(Q) Can I talk to you about my case for free?
(A) Yes. We are more than happy to talk with people about their case without charging a fee for the consultation. You have probably heard us say “It won’t cost you anything to see if we can help.” Well, we mean that!
When you call us, you will be greeted by one of intake persons. That person will get some background information regarding your matter, and then you will be forwarded to an attorney, who will discuss your matter with you. At the end of the phone conversation, if you are interested in retaining us, we will set you up for a free consultation. Even if your case is not a matter that we are able to take, we can often make suggestions about what you can do or we may be able to refer you to another reputable law firm that handles the type of case you have.
(Q) What am I entitled to recover after an accident?
(A) You may be entitled to a number of different types of damages under Florida law. Some of the more common types of damages in accident cases are: reasonable medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering damages.
(Q) How much will I have to pay for you to handle my case?
(Q) We only get paid if a recovery is made. Our fee is then taken as a percentage of the recovery. If a lawsuit is filed on your behalf, the percentage increases due the increased amount of work required in prosecuting the lawsuit. However, if we are unable to recover money for you, you do not pay us anything. Moreover, we are a pure contingency fee law firm, which means that if a recovery is not made then we eat all costs expended on your behalf. Therefore, you have no financial risk in retaining our firm to handle your personal injury case.
(Q) Do I stand to recover less money by involving a lawyer in my injury case?
(A) In Florida, lawyers cannot guarantee any result. If you have spoken with a lawyer and that lawyer has guaranteed or promised a result, then that lawyer is in violation of Florida’s Ethics Rules regulating the Florida Bar. However, statistics have shown that, on average, an accident victim stands to walk away with 40% more money in his or her pocket by hiring a lawyer. This is the case even after you pay any attorneys’ fees and costs.
(Q) How much money is my auto accident case worth?
(A) Your case is worth either what you agree to accept as a settlement or the amount of money awarded by a judge and jury. However, these amounts are not arbitrarily chosen by the insurance company if a settlement is offered and they are certainly not arbitrarily awarded by a jury if the case is tried. The amount of damages that you are entitled must be proven and supported by evidence.
(Q) Will I have to go to court?
(A) If the at-fault party or the at-fault party’s insurance company agrees to pay what we believe your case is worth and you wish to settle for that amount, then your case will not go to court. This is what happens in most situations. Some cases do require a formal trial proceeding, however. In either situation, hiring a firm with experience in handling personal injury cases is critical. We prepare all of our cases as if they are going to court and this is the very reason why most of our cases get settled outside of court. We are always prepared, and our preparation allows us to negotiate from a position of strength, which helps you get the maximum award for your injuries.
(Q) How long will my case take?
(A) While the client is in treatment, we are building the client’s files, obtaining copies of all medical records in connection with the accident and injuries, and investigating any remaining liability or other issues in the case. Of course, the length of medical treatment depends on the nature and severity of the client’s injuries.
Once the client has finished with his or her medical treatment, we prepare the paperwork to formally submit the settlement demand to the insurance company. However, before we submit our demand, we discuss at length with the client the amount of money we will demand. It usually takes four to six weeks for the insurance company to evaluate the claim and respond with a settlement offer. After the insurance company makes the initial offer, the negotiations begin in earnest.
The negotiation phase typically takes two to three weeks. If an agreement is reached at the end of the negotiations, it generally takes another week or two before financial arrangements are finished and a settlement check is presented to the client. The total time required to finalize a claim after the client has been released from treatment typically ranges from eight to twelve weeks. Of course, each case is different, and a slow insurance company or an unmotivated insurance adjuster can lengthen the process considerably.
Of course, some cases do not result in a settlement agreement. In that situation, we talk with the client about the possibility of filing a lawsuit in connection with the accident. In every case, however, we attempt to resolve the client’s claim as efficiently and timely as possible.