If you’ve been injured in an accident, what comes next can be overwhelming. In addition to a hospital stay, scans, tests, follow-up visits, and physical therapy, you also need to worry about your time off from work, filing insurance claims, and possibly even researching a lawyer. While this last task may seem daunting, having the right accident attorney on your side can be a tremendous relief from the other stressors inherent in accidents.
How Personal Injury Laws Work
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to damages from a car insurance company, your workplace, or in the case of a slip and fall, the insurer of the business where it happened. If you try to file a claim without representation, the adjusters will typically be very quick to make you an offer in exchange for your signing a liability waiver. This amount, however, is unlikely to fully compensate you for your injuries, and when the money runs out, you won’t be able to go after them for more.
A personal injury attorney will review your case and the accompanying evidence. They will calculate all of the expenses associated with the accident, including intangible damages like pain and suffering. Once they have a full understanding of the case, they’ll open settlement negotiations with the insurance company. In most cases, the claim settles without litigation.
Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Suit
The law identifies two types of damages: economic and non-economic.
These damages have a monetary value attached to them. For instance, a hospital bill, an appointment with a physical therapist, or the lost wages of two weeks of work, all have a readily identifiable cost associated with them. With that said, some economic damages must be estimated in advance. You may not know the actual cost of future doctor’s visits, operations, et cetera. An attorney with experience in these areas can usually provide an approximation.
In addition to the monetary loss of an accident, victims are also inconvenienced and often traumatized. A simple repayment for damaged items and medical bills is not sufficient to compensate someone who has been severely inconvenienced. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you’re also entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
Attorney Compensation in Personal Injury Cases
In most fields of law, the attorneys receive a retainer from which they bill hours. This isn’t the case with personal injury lawyers. Attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis. That means that there are no out of pocket costs. In Florida, the attorney contingency percentages are set capped by the Florida Bar. Your attorney should be able to explain the fee structure for your type of case. Ultimately, attorneys are usually able to settle or win enough over the initial settlement amount to justify their involvement.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. There are exceptions to this rule when it comes to medical malpractice suits and wrongful death actions. You should not, however, wait to speak to an attorney. Personal injury cases are time-sensitive and delays can result in the loss of evidence. The lawyers at Fasig & Brooks will happily answer any questions you have about personal injury cases.