- How to Recover Your Injury Costs
- How Much Is a Personal Injury Settlement?
- How Much Should I Ask for in a Lawsuit?
- How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Suit?
- What Happens After a Personal Injury Lawsuit is Filed?
- Contact The Law Place for a Free Consultation
Car crashes are a horrible time for everyone involved. Especially when there are injuries involved. No one should leave their house in the morning and then end up injured through no fault of their own. If you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, you are probably considering seeking compensation, as is your right. Now you have a problem, you have seen the flashy adverts and heard stories about Florida personal injury lawyers, but you are not yet sure whether you want to hire one to represent you.
A personal injury lawyer’s job is to take injury cases just like yours, represent you and fight on your behalf to seek the compensation you deserve. They will help you recover medical treatment costs, medical bills, and compensation for your pain and suffering.
At The Law Place we will fight by your side every step of the way. Unlike other law firms, we work as a team so that you can benefit from our 70 years of combined experience.
Our phone lines are always open, so contact us today on (888) 224-6114 to arrange a free consultation.
How to Recover Your Injury Costs
You might be wondering whether you need to file a lawsuit to recover your injury costs. Let’s look into it.
After an accident, the insurance company of the party at fault will have been informed of what has happened. They will now rush to inform their legal team and claims adjusters. They are now going to make you a target, their job? To devalue your claim. They will be looking for any possible means to offer you a lower payment then you deserve, they may even attempt to refuse your injury claim.
Unfortunately, these legal teams are exceptionally good at what they do, so fighting them on your own is going to be a struggle, especially if you are still dealing with physical or mental injuries and the stress that follows a car crash. This means that you could be vulnerable, you might make a bad judgment call, and this could cost you your claim.
The best way to prevent this is to hire a reputable and skilled lawyer to fight your case. By agreeing to representation, your lawyer then becomes your strongest ally and advocate. They will handle all correspondence, do all of the investigations, fill in all of the paperwork, and, most importantly, go on the offensive for you. At the very least, this will back the insurance company and their legal team off, making them think long and hard about whether they actually want the fight.
At this point, they will most likely try and offer a settlement. If you are happy with the settlement, you can accept it, and if not, you can refuse it. If you refuse it, the other insurance company has two options, to raise the payment amount or to refuse your claim.
So yes, it is possible to recover your injury costs without a lawsuit. This only happens if you, your lawyer and the insurance company can come to some kind of agreement on a settlement. If you refuse the offers, and they refuse to raise their offer, the next step will be a lawsuit.
How Much Is a Personal Injury Settlement?
The settlement offered to you is an offer that is meant to dissuade you from going to court. To many, this settlement is the best option, and not many people want to deal with a lengthy court battle. You should always refuse offers that are not agreeable to you though, don’t let a court battle put you off seeking what you deserve. If you are wondering what a good settlement amount is, it can be hard to estimate.
There isn’t a simple answer to what a decent settlement amount is because car accidents and personal injury cases are so complex. The settlement will depend on the severity of your injuries, the loss of wages, and the medical bills and damage done to your vehicle.
The insurance company will calculate what they are going to offer you through a range of gradable factors. They will look at:
- How bad the injuries are.
- How costly the medical bill cost is.
- The past and potential future medical expenses.
- The fault.
- The age of the injured parties.
- How much the accident has impacted your day-to-day life.
These are all tangible and measurable factors, the claims adjusters and legal team of the insurance company will grade your claim before entering the scores into a computer. This computer will then work out what the insurance company should offer in a settlement. This payment is usually low, which is why we always suggest refusing the first offer that the insurance company makes. The loss adjusters and legal team will usually have some authority to increase the payments to a certain degree.
It is worth remembering, though, that In accordance with Florida Statute 627.7407, you are required to first seek damages from your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. However, if your damages exceed the limits of your policy then you will need to claim from the at-fault party.
Insurance companies are notoriously driven by their profits. They will always aim to pay out as little as possible. This means that even if you feel like you have a bomb-proof case, you will still have a fight on your hands. This is why we always recommend representation by a reputable law firm.
How Much Should I Ask for in a Lawsuit?
Often, the beginning of a personal injury case starts with a demand letter. This is a letter outlying what you expect and how much compensation you will be happy to settle with. Deciding what number to ask for can be a difficult task. Our advice is to begin the negotiation process for a compensation value that is higher than the amount he or she would actually be happy to accept. It is very rare that a case is settled on the figure asked for in the first instance. Most likely, this is just the start of the negotiation stage. The insurance company will probably send a low-ball offer back to you in return.
A good rule of thumb is to make your offer at around 75% to 100% more than the amount that would be acceptable. If you think you deserve $10,000 dollars, then make your offer $17,500-20,000.
Your letter should include a specific sum of money at the end. This is the compensation for your pain and suffering and loss of income and damages. You should also recap the strongest parts of your arguments. These are good things to take advantage of:
- Dangerous behavior by the other party.
- High levels of pain.
- Extensive treatment plans.
- Long recovery period.
- Permanent Injuries.
These are all factors that could boost your case and hopefully will convince the insurance company that they cannot get away with a low-ball offer.
How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Suit?
When you are considering filing an insurance claim or a potential personal injury lawsuit in the state of Florida, it pays note to familiarize yourself with the state’s laws and the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.
Just as with any other state, Florida has a strict statute of laws that limit the time that you have to file a lawsuit after the incident.
Under Florida Statue 95.11, you have four years to file your personal injury lawsuit from the date of the accident. After this period of time, you are forever barred from making a claim regarding that particular incident.
The only time this law is relaxed is if your injuries prevent you from making a claim in the allocated time period.
Besides the statute of limitations surrounding personal injury cases, there are other reasons why you should not wait to start the process.
Your attorney will be responsible for doing your investigations and building your case. With incidents like car accidents, the further from the date of the crash, the harder it is to gather evidence. Reports can be lost, witnesses can be harder to contact, and first responders may have a harder time recalling the crash. So, although you have four years to claim, the sooner after the accident happened, the better the chances of a higher payout and successful case.
What Happens After a Personal Injury Lawsuit is Filed?
If you have decided not to accept the final settlement figure offered to you, or the other insurance company is refusing to acknowledge your injury claim, you will proceed into the trial phase.
As you have hired an injury attorney to represent you, at this point, they become your advocate. This means that as of this point, they are going to fight for you, shield you, and protect your legal interests. During this period, they will be presenting your case while protecting you from any external forces trying to influence your decisions and judgment.
Now that it has turned into a court case, they will begin their investigations. The focus has now shifted from negotiations to placing fault on the over driver and convincing the judge and jury that you are entitled to what you are asking for and that the other driver was clearly at fault.
Your attorney will now begin to compile accident reports, witness statements, and document the full details of the accident. They might get in touch with expert witnesses who can back up your claims, and they might contact law enforcement and first responder to get statements from them.
To build your case, your attorney will look to answer three questions:
How Did It Happen?
First things first, how did the accident happen. What were the events leading to the crash? Were there any external factors that influenced the event. Did anyone see it happen?
Who is Legally Responsible for the Crash?
Next, they will figure out where the legal blame falls. During this phase, your lawyer will be looking at the facts of your crash and where that places things in terms of the state laws.
Was anyone negligent in your case in accordance with Florida Statute 768.81? Did anyone have a legal duty? Did someone violate their legal duty? Did that said violation result in a crash? These are all things that need to be answered to complete this stage of the investigation.
How Much has the Injury Changed the Victims Life?
The last thing to work out to build your case is how much the accident has affected the way you live your life. Have you had to take time off work? Pay medical bills? Are you suffering from PTSD? Have you lost a limb? This question is what your lawyer will use to work out how much you are entitled to in their eyes and the eyes of the law.
Armed with their investigation results, your lawyer will then build your case, ready to present it to a judge and jury. If the case is strong enough, they will be convinced, resulting in the judge awarding the damages you have asked for, or what they believe is the correct amount.
It is worth bearing in mind that most cases settle long before they reach a judge and jury. Some important factors that can help win you a good personal injury settlement value without a court case are:
- The reputation of your lawyer can often be enough to warrant a higher settlement offer. Insurance companies are less likely to let the case go to trial if your lawyer has a record for winning cases like yours.
- The strength of your case.
- The severity of your injuries and medical treatment.
- The degree of your pain and suffering.
- The dangerous behavior of the other party.
Contact The Law Place for a Free Consultation
If you want the best possible chance at seeking compensation that is reasonable and fair for your injuries and losses, it really helps to hire a skilled, reputable personal injury law firm to fight your case.
Here at The Law Place, our team has a combined experience in dealing with cases like yours of over 70 years. We offer a free consultation with no strings attached. During this quick call, we will give you some free advice on what we think is the best course of action for you. If you don’t want to proceed, no problem!
If you do decide to hire one of our skilled personal injury attorneys, you will be able to sit back and focus on your recovery, knowing that our team of knowledgeable attorneys are fighting your corner for the compensation you deserve.
Contact us now on (888) 224-6114.