A Florida personal injury claim can be a lot to handle, especially when you are trying to get treatment for your injuries. It doesn’t matter what type of personal injury claim you are trying to make, there are some deliberate steps you will have to take in order to get the benefits you deserve.
In Florida, the first step you need to take is to contact an attorney who can guide you through the step-by-step personal injury lawsuit process.
The Injury Claim Process
The following are steps that a plaintiff needs to take to file a Florida personal injury claim:
- Demand letter: You need to write the demand letter and send it to the insurance company. Include all relevant evidence and other information about your injuries. These include proof of lost wages, medical bills, repair bills, and more.
- File a complaint: If the insurance company rejects your claim, you may need to file a complaint directed at the insurance company. Make sure all the information in your demand letter is included in your complaint.
- Discovery: Once your personal injury lawyer conducts an investigation and gathers evidence pertaining to your injury, you will have to go through a deposition. During the deposition, both the defense and the plaintiff side will present sworn evidence.
- Settlement: A compensation amount can be arranged by your attorney and the other parties to avoid going to trial. Only five percent of cases actually go to trial.
- Trial: If both parties fail to reach an agreement on the appropriate compensation amount, the case will go to trial. During the trial, your attorney has to prove to the court that the defendant breached their duty of care to you, which resulted in your injuries. The judge or jury may either find the defendant liable or dismiss the case after the closing arguments.
You need an experienced personal injury lawyer
Timing is really important in personal injury situations. When you contact an attorney as soon as your injury occurs, it will be easier for them to start gathering evidence for your case. The accident incident will still be fresh in the minds of the people who witnessed your injury and your injuries will still be visible.
Don’t worry about how you are going to pay the lawyer because most lawyers offer a free consultation. Apart from that, most lawyers only get paid after you receive your settlement amount. After the lawyer evaluates your situation, they’ll advise you on the steps you need to take.
Speak to at least three lawyers before you choose the one that will represent you. Do not talk to insurance adjusters before you consult your lawyer. Make sure to get medical attention and keep all the medical documentation, including all bills and receipts.
Types of personal injury claims
The most common types of personal injury claims include:
- Animal attack or dog bite
- Medical malpractice
- Car accident
- Slip and fall
- Pedestrian accident
- Defective product injuries
Injuries that you incur in such accidents may cost a lot of money to treat and could affect your ability to earn a living. This is why you need compensation to cover all the losses resulting from your injuries.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
The State of Florida has a strict statute in place in which you must file a personal injury claim. The time given, however, should be quite sufficient as, in Florida, you have up to four years to file.
After that time, you will no longer have an opportunity to have your case heard in court.
How is a Claim Settled?
In Florida, your claim can be settled either through a formal or informal settlement. A format settlement is one that goes to court and an answer is ascertained by a jury.
An informal settlement, on the other hand, does not go to trial and stays out of the court process through negotiations between both parties.
How Long Does the Settlement Process Take?
The length of time from the beginning of the personal injury lawsuit process until the end when you get a settlement can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case.
It could take anymore from a few months to a few years until completion. A formal settlement is more likely to take longer than an informal one.
When Does Compensation Get Rendered?
Typically, in Florida, compensation should be received within two weeks of the determination of the settlement. However, each case has individual circumstances and, therefore, it may take longer in some cases to receive compensation from a settlement.
When a formal court settlement is involved, the court assumes that the defendant will make compensation available within three weeks of the date that the judge grants the order for payment.
If that doesn’t happen for any reason, your attorney can always go back to the court process and ask for further proceedings.
If you have been injured or hurt in Florida, a professional and experienced attorney can help guide you through the personal injury lawsuit process. It is recommended that you have an expert who knows the Florida personal injury claim process on your side.