What is the usual course of a personal injury case?
Once you become our client, there are many things that occur immediately. We notify the adverse party and/or insurance companies of our representation. We begin obtaining all the documents necessary to present your claim to the insurance company or adverse party. We will typically obtain accident reports, medical records, photographs of accident site, photographs of injuries, income tax returns, photographs of family members, information about the adverse parties insurance coverage and/or assets.
After obtaining all the necessary information and after your medical condition has stabilized, we typically do a demand to the insurance company or adverse party demanding a settlement on your behalf. The last thing we want to do is resolve a case while our client is still healing or does not have a clear understanding of their future medical condition. Our fear is to let a client settle a case and then find out shortly thereafter that they need future surgery or other significant medical needs. If your cases does not settle “presuit,” then the next step in a lawsuit.
Pursuing a lawsuit is very time consuming. There are many things that occur after a lawsuit is prepared, filed and delivered to the adverse party. The parties engage in discovery, which allows both sides to obtain sworn oral testimony, submit written questions to be answered under oath and request production of documents.
Even though a law suit is filed this does not mean it will go to trial. Several opportunities to settle may be offered in litigation. In Florida, it is mandatory to attend court ordered mediation which is where the parties sit down with an independent mediator and try to resolve the issues and settle the case. Finally, the case is set for jury trial by a judge who determines when your trial will be set.
Why do I need a personal injury trial lawyer?
Only by retaining a personal injury trial lawyer can you make sure you understand and appreciate your legal rights. Each attorney at Crews & Pesquera has over twenty years trial experience and insurance companies are well aware of this experience. We always strive to achieve the maximum compensation for our clients, whereas they may settle for far less and you will be the one who is not fairly compensated for your injury or loss.
Should I try to settle my case with the insurance company without an attorney?
Insurance companies are large corporations that are profit driven like any other company. Do you honestly believe that the insurance adjuster is representing your interests? They are paid to represent the interests of the insurance company they work for. Insurance adjusters are experienced in negotiations and their goal is to pay you the least amount they can to settle and, most of the time, it will not be what your case is really worth.
Most insurance companies contact you immediately after an accident because they are trying to settle your case for as little as possible. Some insurance companies will even write to their own policy holders asking them not to get an attorney. The reason they do this is because they know that a settlement with an unrepresented injured person will be lower than that of a person represented by an attorney. Always remember that the insurance adjusters are very experienced, they work for the insurance company and they do not have your best interests at heart.
If you settle without representation by an attorney, experience shows the result will be an underpayment of what your claim or your case may really be worth. Do not attempt to negotiate your personal injury case on your own. Contact an attorney for a consultation. At Crews & Pesquera, this consultation is always free.
How can I afford to hire a lawyer?
We understand injury victims can not afford to pay an attorney by the hour or front the large costs of a lawsuit. All consultations regarding personal injury are free. We handle our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis which means we do not get paid an attorney’s fee unless we obtain a settlement of your case or an award from a jury trial. In the unlikely event that we do not obtain compensation, you will not owe us fees or costs.
How much time do I have to bring a lawsuit?
In Florida, there are certain time limitations to filing a lawsuit in the correct court of law or it will be forever barred. Therefore, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately to determine what time deadlines apply to your case. Since we offer a free consultation, do not let the passage of time prohibit you from bringing your claim or lawsuit.
Can we settle without filing a lawsuit?
Many of our cases settle without the necessity of having to file a lawsuit. Because of our strong reputation as a personal injury trial firm, we are often able to successfully obtain a fair settlement for our clients out-of-court. Some cases are settled after a lawsuit is filed, but before trial. However, if the pre-suit settlement offer or the in-suit settlement offer is unacceptable, we will take the case to a jury trial to obtain justice for you.
How long will it take for my case to resolve?
Typically, auto accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, or other negligence actions take three months to one year, after we begin representing you. Naturally, medical malpractice, product liability, multiple-party cases or complex cases usually take longer depending on the circumstances. One of our greatest concerns is that our client’s case is settled in a timely manner, but not before their medical condition has stabilized and their future medical needs and other needs are known and evaluated. We often settle cases quickly, but our goal is to obtain the most money we can for you by settlement, litigation or trial, if necessary.
I am injured and unable to get to your offices? What should I do?
We are always willing to visit a prospective client in the hospital, at their home or place of business. Please call and we will set your appointment.