So you suffered a personal injury from a slip and fall, car accident, or a defective product. And it was not your fault. You missed work and lost wages, are facing a huge pile of medical bills, and are now saddled with physical pain and (perhaps) a disability or impairment and emotional distress. You are also wondering what you should do next. Our advice: contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
A personal injury lawyer in Homestead can guide you through the complexities of Florida’s personal injury laws. The lawyers at Anidjar & Levine have the knowledge and experience to assist you with your claim or lawsuit and would welcome the opportunity to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 800-747-3733.
How Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits Work
A personal injury claim and then a lawsuit (if it comes to that) involves a formal process we will follow in order to get compensation for your damages.
File Claim and Send Demand Letter – We will help you file your insurance claim(s) and present a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurer. This letter lays out the reasons the insurer should pay for damages. Components of a demand letter include:
- Why the defendant is legally responsible/liable
- Overview of injuries
- Medical treatments and cost
- Amount of income lost
- Other damages suffered
At this point, the insurance company will decide to pay the amount you request, make a counteroffer, or decide to deny your claim and not pay anything.
Evaluate Counteroffer, Negotiate, File Complaint – When we receive the insurance company’s response to our demand letter, we will help you evaluate whether to accept the counteroffer, continue negotiations, and/or file a complaint. The complaint gives official notice to the court and the at-fault party (the defendant) that you are filing a lawsuit in order to seek compensation for damages.
Discovery – If your case goes to a lawsuit, discovery process is the stage where we and the defendant investigate and gather evidence, speaking to witnesses and all parties involved. We will send requests for the other side to produce evidence and may request depositions or interrogatories if necessary.
The goal is to get evidence that helps us establish exactly what happened and quantify the compensation for damages. Because this stage of the process is so critical, we recommend having a personal injury lawyer in your corner.
Settlement – Even if we file a lawsuit, negotitations with the insurance company may continue as we try to reach a settlement out of court through the process of mediation. Generally, the plaintiff (you) agrees to drop the lawsuit in exchange for an agreed-upon kind and amount of compensation. Then a court-approved, legally binding settlement agreement is signed, and that is the end of it.
Trial – If we cannot reach a settlement agreement, the lawsuit moves to the trial phase. The court hears from both sides, and then a judge or jury makes a final decision.
What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Claims in Florida
The laws surrounding personal injury claims and lawsuits vary from state to state. Here are a few Florida laws that could profoundly affect your claim/lawsuit.
Deadlines – Florida has a four-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases – starting from the day of the accident. If you don’t file your case within that period, the law bars you from filing it.
Comparative Negligence – Sometimes when you file a personal injury claim, the person whose fault you are trying to prove may in turn claim that you are at fault as well. And if it does turn out that you are partially at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced proportionally.
According to Florida’s “pure comparative negligence rule,” the amount of compensation you are entitled to will be reduced by a percentage equal to your percentage of fault. Be aware, too, that in attempting to discredit your claim or reduce your settlement, a claims adjuster may try to use this comparative negligence rule.
We build your case so it counters any accusations of comparative negligence. Our lawyers anticipate tactics like this from the insurance adjuster and prepare to address their allegations of partial fault with evidence and careful case planning.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer in Homestead Can Help You
If you sustained an injury that was the result of someone’s fault or negligence, we recommend working with a personal injury lawyer in Homestead from the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine.
Whether you settle out of court or your case goes to court, you will need proof. You and your lawyer will have to prove that you did in fact sustain the injuries and damages you claim and that the other person actually caused them. The lawyers at Anidjar & Levine help you get proof of fault and your damages through several means:
- Contact eyewitnesses
- Retrieve police reports and other incident reports
- Get your medical records and evidence of lost wages
- Secure testimony from expert witnesses if necessary
Besides investigative and trial experience, our lawyers also understand insurance companies – that their goal is not to pay you at all or, failing that, to pay as little as possible. They may, for example, offer a quick settlement before the full extent of your injuries comes to light.
Our lawyers know how to command insurance companies’ attention. They know all the insurers’ tricks and tactics. Our lawyers know how to help you get compensation for all your damages – by gathering all the evidence, establishing fault, and demonstrating the impact on your finances and your life.
The attorneys at Anidjar & Levine are ready to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve and need. To discover more about how we can help, give us a call at 800-747-3733.