If you’ve been hurt due to an accident caused by someone else, you more than likely have a ton of questions. You might have suffered an injury because someone else ran a red light and broadsided your car. You might have slipped and fallen in the produce aisle of your local grocery store because no one cleaned up a spill. Or, you could have been enjoying a leisurely bicycle ride when a negligent motorist hit you.
Whatever the cause of your injury, the Eberst Law Firm has a team of attorneys who will be more than happy to answer your questions. We’ll also be ready to provide you with the expert legal representation you’ll need in order to have the best possible chance of obtaining full and fair compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or call 1-888-CALL-JON for a free consultation.
In the meantime, here are the answers to five of the most common questions our law firm receives.
1. How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
When choosing a personal injury attorney, it will be very important you realize that no ethical attorney will ever promise to help you get a specific amount of money. Legitimate lawyers will have a very good idea of what you may be able to obtain. But they will never make any guarantees.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the worth of a personal injury case. These include the:
- extent of your injuries
- cost of the medical treatment you’ll need
- size of the negligent party’s insurance policy,
- facts of the accident
- and more
In most cases, an accident victim will obtain more money if they have a severe, permanent injury. As long as they have followed the medical advice they received, and they can’t be assigned any fault for the accident, then they could be in line for a very significant settlement.
But in order for that to happen, the victim must have the help of a skilled legal representative. Any sort of personal injury case can be extremely complex. Only an experienced attorney will be able to navigate those complexities well enough to help an accident victim achieve the best possible result.
2. Will My Case go to Trial?
The vast majority of personal injury cases eventually settle out of court. However, they can sometimes go to trial. These are just a few of the reasons this can happen:
- The defendant’s attorney is confident they will win.
- The insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, because they feel the accident victim is asking for too much money.
- Or, the victim wants the defendant to be held accountable in a public setting.
The most common reason for a trial is a denied insurance claim. However, an attorney will often be able to eventually negotiate a fair settlement even after a denial. They can do so because they’re able to uncover clear, compelling evidence that the injury victim is in no way to blame. And that all responsibility falls on the negligent party.
But there are some law firms that will be far too willing to accept a settlement, even if they know their clients are entitled to much, much more. These firms are known, appropriately enough, as “settlement mills.” They accept a huge number of cases, and litigate them as fast as they can so they can take on even more cases. If you see flashy lawyer ads on television insisting that you hire their firm, there’s a pretty good chance that firm is a settlement mill.
3. What if I’m Partially At Fault for the Accident?
Suppose someone is in a car accident. They’re crossing an intersection when someone runs a stop sign and hits them. You would assume the stop sign runner would take all of the blame, right? What if the driver who was hit was talking on their phone, and couldn’t take evasive action because they weren’t paying attention?
Scenarios like this are a big reason why Florida is known as a “comparative negligence” state. There are times where both the accident victim and the one who caused the accident can share blame. If a victim is assigned some of the responsibility, that will affect the amount of compensation they can get.
Let’s go back to the car accident scenario mentioned above. The driver who ran the red light is assessed 80% of the blame. But the victim gets 20% of that blame because they weren’t completely focused on the road. Say the victim’s damages are set at $200,000. Since they’re 20% at fault, they’ll have to forfeit 20% – or $40,000 – of those damages. They’ll receive $160,000 instead.
4. What Can I Expect Throughout the Process?
After you’ve received whatever medical treatment you need and called an attorney, the first thing your legal representative will do will be to launch an investigation. This will be critical to gathering the evidence it will take to make your case as strong as possible.
Next, the attorney will likely send a demand letter to the negligent party’s insurance company. In a nutshell, this is a packet containing important information, such as your medical expenses and other bills along with a letter asking the insurer for a certain amount of money to settle the case. That letter will also include a deadline.
If the insurer is cooperative, it will agree to the demand and send a check. However, if not, your attorney will either negotiate on your behalf or file a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed and the insurer still fails to make a fair settlement offer, the case will then go to trial.
5. How Can an Attorney Help Me?
As stated earlier, personal injury cases are incredibly complex. But a good attorney will know how to handle every possible challenge that may arise. The Eberst Law Firm has a long track record of fighting – and winning – these kinds of cases. We’ll keep you thoroughly informed through every step of the process, and do everything we can to help you get every penny you have coming to you.