Kissimmee Attorney Discusses: The Personal Injury Claim Process
When discussing personal injury cases, it’s easy to generalize the information. However, many people don’t realize that each case is unique and therefore has unique needs.
Your situation, the details of your case, and other factors can impact things like your claims timeline and the steps you will take to begin the lawsuit process.
Our team will take the time to get to know the details of your case and file a personal injury lawsuit that has the best chance of success. The process we use is highlighted here.
The Personal Injury Claims Process
In a personal injury lawsuit, the person who files it is the plaintiff. You are the individual who was injured because of an oversight made by another party, who is the defendant in the situation. You can file a personal injury claim for several situations. Some of the most common include:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian or bicycle accident
- Slip and fall accident
- Animal attach or dog bite accident
- Medical malpractice situation
- Injury caused by defective products
Our team can help you figure out if your case is worth pursuing and if there is a high likelihood that you will successfully recover compensation.
If so, we will dive into the “meat” of Florida’s personal injury claims process.
Sending the Demand Letter
A demand letter is a formal document sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Our team can help you create this letter and ensure it includes the needed information. Some of the information included in personal injury demand letters include:
- Cause of the injury
- Injuries suffered
- Medical treatments
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Any other pertinent information will be included in this letter, as well.
At this point, the insurance company may submit an offer for compensation or deny the claim. Usually, the first offer of compensation is a “low-ball” offer.
Our team can help you decide if the amount offered is fair or work to appeal a denied claim.
File a Complaint (the Lawsuit)
If negotiations do not reach an agreed-on settlement or the insurance company will not make an offer, our team will file a complaint, the official lawsuit.
In the complaint, we will lay out the basic arguments of why you should receive the compensation. It will also request that the court require the entity or person being sued (the defendant) to pay monetary damages. This letter also lets the defendant know about the lawsuit and provides them with the opportunity to respond to it.
The Discovery Process
While our team will handle each step of the process on your behalf, we believe the discovery step is where we truly shine. This part of the Florida injury claim process is reliant on our investigation skills. During this period, we collect documents and evidence related to your injury. Some of the evidence our team will collect includes:
- Lost wages
- Insurance claims
- Police reports
- Medical bills and records
- Photos and videos
We will collect all this information and create a deposition. The attorney for the defendant will be going through this process, too.
Settlement or Trial
Depending on the evidence we present to the other party, you may receive a settlement offer. If the settlement is not sufficient for your injuries or if no settlement is made, then the case will go to trial.
The trial is (as the name implies) when both sides present their information and evidence to a judge. We can also call witnesses to testify during this process.
The judge presiding over your case will conduct the trial and provide direction for the jury, who will determine if you should receive compensation.
It’s worth noting that only about five percent of all personal injury claims in Florida will reach this stage. Most are settled out of court, which most people prefer because going to trial is often costly. Our team will work hard on your behalf to settle with the defendant; however, we are prepared to go to trial if needed.
Settling Your Florida Personal Injury Claim
In Florida, there are two ways to settle your personal injury claim. These include:
- Formal settlement
- Informal settlement
Formal settlements are determined during the trial, as mentioned above. Informal settlements are handled out of the courtroom when attorneys for both parties negotiate what they consider “fair.”
Formal settlements will obviously take longer to acquire than informal ones. It is important to note that the statutes of limitations in Florida vary based on the type of personal injury claim you file. The general time period you have to file is four years. However, for medical malpractice claims, it is just two years.
If you are involved in a personal injury situation, it is best to contact our team at Pardy& Rodriguez P.A. as soon as possible to ensure you have time to file the claim. You can also reach us with questions about your case by calling (407) 759-3560.