Personal Injury

Personal Injury

The unexpected often happens at the most inopportune times, especially in Florida.  If you do not have an expert on your side, you will be eaten alive.  That is the nature of the Personal Injury practice of law in our country.

In the United States, Personal Injury is not only a common occurrence, it is also big business, Very Big Business.  If you live in a city of any size, and you have an interstate not too far away, you will regularly witness (some say “rubberneck”) automobile accidents in your life, you may even be involved in one or two.  The arch nemesis of individuals in these kinds of cases are insurance companies.  Flo and Jaime may seem friendly and funny, but they represent stone cold villains.  The Gecko may be small, and green, and cute, but he works for a cutthroat, behemoth of an empire.  Their goal is to deny, deprive, belittle, and blame.  They protect their huge profit margins by paying you as little as possible.  If you suffer personal injury in America, in most of the cases, it will be strongly advisable to bring an action for compensation in the State where the accident has taken place.  Each State has its own laws and time limits applicable to claims for personal injury compensation.  In Florida, we have some of the strictest.

Personal injury includes and takes into account any type of injury sustained in accidents. These types of injuries may arise from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective products, or wrongful death claims. On the other hand, bodily injury is more limited and may imply injuries sustained by another person, usually in a car accident.

A personal injury claim is brought forward to financially compensate a person who has suffered injury or harm due to the negligent or wrongful actions of another individual.

If you have been injured in any kind of accident, The Victoria Law Group, will help you find the metaphorical ruthless killer who will fight for your rights.  Do not hesitate to contact us.

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Personal injury lawyers handle numerous kinds of cases which includes but is not limited to negligence cases that involve car accidents, truck accidents, aviation accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, child daycare negligence, wrongful death cases, and other types of negligence cases.

It is definitely worthwhile to let a personal injury lawyer handle your case if it is for your own or you are an at fault party. It becomes a hassle free task if your lawyer is there to deal with an insurance company. There can be disagreements regarding liability itself, reimbursement for medical expenses, property damage and, under certain circumstances, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

The insurance companies have a vast set of sources at their end. Adjusters or lawyers who deal with personal injury cases are well versed in the nuances of the law regarding the type of insurance under which the claim is being made. The adjuster has considerable experience in the claims process. While an injured party may deal with the claims process a few times over their lifetime, insurance adjusters process thousands of claims per year. The adjuster will use their vast knowledge and experience to their advantage when dealing with an unrepresented claimant.

Attorney compensation in the State of Florida is governed by the Florida Bar Association.  There are standards, limits, and customs in the industry   It is certainly not universal but the standard contingency fee for an attorney in the US is a percentage amount rather than a fixed amount which is given to him/her at the conclusion of a claim. Most personal injury lawyers charge 33 1/3 percent if the case settles without filing a lawsuit and 40% if a lawsuit is filed. Most employment lawyers charge a 40% fee.

There is no time defined in personal injury cases but most of them conclude in the initial one or two years. 

Facts differ in each of the cases, issues differ, parties differ, and there seems to be no defined time period which is dedicated for a personal injury suit. It is impossible to predict how long your case might take until you receive a settlement or award of damages. That said, most accident and injury claims seem to be settled within one to two years.

A personal injury claim is basically a formal process in which the injured party, also known as the plaintiff, seeks financial compensation from another party that they feel is liable who is the defendant. The plaintiff may consider the opposing party to be responsible for their damages because they caused the injury or because the incident is covered by an insurance policy; or both.

This process begins with a demand letter, in which the plaintiff formally requests payment for their damages from the defendant. If the insurance company refuses to pay or a compromise cannot be reached, the case will proceed to the lawsuit stage. These two parts of the process are called pre-litigation and litigation.

The demand letter includes the following list of point to be covered:

  • The reason stating that the defendant is legally responsible or liable.
  • A gist or compilation of the injuries sustained.
  • What medical treatments were necessary and how much they cost.
  • How much income the plaintiff lost because of time off work.
  • Any other calculable damages suffered, like pain and suffering.
  • The insurance company may review the claim and decide to pay or they may decide that they will not pay out at all (called a denied claim). 

An insurance company can outrightly deny a claim on the basis of the following points:

  • Due to lack of evidence
  • As they believe that the injuries were not caused by the accident
  • As they believe that the accident was the injured fault
  • Any other reason they feel is fit. 

If in the pre-litigation stage, the insurance company denies you the personal injury claim, then you can go ahead and press charges in the court of law. 

Most often, the lawsuit is against an insurance company, but the lawsuit can be filed against businessman, government agency or a private individual. 

The complaint will include points as follows: 

  • Parties involved in the case
  • Jurisdiction of the court
  • List of legal claims
  • Facts, circumstances and evidence to support the nature of claims
  • Demand for judgement stating how much the defendant is seeking. 

Discovery process is exactly what it sounds like. In this process, both the attorney’s who are representing the plaintiff and the defendant will gather evidence, screen out potential witness and understand the facts of the case in as much detail as possible to understand the depth of the case.

Yes, in fact, most of the personal injury cases do not reach the trial stage and nine five per cent of them settle before trial only. 

This is done through the process of mediation.

Compensation in personal injury cases may include money for:

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Loss of earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

In the cases of wrongful death, compensation may be awarded for damages including but not limited to:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support and benefits
  • Related medical expenses incurred prior to death
  • Loss of companionship or consortium

Insurance companies are not always fair in giving out the compensation and often attempt to limit what they pay for medical expenses and other damages in the interest of protecting their own bottom lines. 

But undervaluing your claim can leave you facing immediate and long-term financial adversity, especially if you’re temporarily unable to work due to your injuries. Hence, it is always advisable to take a legal opinion from a professional who knows how to retrieve a suitable amount for the claim.