The basis of a personal injury case is negligence or recklessness from a party that is expected to be cautious about someone else’s safety. In this type of case, victims of situations such as slip and fall, boating accidents or dog bites can seek compensation. Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney (a law firm operating in Asbury Lake, FL) represents personal injury victims. In this article, we explain what our firm does and how you can seek help regarding your personal injury case.
An Overview of What We Do
A personal injury lawyer is usually at the service of injured individuals who are seeking financial compensation. As an injury victim, you will need monetary compensation for the injuries suffered, pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical treatment. Our lawyers' specialty lies in tort law, which cuts across civil litigation for wrongdoings or injuries brought by other people's negligence.
Since injury claims processes in Florida tend to be time-consuming and confusing, seeking a lawyer's help on the matter is a great idea. Asbury Lake Personal Injury Attorney attends to injury victims by relying on the statutes that apply to their specific situation. If you are a victim, you only have three years to file a claim against the government or four years to file a claim against a non-governmental entity. Failing to have your claim filed within this period will result in the court rejecting your case.
The state of Florida presents multiple options to individuals seeking legal assistance. As a potential client, your goal is to hire an attorney who is familiar with your case. Our attorney can explain to you the options you have regarding an injury claim. They will make you feel comfortable during the initial consultation meeting and ensure you are on the same page regarding your case.
Were Your Injuries as a Result of Someone Else’s Negligence?
Our lawyers usually adopt a comprehensive approach when handling clients' personal injury cases. We start by listening to your claim and then advise you on the best course of action. If your case proceeds to a court, our attorneys will illustrate the defendant's negligence to help you recover compensation. Our work is to establish that a particular defendant who owed you a duty of care, breached the obligation and the breach exposed you to an injury.
The most important thing to do when injured due to someone else’s negligence is to seek urgent medical attention. Seeking appropriate treatment will not prevent you from filing a lawsuit against the party that is responsible for your illness. We advise you to keep all records related to the sought treatment in a safe place. These records act as evidence in the proceedings of a personal injury case.
Why We Recommend You to Notify Your Insurer
As a no-fault state, Florida comprises courts that do not handle injury claims related to car accidents. However, the courts may allow you to file your lawsuit if you or your loved one suffered catastrophic injuries from a car accident. We may recommend you to inform your car insurer in case of a car crash that did not result in catastrophic injuries.
Vehicle insurance companies usually offer PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance with a coverage threshold of about $10,000. Above this threshold, you should rely on your health insurance coverage. Our lawyers can help you put your insurer and the defendant's insurer on notice of the claim. We advise you not to make any recorded statements or sign any documents with insurance companies without legal help. Your insurer may use these documents or recorded statements to deny your claim.
Which Pieces of Evidence Do We Use to Build a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Asbury Lake Personal Injury Attorney largely relies on the pieces of evidence (post-accident journals and expense journals) to help clients make injury claims. We urge you to maintain a post-accident journal, which you can use to track your medical appointments and expenses. The journal also helps you draft your thoughts after an accident and serves as an invaluable part of your healing process.
You can detail your daily struggles, injuries, medical treatments, and medications in the diary. When submitted to the court as evidence, a post-accident journal allows a claims adjuster and jury to learn more about your ailments and suffering. You may stand a chance of recovering damages for your injuries if the jury votes in your favor after finding your story compelling. Other pieces of evidence for a personal injury lawsuit include the following:
- Official reports (police reports, 911 dispatch call recordings, accident reconstruction reports, private investigation reports and reports by other law enforcement agencies)
- Photos, audio or video taken at the accident scene (which depict property damage, road condition, people present and injuries)
- Statements and notes (including victim statements, witness statements, and your notes)
- Medical reports (which include specialists' reports, second opinions, and initial doctor's examination)
- History and research (including vehicle or machinery service history and evidence of any past safety concerns or violations)
- Physical evidence (which includes damaged items and clothing worn during the accident)
- Insurance (including any communication from the insurer, the other party’s insurance information and your insurance card)
- Several W2 forms to show lost wages
- Bills and invoices (medical bills, receipts of payment, repair invoices and estimates for repairs)
How an Expense Journal Can Help Your Case
Medical examination findings, reports, and bills tend to take ample space when filed on paper. Since it is easier to lose piles of paper containing your medical expenses, it is wise to store the expenses on an electronic journal. Electronic expense journals are easy to retrieve and can form part of the evidence in your injury claim.
How We Can Help You if You Have No Interest in Going to Court
Depending on the facts related to your case, you may have zero interest in taking your injury claim to court. You may have based your decision to avoid the judicial system on the notion that it is exhausting and expensive to go to trial. With the help of Asbury Personal Injury Attorney, you can draft a demand letter for lost wages, property damage, or injuries caused by someone else's negligence without involving the court.
What is a Payment Demand Letter?
A payment demand letter gives you the last option for recovering damages from a personal injury incident before filing a lawsuit. You may consider it as your final “Hail Mary” before entering the court system. While you may want to draft the payment demand letter by yourself, the letter may end up riddled with mistakes or omissions. An expert legal counsel can help you write a letter that addresses the situation at hand. Our lawyers usually stick to the following steps when drafting payment demand letters:
- Stating the facts to the party that did you wrong using clear and concise wording
- Sending the letter through a certified mailing system (which gives proof of sent and received mail)
- Demanding a response within a reasonable timeline (about seven days)
- Making a reasonable demand for compensation (aiming for a higher amount while leaving room for negotiations)
- Offering legal advice when the defendant does not want to negotiate
Calculating Settlement Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Nothing gives you peace of mind than seeing an accident (you were involved in) reduced to a set of numbers. Asbury Lake Personal Injury Attorney considers the settlement damages among the factors used to determine if your case is worth pursuing. Among the questions clients ask us during the initial consultation meeting include “do I have a case?” and “how much is my case worth?”
The basic rule (for liability cases) is that the settlement amount is approximately equal to the intensity and extent of the injuries. While this notion sounds simple in theory, it is hopelessly vague in practice. Our lawyers rely on estimate calculators to determine the worth of clients’ cases.
Settlement damages you can potentially recover from a personal injury lawsuit include economic/special damages, non-economic/general damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages comprise medical treatment costs, estimated future medical treatment costs, property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, and future lost earnings. Non-economic ones include loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. You may seek punitive damages to serve a form of punishment to the party at fault.
Can Insurance Policy Limits Affect Your Injury Claim?
While it is ambitious to think about seeking $1 million in damages, insurance policy limits may reduce the amount to about $20,000 depending on the situation. If you are pursuing a lawsuit against an uninsured or underinsured motorist, it may be difficult to collect compensation. Insurance policy limits dictate the highest amount an insurer can pay for your claim.
Legal Representation for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Court
Deciding to go to court may be an ideal option for your case if other conventional options for seeking damages failed to work. You may proceed to a civil court (for damages exceeding the state limit) or a small claims court with the help of Asbury Lake Personal Injury Attorney. A Florida court judge will review evidence submitted by both parties, evaluate each and reach a fair decision. Both the plaintiff and the defendant have to adhere to the judge's ruling since it is legally binding.
How Long Will Your Injury Claim Take?
You may want to know the time it takes to solve a personal injury claim when your case seems to be moving slowly, and the expenses keep increasing. The nuances and specific facts of your case come into play when determining how long your lawsuit will take. Personal injury cases differ in terms of fact patterns, issues addressed, parties involved, and injuries suffered. It is impossible to predict the exact timeframe for your case until you receive an award or a settlement of damages.
Starting the Case
With the help of an attorney, you can begin the initial paperwork and process for the case. In this process, you will inform the other party about your intention to file an injury claim against them. Courts that handle personal injury lawsuits observe strict statute of limitations, which determine the timeframe for filing a claim. After a series of court motions, the judge may dismiss your case or have a judgment entered. The judgment of dismissal may prevail even before the discovery stage of your case.
The Discovery Process
In this process, your Asbury Lake Personal Injury Attorney will dig up facts, gather and produce relevant documents, and take depositions. The process will also involve the investigation of disputes arising from the case. Your lawyer will also send a demand letter to the insurance company or another party, expecting a prompt response. You may try to settle through arbitration, mediation, or negotiation or have a lawsuit filed if you decide not to settle.
Going to Trial
During the trial, the judge will accept motions and arguments related to your lawsuit. It is also possible to settle during the trial. Once the judge gives a verdict, you (the plaintiff) may win and expect compensation from the defendant. You can recover damages in a series of payments or a lump sum. In case you lose the case, your lawyer may appeal, forcing a settlement for a lower amount than the one suggested by the jury. A successful appeal will result in a settlement or a new trial.
The timing for the trial will depend on the complexity of your case, the damages, and the severity of injuries. Your patience, the defendant's willingness to settle, and the caseload in your jurisdiction may also affect the timing of your case. Court dates may change from time to time. The longer you wait for an award or settlement of damages, the more money you are likely to recover.
Hire a Diligent Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Are you a victim of a car crash, slip, and fall accident, or any other form of accident that resulted in injuries, lost wages or pain and suffering? Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney maintains its presence in Asbury Lake, FL attending to injury victims seeking financial compensation. We have the relevant skills and experience required to handle your case. Call us today at 904-800-7557 to book an initial consultation meeting.