In Florida, like all other states, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to be compensated for “damages” incurred as a result of the injuries you sustained. In some cases, injuries are minor and you do not choose to file a lawsuit. In other cases, you find yourself fighting insurance companies and private citizens in an attempt to be compensated for your medical bills and more.
Some people choose not to hire an attorney because they find the process of filing a claim overwhelming. In an effort to make the process easier for you to understand, we have put together a list of the top myths surrounding personal injury law. Dispelling these myths can help to make your decision to seek compensation an easier one.
In truth, you are typically only compensated for the true costs of your injury. These may include medical costs such as hospitalization, doctor visits, prescription medication and even the cost of an ambulance. You may also be compensated for lost wages if you find yourself out of work.
The million dollar settlements you see advertised on television are rare. While you can realistically expect to be compensated for the money that you have spent or will spend as a result of your injuries, filing a personal injury claim is not a way to get rich.
This is not true. The statute of limitations differs from state to state, but the statute dictates how long you have from the time of your accident to file a complaint in court. In Florida, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is four years. That means you only have four years from the date you were injured to decide that you want to file a lawsuit.
Do not depend on the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In fact, they are not required to pay you anything at all unless ordered to by a court of law. It is almost always advisable to pay for your medical bills using your own health insurance coverage when possible.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company offers you a settlement, be sure to read the fine print. You may sign the settlement and give away your rights to seek compensation in the future. If you need assistance reading the settlement offer and deciding whether or not taking it is in your best interest, consult an attorney.
Each personal injury case is different, and nothing is guaranteed. Beware of attorneys who promise to win you a settlement. An experienced attorney will give you a realistic idea of what you can expect. Things can happen during court proceedings that impact your ability to receive compensation. While most attorneys will only take a case they believe they can win, nothing in life is guaranteed.
The truth is that most personal injury cases are resolved in under a year. If your lawsuit is settled out of court, the resolution will occur more quickly. It is incredibly rare that a personal injury case takes longer than 12 months to come to an end. Typically, the longer cases involve a large amount of money and back-and-forth debating and negotiating.
Once a case is settled, you are done. This means that if you settle with the insurance company or win an award in court, your case is over and you have received all that you will. This is why it is so important to not settle with an insurance company before you speak with an attorney.
Even if your injuries worsen or new injuries related to your accident appear after your case is settled, you have given up your right to seek further compensation. An attorney can speak with your medical team to determine if there is a reasonable expectation of further injuries or health problems. This will be an important factor in the amount of compensation sought should you determine to move forward with a lawsuit.
If you have any inclination of filing a personal injury claim, you need an attorney. It really is that simple. An attorney experienced in personal injury law will review the facts of your case during a free consultation and tell you if you have a valid claim. Consulting with an attorney can save you valuable time and money after you have been injured.
The legal process after a personal injury can be daunting, especially if you have never been involved in a civil proceeding. Family and friends with good attentions may give you advice, you may hear of million-dollar settlements on television, and you may even get unsolicited letters from attorneys. Don’t believe anything you hear without researching the facts. Filing a personal injury claim may be in your best interest, but so may be settling with an insurance company.
If you have been injured in Miami or the surrounding area, call our office. A member of our team will review the details of your injury and advise you of your best options. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.