Passengers involved in motor vehicle accidents have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries. Exactly how much a passenger can get depends on the circumstances of their crash as well as various other factors.
In every case, the skill and experience of an injured passenger’s car accident attorney will play a significant role in the passenger’s final compensation total.
Why Choose the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys?
Here are some of the top reasons to consider working with the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys:
You Only Pay When We Win
As a firm that has represented thousands of injury victims, we understand how much our clients need financial resources to address their losses. Consequently, we never settle for lowball offers from insurance companies.
In past years, we have recovered over $100 million for clients and can potentially help you as well. Remember: We do not charge fees up front, and you only pay us if your case is successful.
More than Two Decades of Serving Injured Clients
For nearly 25 years, the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys has fought to recover valuable financial resources for its injury victim clients. Firm leaders Frank and Jennifer Fernandez have dedicated their entire practice to helping ensure that negligent actors pay what their victims deserve.
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys looks forward to 25 more years of providing top-quality legal service.
Thousands of Satisfied Clients
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys has fought and won significant compensation for thousands of injury victims throughout Florida and the nation.
Its attorneys have earned a reputation for being fierce representatives of every client’s financial interests, and they consistently bring in substantial settlement awards and verdicts.
Many have trusted the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, and so can you.
Award-Winning Trial Lawyers with National Recognition
Thanks to consistently delivering top-shelf legal services to its clients, the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys has earned respect and accolades from important industry groups and peers.
Organizations such as SuperLawyers, Who’s Who, and Tampa Magazine have heralded the work of Frank and Jennifer Fernandez and their team of top injury attorneys.
Just the Right Size
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys is not a large firm with anonymous attorneys and other professionals who process clients impersonally.
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys is the right size for injury victims who want to feel like they matter. Every attorney and staff member treats each client like a member of the Fernandez family and provides the personalized attention they need.
We Are Not Afraid to Go to Trial When Necessary
Some personal injury firms might convince their clients to settle for less than they deserve instead of going to trial, but the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys never backs down when their clients deserve more.
The firm’s attorneys have built a collective reputation with insurance companies as staunch representatives of their clients from beginning to end.
Compensation Payouts for Passengers in Car Wrecks
As mentioned, the amount of compensation that a passenger might receive largely depends on their injuries. For example, if you sprain your wrist, the compensation you receive will be far less than what you would get for a broken back.
But the extent of your injuries is not the sole factor in determining how much your payout will be. How your injuries affect your day-to-day life can also play a role in the amount of compensation you receive.
For example, Florida law allows injury victims to seek compensation for lost income when an injury knocks them out of the workforce. If an injury victim was making $500 a week and had to miss three weeks of work, they could be entitled to $1,500 in compensation for lost work.
Now, consider an injured passenger who typically makes $1,000 per week and misses three weeks of work. After sustaining an injury in a car crash, they can pursue double the wage replacement as the injured passenger who makes $500 a week.
In other words, each passenger’s situation is different. Even though two passengers might suffer the same injuries, they may end up with different levels of compensation due to different income-loss totals.
Generally speaking, passengers who are involved in a car accident may claim two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to direct, monetary loss a victim faces due to their injuries.
In addition to medical care expenses and income losses, economic damages may also include:
- Travel expenses related to care
- Domestic homecare services costs
- Expenses related to home and car modifications for adapting to injuries
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are not direct financial losses but rather intangible harms that are mental and psychological in nature.
For example, a passenger victim of a car crash might experience the emotional distress that often accompanies serious car accident injuries. Fortunately, emotional distress is compensable under Florida law, as are a variety of other non-economic damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost sexual ability and function and loss of consortium
Although Florida allows victims to seek a whole host of damages, victims must prove their losses. It is not enough to claim loss of enjoyment of life or loss of income without evidence.
For this reason, passengers in need of a proper compensation payout should contact an experienced injury firm to help them ensure that each of their losses is compensated.
As the name states, punitive damages exist to punish bad behavior. In traffic cases, injury victims may pursue punitive damages only when their car accident attorney can prove that gross negligence caused the accident.
Gross negligence refers to behavior that is beyond mere negligence. It describes actions that are so reckless and wanton that they create a high risk of serious injury or death, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
After reviewing a case, an experienced car accident attorney will know whether punitive damages are on the table. If they are, the insurance company may be more likely to settle instead of risking being made to pay punitive damages.
Common Injuries Car Passengers Face
Finding out how much a passenger can get after a car accident begins with determining the nature and extent of the injuries they have suffered. Generally speaking, the graver the injuries, the more compensation a passenger can expect.
Sadly, passengers frequently suffer serious injuries that lead to substantial losses, both financial and non-monetary.
The physical injuries a passenger experiences in a crash can be substantial. According to crash data for the state, passengers experience thousands of incapacitating injuries every year while riding in vehicles with others. Many of them also face the prospect of death, either on the scene or later after succumbing to their injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
TBIs are among the most serious injuries. Passengers who experience TBIs could be in for expensive, long-term medical care. Therefore, TBIs can garner substantial compensation in many cases.
Spinal Cord and Back Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis and death. Surviving passengers of car crashes who sustain spinal cord injuries usually require long-term medical treatment, care, and rehabilitation.
If a passenger becomes permanently paralyzed, they may be out of work for the rest of their lives and deserve substantial compensation.
Broken and Crushed Bones
Car accidents typically lead to bone breaks and in serious cases, crushed bones. The medical costs and rehabilitation can add up to a small fortune in some cases. Adding in time off work and other losses, a passenger who experiences broken or crushed bones in a car wreck may require significant compensation to be made whole.
Organ and nerve damage and damage to other internal body parts are common in car accidents. Passengers who experience any form of internal damage likely require expensive surgeries and hospital stays, not to mention time off work.
Lacerations, Abrasions, and Burns
Cuts, burns, and scrapes can seriously impact a car passenger’s life, leading to time away from work and the need for multiple surgeries and treatments. In some cases, victims are left with scars for the rest of their lives.
An amputation can disrupt a car passenger’s life and require costly medical treatment. Amputation victims need high-dollar compensation awards to rebuild their lives for the future.
Car passengers who experience an amputation will also incur emotional or mental injuries. Although not as objective as monetary losses, non-monetary losses can have a significant impact on an amputation victim’s daily life.
The stress and fear associated with car accidents often have negative psychological consequences for victims. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly manifests in accident survivors, especially when serious injury or death occurs because of the accident. Years of expensive treatment may be required to work past it.
Anxiety and/or Depression
Post-car accident lives can become marred by depression, anxiety, or both. A person who previously had no concerns about either of these conditions can find themselves battling for their mental health after a car accident. As with PTSD, expensive therapy may be required.
Two Important Factors Influencing Compensation
Besides the seriousness and nature of an injury and employment circumstances, two other factors can influence how much money a car passenger might get after an accident.
Believe it or not, two clients involved in similar accidents and with the same injuries can get wildly divergent results solely based on the car accident attorney they hire to represent them.
The claims process is not typically advantageous for victims. In fact, the norm is to see insurance company adjusters do what they can to either reject claims or substantially reduce the amount they must pay.
Because of this, injury victims who hire a seasoned car accident attorney to represent them get far more compensation than injury victims who do not have a car accident lawyer.
Dealing with unreasonable insurance companies takes experience, skill, and training. Having a reputation for not settling helps immensely, as does having a history of bringing in high-dollar verdicts at trial.
The bottom line is that going through the claims process alone is a sure way to get far less compensation than you deserve. Hiring a car accident lawyer with a proven track record of results is the best way to maximize your chances of getting the highest payout available.
Damage caps are limits on the amount of money a person may be awarded for their losses. Although some states have caps on certain types of compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages), Florida has no caps for compensatory damages, which are defined as the economic and non-economic losses a victim suffers.
However, punitive damages in Florida do have a cap. The limit is four times the amount of all compensatory damages combined, or $2 million.
No matter how strong your case is or how experienced a car accident lawyer you hire, your claim will become worthless if you do not take legal action in a timely manner. Car passengers injured in a wreck have four years to take legal action.
Although four years is a generous statute of limitations, injury victims should be aware that the strength of a case typically degrades as time goes on. The longer after the accident the claim is filed, the weaker the case is likely to be.
In turn, the insurance company handling the payout may use this time lag as a reason to pay less compensation to the accident victim.
If you have been injured while riding as a passenger in a car, you may be entitled to a substantial payout. How much you receive depends on numerous factors, especially the quality of your car accident lawyer.
Contact the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys and find out how a firm with a reputation for winning high-dollar payouts for its clients can help you. Remember: If we do not win, you owe us nothing. Call to speak to a car accident lawyer today.