It doesn’t matter if you were involved in a car accident, slip and fall incident, or experienced medical malpractice; filing and dealing with a personal injury claim can be a stressful and overwhelming process. The injury claim process itself requires you to follow deliberate steps that have to be followed if you want to receive the benefits you deserve.
In the state of Florida, to file an injury claim, it’s necessary to hire a personal injury attorney. Hiring an attorney may seem like a daunting task; however, your case will be handled faster and much more efficiently if you have an attorney representing your interests.
At Fetterman & Associates, we offer a complete guide to filing a personal injury claim. However, even better, we can walk you through the process step by step. With the help of our attorneys, you can learn how injury claims work, the best way to settle your claim, and how long you will have to wait to receive compensation.
The Process of a Personal Injury Claim
To file a personal injury claim, there are certain steps you must follow. Keep reading to find out what these steps are.
Step 1: Sending the Demand Letter
This is the formal letter that is sent as a plaintiff to the insurance company of the responsible part. Your attorney can help you draft this letter and include the cause of the injury, your injuries, medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
If your claim is denied by the insurance company, it means they have refused to pay your claim. They may offer a settlement that will cover the cost of your expenses. Therefore, it’s necessary to include your expense sheet with the demand letter.
Sometimes, an insurance company will deny the injury claim if there isn’t sufficient evidence. This is when your attorney can move forward in the process and file a complaint.
Step 2: Filing the Complaint
The complaint is sent to Florida courts in a situation where your personal injury claim is denied. Usually, the complaint is aimed at an insurance company, not a private citizen or business, and states that you are seeking compensation for the injuries you suffered.
The complaint includes the information that you had in your demand letter. It will also request a judgment in your favor.
Step 3: Discovery
This part of the complaint process relies on the investigation your attorney conducts. This is when they will collect evidence and documentation related to your injury. Some of the types of evidence that will be collected include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages and time off work due to an injury
- Insurance claims
- Police reports
- Photos and videos
- Medical records
All the information will be acquired in the deposition, which is when sworn evidence is given. It should be handled rigorously and delicately.
Step 4: The Settlement
Only about four to five percent of all personal injury claims will make it to the trial stage. Most are settled during the pretrial process. Settlements are usually arranged with the two parties agreeing on an amount. If you are still getting treatment for the injuries caused by the accident, you should wait to accept a settlement until you know the total cost.
Step 5: The Trial
The judge or jury over your trial will hear from all involved parties during this part of the claim process. It’s your attorney’s job to show that the at-fault party breached their duty of care and that you deserve to receive compensation.
Tips for Settling Your Personal Injury Claim
There are two ways that you can settle your Florida injury claim – a formal or informal settlement. Put simply; a formal settlement will be determined through civil court. This is where your attorney will prove negligence and that the negligence of the at-fault party caused your injury.
Informal settlements are settled outside of the courtroom. This is done through negotiations of both parties, the insurers and your attorney. It’s also possible for your attorney to make a counteroffer if the initial offer isn’t sufficient.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Help with Your Florida Claim
When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit, knowing how the process works are essential. Use the tips and information here to make sure you know what to expect from the claims process. Our legal team at Fetterman & Associates is ready to help you with your claim and ensure you get the settlement you deserve for your injuries and losses.