Personal Injury: An Introduction

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Personal Injury Claims & Lawsuits

Personal Injury

If you were injured in an accident by the fault of another person, you are entitled to receive compensation in most cases. This includes receiving funds for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. In the majority of cases, you make your claim against the responsible party’s insurance company. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Miami can handle your claim, file it on your behalf, and work towards getting you a fair and reasonable settlement.

How Does the Claim Process Work?

If you do want to be compensated for an injury, then promptly consult a lawyer. Your attorney will review the facts and details of your case to see if you have a viable claim for compensation. If you decide to move ahead, your lawyer will contact the responsible party’s insurance company to set up a claim and begin the process. In many cases, the attorney and legal team will visit the accident site, interview witnesses, and gather evidence proving fault by another party. Your lawyer will also monitor your injury and care, and obtain all necessary documentation of your damages. When all documents and evidence have been received and reviewed, your lawyer will advise you on the value of your claim, and what you can reasonably expect as a settlement. All relevant documents and a demand letter for settlement will then be sent to the other party’s insurance company.

Once the insurance company receives the demand package, it may request more documents. After it evaluates your claim, an assigned claims adjuster will either accept the demand, make a counteroffer, or reject the claim. It is your decision whether to accept any settlement offer. If you reject an offer or the claim has been declined, then it is your option whether to file your claim in court and begin the litigation process.

All stages of the litigation will be handled by your attorney including representing you in court. If it goes to trial, the facts and arguments of both parties will be considered by a judge or jury and a verdict rendered.

  • What is a Personal Injury Claim?
  • What are the Types of Personal Injury Cases?
  • What are the Steps in a Personal Injury Claim?
  • What Damages Can I Claim in a Personal Injury Claim?
  • How Much is My Claim Worth?
  • Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
  • What is My Role?
  • Can I Afford a Personal Injury Lawyer?
  • Is there a Time Limit on When a Claim Can Be Brought?

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence, carelessness, or the intentional act of another person or entity, you can generally bring a claim for compensation. Most claims are brought against the responsible person’s or entity’s insurance company. The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled without a claim having to be filed in court or without having to go to trial.

What are the Types of Personal Injury Cases?

There are numerous types of personal injury claims that can be brought based upon the circumstances, the parties, and the conduct of the at-fault party. These cases include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Boating incidents
  • Slip and fall
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Dog bite and other animal attacks
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Burn injuries
  • Assault/li>
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Product liability or defective product
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Negligent security
  • Wrongful death

What are the Steps in a Personal Injury Claim?

In order for you to have the best opportunity to obtain the most compensation for your claim, you should be aware of the following steps in a typical injury claim:/p>

  1. Retain an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
  2. Promptly consult with a local personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled your type of injury claim. Ask the lawyer if he/she has handled similar cases, what staff is available to work on your case, the steps involved, and what your role will be.

  3. Contact the Responsible Party and/or Insurance Company
  4. Your lawyer will notify the responsible party and /or the insurer to open a claim and will contact your own insurer, if necessary.

  5. Investigate the Accident
  6. Liability has to be established and proof that your injuries, care, and damages are related to the accident. If coverage is an issue, your attorney can research and address this matter.

  7. Accumulate Relevant Documents
  8. Your lawyer will obtain the police or accident report, retain an accident reconstructionist expert if needed, request relevant medical reports, gather all medical records and bills, employment, school, and any other documents related to your damages.

  9. Negotiate a Settlement
  10. Once documents are obtained, your injuries have stabilized, or your case is otherwise ready for settlement, your attorney will submit a demand letter and package to the defendant’s insurance company. Often, counteroffers are made. You will be advised of all offers before settlement. If an offer is accepted, the matter is settled. If not, you have the option of having your attorney file your claim in court.

  11. File the Claim in Court (Litigation)
  12. Litigation in injury cases primarily consists of discovery, a process where the parties request and exchange documents such as photographs, medical records and statements, police or accident reports, expert reports, witness statements, and that will entail the taking of depositions that support or refute the parties ’positions on liability and damages.

  13. Trial
  14. In rare cases, personal injury cases go to trial where either a jury, or a judge without a jury, will listen to the facts of your case; hear and consider testimony from the parties, witnesses, and experts; and render a verdict.

What Damages Can I Claim in a Personal Injury Claim?

The damages you can claim in a personal injury case depend on the nature and extent of your injuries, your economic losses, and how your injuries have changed your life. Damages can include:

  • Past and Future Medical Expenses
  • Medical expenses include ambulance, emergency room, diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, physician visits, therapy, and prescription costs.

  • Past and Future Income Loss
  • You are entitled to be compensated for any lost income and benefits because of your injuries. You may be unable to return to work or have to take a lower-paying job or need re-training. Your lost income capacity and cost of re-training is compensable.

  • Noneconomic Loss
  • Pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, and emotional distress are compensable. In cases where the at-fault party’s conduct was particularly egregious, a jury or judge may award punitive damages after a trial.

  • Wrongful Death
  • Wrongful death claims are filed by the immediate family of the decedent and/or the decedent’s estate. Damages include funeral and burial costs; the value of the support and services the decedent provided to the surviving family members; lost income from the decedent; any final medical expenses; the loss of the decedent’s love, support, guidance, and counsel; the value of the emotional and mental pain suffered due to the loss of a minor child; and the loss of earnings the decedent’s estate could have reasonably been expected to collect if the decedent had survived.

How Much is My Claim Worth?

The value of your individual injury claim is based on a wide variety of factors, such as:

  • Liability issues
  • Causation issues—are your injuries caused by the accident, and was your care and medical expenses reasonable and necessary
  • Severity of your injury
  • How your enjoyment of life has been diminished
  • Loss of income
  • If you have been disabled or suffered a permanent injury
  • Degree of emotional distress
  • Available insurance coverage

Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Your personal injury lawyer will handle all aspects of your claim from start to finish. Your attorney’s role in resolving your claim is vital to a successful resolution including:

  • Explaining all steps of the process and keeping you apprised of your claim’s progress
  • Investigating and proving liability and addressing coverage issues
  • Determining if other parties were responsible for the accident
  • Uncovering all sources of compensation
  • Obtaining all relevant medical records, bills, and statements, employment and school records
  • Ensuring that you are receiving proper medical treatment including specialist’s care
  • Evaluating your claim, putting together a demand package, and negotiating a settlement
  • Filing your claim in court if necessary and litigating your case

Regardless of how clear liability or fault appears in your case and the severity of your injury, statistics consistently show that having an attorney handle your case results in substantially higher compensation than if you do it yourself, even accounting for attorney’s fees.

What is My Role?

As the claimant, you need to honest with your attorney about how the accident occurred and the extent of your injuries. If you have had prior surgeries or injuries to the same parts of your body injured in this accident, you must disclose this. Do not discuss your case or injuries with anyone else or on social media except for your medical providers. Be sure to keep all medical appointments and to follow the advice of your doctors. Finally, trust the advice and guidance of your attorney.

Can I Afford a Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer’s fee is contingent upon and is only paid when your case is settled, or a verdict is reached. The contingency fee is a percentage of the settlement amount. If no settlement or money verdict is obtained, you will not be charged any fees. The attorney’s costs are also taken out of the settlement. These include the costs of obtaining medical records and bills, the police report, statements from medical providers, the fees charged by experts, deposition transcripts, and filing fees if the claim is filed in court. The various costs in handling your claim are set forth in the contract that you sign with your lawyer.

Is there a Time Limit on When a Claim Can Be Brought?

Under Florida law, you generally have four (4) years from the date of the accident to file your claim in court. A wrongful death claim must be filed within two (2) years of the date of death. If your claim is against the state, county or city, the time limit is three (3) years from the date of the incident. Should you fail to file on time, you can be forever barred from claiming any compensation from your injury. There are limited exceptions to this time limit that can extend the time to file that your attorney can explain to you if applicable to your claim. However, it is in your best interests to promptly consult with and hire an attorney as soon as possible after you have suffered an injury.

Contact The Roller Law Group in Miami, Florida Today

Working with an experienced legal team gives you an advantage with your personal injury claim.

To schedule a free, no-obligation case review with a personal injury attorney in Miami, FL, call us today at 954-828-0333.

What Client Says About Us

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My case was recently settled this holiday season with attorney Brian Roller. All I can is wow they are such an amazing and attentive firm. I had the pleasure of having Luz and Margaret as the assistants on the case and they were absolutely efficient. They were always available and answered all my questions in a timely manner. I received a more than great settlement and couldn’t be anymore thankful than to have had them represent me on my auto case. Would definitely use them again and million times after that if needed.

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