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FAQ for Our Florida Accident Attorney

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Is there a cost to hire your firm?

If we do not win your case, no money will come out of your pockets. We work on a contingency basis which means that you do not owe anything unless we recover a verdict or settlement for you. If a verdict or settlement is reached, our attorneys will charge a percentage of that verdict or settlement and any costs associated with your case.

What is the firm's goal if it represents me?

We want to make sure that you are compensated fairly for your injuries. We are proud that many of our cases come from satisfied clients. Please do not hesitate to recommend our services to a friend or family member if they should ever be in need of a personal injury attorney.

Who will be working on my case?

Four people will be directly assigned to your case: an attorney, a legal secretary, a paralegal/investigator, and a paralegal/investigator secretary. The paralegal/investigator assists the attorney in gathering evidence, facts and other information about your case. We all work as a team to ensure the best results for our clients.

Who do I contact if I have a question about my case?

Any one working on your case would be happy to answer any questions you may have. It is sometimes necessary for an attorney or paralegal to be out of the office while working on your case. If you leave a message, your call will be returned within 48 hours unless told otherwise.

How long will it take to resolve my case?

The amount of time depends on many factors. Cases can take several months to several years. The average personal injury case takes about 12 to 18 months to resolve. The main factor in determining how long your case will take is your body’s healing process. In order to achieve a favorable settlement, it is sometimes necessary to postpone your case until your doctors are able to accurately predict what problems or costs you may incur in the future as a result of your injuries. We don’t want to settle your case too quickly and then find out that you condition is much worse than we originally thought.

How much is my case worth?

Every personal injury case is different.

First, we must determine whether the defendants’ negligence caused your injury. If we can not prove liability, then no compensation can be recovered from the other party.

We also must determine the damages that you suffered as a result of the injury. Damages can include:

1. Past medical expenses and any future medical care that you might need.
2. Lost wages
3. Pain and suffering
4. The loss of your spouse's services, comfort and companionship.

Who decides to settle my case?

You are the only person who can decide to settle your case. Throughout the process, your attorney help you understand the elements of the case and decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed to trial.

Please understand that a settlement guarantees some compensation for your injuries. We can not guarantee what will happen if your case goes to trial. If we are unable to obtain a settlement that you are satisfied with, we have the experience and resources necessary to take your case to trial.

What happens when my case is settled?

After your case settles, it takes approximately twenty (20) days to receive the settlement check from the insurance company or defendant. After you sign the check, Florida law requires that it be held in the firm's trust account until the check clears. This generally takes seven (7) to ten (10) business days. When the check clears, your attorney will provide you with an itemized closing statement which reflects the total settlement or verdict, the amount of attorneys’ fees and costs and any unpaid medical expenses which will be paid from the settlement. After you approve and signe the closing statement, your attorney will provide you with a check for your percentage of the money. If your case is settled without a trial, it takes approximately thirty (30) days from the date of settlement until you will receive the settlement proceeds.

Regardless of whether your case is settled or goes to trial, the amount of money you receive from a settlement or verdict in a personal injury case is not taxable. However, any interest earned on your money after disbursement to you is taxable.

What if I do not want to accept the insurance company's offer?

If we can not reach an acceptable settlement with the insurance company or defendant, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Your case will ultimately go to trial if it is not resolved by way of settlement during the litigation process.

Just because your case does not settle before a lawsuit is filed, it does not mean that your case will definitely go to trial. Cases can settle at any time up until, during or after a trial.

Do I have to go to trial?

Only about 10 to 15 percent of cases actually go to trial. Most civil cases settle prior to trial. However, our firm will handle and prepare your case as thoroughly as possible in the event that it does go to trial.

What happens if we go to trial and lose?

If your case is lost, your attorney may file a motion for a new trial. These motions are typically denied unless something egregious occurred during the trial of your case. If the judge refuses to grant a new trial, you have the right to appeal your case to a Florida District Court, and in very limited situations, to the Supreme Court of Florida. The appeal process typically takes between twelve (12) and eighteen (18) months.

If you lose your case at trial, the defendant is entitled to tax certain costs of preparing their defense against you personally. Additionally, in some circumstances if the amount of money that the jury awards you at trial is less than the amount of money that the defendants have offered you to settle your case, the defendant is entitled to tax not only costs, but also attorneys fees against you.

If your case is lost at trial, you will not be responsible for paying LRSIF any attorneys' fees or costs.

What happens if we go to trial and win?

If your case is won, you are entitled to tax certain costs of preparing your case against the defendant. Likewise, in some circumstances if the amount of money that the jury awards you at trial is more than the amount of money offered by the defendant to settle your case, you may be entitled to an award of attorneys fees as well as costs. If the defendant appeals, you will be entitled to interest in addition to your judgment if you prevail on appeal.

What can I do to help?

The most important thing you can do is to keep your attorney completely informed. You should openly discuss all aspects of your case and your personal background, both good and bad. Virtually every case has some negative element. Most negative aspects of a case can be successfully handled by your attorney, as long as your are honest.

It is also imperative that our firm has copies of all of your medical records and medical bills. Please keep your attorney and paralegal informed of all of your doctors appointments and medical treatment so that we can obtain the records and bills.

It is also important that the attorney and paralegal handling your case have knows your medical history prior to your accident or injury. If you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition it is essential that you tell your attorney about it.

Make sure you follow all of your doctor's recommendations. If you do not complete your medical treatment, you give the insurance company a very valuable argument that your injuries cannot be as bad as you claim because if they were, you would be going to the doctor and following his/her recommendations.

Be sure to let your doctor know about all of your medical complaints. Insurance companies will carefully review your medical records in determining the value of your case.

Please keep us advised as to any changes of address, marital status, occupation, new doctors or physical therapists, or additional accidents or injuries.

What should I tell my attorney that might affect my case?

Make sure to let your attorney know about all of the following:

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