Are you suffering injuries due to another’s negligence? Learn what to do when filing a personal injury claim, then call our Florida lawyers.
1) Choosing the Best Attorney
The number one thing is communication. The client has to trust their lawyer, so you definitely want to be able to speak with your lawyer.
If you go in for a consultation, you want to have an opportunity to speak with a lawyer and ask them about the case. Every case is different. Every case has its own elements that have to be proven. Some parts of your case may be different from someone else’s, and you’re not going to figure that out without good communication with your lawyer. You want to be able to talk with them and ask them questions, you want those questions to be answered, and you want to know that they’re on your side. That’s how you develop a trust relationship.
2) Settlement Timeline
The answer to how long your claim will take is: patience is a virtue. Some cases can last three or four months, depending on the claim, and some cases can last three years. It doesn’t mean that the case that’s three years old is any worse or better than the case that lasted for three months. Every case is different, and a lot of it depends on what the insurance companies are offering.
The benefit of hiring a trial lawyer is that we are able to evaluate the case in terms of what it would look like in front of a jury. Many times, insurance companies do not offer you maximum value. In order to get maximum value, sometimes you have to file a lawsuit. The end stage from the lawsuit to the end is the trial. Every case is different.
Medical treatment is dependent on the severity of the injury. The client that called in Tampa had to have surgery, so his case had already been a year out. Every case is different.
3) Initial Settlement Offer
Do not take the initial settlement offer from the insurance company unless the insurance carrier is offering the policy limits, and even then you should have it evaluated by a trial attorney. The reason is that insurance companies only take into account what the bills are. That’s the easiest part of your case. Anybody can add up their medical bills that were related to the accident.
The real value of hiring a trial lawyer is the evaluation of the other elements of the claim, which include the future medical bills you’re reasonably certain to incur, items like pain and suffering, which nobody knows the exact value of. Before you settle your case, it is of extreme benefit to hire a trial attorney who is able to evaluate your case and let you know how good that settlement offer is from the insurance company.
4) Expert Witnesses
There are so many different types of expert witnesses. In the context of a personal injury case, it usually means a medical expert, but there are also experts that deal with the forces of a collision, as well as biomechanical experts and human factor experts. For trial lawyers, the role of the right, qualified expert is they can assist the jury in reaching a decision. If you have herniated discs in your neck, you can talk about your pain all day, but the expert witness – a radiologist, for example – would come to trial and talk about why he or she believes that that herniated disc was caused by the accident.
It’s a tough game, and insurance companies will hire their own experts, so, many times, trials become a battle of experts. If you hire the right trial attorneys, they’ll know what experts need to be hired that will assist you in getting the maximum value in your case.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured by a negligent person in Florida and have questions about what to do when filing a personal injury claim? Contact experienced Florida personal injury lawyers at Serrano Law today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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