What is My Car Accident Injury Case Worth
Determining the Value of Your Car Accident Injury Case
Knowing the value of your case is important to know as soon as possible.
Each case has different facts and circumstances.
The 3 legged stool of any serious injury case are:
1 Liability or Fault – Who is at fault to some degree
2 How Bad are your Damages and Injuries
3 How Collectable are your damages
Once we find out the answers to these three questions, MattLaw™ can tell you what your car accident injury case is worth.
With this information you can make important decisions that may affect your health and finances.
When I first started practicing law, I represented over 20 different insurance companies. After I learned their tricks, I quit and have never looked back. Over the past 30 years of trying personal injury cases like yours, I decided to share these insider secrets to help my clients protect their rights after they have been injured in a car accident.
I am Matt Powell, a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer dedicated to helping protect people and families who have suffered a loss due to the negligence of a bad driver.
I hope you don’t need this information. But if you do, and you have a question, please call me for a free consultation.
Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar
What Is My Car Accident Injury Case Worth
The Value of Your Car Accident Case Is Determined by Who is At Fault For Injuring You
#17 Liability or Fault - What is my Car Crash Case Worth
#16 What is My Car Accident Injury Claim Worth
What Is the Value of My Car Accident Case
The three elements of every car accident claim
The most basic thing that you need to know is that every car accident case has three parts,
If any one of the parts is missing, you likely won’t be able to make any recovery for your losses.
The value of every car accident personal injury case is based upon these three elements, Liability, Collectability and Damages.
By saving key Evidence to prove fault (liability),
By knowing the collectability (all insurance available) and
By having good medical records (damages) to prove your damages caused by the car accident, your case will have more value than a case missing some or any of the big 3 elements of a personal injury claim.
#17 Liability or Fault - What is my Car Crash Case Worth
How Fault affects the Value of My Car Accident Injury Case
WHAT IS MY CAR ACCIDENT INJURY CLAIM WORTH – LIABILITY OR FAULT: What did the other person or business do wrong that was negligent.
In a car crash case the most common cause of bad driving is driving while distracted. Causing a rear end crash or turning in front of another vehicle.
There are literally hundreds of things bad drivers do to cause a crash. So, if you are injured, what you need to know about the liability part of your injury case is how you prove the fault of the other driver(s). To do this, you want to collect as much information (evidence) as possible so you can clearly explain and prove the other driver was at fault.
For instance, if you have a hard time explaining why the other driver is at fault, then the defendant (bad driver), who will have a lawyer or claims adjuster on their side, will concoct a story to say why their at fault driver was not at fault.
The insurance company for the at fault driver may deny any and all fault for causing the car accident.
But, when you collect and save good evidence of the other driver’s fault, you will be able to explain to anyone how and why the accident is not your fault but the fault of the other driver.
What other evidence do you need to help prove fault?
There are a few things that will help you prove fault or liability in any accident.
Photographs and or
videos are excellent evidence to help.
Many people are using dash cameras in their vehicles.
Dash cam videos are a great way to prove what happened.
If you don’t have a video camera going all the time, you can use your cell phone to take photographs of the evidence after the crash.
Taking pictures of the scene of the accident, the property damage, the skid marks, the location of debris left on the road, traffic signs, traffic lights, etc. are all important items that may make a big difference in your financial recovery.
Eye witness evidence can win your case.
If someone says they saw the crash and can explain what they saw, this may make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
Most of us expect that the police will talk to the eye witnesses and share the names and addresses of each eye witness.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the police officers who do talk to witnesses, don’t save the names in their crash report.
So when a problem develops later, no one can find the eye witness.
If you are able to find any eye witnesses, ask them to tell you what they saw and ask for their name and contact information so you can find them later.
You might even ask them if they will give you a quick video statement of what they saw.
What other things should be saved for evidence?
Well, photographs of bruises and scars are also very important to preserve.
Unfortunately over time evidence disappears. Memories fade, bruises heal.
By preserving any and all evidence early on you can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Have you ever wondered about traffic cameras?
The State of Florida has thousands of traffic cameras constantly watching traffic. But if you ask the State of Florida for a copy of the video recording of your crash, you will find out the State does not record anything from their cameras.
The good news is that MattLaw™ pays for the recording of these videos and now has access to almost 35,000 traffic cameras throughout the State of Florida.
At MattLaw™ we will search through these video feeds for your crash video.
And if your crash happened to be recorded on one of the traffic cameras, we may be able to use the video to prove fault of the other driver.
At MattLaw™ we have investigators and professional photographers who can photograph the scene of the crash, the property damage and even your injuries.
Traffic Crash Reports:
At MattLaw™ we are able to obtain most crash reports within 24 hours.
We will reach out to witnesses and arrange a meeting to discuss with them what they saw.
We will ask eyewitnesses to give us a formal statement of what happened.
If we suspect your crash was recorded on one of the Florida Department of Transportation video cameras, we will retrieve the video, and save this important evidence for you.
At MattLaw™ we send letters to people and companies requiring them to save any and all evidence, such as dash cam videos, and trucker’s log books.
We have experts who can download the electronic data saved in many trucks and cars.
If a car crash causes catastrophic injuries, we may retain experts to examine your vehicle to see if the car itself was defective in some way and the defect in the design or manufacturing caused or made your injuries more severe than they would be if the car was not defective.
Sometimes, a person might suffer more severe injuries caused by defective airbags. If you suspect you may have been injured due to a defective airbag, make sure you preserve the car as evidence to prove the airbags were defective.
Denial of liability by the Insurance Company
In some cases, the insurance company tells us they won’t pay your claim because they think their insured was not at fault.
When this happens and we believe our client’s version of the crash is accurate and the other driver is at fault, I suggest letting MattLaw™ file suit,
because waiting won’t help at all.
What if I am partially at fault for the accident
Florida law says that even if someone is partially at fault, they are allowed to make a recovery based upon the percentage of negligence caused by others. So in a case of who ran a red light, and the witnesses can’t agree, if a Jury were to decide that our client was 50% at fault, then they would still be able to recover 50% of their damages from the other person who was 50% at fault. This comes up occasionally in motorcycle crash cases. A motorcyclist may be 95% at fault for a crash due to speeding or reckless driving, but he is still entitled to recover 5% for the negligence of the other person. And in a catastrophic injury case, imagine the medical bills are $1,000,000.00. Well, the injured biker is able to recover $50,000.00.
#18 What Is My Car Accident Injury Case Worth - Insurance and Collectability
Where Will The Money Come From To Pay For My Car Accident Injury Damages
THE SECOND MAJOR ELEMENT OF DETERMINING THE VALUE OF EVERY CAR CRASH INJURY CASE:
COLLECTABILITY – INSURANCE: Where is the money to pay for your injuries?
What I mean by collectability is how much money is available to compensate you for your losses?
In many cases the at fault party may have little or no insurance.
Or, they may be a wealthy person or corporation with significant assets or insurance to pay for your losses.
Collectability has a few important parts to consider.
First, we always look at the person who was at fault to find out what kind of insurance and or assets do the responsible parties have?
Next we look to see if the bad driver was working at the time of the crash?
Was the at fault driver an agent for another person or business at the time of the car crash?
If the at fault driver was working at the time they caused the car crash that injured you, their employer may be liable for your damages.
Knowing if the at fault driver was running an errand at the time of the car crash injury is also important.
If the bad driver has little, or no insurance or assets, but they were running an errand for their employer at the time of the crash, then there may be insurance to pay you for the injuries caused by the bad driver while they were in the course and scope of their employment.
MattLaw™ will investigate who owned the car that crashed into you.
We want to know who owned the vehicle at the time of the crash because in Florida, the owner of a car is also responsible for any damages caused by the operation of the car.
Another very important aspect about collectability is what insurance does our own client have to protect themselves?
For example, in a car crash case, many of our clients carry Uninsured or Under Insured Motorist coverage (UM).
UM is the most valuable insurance you can purchase to protect you and your family.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance will provide insurance that will pay you for your damages caused by the Uninsured, at fault driver.
Why is Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Insurance so important?
What is “Stacked UM Insurance?”
Uninsured Motorist Insurance is the best insurance you can buy to protect you and your family. There are two types of Uninsured Motorist insurance, Stacked and Non-Stacked. The best one for you to buy is “Stacked” Uninsured Motorist Insurance and I will explain why in a minute.
But first, let me explain how UM insurance works. It will pay for your damages if you get in an accident with an at fault driver who does not have ANY Bodily Injury Insurance, which is called an Uninsured Motorist. Or it will pay when the at fault driver does not have ENOUGH Bodily Injury Insurance, which is called an Underinsured Motorist.
And just so you know, in Florida, motorists are not required to carry Bodily Injury Insurance. About half the cars on the road don’t carry it. This is why UM insurance is so important. If you get in a wreck with someone who does not carry Bodily Injury Insurance and you don’t have Uninsured Motorist insurance, you will likely be out of luck because there will not be any insurance to pay for your losses.
Now let me explain the difference between Stacked UM and Non-Stacked UM.
When you own more than one car, and you purchase Stacked UM insurance, you get to add or “Stack” the UM policies. For example, let’s say you own two cars, and have coverage of one hundred thousand dollars per car, and if you are in a wreck, then you can stack the two coverage’s and receive up to two hundred thousand dollars. One hundred for the first car and one hundred for the second car.
Oftentimes, people will ask me, since I only own one car, so why should I buy Stacked UM since I don’t have another car to stack the coverage on top of? And the answer to this question is the most important reason why you want Stacked UM coverage.
Stacked UM should also be called “Follow” UM coverage. Because the coverage follows you wherever you go. For example, if you have Stacked UM and you are Driving someone else’s car and get in a wreck, your UM follows you and you are protected. If you are a Passenger in someone else’s car, you are covered. If you are a Pedestrian, or riding a Bike and a car hits you, you are still covered since your Stacked UM coverage follows you. So Stacked means it follows you everywhere. My friend says Stacked UM will protect you even if you are in a submarine and you get hit by a car.
So now you know why stacked UM insurance is so important to protect you and your family if they are ever involved in a motor vehicle collision, even if you are riding a bike, skateboard, or a pedestrian.
YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO UM FROM THE CAR YOU ARE IN, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PERSONAL UM INSURANCE!
There is even more to collectability than just your own Uninsured Motorist coverage. In some situations, you may be able to collect under your own UM policy, and if you are in some other vehicle not owned by you that also happens to have UM insurance, you may be covered under both insurance policies.
For example, if you were riding in someone else’s car and you are injured by an underinsured driver, you may be able to collect the UM from the owner of the car you are riding in and additionally make a UM claim under your own policy.
Or, if the driver of the car you were a passenger in has Uninsured Motorist insurance, then you may be able to make a recovery from that insurance policy as well.
And if you are driving or riding in a company car, then you need to know if the company provided Uninsured Motorist coverage.
If the car is a rental car you need to know if anyone purchased the extra Uninsured Motorist coverage.
The bottom line is that you need to know how much insurance coverage is available to make an informed decision about the value of your claim.
WHAT IF THE AT FAULT DRIVER IS RICH AND HAS A LOT OF ASSETS?
What if the at fault vehicle is owned and operated by a giant corporation?
ASSETS – Let’s say you were involved in a motor vehicle crash involving a huge corporation. Well, you can probably safely assume that the big corporation has significant insurance and assets to pay you for any damages they caused you.
This means the collectability in your car accident case is quite high, and should be able to fully compensate you for all of your damages.
What is my Car Accident Injury Case Worth
What is My Case Worth
After a car accident determining the value of your injury claim has a few basic elements: Damages, Liability and Collectability.
Obviously the More At Fault the other driver is, the easier it will be to prove why you should be paid in full for your car accident injuries. This is why collecting fault or liability evidence quickly after a car crash is so important.
Evidence of fault can easily disappear. So the sooner you call my office and ask for help, the sooner we can start gathering evidence to prove your claim.
I have already talked about the importance of finding good doctors to treat you, because they are the best evidence of how badly you have been injured.
But this section covers the collectability of your car accident injury case.
If the at fault person has no or low insurance, and you don’t have good car insurance Uninsured Motorist coverage, then your car accident injury case may have less value.
This is why it is so important to hire an experienced Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who knows how to track down any and all insurance coverages that you may be entitled to be paid from.
If you have questions about a car accident injury claim in Florida, please call me at 813-222-2222 and we will give you a free telephone consultation.
Please don’t wait to call me.
Matt Powell, Esq.
Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar
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