’ve spent years working with car accident victims in the greater Orlando area. We know what you have to deal with after an accident and work hard to ease your frustration. 

Acting right away is critical to so many things if you have been in a car accident.  Under Florida law, you must get medical care within 14 days of the crash or you will lose your PIP (personal injury protection) benefits under your car insurance.

Choosing the Right Lawyer

We understand that choosing the right lawyer will have a massive impact on your case. Here are some things to consider:

  • Tenure – How long has your Orlando car accident attorney been in the game? Look, we’re not saying that new lawyers can’t do a good job. They can. Many very good lawyers are fresh out of school.
    But how can you know if your lawyer has the right experience? Do they know how much is the appropriate amount to sue for after a car accident? Do they know what juries are like in your area (every jurisdiction is different). Have they tried cases to a verdict?  Do the insurance companies know who they are and what their reputation is? This takes years of experience and knowledge of the local legal environment and precedents.
  • Free Consultations – Does a law firm you want to talk to want to charge you a fee just to talk? It’s more common than you think.
    The best law firms will talk to you the first time for free. We do the same. It’s in our interest to know if you’ve got a case versus spending time on something that won’t get you the results you expect.
  • Read Reviews – It’s a consumer’s world. It’s easier than ever to look online and hear about others’ experiences working with a law firm. Find a good firm with good reviews.
  • Reputation and skill – Top lawyers are recognized in their profession. They are sought out, honored, and work within the legal field. Find out if the lawyer you are considering is considered preeminent or at the top of the field.  Anyone with a law degree can claim to be a personal injury attorney.  How well credentialed is the lawyer you are considering?  Is the attorney board certified in trial law? Does the attorney teach other lawyers, publish or lecture? Has the attorney held positions of leadership in organizations or within the legal community?
  • Transparency – Good lawyers know how to communicate well. You should leave the consultation knowing what the next steps are, how much you may have to pay in fees, and what to expect. If you leave the call feeling more confused than before it began, you should keep looking.
  • You get what you pay for –  Just like most things in life, cheapest is not usually the best.  Most lawyers handling car accident cases charge on a contingency fee basis. That means they only get paid if they win money for you. Most of the contingency fees are in the same range and regulated by the Florida Bar.  Beware of an attorney who charges less that the going rate. You may get what you pay for.

Insider Advice – Lawyers offer free consultations because working cases or moving to sue someone in a car accident costs them time and money. A good law firm wants justice and for you to win your case, but they must be judicious with their time. If they take you on it means you have a good shot of winning. 

Tip 2 – Knowing the Limitations on What You Can Sue for After a Car Accident

It’s a shame, but a lot of people get tricked by unscrupulous people and insurance companies after an accident. They are told that any settlement will cover repairing the car and some medical bills only. 

That’s absolutely false. With the right Orlando car accident attorney, you’ll know to turn down initial offers for a settlement from an insurance company or private party. These are often overzealous attempts to resolve the situation quickly before you, or any other victim, have the time to get proper representation. 

On the other end of the spectrum, you can’t just assign a random value to the impact of an accident. There are guidelines around the costs of your injuries, mental suffering, and other damages. For example, a fender-bender with no injuries isn’t likely going to net you millions of dollars. 

Good legal help will walk you through what you should say to insurance companies, and they can handle talking with any opposing legal teams. 

Tip 3 – You Can Sue for More Than Just Vehicle Damage

Here are some of the things you can generally sue for:

  • Damage to Your Vehicle
  • Medical Bills Tied to Injuries Sustained in the Accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • Mental Anguish
  • Time Away from Work
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Loss of Income

Let’s take a look at each. 

Things to Look at with Your Attorney

Damage to Your Vehicle – What happens if you’re in an accident, but the person who was at fault turned out to be such a nice guy? They get out of the car and offer to cover that broken window or repair your torn bumper. Great! Right?!

Before you are quick to agree, think about that engine damage that you can’t see that’s going to spring up next week on your way to work. The other driver could be free and clear because you’ve signed the papers already, so what should you do?

Don’t agree to anything after an accident. Get their information, document the scene, and talk to a lawyer. 

Medical Bills – This is similar to vehicle damage, but instead it’s damage to your body. Even minor accidents are enough to send you into shock. You could jump out of the car and run a mile without noticing lingering injuries like a neck sprain or internal bleeding. A personal injury case will cover the initial and ongoing medical costs associated with the accident. 

Pain and Suffering- This is available in Florida if you suffer a permanent injury. The pain and suffering from an injury can last a lifetime and rob someone of their quality of life. It’s always best practice to get medical attention soon after a car accident. It protects you from the other party trying to say the injuries happened between the accident and whenever you went to a doctor. 

Disability and disfigurement – This means any handicap or scarring as a result of the injuries.  If there is a disability from the accident, or permanent scarring, the responsible party may be held accountable.

Mental Anguish – Some people, even if they aren’t physically injured in an accident, suffer from severe mental trauma for years. A mental health professional should evaluate a car accident victim. Many victims often require extensive care and therapy.

Time Away From Work – What about lost wages? That’s something that you can certainly sue for with the help of an Orlando car accident lawyer. Claw back any lost wages whether you miss work due to injuries or because of physical therapy. 

Long-Term Disability – Permanent disability can also happen in serious car accidents. Long-term disability often costs victims and their families a great deal. People have to build out living and work spaces to accommodate a disability. A good lawyer will know how to project those costs years out. 

Loss of Income – The money you make from work, as well as any other income sources impacted by an accident, can be covered in a personal injury lawsuit. 

Pro Tip –  Taking pictures and videos at the scene of an accident is the best way to document the scene. Your memory of the event will likely change, and written records or recorded statements don’t always do well in court. Pictures serve as some of the best evidence. Here’s some more info on what you should do after a car accident.  

Tip 4 – Putting a Dollar Value on Your Car Accident Case

Many people, after getting into an accident, want to know how much money is at stake. You wonder, “Am I leaving thousands of dollars on the table?” Many times, that’s the tip of the iceberg. Depending on the circumstances around the accident, you could stand to receive much more than that. 

With proper legal representation, you can cover all of your bases and get the damages you deserve. Find support to help with what happened, your condition now, and how the accident will affect your life long-term. 

Remember, the last thing you want to do is agree to something from another party’s insurance company because initial settlements are often a pittance compared to what an insurance company should pay.  Insurance companies are in the business of paying as little as possible in settlement of claims.  Every dollar they do not pay is a dollar in their pocket.  That adds up fast.  They are sophisticated and clever.  Many inexperienced attorneys are incapable of going toe to toe with major insurers.

Every car accident is unique, so find a good Orlando car accident lawyer as soon as possible to secure damages awarded in court. They will ask questions based on years of experience, and will strive on your behalf to get maximum settlements and judgments.

The team at Leighton Law works hard to win our clients justice. We’ll get you compensation to cover repairs, medical costs, lost income, and other associated costs. We offer no-obligation consultations to help you know what’s at stake. 

We will help by giving you a dollar figure range of what you can realistically sue for after an accident. Our team will work with you to develop a game plan to make sure your case wins in or out of court. 

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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