How to Maximize Your Settlement Award in a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida

Negotiating a settlement award is significantly more common than pursuing injury litigation all the way to trial.  In fact, trial litigation is generally considered a last resort in the event that settlement negotiations fall through.


The litigation process can be rather time-consuming, expensive, stress-inducing, and uncertain for all parties.  It is plausible that a given party could spend a great deal of time, energy, and money on injury litigation, only to lose, or alternatively, to realize a disappointing win (for example, if the damage award is unsatisfactory).

Personal injury settlement avoids the inherent risks and costs of litigation by allowing parties to negotiate their own compromise award – taking into account the possibility of eventual success at trial.

Accounting for Uncertainty

The key to negotiating a settlement is understanding and maximizing those factors that positively influence the chance of success at trial.

Suppose, for example, that you are injured in a car accident.  You assert that your injury claim is worth $250,000 in total, and you have a great deal of evidence that supports your calculation.  In early settlement negotiations, however, the defendant is only willing to compromise at $125,000 or less.

Such a compromise might be untenable for you, but let’s examine why the defendant may be unwilling to compromise at the $250,000 value, despite the fact that the damages amount is reasonable in light of the evidence.

Though your injury claim may actually be worth $250,000, it is only worth that much in real terms if you win at trial.  When negotiating the settlement award, the damages amount must be modified by the perceived chance of success at trial.  For example, if the defendant legitimately believes that he or she stands an equal chance of success at trial, then the $250,000 amount is likely to be seen as unfair.

According to the defendant, there is a 50% chance of success at trial, and therefore the fairest compromise is a $125,000 settlement.

To state it simply: settlement negotiations are generally a matter of compromising around the risks of trial litigation.  As a personal injury plaintiff, the more you can show the defendant that you will succeed if the case goes to trial, the more likely it is that the defendant will make a higher settlement offer.

Influencing Factors

The following is a non-exhaustive list of factors that are likely to affect the value of your settlement award in a Florida injury case.

Liability is Obvious

If the defendant is clearly liable for your injuries – in other words, the evidence leaves little room for argument – then this is likely to drive up the value of your settlement offer significantly.  When the defendant is clearly and obviously liable, then your chance of success at trial is much higher.  You have a great deal of leverage in these cases, but be aware that there is still space for disagreement as to the actual damages.

Defendant is a Public Entity

If the defendant is a Florida public entity, then they will enjoy certain immunities and protections that private entities do not otherwise enjoy.  As such, the public entity status of the defendant is likely to drive the value of your settlement offers down somewhat – unless you can put together a convincing argument that the existence of such protections will not affect your case.

Multiple Defendants

If you are suing multiple defendants, then your settlement offers may be quite variable.  When there are multiple defendants, each defendant will likely argue that they are liable for a relatively small percentage of the total fault.  This can add a layer of complexity to settlement considerations, and may drive down the value of each defendant’s individual settlement offer.

Charismatic Plaintiff or Defendant

A charismatic or relatable defendant is more likely to win at trial, solely due to the fact that the jury will favor them and will generally find their testimony more believable.  As such, the settlement offer will likely take this into account.  If you are particularly charismatic or relatable, a skilled personal injury attorney will ensure that this advantage is communicated in early settlement negotiations.

Pre-Existing Injuries or Other Condition

A pre-existing injury or condition is likely to be a sticking point for the defendant, particularly if it is closely linked to your new injuries.  Though you may legally recover damages for the exacerbation of an injury or condition, the damages are generally lower than if the injury was exclusively created by the accident at-issue.  As such, the presence of related pre-existing injuries are likely to drive down the value of your settlement offer, though this effect can be minimized with convincing medical record evidence.

If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of someone else’s wrongful acts or omissions, seek the counsel of the skilled Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A..

Client Testimonials

“…the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated”

Fuchs was my car accident attorney and was very responsive from the first call. I had medical care the next day and the whole process was smooth. They handled everything with the insurance companies and coordinated all of the necessary medical information. It was a long process and in the end the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated I am more than happy and grateful for the outcome.

Sean O.
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“Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely.”

It’s been a long bumpy road to recovery but with David and his office’s help, we finally got it done! Through a great network of professionals, David Fuchs makes a good experience out of what could’ve been quite a headache. Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely. Thank you!

Giovanni G.
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“…they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved.”

I got in an accident in December 2021 when everyone was short staffed and insurance companies was not responsive. My boyfriend reached out to David F. and what a life changing experience. We had the pleasure of having all our worries handed to professional help. They worked diligently on our case, answered questions when asked and kept us updated on changes. More importantly they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved. I have dealt with others in the past but David got me the most according to the facts presented and never backed down when the insurance companies tried to make us settle for less. Thank you David, Jessica and the team for all your effort and hard work. I will recommend them to family and friends. [They’re] the best in town!

Sheila N.
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“Best lawyer in Broward County”
Evans P.
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“Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful.”

I highly recommend Law offices of David Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful. The case was handled in a timely manner and I was always informed if there were any changes or updates with my case.

Velouse G.
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“Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know.”

Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know. He is really good at what he does and puts 110% in you case. I have been using him for 19 years now and refer all my friends to him. I can leave him alone with my case and not call him all the time. I know he is working hard in my case. When he has any information he calls me and we go from there. There are not a lot of attorneys I can do that with! If you have any Personal Injuries please do call him. You won’t be disappointed!!

Libby E.
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“I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.”

At first I was afraid…I was petrified! I truly was! But the extensive knowledge, patience and professionalism I received brought me not only such peace and assurance that I was in good hands, but we got through my case like shining stars! David made sure I understood exactly what, when, where, why and [answered] whatever question I had. I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.

Donna M.
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“They have a wonderful team.”

…took care of my well-being [and were] very informative about my situation. [T]hey were on the ball when it came down to settling…I highly recommend David.

Nicholas G.
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“My experience with David Fuchs was awesome.”

I got a really good return… thank you David Fuchs and staff for being so helpful and working so hard to help us, you are appreciated.

Yvette W.
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“This is a great law office.”

The David I Fuchs law office is a group of excellent people that helped to their fullest potential. They treated me with respect and I really appreciate that. This is a great law office.

Jonathan Z.
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“Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident.”

It has been an unexpected journey since stepping foot in Florida. Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident. I just want to thank the staff and all the support. The Therapy the doctors; you guys were awesome and made me feel better in my situation. This the first time I ever experience such a thing but I’m blessed , thankful and behind it all DAVID FUCHS who made it happen for me.

Sade P.
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“They helped tremendously!”

I would totally recommend David to everyone. They’re extremely professional and work in a timely manner. They helped tremendously!

A Boone
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“I highly recommend this man.”

A good man knows, his law 35 years experience. Will get the job done and help you and your family get compensated for you pain and damages. I highly recommend this man. I want to revisit my review and say that Mr. Fuchs always picks up his phone and answer any questions that may pertain to my case. Thank you, David.

N. Hit
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“He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner.”

David Fuchs was my car accident attorney. He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner. I would highly recommend him to others.

Samantha D.
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“…all went good and successful. thank you so much for all your help.”

I got into an accident for the first time and I didn’t know what do or how things works, but I was lucky to find a professional and helpful people to guide through this experience.
They did take care of my case all went good and successful thank you so much for all your help.

Karen G.
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“Very professional. Had no problems with communication”
Zuberi L.
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“He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.”

I was in a car accident and looking for a professional, caring attorney.I was fortunate to find Mr. Fuchs, who helped me through the whole process. He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.

Joan K.
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“My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled.”

Had a car accident and needed an advocate to communicate my concerns through my insurance provider. The law office of David Fuchs, was efficient and thorough. My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled. Would highly recommend giving this office a call if you need legal assistance.

Willie M.
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“A+++++ recommended.”

I want to thank the office of David Fuch’s. A+++++ recommended.

J. Hernandez
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“I could not have asked for a better team by my side.”

They were very helpful. I could not have asked for a better team by my side.

S. Rodriguez
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“They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me.”

I was in an accident mid last year and Mr. Fuchs handled my case and his case manager[s] Yessi and Jessica were very informative as to the process. They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me. Mr. Fuchs was extremely knowledgeable and informed me of everything that would happen in my case. I will recommend this firm to my family and friends and i will be using their services in future if need be.

Pastor D.
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