After being injured in an accident, pursuing a personal injury claim to hold the negligent party accountable can seem like an intimidating process. Unless you have filed a personal injury claim before, there’s a good chance you don’t know what to expect. It can be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the timeline of a personal injury claim so that you can anticipate what will be required of you, such as giving a statement.
The personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis are powerhouse negotiators who will gladly walk you through every step of pursuing a claim for compensation. For more detail regarding the process of filing a personal injury claim, reach out to our highly regarded team to schedule a free consultation at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando. Our team is committed to holding negligent parties accountable and maximizing our injured clients’ compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
The Accident Occurs
Personal injury claims are considered civil cases, in which one party was injured accidentally as a result of another party’s carelessness. This covers a variety of situations, including:
If you have been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, document as much as you can in the initial aftermath. This can include taking pictures, video, collecting witness contact information, and writing notes about the timeline of events. You should also consider filing a police report or alerting the owners of the business where the accident occurred, such as in the case of a slip-and-fall accident.
Seeking Medical Treatment Should Be a Priority
The first thing you should do once you are out of immediate danger is get examined by a healthcare provider. This step is critical for several reasons. First and foremost, your health is a priority. The sooner you are examined, the sooner you can be treated, and any serious injuries identified. Second, this creates a third-party record of your injuries from a reliable source.
Third, it preempts any argument from the defendant that you purposefully let your injuries worsen in order to collect a larger settlement check, or you exaggerated your injuries in the first place. Finally, in Florida, you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of your auto accident in order to maintain your right to use your no-fault Personal Injury Protection insurance.
Initial Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer
After researching the best personal injury lawyer in your area, you should schedule a free consultation to get a better idea of how they operate. In fact, you can schedule more than one free consultation to compare different personal injury law firms. Look for personal injury attorneys who have successfully settled cases similar to yours and have solid client testimonials.
During your first meeting with a personal injury lawyer, you should expect that the attorney will want to review the basic facts of your case. They may ask to see any documentation you have available on hand, such as photos of the accident scene, medical records, or other evidence you have that can provide insight into liability or the extent of your damages. The personal injury attorney will also be able to provide you with an overview of the claims process and outline what will likely be expected of you.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer Begins Investigating
Your personal injury attorney will conduct their own investigation of your accident. This may involve speaking with eyewitnesses, reviewing medical records and police reports, and collecting new evidence. With their resources, they may be able to uncover additional information that sheds light on who was at fault, how the negligent circumstances led to your injuries, and what the monetary value of your damages will be.
Your Personal Injury Lawsuit is Filed
Once you have secured legal representation, your personal injury lawyer will alert the defendant’s attorneys that they are your representative and issue a letter of demand. The letter of demand will detail your case and request compensation, and is intended to be persuasive in nature. If the representatives for the defendant do not yield to these demands, you and your attorney may decide to file a formal personal injury lawsuit indicating that you want the court to intervene.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit may seem like an unnecessarily harsh step, but it is important to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, as this allows you to continue to pursue compensation. It should be noted that just because you have filed a personal injury lawsuit does not necessarily mean that you will be going to trial. In all likelihood, your personal injury lawsuit will be settled long before trial.
Discovery Process Begins
During the discovery process, your personal injury attorney will be responsible for compiling the evidence available into a deposition. There is a variety of evidence that can be used in a personal injury claim, including:
You will need to certify that the facts presented during the discovery phase are accurate to the best of your knowledge. Either party can agree to a settlement at this stage, and the defendants can move to have the claim dismissed.
Most Personal Injury Claims Are Settled During Mediation and Negotiation
Mediation refers to a process where an unbiased third party, often another attorney or a retired judge, facilitates negotiations between parties. Both sides must agree to attempt this process, and both must agree to the terms of the settlement for the claim to be resolved. This is often preferred to the inconvenience, publicity, and expense of a trial.
Negotiations, on the other hand, involve the plaintiff and their representatives as well as the defendants and their representatives. Both parties have the opportunity to directly appeal to one another in order to reach a settlement that is acceptable to both.
Your Case Goes to Trial (If Necessary)
The overwhelming majority of personal injury claims never go to trial in front of a judge and jury. Trial is considered a last resort when other options are exhausted, as it can be expensive and time consuming. In many cases, the parties are able to come to an agreement during mediation or negotiation. However, if the parties cannot reach an understanding about either liability or the value of the plaintiff’s damages, a trial may be necessary.
Despite the low chance of your claim proceeding to trial, when choosing a personal injury attorney to represent you, it is a good idea to look for one who has demonstrated that they can succeed in the courtroom. Otherwise, you run the risk of needing to change personal injury attorneys or being represented ineffectively.
Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?
At Osborne & Francis, we hold ourselves to a high standard. That means keeping in close communication with our clients, working tirelessly to establish liability, and negotiating relentlessly for maximum compensation. With these practices in mind, our team has consistently settled complex personal injury claims for our injured clients for nearly a decade.
Our personal injury lawyers have built a reputation for excellence based on our outstanding results and endorsements from former clients. You can trust the accident injury attorneys of Osborne & Francis to act with your best interests in mind as we investigate, advocate, and manage your personal injury lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been harmed as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be considering filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, reduced earning capacity, loss of quality of life, or pain and suffering. The process can seem intimidating, especially if you are still in the midst of recovering from your accident financially, emotionally, or physically.
The best way to maximize your compensation is by hiring a highly qualified negotiator. At Osborne & Francis, our trial attorneys aren’t intimidated by the prospect of taking your personal injury lawsuit to court if the defendant refuses to offer a reasonable settlement. The personal injury lawyers of Osborne & Francis are committed to going above and beyond for our injured clients.
We encourage you to schedule a free consultation at (561) 678-0156 or contact our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando. We will take the time to walk you through the personal injury claims process, evaluate your claim’s potential for compensation, and help you determine what your damages may be worth in a personal injury lawsuit.