What to Expect From the Personal Injury Claim Process in Florida
October 14, 2022
If you have been injured in an accident or an incident that was caused by someone else’s negligence in Florida, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a personal injury claim. However, a personal injury claim can often be a complex, time-consuming endeavor. While you can give yourself the best chance of success in your personal injury claim by working with an attorney, it is also important to know what to expect during the personal injury claim process so that you are prepared to make decisions in your case.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
The first step in pursuing a personal injury claim is to seek out the services of a personal injury lawyer. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more opportunity you give your lawyer to investigate your case before evidence is lost to time. Most personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, which gives the attorney the chance to understand the details of your claim to determine if they can help you and to begin advising you of your legal rights and options. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions to the attorney so that you can determine whether they are the right lawyer for you.
In addition, most personal injury attorneys handle plaintiffs’ claims on a contingency fee basis, which means that the attorney is paid only if they win compensation for you in a settlement or at trial. That way, you do not have the burden of upfront costs to get legal representation for your personal injury claim.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?
Unfortunately, no attorney can tell you how long your personal injury claim will take to resolve. Claims can take as little as a couple of months to a few years to resolve, depending on factors such as:
- The severity of your injuries
- The number of liable parties
- The strength of your case
- The availability of insurance coverage
- The schedule and availability of the court
It is important to remember that under Florida’s statute of limitations you have only four years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit in pursuit of your claim. This four-year period may be extended in limited circumstances, which your personal injury lawyer can advise you if they apply to your case.
What Are the Steps in the Personal Injury Claim Process?
Although the exact timeline of your personal injury claim may vary depending on when your case is resolved and other factors, basic steps in the claims process include:
- The demand letter, which is a formal letter to the insurance company outlining the evidence in support of your claim and documenting your expenses and losses to arrive at the amount of compensation you want. The demand letter usually starts the settlement negotiation process with the insurance company, where you try to reach a mutually acceptable monetary figure to resolve your claim without the need for a trial.
- Filing of a complaint; if a settlement cannot be reached before the expiration of the statute of limitations on your claim, you will need to file a lawsuit to continue pursuing your claim.
- Discovery, which is the part of a lawsuit in which the parties exchange evidence and depose witnesses to try to narrow down the issues that will need to be resolved at trial.
- Trial; if your claim still has not been settled, a lawsuit will culminate in a trial, where both parties present their cases to a jury (or more rarely, to a judge) who will issue a verdict resolving the case.
Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured in Miramar, Coral Springs, Davie, Boca Raton, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.