In a perfect world, personal injury wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, we live in a world filled with accidents – car accidents, commercial truck accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, and workplace accidents. Many of these accidents are caused by negligent individuals, businesses, and government entities.
When you’ve been injured in an accident, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your pain and suffering. Few things are more daunting than filing a claim, which may require expert testimony, mountains of documentation, and police reports.
To make the process easier, we’ve broken it down into several steps.
Step #1: Contact an Experienced Attorney
After deciding to take legal action, your first phone call should be to an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney will collect documentation, talk to witnesses, and build your case – all while answering your questions and meeting deadlines. You should not, under any circumstances, start the process of filing a claim until you’ve spoken with a legal representative.
Step #2: Collect Important Documentation
Your attorney will create a list of documentation required to submit your claim. This will likely include:
• Police reports filed on the day of your accident.
• Past and future medical bills.
• A journal detailing your pain and suffering.
• Evidence of your pre-accident and post-accident income.
Step #3: Finalize Your Compensation Demand
After pouring through paperwork, you’ll begin to compile a request for compensation. This request may include past and future medical expenses, long-term care, lost wages, property damage, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, and emotional damage – amongst other things. Compensation could be in the thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions, depending on your injuries.
Step #4: Negotiate a Possible Settlement
The defendant may attempt to negotiate a settlement before or during legal proceedings. For example, you may choose to settle outside the courtroom for a smaller sum. What you don’t get in compensation, you may save in legal expenses. However, if you’re looking to hold the party accountable in addition to receiving compensation, you’ll lose your chance.
There is no deadline for settlement negotiations. You can settle before or after filing a lawsuit. You can settle ten months before your scheduled court date, or ten minutes prior to the start of your trial. The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits never reach a judge or jury.
Step #5: Build Your Legal Argument
If you decide not to accept a settlement, you’ll need to build a strong legal case that includes expert testimony, proof of negligence, and convincing evidence of your need for compensation. Your attorney will be responsible for collecting these items, but it’s important that you prepare yourself.
Contact an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney for Representation
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness, contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney at Dennis A. Lopez & Associates. Our team is prepared to fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your health and well-being. Call (813) 223-1977 to schedule a free consultation.