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 & Gaynor 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 & Gaynor 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
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 & Gaynor. 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. Just call
727.877.1212 to begin – we accept calls 24/7/365.