The Panama City Office
Personal Injury Lawyer in Panama City1022 W. 23rd St., Suite 630
Panama City, FL 32405
- $15 Billion+ Won
- 800+ Lawyers Nationwide
- The Fee is FreeTM, Only Pay If We Win
- America’s Largest Injury Law Firm
- Protecting Families Since 1988
Dealing with the injuries sustained as the result of a personal injury incident can cause a considerable amount of stress and frustration. Frustration arises from the inability to get back to work, while the stress comes from the financial distress generated by rapidly mounting medical bills. How do you stay financially afloat during one of the worst ordeals of your life? Should you take out an emergency loan to cover the costs associated with diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating your injuries?
The answer to recovering financial losses is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Panama City who can help you file a persuasive insurance claim, and if negligence caused your injuries, file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages as well.
Insurance companies love it when policyholders file personal injury claims without the legal support of an experienced attorney. If you file an insurance claim without the legal support of a personal injury lawyer, the insurance company processing your claim might deny it or approve a value of compensation that falls well below what you deserve. A personal injury lawyer helps you gather the physical evidence you need to file a successful insurance claim, as well as a civil lawsuit that ends in a favorable settlement that awards you just compensation.
Since 1988, the personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan have helped clients receive the compensation they deserve. We have recovered more than $15 billion in monetary damages for our clients from a wide variety of personal injury cases, including car accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall incidents. Founder John Morgan started Morgan and Morgan after his brother Tim received poor legal representation after sustaining injuries as the result of a personal injury incident. Like John Morgan ensured his brother received the best legal support, we treat clients like they are a part of our family to ensure they receive the level of legal expertise required to recover from financial losses.
Learn more about how Morgan and Morgan can help you receive just compensation for your injuries by scheduling a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer.
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What Steps Should I Take After a Personal Injury Incident?
How you handle the aftermath of a personal injury incident determines the success of filing an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Despite the number of different types of personal injury cases, the steps you should take after any personal injury incident remain the same.
Receive Medical Care
Whether you fell down a set of stairs at a neighbor’s home or sustained an injury caused by a defective product, the first step in the aftermath of a personal injury incident involves seeking medical care. For a serious incident, you do not have a choice but to get immediate care at the nearest emergency room. Even if you feel healthy enough to remain at the scene of a personal injury accident, you should eventually have a healthcare provider run a series of diagnostic tests to ensure you did not sustain an injury like a concussion that produces delayed symptoms.
Report the Incident
The second step in the personal injury process requires you to report the incident. Unless it is a minor fender bender, you should contact 911 after a vehicle collision. The responding law enforcement agency conducts a detailed investigation that leads to the filing of a formal police report. For a personal injury incident that occurs at a business, you should notify a manager to get the ball rolling on the submission of an incident report. For a medical malpractice case, contact the administration department of the medical facility and for a premises liability case, contact the owner of the property.
Meet With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Before you let the proper insurance company know about a personal incident, you should meet with one of the highly-rated personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan. A personal injury lawyer reviews the incident report to determine the cause of your injuries, as well as whether another party should assume legal liability for committing one or more acts of negligence. Meeting with an attorney before you file an insurance claim ensures the insurance company does not take advantage of you in any way. You also receive advice on how to build the strongest possible case for winning a favorable legal judgment.
Collect Physical Evidence
After a personal injury incident, taking photos of the scene helps your personal injury lawyer decide whether to file a civil lawsuit to hold another party legally liable for committing at least one act of negligence. For example, taking photos of the area where you slipped and fell on a slick surface at a grocery store allows your personal injury lawyer to determine whether store employees did enough to prevent the incident. One of the most important types of physical evidence for many personal injury cases concerns camera footage captured by a security or traffic camera system.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your personal injury lawyer should be the one who contacts the appropriate insurance company to initiate the claim process. Acting as an intermediary between you and the insurance company relieves you of the burden of dealing with an insurance adjuster who refuses to review your claim with a balanced perspective. Your attorney helps you complete the claim form, as well as submit the physical evidence you need to convince the insurance adjuster to approve your request for compensation. After taking care of the insurance claim paperwork, your personal injury lawyer helps you file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages before the expiration of the statute of limitations.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
Your personal injury lawyer provides several types of legal support, such as helping you file a civil lawsuit and representing the most important type of legal support. With a substantial amount of money on the line, you cannot afford to miss the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Every state has established a deadline for taking legal action, with a majority of states granting between two and four years to take legal action. However, a few states allow as long as six years and as short as one year for plaintiffs to file a personal injury lawsuit. Florida gives plaintiffs four years to file a personal injury lawsuit that seeks to recover the financial losses produced by another party committing one or more acts of negligence. The only exception to the four-year deadline set by Florida regards a plaintiff who developed delayed symptoms after a personal injury incident.
Four years is a long time to take legal action, but that does not mean you can afford to procrastinate with the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. You have to remember that you are responsible for paying every bill that is associated with your case. Medical bills pile up rapidly, and without income coming in because of your injuries, you can fall into a deep financial hole that is impossible to crawl out of to regain solvency. Another reason to act with a sense of urgency concerns the witnesses that provide support for the physical evidence gathered at the scene of the personal injury incident. Your personal injury lawyer wants to speak with witnesses as soon as possible after a personal injury incident to receive the most accurate accounts of what transpired before, during, and after the incident.
If you do not meet the four-year deadline imposed by Florida to file a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, you can expect the court clerk processing your case to dismiss it.
Does Florida Follow the Comparative Negligence Doctrine?
Yes, Florida follows the comparative negligence doctrine, which is based on the legal decision issued by a judge that more than one party should assume some legal liability for causing a personal injury incident. For example, let’s assume you sustained multiple injuries as a result of getting involved in an auto crash. The other party committed two traffic offenses: Speeding and running a red light. Although it seems like a cut-and-dry case of negligence, you must assume part of the blame for causing the accident because of the distraction related to texting and driving.
If the judge hearing your case assigns you 20 percent of the fault for causing the personal injury incident and you receive a favorable legal judgment of $40,000, your net compensation declines to $32,000 to account for the 20 percent blame assigned by the judge.
What Is the Process for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Most of the clients that decide to partner with a personal injury lawyer do not understand the judicial system. During a free case evaluation, you can expect to learn in detail the steps required to file a successful civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
File the Proper Court Documents
The vast amount of paperwork required to initiate a personal injury lawsuit is a good enough reason to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan. Just one incomplete and/or inaccurate section on any form can lead to the dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney walks you through each of the documents required to take legal action, and before filing a personal injury lawsuit, reviews each document to ensure utmost accuracy. Your personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan knows how to expedite the lawsuit filing process to prevent you from enduring costly and time-consuming delays.
Before a personal injury lawsuit goes to the trial phase of the litigation process, both parties participate in a phase called discovery. The discovery phase of the litigation process allows both parties' legal teams to exchange physical evidence and the statements issued by witnesses. Discovery provides both sides with keen insight into the respective strengths of their cases. If both parties come out of the discovery phase with a willingness to negotiate a settlement, then negotiations start that can lead to a couple of outcomes.
Negotiations start when your attorney submits an offer for compensation. Your personal injury lawyer calculates a reasonable value for monetary damages by adding up the receipts associated with tangible expenses such as medical bills. For non-economic damages, such as those associated with pain and suffering, your attorney uses a formula that factors in the value of economic damages. The defendant can either accept or reject the initial offer of compensation. If your offer comes back rejected, the defendant can submit a counteroffer or decide to end negotiations and take the case to the trial phase of the litigation process.
Go to Trial
If negotiations fail to reach an agreement, the judge hearing your case tries to convince both parties one last time to try and reach a deal. If the judge cannot persuade both parties to negotiate a settlement, the trial phase of the litigation process begins. A civil trial answers two important questions. The first question tries to answer whether the defendant committed one or more acts of negligence that caused you harm. If the answer is yes to the first question, the judge hearing your case then decides how much to award in monetary damages. One note of interest: You can seek punitive damages during a civil trial, not you cannot receive punitive damages from a negotiated settlement.
Hire an Experience Personal Injury Lawyer From Morgan and Morgan
You have several criteria to consider before choosing a personal injury lawyer, and Morgan and Morgan checks off every criterion box. We have a proven record of success in getting clients the compensation that they deserve. Every one of our attorneys is a responsive communicator that cares about the health and financial status of our clients. The personal injury lawyer assigned to your case works with you from the day of the first phone conversation to the day when your case gets resolved.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with a personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan.