How much is my personal injury case worth?
This is one of the harder questions for a plaintiff's attorney to answer. A case's worth is based on five areas assuming that the liability issue is straightforward. Those areas include:
There is no blueprint for determining a case's value; it is really based on evidence such as whether there are discrepancies in the testimony, medical records, or other pieces that may detract from the integrity of the injured party's case. However, based on our experience with past cases in Florida, we can estimate the value of the case once the attorney has gathered all medical records and statements and has an idea if the client's physical and mental state has improved or worsened from the date of injury.
Why are we using my insurance provider if the accident was not my fault?
Even if a client is involved in an accident that was caused by another person, we can still file a claim for personal injury protection benefits, or PIP. This is what is known as "no-fault" insurance, and by law, it requires the insurance company to pay 80 percent of a person's medical bills and 60 percent of their lost wages up to $10,000 regardless if they are to blame.
A situation like this can also arise if the person responsible for the accident is uninsured or underinsured. Then, as long as you've paid your insurance premium for this particular coverage, you will have no trouble making a claim. It wouldn't make sense to pay extra for coverage like this if it was not there for you when you need it most.
How much time will be devoted to my case?
This really depends on the intricacy of the case. For example, we absolutely want to avoid resolving a case while the client is still recovering or does not have a handle on the future of their medical condition. It is every attorney's fear to allow a client to sign a release and discover shortly after that they require more surgery or that the medical bills are still piling up. With that in mind, the average premises liability/auto or general negligence cases will reach resolution in four to eight months. That timeline is bound to fluctuate depending on the characteristics of each case.
If my personal injury case is successful, how will I be compensated?
Compensatory damages will cover economic losses associated with the injury, including lost wages and past and future medical expenses. If the injury causes permanent disability, the victim may also be compensated for the loss of future earnings. If the injured party is a child or does not have an earning history, the court will consider the individual's probable earning capacity. Personal injury victims may also be eligible for non-economic damages, such as mental anguish and pain and suffering.
How soon should I file a lawsuit?
You should speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident. Injury victims only have a short period of time to file a claim. Failure to file within this time period, known as the statute of limitations, can bar the victim from ever recovering compensation for their injuries.
What can I do if I have been injured?
First, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to determine whether someone else is liable for your injuries. If so, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation from the negligent party by filing a personal injury lawsuit. If your case is successful, you may be able to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages incurred as a result of your injuries. To find out if you are eligible to collect compensation, fill out our free case review form to speak with a personal injury attorney.
What is negligence?
To be eligible for a personal injury lawsuit, the victim must have been injured from the negligence of another individual or entity. Negligence occurs when an individual fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others. If a person fails to act as a reasonable person would, he or she may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at-fault for my injuries?
It depends on your jurisdiction. In a few areas, individuals cannot recover compensation if their negligence partially contributed to their injuries. However, most jurisdictions maintain that victims can still receive compensation if they were partially at fault for their injuries. In these cases, the amount of compensation awarded to the victim may be lessened in accordance with the victim's degree of negligence.
Who can be held liable for a catastrophic injury?
To determine liability, it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. More than one person may be responsible for your injuries. Depending on your type of personal injury, the liability may rest on a hospital, doctor, motor vehicle driver, truck driver, employer or drug manufacturer.
When determining the amount of a personal injury settlement or verdict, what factors will be considered?
The following factors will be considered when determining the amount of compensation owed for your injuries: the severity of your injuries; the details of your accident; the degree of fault; your employment history; your ability to work; and your life expectancy. The manner in which you obtain medical treatment, your lifestyle, and your litigation history will also be considered.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
Determining the worth of your personal injury claim will depend on the severity of your injuries, the details of the case, insurance limits and the identity of the defendant. Each claim is different, so it's important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident. We provide a free case review, so do not hesitate to contact us today.
How long will my personal injury lawsuit take?
It's difficult to determine how long it will take to resolve a personal injury lawsuit. Each case is unique; therefore, no general timetable can be established for personal injury cases. A personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial, while others can take years to complete.
Should I sign a release?
Before signing anything, be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. If you sign a release, you may be unable to recover future damages. In some instances, the insurer may offer an early settlement, which may not fully compensate the victim, as he or she may still be unaware of the extent and future costs of their injuries.
What is a letter of protection used for?
Oftentimes, people are lacking insurance coverage, or their PIP benefits have been depleted. When this happens, medical facilities and doctors will sometimes accept a "letter of protection," which is a document allowing the patient to continue treatment without having to pay for it until a later date. Normally, there is no reimbursement made until the patient reaches a full recovery. It is essential that the client understand that if the case is not resolved in their favor, a letter of protection on file does not warrant them exemption from paying off their medical bills.
Why am I not being compensated when I have full insurance coverage?
This is one of the most difficult questions our lawyers face on a daily basis. In most cases, insurance agents will provide a potential consumer with a quote for the type of coverage they request. Receiving full coverage in regards to an auto negligence case would allow for injury recovery, PIP or no-fault, payment for medical services, and underinsured or uninsured driver coverage. Whether the consumer is at fault or not, PIP coverage is still applicable, and the medical payment benefits can make up the difference not covered under PIP. Uninsured or underinsured coverage is probably the most significant benefit because if you are injured in an accident with someone who has little to no coverage, you will be appropriately compensated by your own provider. Our clients often find themselves out of luck when they realize that even though they have "full coverage," it does not necessarily mean underinsured or uninsured is included.
What is MMI?
When you've concluded your treatment of an injury with a doctor, we request a final narrative. At this time, the physician has determined that the patient has reached MMI, or maximum medical improvement. This means that the patient has reached a point where they are as healthy as they can be; they may not be in the condition that they were prior to the accident, but their health has stabilized. If that is the case, a doctor may assign the patient a permanent impairment rating according to American Medical Association guidelines. Although it is not necessary to have available during courtroom proceedings, car insurance companies may want access to the permanent impairment rating as part of their case evaluation.
Why am I responsible for the costs of the case?
At Morgan & Morgan, we abide by the Contingency Free Contract, which is approved by the Florida Bar. In terms of fees, the Contingency Free Contract allows for 33.3 percent recovery before the plaintiff files a lawsuit, the defendant files a response, and the client provides any payment. For the most part, we can keep costs low throughout the pre-suit and early litigation stages. Once the case reaches trial, costs can get out of hand. We do not do this on purpose; in fact, when an insurance company targets the consumer, it is inevitable that costs become unbridled. Our firm has the resources to go toe to toe with major insurance companies, but if the client wins the case, then they must pay us according to contract.
Why do I have to pay the PIP deductible?
In accordance with the no-fault statute, insurance companies can sell a maximum deductible of $2,000 to consumers. Even though this is the largest deductible allowable by law, it is not obligatory; when consumers purchase insurance, they can choose to have a deductible lower than $2,000 or not have one at all. It is always difficult for consumers to comprehend why their insurance premium benefits the other driver, especially since their negligence caused the accident.
What does it mean to "file suit," and why do we do it?
The act of filing legal papers at the courthouse is called filing suit. The client gives the authorization to file suit after all other options have been exhausted during pre-suit. Over the last decade, the insurance industry has stepped up its aggressive defense of these cases, and the number of clients we are undertaking is steadily increasing.
When a case is filed with the court, it does not necessarily mean you will be accompanying your lawyer to court. Most cases are able to be rectified before trials begin, but some still make it through. Since we have such a history with cases of this sort, we are able to provide the client with the education essential to making wise decisions. Despite the large number of cases we take on, we are extremely proud of the number of them in which we are victorious and able to satisfy the client, rewarding them with what they deserve.
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