Personal injury is the event in which harm is caused to the body, emotions, or mental health, but not property damage. Pain and suffering damages can be claimed in personal injury cases. This can be done through the insurance company of the involved parties, or filed by the victim or a personal representative, typically a personal injury lawyer, in civil court. Florida is a no-fault state, which means civil courts will almost always deny car accident claims and forego responsibility to insurance companies. Some claims may not require a lawyer at all.
In order to determine whether or not you need to hire a lawyer for your personal injury claim, we at The Law Place always recommend seeking legal advice with a qualified attorney. We offer a free consultation with no obligation to ensure that you know your options and can proceed confidently with your personal injury case. If it is determined that you have a legitimate claim in civil court or that settlement is in your best interest, we can provide a team of professional and qualified attorneys to aid you in your legal battle or settlement.
All of our attorneys work together on every case. We guarantee a thorough and experienced approach to all personal injury claims and can help lighten the load during your trying time. The Law Place works on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you do. Our pay structure will be outlined in your consultation, so there are no surprise fees or costs.
Call our law firm today to schedule your free consultation on (941) 444-4444.
How Do I Deal With a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?
Firstly, a personal injury must be medically proven to have occurred. You should seek medical attention and keep a log of all wounds sustained in the incident. Take pictures of the injuries as well. In claims court, you have a responsibility to mitigate any costs associated with your injuries, and a doctor’s record of treatment will play in your favor. If it is found that your injuries compounded because you didn’t seek medical attention, you may not have a claim to those damages. Also, your minor injury could evolve into a major one. That little case of whiplash could turn into a slipped disk, and if you settle before that happens, you might not have a claim to further compensation.
The next step is to file a report with your insurance company. No-fault laws mean that insurance companies deal with auto accident claims unless a catastrophic or serious injury is sustained. In the case of death, a wrongful death claim may include personal injury in the damages you may be entitled to. Insurance companies will send out investigators to prove legitimacy and collect evidence. The company will negotiate with the other party’s insurance to determine what sort of compensation you are entitled to. Without insurance, especially car insurance, a Florida personal injury case become extremely difficult to pursue. Make sure you are covered to prevent these sorts of complications from happening.
Health insurance or personal injury coverage will typically alleviate some of the associated costs and may negate the legal justification for a civil claim. It is important to record any serious or catastrophic injuries that you may have sustained and report them to your auto or health insurance provider. According to Florida Statute 316.027, serious injury is a personal condition that creates a substantial risk for death, permanent or significant scarring or disfigurement, or the loss of bodily function or mobility.
If talks with insurance companies fail and you are unable to reach a settlement, you may determine your best course of action is filing suit in civil court to claim your damages. You can pursue this matter without an attorney, filing all the paperwork necessary on your own behalf or for your loved one as their personal representative. However, the claims process is complex and time-consuming. There are a plethora of laws that you are not expected to know of. It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney if you decide to go to court. The Law Place has an experienced team who can help you navigate the process of a civil court claim and help alleviate the associated burden of this filing. Especially if you are experiencing pain and suffering, it is highly advisable to let an attorney do the talking for you.
Can I Get a Settlement Without a Lawyer?
As stated above, it is entirely possible to settle a personal injury claim without a lawyer. Insurance companies can negotiate on your behalf in talks with the opposing party and may find a settlement that you are happy with. In auto accident cases, this is typically what happens. You can also negotiate a settlement with the party directly, although this is not advisable as you may settle for a severely underestimated sum.
Small claims can definitely be dealt with without a lawyer. Pain and suffering caused by minor injury are usually covered by small claims. According to the Florida Courts, small claims are considered to be totaling under $8,000, not including court costs and lawyer’s fees. Anything above that would be considered a large claim. Most small claims are settled out of court by insurance companies or through arbitration, and the associated costs are much less in comparison to a large claim.
However, if you fail to negotiate an adequate settlement with your insurance, you may want to pursue legal action. It is always beneficial to have a lawyer on your side. An experienced personal injury lawyer may obtain a higher sum and claim damages you didn’t think of. When dealing with the opposing insurance company, an insurance adjuster will do everything in their power to reduce the settlement available to you, including discrediting your claim and even pursuing damages against you. Having good legal representation ensures protection against an insurance company with only their interests at heart.
How Much Does It Cost to File a Personal Injury Claim?
If you only file with your insurance company, the cost for your personal injury claim can be nothing. Insurance is there for claims to be made. You already pay for that insurance monthly or yearly, and claims should be covered by your premiums. According to Florida Statute 627.7407, car insurance providers must also include personal injury protection in their policy. In the event of a car accident, you should be covered to the maximum your policy allows. It is also important that the opposing insurance company accepts liability for your claim. Never assume that this is a given. Always get responsibility for this liability in writing. Otherwise, you may be stuck with exorbitant costs and no legal recourse available.
The costs of filing a claim in civil courts in Florida vary county by county. Typically, personal injury claims forms cost from $100-$400. There are also court costs to consider, and if a case goes to a jury trial, you will have to cover juror stipends as well. The total cost of a court case can total in the thousands of dollars.
Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
The Law Place always recommends consulting with an attorney before pursuing your legal matter or settlement claim. Personal injury lawyers have knowledge about the complexities of Florida law that, unless you have a law degree, would be nearly impossible to navigate on your own. Not only that, but attorneys have resources at their disposal that are not readily available to the general population. Investigators, access to databases, and established relationships with the court and insurance providers are just some of the things we can provide if you decide to enlist our aid.
In the event of a car accident, slip and fall, or workplace injury, you may be experiencing minor to major pain and suffering. The mental strain that this places on people, especially if you do not have someone to help support you during this time, means your capacity for rational decision making may be impacted. Having an attorney to help hammer out the legal details while you recover is as important as having a cast on a broken arm. Negotiations are already tough, and an experienced lawyer can be there to provide exceptional professional aid in your time of need.
Consult Our Experienced Team of Personal Injury Attorneys Today
Have you experienced pain and suffering because of negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior? Have you sustained an injury as a result? Your insurance company can’t always help you, but having a great law firm on your side can.
Here at The Law Place, we pride ourselves on having a team of experienced and exceptional attorneys ready to fight on your behalf. All of our attorneys work together on every case, and no stone will be left unturned as we investigate and ready your claim for settlement or court. All our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we won’t get paid until you do. Contingency fee structuring is monitored by the Florida State Bar Associations.
If you have been in an accident that resulted in personal injury, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Call us at The Law Place today on (941) 444-4444.