The Answers You Need to Common Injury Law Questions
It is natural to have many questions and worries when faced with a legal issue or litigation. The experienced lawyers at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., ask many common legal questions and provide useful answers to help get you in making the best decisions for you and your family.
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What should I say to an insurance adjuster after an accident?
I recommend that victims never talk to an at-fault driver’s insurance company, no matter how much an adjuster calls you or attempts to contact you. However, it may be necessary to coordinate with your own insurance provider after a car accident to make repairs to your vehicle. Although your insurer should be working for you, you must still be careful what information you provide.
Keep This in Mind When Talking to Your Insurance Representative
Your insurance adjuster conducts a comprehensive review of the accident and works with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to settle any claims. It's still in your insurer’s best interest to pay as little as possible, and any mistakes you make after a crash can give it a reason to reduce your payment.
When it comes to dealing with your own insurance agent, you should:
- File a claim as soon as possible. Call your insurance company as soon as possible following a car accident. Most companies have a dedicated claims hotline where policyholders can report accidents day or night. Your insurance representative should explain your coverage and ask for a few basic details, such as the location of the accident and the name and insurance provider of the other driver.
- Discuss vehicle repairs only. Your own insurer handles the property damage portion of your claim. This can include towing your vehicle, finding a body shop nearby, providing you with a rental car, and making satisfactory repairs—or replacing the vehicle if it's a total loss.
- Don’t talk about your injuries. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, your auto insurance provider becomes liable for your injury damages if the other driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your medical costs.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., our Seminole car accident lawyer secures the rightful compensation you need to put a car accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. If you have any questions, please fill out the form on this page, and a member of our injury team will get back to you immediately. And of course, you can always call our office at (727) 397-5571.
Will my case go to trial?
Of the thousands of cases I've handled, a relatively small number have gone to a jury trial. In fact, only a few cases require us to actually file a lawsuit, and a lesser percentage of those will actually go to court. This is because we are able to negotiate good settlements for most of our clients before they get to court.
While the vast majority of personal injury cases never need to see the inside of a courtroom, it's critical that every single case be prepared as if you're going to trial.
Most Insurers Want to Avoid an Injury Trial
Most injury victims seek compensation from an at-fault person’s insurance company. Insurers stay in business by paying out as little as possible, and settlements are often much cheaper than jury verdicts.
Our thorough preparation is a key negotiating tool, giving insurers an extra incentive to pay a fair value on a claim.
Insurance companies will usually avoid trial if possible because:
- It’s expensive. A trial can require hiring experts, tracking down evidence, and costly court appearances, all for an unknown outcome. Insurers want to manage risk as well as costs, and will often choose to settle a demand quickly rather than go through an open-ended and unpredictable trial.
- They’re more likely to be seen as the “bad guys.” If the victim is a good witness, the jury may have a lot of sympathy, costing the insurance company more in damages—and potentially even more than that in pain and suffering.
- It can hurt business. Jury verdicts can be considered public records, meaning anyone can look up whether the insurance company has been named in a lawsuit and how much it was ordered to pay. Settlements have the potential to be secured privately, allowing the insurer to protect its reputation.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. If you have any questions, please fill out the form on this page, and a member from our injury team will get back to you immediately. And of course, you can always call our office at (727) 397-5571.
What should I do if I was hit by a car while riding a bicycle?
After a crash, your adrenaline and emotions are running high—especially if you were hurt. Most bike accident victims aren't in their right state of mind in the hours after an accident, and may not know what to do after a bike-car collision.
As an experienced Florida injury attorney, I offer a few tips to protect your health and your financial recovery after a bike accident.
Steps to Take After a Car-Bike Crash
If you’re still conscious and able to move after the accident, you should get off the roadway as soon as possible to prevent further injury. However, it's vital that you do not get back on your bike or leave the scene of the accident.
Once you're safely off the road, you should:
- Call 911. Always call the police after a bike-car accident. They'll file an accident report, collect contact information from the at-fault driver, and call for an ambulance to attend to your injuries. If the driver who struck you left the scene, law enforcement might also be able to track down the vehicle.
- Call a friend. You should always call someone you can trust after a crash to help you answer questions and get medical care. Choose someone who can contact the rest of your family to inform them of your condition and who knows vital information about you if you lose consciousness, such as medication allergies.
- Document the scene. Only if it's safe to do so, you should take photos of the accident scene, the car that struck you (including a picture of the license plate), your injuries, and damage to your bike for evidence. You should also collect contact information from the driver and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses who saw the crash occur.
- See a doctor immediately. If you're not taken to the hospital by ambulance, you should still go to the doctor to get checked out within the next 24 hours. It’s impossible to know the full extent of your injuries until you're evaluated by a medical professional.
- Speak with an attorney. Injuries in bike-car accidents can be severe, causing you to be out of work for months and unable to ride even longer. We carefully review all of the details of your case and fight diligently to recover all you are owed.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you—and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.
Should I file an accident report if I'm hurt in a store?
If you're hurt on someone else’s property, you should always make sure the owner is aware of the accident. As an experienced premises liability attorney, I know how vital an accident report is as a piece of evidence—and how mistakes on this report can harm your injury case.
Information to Include in an Official Accident Report
If you're hurt in a store, you should alert the manager or an employee so you can fill out an accident report before you leave. Many businesses have their own accident report forms for victims to complete after an injury on their premises.
It's important that all of the information you provide is accurate and relevant, and that you avoid assigning blame for the injury on the document.
You may be asked to provide:
- Contact information. You should include your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address so the manager can contact you and provide you with a copy of the report.
- Facts of the accident. Include the date, time, and location of the accident. A short overview of the incident may be necessary (such as “I slipped in the freezer aisle”), but avoid guessing as to the exact cause of the accident.
- A statement of injury. You may provide a short description of your injury that includes all areas where you feel pain (such as “I hurt my head and arm in a fall”), but don't go into details about the extent of your injuries. The doctor you see in the hours following the accident can provide this evidence of your injuries.
It's important to recognize that the store will use this information to limit its own liability. For this reason, it's critical to record all the details you can remember for your own use—the condition of the floor, what you were doing before the accident, and the names and contact information of any witnesses. Before you leave, take some photos of the scene with your cellphone for further evidence.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we carefully review all details of your case to secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you, and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.
Why is it important to hire an injury attorney who's willing to go to trial?
If you're looking for an attorney to handle your personal injury case, you should always ask whether they have experience going to trial. Surprisingly, many big-name law firms don't try their own cases—and the unwillingness to go to trial can have a big impact on the amount of compensation you receive.
How a Trial Attorney Benefits Your Personal Injury Case
Insurance companies know which lawyers try cases, and which ones don't. As a result, insurers are much more likely to negotiate a favorable settlement with an attorney who has the skills to take the case to court and won't hesitate to do so if that's the best option for the client.
Insurers know that trial attorneys are more likely to:
- Secure a jury verdict. Insurers want to keep cases out of court as often as possible because they could be ordered to pay vast amounts to injury victims. An attorney who's known for taking cases to court is a threat to the insurer’s interests, making the insurance company more flexible during settlement negotiations.
- Undergo a thorough preparation. A trial attorney prepares every injury case as if it will go to trial from the very beginning. This means comprehensive fact-checking, investigation, and examination of the details and how they interlock to prove a solid case. In this way, the case is constructed for the best chance of success even if it doesn't actually go to court.
- Stay the course. Lawyers who don't want to go to trial hope they can convince an insurer to settle favorably, but if the insurer offers too little, the lawyer may advise the client to accept the settlement rather than go to court. Trial attorneys aren’t simply waiting for the insurer to call their bluff, allowing them to negotiate from a position of strength.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., attorney Paul Cavonis carefully reviews all the details of your injury case to secure the rightful compensation you need to put your accident behind you. He provides one-on-one guidance—and doesn't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.
What should I do after a slip and fall on someone else’s property?
Nearly everyone will suffer a trip and fall accident at some point in their lives. While the effects of these accidents can range from bumps and bruises to lifelong complications, they all have one thing in common—the victim is usually not the one at fault.
By knowing what to do after a slip, trip, or fall, you can significantly increase your chances of getting fair payment for your injuries.
Property Owners Have Responsibilities Under Florida Law
Owners of commercial buildings, parking lots, and private homes have a legal duty to maintain their premises to ensure they're safe for visitors. If the owner of the property didn't warn you of the hazard that caused your fall or take steps to fix the problem, you may be able to make a claim against them for your injury costs.
However, your claim will only be successful if you take action in the minutes, hours, and days after the accident to protect your rights.
After you have slipped or fallen on someone else's property, you should:
- Stay at the scene. It might not be wise to get up immediately after a fall, as you may be lightheaded. If people come over to help you, be sure to record their names and contact information on your cellphone. If you can, it’s a good idea to take photos of the location where you fell, noting any stairs, spills, icy patches, or other conditions that contributed to your accident.
- Report the incident. If you fall in a public place, you may be asked to fill out an incident report with the manager, landlord, or owner. Keep your answers simple, avoid any language that suggests you're at fault, and be sure to request a copy before you leave.
- See a doctor. One of the biggest mistakes people make after an injury is failing to get immediate medical treatment. This places your health at risk, and it sends a signal to the at-fault party’s lawyer and insurance company that you weren't seriously hurt in the fall. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so never put off going to the doctor after a sudden injury.
- Call an attorney. The easiest way to protect your rights is to speak to our experienced Seminole slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. We can take over the legal aspects of the claim and prevent you from making mistakes—such as posting about the accident on social media or giving a statement to an insurance company.
If you suffered a serious accident, attorney Paul Cavonis will fight for you while you focus on healing. We answer all of your questions and advise you on your options, helping you get the compensation you need to recover. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation.
Can I get payment for a slip or fall on a Florida sidewalk?
Sidewalks are supposed to be a safe place for pedestrians to travel, especially those set far away from speeding cars and busy alleys. However, even if there is nobody else on a walkway, you still have the potential for a serious injury through a fall. When this happens, a you can seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering from the person whose negligence caused the injury.
Common Conditions Leading to Sidewalk Falls
An unexpected hazard can cause a you to fall forward, breaking bones in your hands, knees, or face, while a backward fall can cause back pain, tailbone injuries, or even traumatic brain injury.
Some of the most common sidewalk dangers include:
- Cracked or crumbling pavement
- Curbs that have not been lowered at crosswalks or other entry points
- Uneven grading between pavement slabs or nearby surfaces (such as when a sidewalk intersects a driveway)
- Slippery walking surfaces (such as mud, moss, oil, or spilled sand and gravel)
- Debris (such as children’s bikes, electrical cords, tree limbs, or trashcans)
- Missing pavement slabs
- Cracked or hazardous walkways from tree roots pushing through the surface
Liability for Slips or Falls on Sidewalks
Under the theory of negligence, anyone who has the responsibility of installing or maintaining a sidewalk must take reasonable care to address common dangers before they cause injury. When these injuries occur, there may be a number of parties who could share liability, including:
- Municipalities. State and local government agencies must ensure that their sidewalks are properly designed for use. They must also rope off any broken slabs or areas under repair with caution tape until sidewalk maintenance can be performed.
- Businesses. If a business allowed an unsafe condition to continue on the sidewalk or path outside the building, the business may be held liable for negligence.
- HOAs. Condo or homeowners associations might share liability for a slip or fall inside a gated community, apartment complex, or housing development.
- Homeowners. Homeowners may be held partially responsible for the maintenance of city sidewalks that border their property. If you fell on a sidewalk in front of a residence, you may be able to bring a claim against the city, the homeowner’s insurance, or both.
Our Seminole slip and fall lawyer will fight to get you all that you are owed when someone else’s negligence causes a fall, and we do not charge you anything unless we secure compensation for you. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to schedule a confidential consultation to learn more about your legal options.
Where do slip and falls commonly occur?
From your kitchen to city streets or even airplanes, any place a person can walk poses a risk of a slip, trip, or fall.
While slip and fall accidents can happen practically anywhere, there are a few locations where these injuries are more likely to take place.
Places Where Slip and Fall Injuries Often Occur
It's important to recognize where slips, trips, and falls are most likely to happen for several reasons.
- It can help you stay vigilant in these areas and prevent an injury from occurring.
- It's easier to identify which party may be liable if you choose to file a slip and fall lawsuit.
- There may be specific laws or policies that apply specifically to an accident caused by a particular peril, such as when children trespass onto a dangerous property.
Slip and fall accidents are most likely to happen in or on:
- Supermarkets and stores. Many falls in grocery stores result from spilled liquids or standing water (such as from leaking refrigeration units) not cleaned up promptly. Retail stores may be responsible for falls from tripping hazards, such as clutter in customer aisles.
- Elevators or escalators. Elevators may have broken tiles or torn carpeting, while escalators may be unsafe or slippery due to lack of maintenance.
- Steps and stairs. Uneven surfaces, lack of handrails, and poor lighting are common causes of falls in stairwells, front and back stoops, and exposed staircases.
- Parks and playgrounds. Children are often injured in poorly-designed play areas, while adults may slip on gravel, footpaths, or tiles surrounding public swimming pools.
- Sidewalks and parking lots. Municipalities have a duty to maintain city sidewalks, and can be accountable when uneven, broken, or slippery walkways cause injuries. Business and city governments are both responsible for repairing potholes or broken pavement in parking lots—and for placing cones around the hazard to warn visitors until repairs are made.
- Bars and restaurants. Businesses that serve food or alcohol have a responsibility to clean any spills as quickly as possible to prevent slips, and to ensure all areas have adequate lighting to prevent injury.
- Bathrooms. Bathrooms are common sites of slipping injuries due to the likelihood of water spilling onto tiles or slippery floors. The staff members of hotels, coffee shops, gyms, hospitals, and all other locations where guests may use the facilities should ensure they're adequately cleaned and lit.
Most of the time, these accidents are the result of someone else’s negligence. If you were hurt on someone else's property, contact us today so we can help determine who is responsible. When you work with us, we pay all initial costs necessary to pursue your claim—you're not responsible for any of our fees unless we secure a financial recovery. Contact DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis today to set up a consultation with a Florida premises liability attorney.
What do I need to prove to recover damages in an injury case?
If you suffered a serious injury, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills and financial losses. While Florida law allows you to recover these costs from at-fault parties, you will have the burden of proving that the person who caused the injury—the defendant—was legally negligent.
Proving Negligence Is Key to Recovering Damages for an Injury
Injury cases such as slip-and-falls, car accidents, and medical malpractice are all based on the legal doctrine of negligence. Simply put, negligence is failure to ensure the proper degree of care necessary to prevent harm to another person. While there are many kinds of evidence that can be used to prove negligence, there are also specific tenets of negligence law that must be proved in order to recover damages.
Before you can be awarded damages for injuries, your attorney must prove:
- You were owed a duty of care. This means the defendant had a legal obligation to provide for your safety, also known as a duty of care. There are some cases when the defendant’s duty of care may be minimal, such as if you were trespassing at the time your slip and fall occurred.
- The defendant breached the duty of care. If you were owed a duty of care, there must be evidence the defendant was in violation of that duty. This may include different types of negligence, such as failing to fix a hazardous condition, acting carelessly or recklessly, or neglecting to warn you and others of the potential danger.
- The defendant’s breach caused damages. The attorney has to establish a clear link between the breached duty of care and your injuries. If the defendant's legal team can prove your medical condition resulted from something else, the defendant may not have to pay for your injuries—even if the judge agrees this individual or entity was otherwise negligent.
- The degree of your own negligence. In Florida, your own negligence for an injury doesn't prevent you from seeking damages. However, if you are partially to blame for an accident, the amount of your recovery is reduced by your percentage of fault. Legal counsel for the defense will try to make your percentage of fault as high as possible to reduce the amount of money owed to you, but our attorneys gather evidence to refute these claims.
If you suffered an injury, our personal injury attorney can outline your options and work to secure the compensation you need to recover. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.
What does premises liability mean?
Premises liability is the legal term for the responsibility for an injury on someone else’s property. Under premises liability laws, you have a right to seek payment from the owner if you suffer an injury in the owner’s house, business, or land.
Florida Premises Liability Cases
The most common accidents in premises liability cases are falls, such as trip and fall and slip and fall incidents. However, victims can suffer a wide range of injuries on someone else’s property, including injuries from falling debris, slick snow or ice, broken gates, faulty wiring, or even assault.
Property owners have a duty to make their homes and commercial buildings reasonably safe for visitors. If an injury was caused by a landowner or property manager’s negligence, there's a good chance the injury qualifies for a premises liability claim.
There are many different important factors involved in these types of cases, including:
- Who can bring a premises liability claim? While pretty much anyone who suffers a severe injury can bring a premises liability claim, property owners have a different duty of care to different types of visitors. The highest standard of care is given to guests invited onto a property for business reasons, such as shoppers in a grocery store or patrons of a restaurant. It also applies to people invited to the property in order to do work, such as repairmen. The second-highest level of care is given to social guests or people invited onto a property for social reasons for a specific period of time, such as inviting friends and family members to a party. In many cases, people who show up on the property unexpectedly like a friend or neighbor can also be considered a social guest. The lowest tier of care is given to trespassers, or people who were not invited and have no reason to be on the property.
- Who can be liable? Many different people who have control or rights over a property can be held liable for a premises liability injury. Owners of homes and businesses; property managers who oversee several shopping malls, condominiums, or hotels; and landlords can be liable if they fail to remedy a dangerous condition on the property within a reasonable period of time. If an injury occurred in a shop, liability may fall on the shop owner, the owner of the leased property to house the shop or both.
- What do I need to prove? Property owners and other liable parties generally cannot be held responsible for injuries resulting from a dangerous condition on their property that they didn't know about. In order to collect payment in a premises liability case, you will first need to prove that the owner/liable person knew about—or should have known about—a hazardous condition on the property. Next, you must prove the owner/liable person failed to fix the condition and/or warn others of the danger. Finally, there must be proof that you were directly injured by the hazardous condition.
- Are there different laws for trespassers or children? Trespassers may not have permission to enter a property, but that doesn't mean property owners don't have any liability for their safety. Owners have a duty to warn anyone on their properties about potentially dangerous or lethal conditions and can be liable for any intentional injuries to a trespasser. Owners have a special duty of care toward children, since children may not recognize conditions as harmful—such as trampolines, swimming pools, or discarded appliances. A property owner is responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect nearby children by installing preventive measures around it (such as a fence with a locking gate) or by removing dangerous conditions from the property.
- What can I recover? Injuries in a premises liability case can be extensive. Damages may include compensation for medical treatment, physical rehabilitation, lost wages and income, disability, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and other remuneration.
If you were injured on another person’s property, our personal injury attorney can advise you on options and get the compensation you need to recover. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.
What is sovereign immunity in Florida?
Sovereign Immunity: "The King can do no wrong."
Sovereign immunity is a legal principal that dates back to ancient times. It comes from the idea that "the King can do no wrong" and could not be sued. Sovereign immunity is still very much alive and well. As a result, you can't sue the government unless you have specific permission to do so. This principle is reflected in the Florida Constitution which states that suits may be filed against the state only as permitted by law. Florida law provides for a limited waiver of sovereign immunity which permits suits against the state under certain circumstances.
Sovereign immunity applies not only to "the state", as that term is generally understood, but also to agencies of the state and private entities performing what are essentially governmental services. Generally speaking, the state can be sued for breach of contract and for torts (negligence and intentional wrongdoing). However, there are specific procedures which must be followed in order to sue the state, particularly when suing the state for a tort claim. The Florida Tort Claims Act sets forth this procedure. Most importantly, the Florida Tort Claims Act requires a claimant to send a notice to the government within 3 years from the date of the claim. It may be necessary to send this notice to multiple governmental agencies. It is important to note that the 3 year deadline to serve the notice is shorter than the 4 four year statute of limitations to bring a tort action. The claim will be barred if the notices are not timely sent.
Although Florida Law provides for a limited waiver of sovereign immunity, the amount of money which can be recovered from the state by an individual claimant in a tort action is limited to $200,000. There are exceptions to this cap when there is an insurance policy exceeding the $200,000 cap. In the absence of an insurance policy exceeding the $200,000 cap, a claimant may pursue what is called a "claims bill". This is essentially an application to the state legislature to pass a law allowing the state to pay a claim in excess of the $200,000 cap. It is extremely difficult to get a claims bill passed in the legislature.
I have experience bringing claims against the state and state agencies. I welcome the opportunity to discuss any sovereign immunity related claim you may have. To learn more, please visit HelpForTheHurt.com.
How can I pay my medical bills after a pedestrian accident?
When two cars collide, the victims have the benefit of airbags, steel frames, and countless safety measures to protect them from harm. People who are struck while walking or cycling have no such protection, causing injuries to be much more severe. Pedestrians involved in vehicle accidents are usually sent to the emergency room, may have a lengthy hospitalization, and are out of work for weeks, or even months, all of which, can be extremely costly.
The High Medical Costs of a Florida Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrians and bicyclists are often struck when vehicles turn in front of them, wander into pedestrian paths, or in a moment where the driver’s attention wasn't on the road. In just a few seconds, a pedestrian can suffer severe disability or even death as a result of being struck by a car or hitting the pavement at a high speed.
Common injuries in pedestrian-car crashes often include:
- Head injuries. A pedestrian will usually suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) as his or her head makes contact with the hood of a car or the road surface. Even if a bicyclist is wearing a helmet, he or she can still suffer concussions or brain bleeding that results in long-term brain damage.
- Chest and abdominal trauma. The force of impact can break a pedestrian’s bones, causing fractured ribs, a broken pelvis, and internal bleeding.
- Spinal injuries. Bicyclists and pedestrians often suffer back injuries, such as a herniated disc or a spinal fracture that results in temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Injuries to the extremities. In addition to internal injury, pedestrians may suffer broken hands, feet, and fingers as they attempt to brace their falls—or road rash and broken noses if they're unsuccessful.
- Death. An impact at high speed can easily cause loss of life for a pedestrian or cyclist, placing an enormous financial and emotional burden on surviving family members.
Methods of Payment for Pedestrian Accident Victims
There are many ways for accident victims to get compensation for the loss of their property, the costs of medical treatment, and even pain and suffering after a crash. Some of the most common methods include:
- The pedestrian’s car insurance. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning each driver is expected to cover the costs of his or her own injuries after a car accident. All drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover any injuries caused by car accidents. If the injured pedestrian or bicyclist also owns a motor vehicle that's insured in the State of Florida, the victim can use his PIP car insurance coverage to pay for his injuries, even if his vehicle wasn't involved in the accident. If the injured pedestrian doesn't own a vehicle, he or she can be covered under the insurance policy of a relative living in the same household that owns an insured vehicle.
- The driver’s car insurance. If the injured pedestrian doesn't own a car and doesn't live with someone who owns a car, he or she can get payment under the insurance of the at-fault driver. This coverage provides medical, surgical, disability insurance, and funeral benefits to the driver and to other persons struck by an insured vehicle. In general, PIP providers are required to pay 80 percent of medical bills and up to 60 percent of lost wages directly caused by the effects of the crash up to a limit of $10,000.
- The pedestrian’s health or disability insurance. Although PIP insurance can pay for a significant amount of a person’s injuries, it's often not enough to cover the full effects of a pedestrian accident. A victim may have to file a claim under his a health insurance or apply for disability benefits if he's unable to work or needs ongoing medical care due to the crash.
- A personal injury lawsuit. Many people who are struck while walking or cycling don't have enough insurance coverage to pay for the extent of the treatment they'll need to recover from their injuries. Some won't ever be able to function at the same level as before the accident, and may not ever be able to earn a living to support themselves or their families. In these cases, victims would be best served by speaking to an accident attorney about their case. A personal injury case may be the best way to recover lost income, ensure that future health costs are paid for, and to hold the driver accountable for pain and suffering.
We Can Help
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car-pedestrian accident, our aggressive legal team can take over your case while take the time you need to heal from your injuries. Simply fill out the form on this page today to make an appointment in our offices.
How long will it take to resolve my personal injury case?
The length of time it takes to get compensation in an injury case can vary widely from client to client. While most personal injury cases can be resolved in about a year, the timeline will be longer or shorter depending on the specifics of your case.
The length of time it will take to resolve your injury case depends on:
- The severity of your injuries. The extent and complexity of your injuries can affect the timeline of your case. For instance, if you broke your arm in a Florida slip and fall accident, your case would likely be resolved more quickly than if you had suffered a traumatic brain injury or back injury that caused long-term losses.
- Whether you reach maximum medical improvement. The goal of a personal injury case is to recover as much of your lost wages and medical costs as possible. For this reason, many attorneys recommend that you wait to settle your claim until you have reached maximum physical recovery. Once your doctor agrees that your injuries are healed, or that your condition is unlikely to improve, your attorney can more accurately calculate your future losses.
- The investigation process. Your case hinges on evidence, and it can take a long time to gather the paperwork needed to prove your case. We work with many different parties to collect evidence, such as medical records, police reports, photographs, video recordings, and insurance communications. It can take agencies a long time to respond to these requests.
- The amount of damages. Cases that involve a large settlement typically take longer than demands for a lower amount of damages. Insurers may decide that it's better to pay out a reasonable settlement than spend money building a case and going to trial. However, if a victim suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in injury costs, the insurer is much more likely to attempt to defeat the claim in court.
- Whether or not you go to trial. Many personal injury cases reach a settlement without going to trial. While cases that settle may resolve more quickly, they often involve negotiations that result in lower damages. If you go to trial, you can potentially win more in damages, but you will be reliant on court dates, judges’ schedules, and other delays that can lengthen your case.
While there isn't a time limit for how long an injury case may last, there's a limited window of time that victims have to file their lawsuit in court. After this period, a victim loses his right to pursue compensation. Contact us today to have our legal team get started on your case.
How much is a personal injury attorney going to cost?
Many injury victims struggle to pay for the costs of their medical bills and do not have the funds to hire a lawyer for their cases. For this reason, attorneys are allowed to work on a contingency fee basis when taking on a Florida personal injury case.
A contingency fee agreement is an arrangement between a lawyer and an injury client where the lawyer agrees to foot the bill for case until it's won.
Simply put, contingency fees allow injury victims to get legal advice and representation without paying any costs up front.
Benefits of Contingency Fee Agreements in Florida Injury Cases
Contingency fees offer a number of benefits for both attorneys and clients. First, since the attorney won't be paid unless the case is won, he has a greater incentive to win your case. He'll also try to keep expenses as low as possible and recover as high a settlement for you as he can, since he's paid with a percentage of your damages.
Additional advantages of a contingency fee agreement include:
- A client pays no upfront costs of his or her case, including retainers, requests for medical records, obtaining police reports, hiring expert witnesses and investigators, taking depositions, creating trial exhibits, and postage and filing fees.
- The client doesn't pay legal fees until the case is settled, allowing the client to retain as much of his or her compensation as possible while the case is being decided.
- If the attorney does not win the case, the client doesn't pay any legal fees.
- The lawyer is limited as to the percentage of the client’s recovery he may take as his fee.
In order for a contingency fee agreement to be legal, the lawyer and client must sign a written fee agreement before litigation that states what portion of the recovery the lawyer will be paid. In Florida, the percentage depends on a number of factors, including the amount of damages, whether the attorney must file a lawsuit (versus settling without filing), whether a negligent party admits liability, and whether an appeal must be filed.
Our attorneys are proud to offer our assistance to all injury clients on a contingency-fee basis. Contact us today to speak to a member of our legal team about your case.
How much financial compensation can I expect to receive from a personal injury case?
There are several factors that determine the amount of compensation you receive in a personal injury claim. While the law allows victims to recover many types of damages in an injury case, it's up to you to prove the amount you lost—and will continue to lose—as a result of the accident.
As your injury attorneys, we'll work diligently to demonstrate your losses, helping secure all that you're owed after an injury.
Factors That Influence Damages in a Personal Injury Case
One of the most important points to establish in your case is whether you're partly at fault. In Florida, you can still collect financial compensation even if found to be partially liable for your injury, but your damages are reduced.
Other factors that affect the amount of your compensation include:
- The severity of your injuries. Injuries that result in long-lasting disability or health complications are more costly to victims than those fully healed. We can create a clear picture of how the accident impacted you and seek an additional amount to cover these necessary extra costs.
- The length of time you're disabled by injury. If you were unable to work for a significant period of time, you may collect an amount for lost wages and costs paid out-of-pocket.
- The cost of medical treatment. You’re entitled to be reimbursed for any medical care related to your injury. This includes any treatment you already received, as well as an estimate of your future medical expenses.
- The emotional or physical suffering you endured. If your injury caused mental anguish or severe hardship, you may be able to collect an additional amount for pain and suffering. The amount for pain and suffering is awarded by a jury, so we'll have to clearly demonstrate how the injury affects your quality of life in order to maximize your recovery.
At DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A., we carefully review all details of your case to secure the rightful compensation you need to put the accident behind you, and we don't collect any fees until your case is won. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up your consultation.