Mark Roman | November 28, 2018 | Personal Injury
Seeking fair and deserved compensation from a negligent party that causes you harm is unfortunately not a simple procedure. You cannot just walk up to them, ask for payment, and expect to receive it. Instead, there is an entire legal process that needs to unfold for the typical personal injury claim. To help you get a better idea of what could happen in your claim, our Clearwater personal injury attorneys from Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers have compiled a helpful guide to describe the average personal injury claim process. You can also contact us at (727) 877-1212 at any time if you would like us to manage your claim on your behalf.
Part 1 – Immediately After Your Accident
The first step in any personal injury claim should be collecting any useful evidence you can from the scene of your accident. If you are in good enough condition to talk to eyewitnesses and take photographs of the scene, you should do so. The most influential proof you can get for an injury claim will likely be found right there in front of you in the first minutes after an accident.
Part 2 – Seeking Medical Attention
If you are seriously injured, or when you are done collecting evidence at the scene of your accident or incident, then it is time to get medical attention as soon as possible. Waiting too long to let a medical provider care for you could increase your own liability for your injuries later, as an insurance company might argue you worsened your injury by not taking care of yourself. Please seek immediate emergency care before doing anything else if you are seriously injured after an accident. Never do anything that jeopardizes your health or puts you in danger.
Part 3 – Talking to an Attorney
Choosing to work with a personal injury lawyer will be a huge boon for your claim. You will get direct access to their experience and insight, increasing your chances of creating a convincing claim. You will also be able to focus on your own recuperation while they take care of all the legal details and legwork. Perhaps best of all, attorneys managing personal injury claims work for contingency fees, which means they will only receive attorney fee payments if they win you a settlement or verdict amount. The amount they are paid for a winning case is also based on a percentage of those winnings, so you never have to worry about owing more than you win.
Part 4 – Investigation & Review
With a personal injury attorney retained, the bulk of your claim can begin. Our Florida injury attorneys from Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers like to conduct thorough investigations of all the evidence you were able to collect after your accident. We also prefer to study your medical records to get a clear idea of just how the accident has disabled or debilitated you. This is important to making certain you get a fair amount of economic and noneconomic damages.
Part 5 – Initial Demands
After we get enough time to analyze your initial claim and evidence in-depth, we can create a demand to provide the responding insurance companies. Our demand will explain to them the events that caused your accident, the injuries you have suffered, why their policyholder is liable, and what amount of compensation you need and deserve. The demand also notes that we will take further legal action if the compensation required is not given.
Part 6 – Filing & Discovery
Assuming the responding insurance company will not match the demand, the next step is filing a lawsuit with the appropriate court and before Florida’s four-year statute of limitations expires. Early into the lawsuit, there will be a discovery process, during which we can demand to see any evidence the defense intends to use against your case. Discovery needs to be thorough and careful, so this process could take weeks or months, depending on the intricacies of the case.
Part 7 – Litigation or Mediation
When the discovery process is finished and your case is refined, litigation will begin on the first court date. There will be an entire internalized process in your trial, involving talking to witnesses, arguing evidence, etc. However, before diving into litigation, either party may propose reaching a settlement through mediation instead. It is not uncommon for an insurance companies to back out of litigation at the last second to use private mediation as an alternative. This is a benefit to you as it can mean getting compensation sooner, and a benefit for them as it can keep the details of the case out of the press.
Part 8 – Collect Your Compensation, Hopefully
In an ideal situation, you and your attorney will have secured either a verdict in court or a settlement in mediation. Now all you need to do is collect your earnings, provide the contingency fees, and relax. If you accept a settlement, though, you should consider the differences between lump sum settlements and structured settlements. A lump sum settlement will give you all your money at once, but it could be heavily taxed, which is not great. A structured settlement pays you the full amount owed in regular intervals, which eases the pressure on the payer but also lessens your tax obligation. If you can stay afloat without an immediate lump sum settlement, then you should consider a structured settlement.
Remember: If your personal injury claim seems like it is going to be too complicated or too much work to manage on your own, please contact our Clearwater personal injury lawyers of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers. We would be happy to discuss how we can help you pursue maximized compensation during a free initial consultation. We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients throughout our 50+ years of combined legal experience, and we would like to see if we can reach a similar result for you.
Contact the Clearwater Personal Injury Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655