Personal Injury Claim Settlement
The course of your personal injury claim depends on your case’s details, but most follow a similar trajectory. Our personal injury lawyers start with you—your story, injuries, and losses. The next stages of your personal injury claim settlement may involve negotiating with an insurer. If the two sides can’t agree, we can proceed with a lawsuit and fight for you in court. Set up a personalized assessment by calling (954) 633-8270.
Some of the Stages of a Personal Injury Claim include:
Getting Help and Gathering Information for the Personal Injury Claim
After you have been injured, you can immediately consult our team. Our Fort Myers personal injury attorneys can work to avoid problems in your case from the beginning by spotting common mistakes. Before you agree to any settlement offers, we need to gather information to determine how your injury happened. Insurers sometimes rush to the settlement stage to avoid paying for losses revealed through a thorough investigation.
Your lawyer will:
- Review any accident paperwork like police reports and medical records
- Talk to witnesses and collect video or photos
- Obtain traffic camera or security camera footage
- Analyze the accident through reconstruction and expert evaluation
- Inspect physical evidence like debris, obstructions, or wreckage
- Create a timeline of events
- Identify liable parties based on the evidence
Insurance companies conduct their own investigations, but you do not have to trust their conclusions. After all, insurers are businesses protecting their interests. We protect yours.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim and Negotiating a Settlement
We can file an injury claim with the appropriate insurance company. Ideally, the insurer will compensate you for your accident-related losses with a settlement. The claims process differs with each insurance company, and laws about insurance vary by state. Our personal injury attorneys Florida can identify what laws and procedures apply to your case.
You Could File an Injury Lawsuit
A claim refers to the insurance process of receiving injury compensation, while a lawsuit involves suing a negligent party. Some cases involve both a claim and a lawsuit. Sometimes lawsuit filing is necessary to jolt insurers into agreeing to a better settlement. Other times, a lawsuit is required to settle the facts of the case when parties disagree on what happened.
We Wait for Maximum Medical Improvement Before Agreeing to a Settlement Offer
One reason not to agree to a settlement offer too quickly is the fact that not everyone recovers at the same rate. Your healing journey could influence your case timeline. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three-quarters of auto injury costs occur within 18 months. A low settlement offered a mere month after an accident may not cover losses you’ll experience six, ten, or twelve months later.
Letting you reach maximum medical improvement allows us to recognize an offer’s accuracy.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If insurers will not settle your claim fairly, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek the compensation you need. There are several reasons a case might proceed to the lawsuit stage:
- Parties can’t agree on what happened
- No one can agree on a settlement amount
- The other party is claiming they are not liable
- You are blamed in some way for your injuries
- An insurance company is operating in bad faith
We also keep the statute of limitations in mind when deciding whether to take this step. The deadline varies by state. For instance, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11, you typically have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Other states may have shorter deadlines, and certain circumstances can also affect how long you have.
Who Do You File a Lawsuit Against?
While insurance claims are filed either with your own insurer or the other party’s, personal injury lawsuits are filed directly against the person responsible for causing the accident. For instance, if you slipped and fell at a restaurant, you can file a claim with their insurer, but a lawsuit against the restaurant owner.
Bad faith lawsuits, on the other hand, are filed against insurance companies when they don’t honor policies. This includes unfairly denying claims, forcing you to jump through unnecessary hoops, or deliberately dragging out your case.
Navigating Pretrial and Building a Personal Injury Case
At this stage in your personal injury claim settlement process, we build on the evidence we compiled earlier to construct a court strategy. Pretrial involves:
- Interviewing witnesses formally through depositions
- Asking written questions
- Sharing evidence between both parties
- Meeting with the judge to present the basic facts of the case
Continuing Personal Injury Settlement Negotiations
Pursuing a lawsuit doesn’t mean settlement negotiations end. In fact, we continue to meet with the other parties to avoid leaving the verdict up to a jury. Many cases settle out of court even after filing a lawsuit.
Presenting Your Personal Injury Case in Court
If all else fails, our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys can represent you at trial. Whether the other party is found liable for your injuries, as well as what is considered fair compensation, is decided in court.
We Can Help With All Personal Injury Claim Settlement Stages
Wherever you are in the process of pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, we can start advocating for you today. Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 for a free consultation.