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Frequently Asked Questions for Personal Injury Claims

Personal Injury Case Lawyers Florida FAQs

When someone sustains an injury because of another person’s negligent or wrongful actions, Florida law allows the injured party to recoup losses resulting from the injury. Sadly, the process of seeking compensation through a personal injury claim is not as simple as most people think. That’s why the Zimmet & Zimmet legal team has put together answers to some of the frequently asked questions about a personal injury to help you know what to expect.

1. What is a Personal Injury?

Personal injury is a legal term used to describe an injury to the body, mind, or emotions. Usually, this type of injury is sustained in a wide range of incidents, including slip and fall accidents, automobile accidents, defective products and more. If you can prove that another person’s negligence has caused your injury, you may be able to seek monetary compensation against the at-fault party through an injury claim.

2. Is a Personal Injury Treated as a Criminal Case?

No! A personal injury is not a criminal case where one party is convicted of (and punished for) a particular offence. Instead, it is a civil case whose purpose is to establish legal liability and make the responsible party pay financial damages to the victim.

3. How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?

Filing a claim is best done with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. It starts by serving the other side with a copy of the paperwork. Once that is done, you wait for them to file a response. After that, you can start building your case by gathering evidence, reaching out to witnesses, and collecting medical reports. From here, you can now bring the preliminary motion to the court. 

Your lawyer may reach out to the other side and try to agree on a settlement. If both sides agree, you collect a payment, and that’s it. However, if your case cannot be resolved by settlement, your attorney will work with you to file a lawsuit seeking compensation on your behalf.

4. What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim or lawsuit allows the injured party to recoup a wide range of damages from the at-fault party or their insurance carrier. The main type is compensatory damages, which is further subdivided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages often include relatively objective and tangible losses and expenses, such as medical costs, cost of future treatment, property damage, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. On the other hand, non-economic damages are more subjective and include things such as pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.

Besides compensatory damages, a personal injury lawsuit in Florida may result in punitive damages. As the name suggests, these damages are awarded as a way to punish the defendant for engaging in an outstandingly bad act. It is always a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to learn what type of damages you may be able to recover.

5. How Much is my Personal Injury Case Worth?

There’s no definite answer to this question. Every case is different, and the circumstances surrounding your case are unique. However, factors such as your injuries, amount of property damage, who was at fault and at what percentage, past and future medical cost totals, past and future lost income, and underlying conditions will all come into play when determining your claim’s value. Put simply, evaluating the value of your personal injury case is quite tricky and should only be done with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Not only will the right lawyer help you gather evidence and identify the responsible party, but will also work with you to determine your claim’s worth and help you get exactly that.

6. How Do I Maximize My Personal Injury Settlement?

As soon as you file your claim, you will realize that insurance companies often make decisions solely based on whether they are good for their business. They won’t really care about your needs unless they align with their business. The insurance company will either make several attempts to deny liability or hesitate to pay up. In other instances, they will make quick offers that often do not make up for your losses. That’s why we do not recommend accepting the first offer or settling at the beginning unless there’s a valid reason to do so. Talk to our personal injury lawyers today and learn how we can help you maximize your claim. Our experienced personal injury lawyers understand how the insurance companies work and will use that knowledge to ensure that you are not manipulated.

7. What Do I Do If an Insurance Adjuster Calls Me?

First, you should never speak with an insurance adjuster unless you are very knowledgeable about insurance practices. While these individuals may seem friendly, kind and easy to get along with, they are certainly here to take advantage of unsuspecting accident victims. They will try to coax statements from you that will eventually eliminate the liability of their insured or lower your settlement. That’s why it’s never a good move to speak to them without legal counsel from a competent personal injury lawyer. If you have to, keep your responses at a minimum. The same should apply if a lawyer for another person reaches out to you.

8. How Do I Make Up for My Lost Wages Until I Get My Settlement?

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, it’s evident that the insurance company of the liable party will not pay for your lost income. You might need to get disability benefits (short-term or long-term) through your employer or use your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage if you were injured in an automobile crash. In most cases, these insurers will need to be reimbursed as soon as you get a settlement. In case you have paid time off, sick time, vacation time or other forms of compensation time through your employer, these too can be used.

9. Is There a Statute of Limitations for My Personal Injury Case?

Yes! Much like most states, Florida law provides a limit to how long you can wait before filing a personal injury lawsuit. If your case, for instance, is relating to an action founded on negligence, you must then file a lawsuit within two years. It is crucial to bear in mind that the statute of limitations begins from the date when the accident occurs.

10. How Long Will It Take to Resolve the Issue?

The length of time it takes to solve the matter will depend on the kind of accident that caused your injuries and how bad you were hurt. Typically, your personal injury case could be settled in just a few days, months, or it could take years.

11. Should I Settle Out of Court or Take My Case to Trial?

Ideally, we wouldn’t want you to see the inside of a courtroom. Going to trial can be difficult, lengthy, and of course, expensive. On the other hand, settling out of court is much easier, faster, more efficient, less stressful and less costly than a trial. That’s why we recommend that you settle the matter out of court so that you can move on with your life. However, there are instances when you need to take your case to trial. If you have been hurt because of the negligence of another party, talk to our Daytona Beach personal injury lawyers to learn whether you should settle or go to trial. 

12. Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Without a Lawyer?

Certainly, you can file a personal injury lawsuit without the help of a lawyer. Nevertheless, you must be ready fulfil all the legal requirements as laid under the Florida law. For instance, you must adhere to all formalities when filing your documents. The civil procedure, admission of evidence, and all the rules of discovery will apply to you. If you make a single mistake, it may ruin everything regardless of how strong your case was. Therefore, it is always a good idea to enlist an experienced personal injury attorney, no matter how much you desire to handle things on your own.

13. How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Injury Claim?

As long as you can prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you most definitely have a valid claim. However, applying this standard can be more confusing than it sounds, which is why you need to seek legal advice. The right personal injury lawyer will offer a free initial consultation and case review to help you establish whether you have a valid case or not. Give us a call right away to discuss the specific circumstances surrounding your case.

14. What Type of Documentation Will You Need?

Before we get started on your case, we will need to see copies of the police report explaining what took place. Our lawyers will also want to see copies of your medical bills and any reports from the doctors. You will also need to provide insurance information and the number of days you have missed work. It would be helpful for you to list the things that have affected your daily life, and ensure that you record important dates. Pictures, videos, recordings, and available witnesses contact information could also be useful.

15. What Are Your Fees?

At Zimmet & Zimmet, we offer a free initial consultation and case review. That means we will answer all your questions, apprise you of your rights and suggest the best strategy for obtaining justice without charging anything. If you trust us to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you will not owe us a dime unless we win. We only ask for a percentage of what our personal injury lawyers recover.

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