CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A MIAMI PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER FOR FREE
Accidents occur all the time, some more serious than others. When you have received an injury from an accident that has resulted in you being unable to work or to enjoy your life as you did before, you may ask whether there are any remedies.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Miami personal injury lawyers.
TYPES of Personal Injury Cases
There are many types of personal injury cases. Some of these cases include:
Many personal injury cases involve car accidents. Millions of car accidents occur year and if that accident has led to injury, whether as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you may have a personal injury claim.
Slip and Fall
Though slip and fall may sound innocuous compared to a car accident, a slip and fall can also cause devastating injuries that can lead to permanent paralysis. Wet floors, narrow stairs, low lighting, and other obstacles can lead to a slip and fall.
A wrongful death claim exists when a family member or representative of another who died in an accident files a personal injury claim on the deceased’s behalf.
OTHER COMMON PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
- Truck Accidents
- 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Drunk Driver Accidents
- Distracted Driver Accidents
- Uninsured Motorist Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Premises Liability Accidents
- Dog Bites
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Timeline of a Typical Personal Injury Case
A personal injury case requires an injury. If there is no injury, there is no claim. Thus, filing a personal injury claim because you were almost in an accident or because you chipped a nail in an accident is likely going to result in your case being dismissed.
In any case, when you have been involved in an accident and received injuries, your first step is to receive medical treatment. Do not delay in getting treatment. The number one priority is your health. However, if you are planning to file a personal injury claim, getting a hospital to record your injuries will be beneficial.
For instance, when you decide to file a personal injury claim, you require evidence. If you do not have medical reports detailing your injury, the opposite party will question whether you received injuries or whether your injuries were severe enough to warrant a lawsuit.
Even if you are not planning to file a lawsuit, you will not be successful in negotiating a settlement with an insurance adjuster without some evidence that you actually received an injury. A document from a hospital can verify your injury to an adjuster.
Speaking to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you have received medical treatment, you should consult a lawyer if you believe that your injuries were serious enough to warrant a lawsuit. Determining whether an injury is serious is subjective, but, generally speaking, injuries that result in you being unable to go to work for several months or injuries that prevent you from enjoying life as you did before are serious injuries.
Once you have scheduled a meeting with a lawyer, the lawyer will schedule an interview with you. The lawyer, if he or she is experienced, will talk about the accident with you with extreme concentration, asking you to specifically detail the accident and the injuries you received. The lawyer will also ask for your permission to access your medical records and bills regarding the accident. Please note that the investigation phase can take several months.
Demands and Negotiations
Because trials are expensive for all parties involved, most cases end in settlement. With a lawyer, however, you generally have greater leverage over an opposing party as the opposing party knows that there can be the possibility of a trial if it refuses to negotiate with you.
When the lawyer tries to settle, he or she will first make sure that his or her client has fully recovered and find out if there will be other medical issues down the line. This is to ensure that the lawyer can give the opposing party an accurate value of his or her client’s claim. If the settlement negotiation breaks down or falls apart, the case will likely head to trial.
Discovery is the process in which all parties involved in the case investigate the legal claims and defenses of the opposing parties. Depositions are taken of relevant parties and witnesses during this process. Again, this process can take weeks or months.
After discovery, the lawyers of all the parties involved will again see if a settlement is possible. Though lawyers can negotiate among themselves, many lawyers hire mediators who act as a third party to make a reasonable settlement offer for all the parties involved
If mediation does not work, then the case finally heads toward trial. How long a trial can last depends on several factors. For instance, if your case involves multiple parties, then the complexity may prolong the case at trial.
Statute of Limitations
First, you should understand that there is what is called a statute of limitations in each state. The statute of limitations sets a certain amount of time for a plaintiff to file a claim after his or her injury. If he or she fails to do so, he or she forfeits to do so. In Florida, the statute of limitations states that a plaintiff has four years to file a lawsuit from the date of the accident, two years to file a lawsuit from the date of a wrongful death, and two years to file a lawsuit from the date of medical malpractice. An experienced lawyer will understand the statute of limitations involved and help ensure the lawsuit is filed on time.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Not every accident requires you to get a personal injury lawyer. If you were involved in a minor car accident, simply filing a claim with an insurance company would be much cheaper and more effective than hiring a lawyer.
Note that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This means that they will take a certain percentage of the compensation you receive if you, of course, win your case. The percentage can be a rather large chunk.
Below is a basic summary of the percentage a lawyer can possible take from you if he or she operates on a contingency fee basis.
If the case settles before an official appointment of arbitrators, a lawyer may take up to 33 1/3% percent of any recovery up to $1 million, 30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million; and 20% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million.
The case settles after an appointment of arbitrators or after a demand for the appointment of arbitrators, a lawyer may take up to 40% of any compensation up to $1 million, 30% of any portion of the recovery between $1 million and $2 million, and 20% of any portion of the recovery exceeding $2 million.
If the case heads to trial, a lawyer may receive up to 33 1/3% of any recovery up to $1 million; 20% of any compensation received that is between $1 million and $2 million, and 15% of any compensation received exceeding $2 million.
If your case can result in hefty compensation, the percentages above may not deter you from seeking out a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful in a personal injury case as he or she will not only prepare to take your case to trial if need be, but also be an adviser.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. What this means is that though a successful plaintiff will receive compensation, his or her compensation will be reduced by an amount corresponding to the percentage of fault he or she had in causing the accident. For example, imagine that you are driving down an intersection when you suddenly get hit by a car because that car ran a red light.
At first glance, you may think that because the car that hit you ran a red light, that driver of the car is 100% at fault. However, if you were texting at the time of the accident, a jury or judge may find that you were somewhat at fault. The reasoning would be that if you were paying attention to the road, you may have avoided getting hit by the car that ran the red light.
If the jury believes you were 10% at fault for the accident, then there will be a 10% deduction from the compensation you receive.
CONTACT A MIAMI PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
The experienced Miami attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your personal injury claim. We have represented clients in a wide variety of types of personal injury cases and have years of experience negotiating claims and taking them to trial. After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.