On this page, our car accident attorneys will discuss Orlando auto accident lawsuits. We will explain some of the relevant areas of Florida law that apply in auto tort cases and we will discuss how much settlement compensation plaintiffs typically get in car accident lawsuits in Orlando.
Auto Accidents in Orlando
The city of Orlando, in Organ County, FL, has a population of just over 300,000. The larger Orlando metropolitan area includes over 2.5 million people. In addition to all of these local residents, however, are large numbers of tourists who populate Orlando and the surrounding area all year round. Walt Disney World has made Orlando the 4th most visited city in the U.S.
The mix of a large local population, plus a large tourist population makes for some busy roadways in and around Orlando. In 2022, there were just over 26,000 police-reported vehicle accidents in Orange County, with 20,000 of them involving physical injuries to drivers, passengers or pedestrians. Orange County also averages around 150-180 vehicle accident fatalities each year.
Orlando Auto Accident Laws
In every lawsuit originating out of a car accident in Orlando, there will be 3 separate areas of Florida law that could potentially be applicable: (1) tort law (which determines liability for injuries), (2) traffic laws or rules of the road, and (3) vehicle insurance laws. The traffic rules and the vehicle laws are set forth in the Florida statutory code. Below is a brief outline of all the key Florida laws that apply in car accident lawsuits.
2-Year Statute of Limitations for Orlando Car Accident Lawsuits
Car accident injury cases in Orlando are coverage by Florida’s general 2-year statute of limitation for cases involving negligence. This means that you have to file your lawsuit within 2-years of the date of your car accident or your case will be barred by the SOL (42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(2)). There are some very limited exceptions to this rule, such as when the plaintiff is a minor at the time of the accident. But for the most part, you should assume that 2-years is the maximum time you can wait to file suit.
If the case involves only personal injuries resulting from the accident, the 2-year period will begin to run from the date of the accident. However, if the case involves a wrongful death claim, the 2-year SOL period will be to run from the date of death.
Modified Comparative Fault in Orlando Auto Accident Cases
In many car accident lawsuits, the defendant will attempt to argue that the plaintiff’s own negligence or traffic rule violation was partly to blame for the accident. This is referred to as a shared fault defense. In cases involving shared fault, Florida follows the legal doctrine known as comparative fault. Under comparative fault, a plaintiff’s damages are reduced by their percentage share of fault. Below is an example to illustrate how this works in practice.
Let’s say Nancy visits Orlando and rents a car to go to Disney World. On her way out of the airport she hits Jack, a pedestrian. The jury finds that Nancy was 60% at fault, but Jack was 40% at-fault for not following the cross-walk signals. The jury awards $100,000 in damages to Nancy. Nancy’s damages will be reduced by 40% so she will only get $60,000.
Damages Available in Orlando Car Accident Cases
Florida has some fairly strict caps on the maximum amount of damages that plaintiffs can receive in personal injury lawsuits. In most auto accident lawsuits, however, the damages never get high enough for these caps to apply. Notwithstanding the damage caps, plaintiffs in Orlando auto accident cases are still entitled to pursue all of the general categories of damages available to tort plaintiffs, including:
- Past and Future Medical Expenses
- Past and Future Lost Wages or Lost Income
- Mental Pain and Suffering
How Much Are Orlando Auto Accident Cases Worth?
The settlement value of a car accident injury case in Orlando is based on various factors which are often very different in each individual case. The most significant factor that always drives the settlement value of a case more than any other is the nature and severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. More serious injuries involve more medical expenses and more pain & suffering, which equates to a higher settlement value. The chart below shows the average settlement value range of Orlando car accident cases based on the severity level of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Orange County is not as favorable a jurisdiction for personal injury plaintiffs compared to other places like Miami-Dade County. As a result, the average settlement value for cases in Orange County are somewhat lower compared to other places in Florida.
|INJURY SEVERITY LEVEL
|$16,000 – $34,000
|$54,000 – $139,000
|$165,000 – $410,000
Orlando Car Accident Settlements and Verdicts
Below are recent 2022-2023 verdicts and reported settlements from Orlando car accident lawsuits (including all of Orange County). These cases are provided for informational purposes only and are not a guarantee of value in your case.
$500,000 Verdict (2023 Orange County): The plaintiff claimed to suffer permanent injuries including protruding discs at C2-3, C3-4, C5-6 and L5-S1 abutting the nerve root, annular fissures, and a bulging disc at L4-5 after the vehicle he was driving westbound on an interstate collided with two vehicles that had fallen off of an eastbound auto transport truck, operated by the defendant.
$75,000 Verdict (2023 Orange County): The plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a non-party when his host vehicle was rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic near a school in Kissime by a vehicle owned by the defendant Commercial Refrigeration Systems Incorporated (CRSI). The plaintiffs’ injuries were unspecified.
$2,720,100 Verdict (2023 Orange County): The plaintiff claimed to suffer permanent injuries including herniated discs after the vehicle she was driving westbound was struck on the passenger side by a vehicle attempting a left turn while exiting a convenience store in Orlando. The plaintiff contended that she sustained temporary and permanent injuries as a result of the accident. The defendant admitted negligence but disputed causation and damages. Verdict included $1.2 million for past and future medical expenses.
$3,687,327 Verdict (2023 Orange County): The plaintiff claimed to suffer permanent injuries including herniated discs at L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5-S1, central stenosis, lumbar nerve root damage, and multiple surgeries after the vehicle he was driving, stopped at a red light on an interstate exit ramp, was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer driven by the defendant. The lawsuit was brought against both the driver and the trucking company, which had a large liability policy. The verdict included $750,000 for medical expenses and $2.9 million for pain and suffering.
$286,194 Verdict (2023 Orange County): The plaintiff said she was driving westbound on a busy road leading into Walt Disney World when her vehicle was struck by the defendant. The defendant was reportedly driving eastbound near an intersection when he attempted to make a left turn and caused the collision.
Hire an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer
The personal injury attorneys at Miller & Zois can help you with your Orlando car accident lawsuit. We work with local counsel in Orlando at no additional cost to our clients to deliver the maximum possible compensation for your case. Contact us today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.