Personal Injury Claims Process
Initial Steps Following an Accident or Injury in Florida
Following an accident or injury, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention to treat any injuries. Medical treatment is important for the injured person's well-being, but a failure to seek treatment could also be viewed as a sign that the injuries were not serious.
Additionally, an injured person should consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an injury. This allows the attorney to start the investigation early, request the required records, and review any insurance policies.
Demand for Compensation and Negotiations
A demand for compensation is commonly submitted to the insurance company after an attorney has been hired, collects all the medical records and bills, and the client has completed all necessary medical treatment. Once submitted, the parties generally enter into the negotiation process, which could involve additional interviews and document requests.
If the parties agree on an amount of compensation for any damages, they will enter into a settlement and the claim will be resolved without proceeding to court. Many personal injury claims result in settlements prior to filing a lawsuit; however, negotiations can stall if the parties view the case's value or circumstances differently. Find a personal injury lawyer near me.
Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
It is important to understand that filing a personal injury lawsuit does not mean a claim can no longer be resolved through a settlement. Rather, cases are typically filed to comply with the state deadline, known as the statute of limitations, which could bar recovery if not met.
There are several stages that make up the lawsuit process, including the pleadings, discovery, and trial. The pleadings stage includes the injured party's complaint and demand for judgment as well as the other parties' answers and defenses. The discovery phase includes written questions and depositions for further investigation of a case. The trial is generally the final step in the lawsuit where each side presents their case, and a judge or jury determines fault and the amount of compensation, if any.
When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Florida
Hiring an attorney is not mandatory to pursue a claim; however, the process is often complex and requires significant knowledge and understanding of the laws and rules. For this reason, it is typically a good idea to discuss a personal injury claim with an experienced attorney even if it is a minor claim that might seem straightforward.
If a personal injury claim involves severe damages or contention from the involved parties, it is unlikely that the case will be settled in a quick manner for a fair amount. When there is significant compensation at stake, the responsible parties commonly attempt to shift the blame or do everything in their power to avoid paying what the injured party deserves. As such, a personal injury attorney could help with the settlement process with insurance companies, or prepare for trial through with courts to fight for fair compensation.
First Steps to Take After Being Injured or Involved in an Accident in Florida
After suffering an accident or injury, it is imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that any injuries can be treated. Medical treatment is essential for the well-being of the injured person; however, failure to seek treatment could be interpreted as a sign that the injuries were not severe enough to warrant medical attention.
In addition, a person who has been injured should speak with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible after the incident that caused their injury. This allows the attorney to begin the investigation early, request the necessary records, and examine any insurance policies that may be relevant to the case.
Demands for Payment and Discussions Regarding Negotiations
After an injured person has treated for their injuries, and after the necessary facts and documents have been collected, it is common practice for the insurance companies or the attorneys of the responsible parties to be sent a demand for compensation. After the proposal has been sent to the insurance company, the parties will typically enter the negotiation process, which might include additional interviews and requests for documents.
If the parties can agree on the sum of money to be paid as compensation for any damages, they will enter into a settlement, and the dispute will be resolved outside of court. Many personal injury claims are settled out of court before a lawsuit is filed; however, negotiations can stall if the parties have different perspectives on the value of the case. At that point, a lawsuit may be filed.
If you or someone you know has been in an auto accident, call us for a free consultation 813-320-7500.