Many people who suffer injuries in accidents have little or no experience with insurance
claims settlement or litigation. The defendant’s insurance company knows this and will take full advantage and lead the injury victim to think they are on his side. This is far from the case. If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it is important that you work with a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer
who understands the process and is truly working for you. The following are answers to many common questions clients ask.
What Should I Do Immediately After the Accident?
The first thing you should do, if you are able, is take down the information from the other party: full name, insurance company and policy number, name of person on the policy, driver’s license number, etc. You should also write down names and contact information of any witnesses. Cooperate with law enforcement if they arrive at the scene. Above all, as your Jacksonville personal injury attorney will tell you, you need to seek medical treatment for any injuries you received.
What If I Don’t Think I’m Injured?
Many injuries only manifest themselves after the fact, perhaps even days later. Your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer will tell you that it is important for you to seek medical attention even if you don’t believe you are badly hurt.
What Will My Lawyer Do for Me?
Your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer will meet with you to discuss the details of your case. Assuming he thinks you have a viable claim, he will then conduct an investigation that will include:
- Interviewing witnesses;
- Obtaining the police report;
- Visiting and photographing the scene of your accident;
- Reviewing statutory and case laws relevant to your case; and
- Hiring a private investigator.
Once he takes over your case, your attorney will maintain all communication with the insurance company. You should not speak with them nor sign anything without discussing this with your attorney first. Your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement that is fair and covers all your expenses and losses.
What Happens If My Claim Doesn’t Settle?
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always willing to agree on a fair and equitable settlement. Should this occur, your Jacksonville personal injury attorney will consider whether your case is likely to win in litigation and whether the cost of a trial warrants going forward. Assuming your case is litigated, your attorney will develop an effective strategy to convince the jury that you should be compensated for your losses.
Is There Anything That I Need to Do Once My Attorney Takes the Case?
Absolutely. Your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer will discuss your role in the case with you. He may need you to help with obtaining certain materials, such as your medical records. He will also need you to provide copies of all medical bills and information about your treatment. You also need to:
How Much Is My Case Worth, and How Long Will It Take to Settle?
- Keep all medical appointments. If you are too ill and need to cancel one, make sure to explain this and reschedule promptly. Failure to do so will be used by the insurance company to suggest that you are not trying to get well; and
- Do all you can to get well. Florida law requires that you do all you can to heal from your injuries if you are seeking compensation. Follow the advice of your doctors, attend any physical therapy sessions and do not engage in any leisure activities you are told to avoid.
It is very difficult to assess the value of your case until you have been treated for your injuries. Your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer will consider such matters as medical costs, future medical costs, lost wages, future lost wages and pain and suffering. The length of time your case will take to settle depends upon a number of factors, such as whether the insurance company is willing to negotiate in good faith. A case may settle in as little as a few months. If you and your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer decide to litigate your case, however, you may need to wait over a year due to such factors as availability of the judge, conducting depositions, exchanging discovery, etc.
Work With a Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident because of another’s negligence, you may be able to gain compensation. A Jacksonville personal injury lawyer will take you through the process and ensure your best chances of a fair settlement. Call John Fagan to arrange a free consultation today at 904-278-1000.