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The Gainesville Personal Injury Attorney That Will Fight for Your Rights

Gainesville-Personal-Injury-LawyerSustaining injuries in an accident can be an overwhelming experience, leaving you with physical pain, mounting medical expenses, and the financial strain of lost income. During this challenging time, you may find yourself grappling with uncertainty and confusion about the best course of action to take regarding your legal case.

At Meldon Law, our Gainesville personal injury lawyers provide our clients with answers and compassionate support. We practice law with the highest ethical standards in the legal profession and achieve positive results with decades of experience, skill, and dedication to working hard for you.

We won’t back down when it comes to fighting for the rights of our clients who were injured by acts of negligence or carelessness in Florida. Call us at (352) 373-8000 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.

How Much You Can Get for a Personal Injury Claim in Gainesville

We fight to protect our clients’ rights to fair compensation, and our case results speak for themselves. The circumstances of every personal injury case is unique, and the amount of your potential settlement or court award will be based on the details of your accident and the aftermath. However, these are some of the results we’ve secured for our clients in 2023:

  • $950,000 Settlement: Golf Cart Accident (May 2023)
  • $450,000 Settlement: Motor Vehicle Crash (April 2023)
  • $350,000 Settlement: High Impact Collision (January 2023)
  • $300,000 Settlement: Car Crash (June 2023)
  • $250,000 Settlement: Car Crash (February 2023)
  • $150,000 Settlement: Dog Bite (March 2023)

Do you want to find out what the value of your claim could be? The only accurate way to get an estimate is to reach out to a Gainesville personal injury lawyer to get a free case review.

Meldon Team

We are here for you 24/7

(Consultations are Free)

Call Us Now

How a Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyer Determines Fault

Immediately upon accepting a personal injury case the accident attorney begins an investigation centered on the “three legs” of an injury case. Just as a stool needs three legs to be able to stand upright, a personal injury case has three legs to support a claim. The three vital legs or aspects that must be proven and documented are:

Who was at fault?

To determine fault, it is crucial to begin an investigation immediately after an accident occurs, before any evidence is destroyed or altered. Just because the police officer gave a ticket to the other person does not mean their insurance company will accept responsibility for the crash. Insurance companies may try to blame the victim for causing or contributing to the accident.

Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means more than one person can contribute to causing an accident. Because of this, it is of vital importance to immediately and thoroughly start an accident investigation before the evidence gets cold.

  • The Vehicles Involved: An accident investigator is required to examine the car or truck, take photographs, inspect the car, and take measurements to determine crush damage and other important information. The “black box” of a car can be used to determine speed and other factors as well. In serious injury cases, it is important to also hire an accident reconstruction engineer immediately to evaluate the vehicles from an engineer’s expert perspective, (top personal injury attorneys will do this).
  • The Scene of the Accident: An accident investigator will visit the scene to photograph, inspect, measure skid marks, and look for other factors such as bushes or trees or anything else that could have contributed to the accident. It is of vital importance to do this ASAP. They may also be needed to evaluate the scene in significant injury cases (again, something the best accident attorneys will do).
  • The Witnesses: Any witnesses to the accident need to be interviewed by an Accident Investigator. It is also important to interview all witnesses as soon as possible, before they become hard to find or their memories fade.

Were there any injuries caused by the accident?

It is a must to document any injuries caused by the accident. To do this, the following documents are required:

  • Medical records after the accident and any records from before the accident, EMS reports, hospital records, records from the first doctors seen to the doctor seen most recently, and everyone in between.
  • Medical records prior to the accident are important to assemble and review to determine what injuries are new and what problems were preexisting.
  • Doctor’s evaluation of injuries suffered in the accident.
  • Medical bills from the accident also help to determine the extent and seriousness of the injuries

Under Florida law it must be established by a doctor that there is either: one, a permanent injury, two, significant scarring, or, three, a loss of a bodily function as a result of the accident in order to recover for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other similar damages.

Even if these elements are not established by a doctor, your personal injury lawyer in Gainesville can still recover your out of pocket expenses, such as past medical bills, and loss of income and property damage.

What insurance is available for compensation?

Insurance coverage for the at fault parties, including the owner of the vehicle, driver, and employer (when appropriate) needs to be requested in writing; according to the guidelines of Florida law and then evaluated.

All possible insurance coverage that may be available to the victim are also evaluated, such as uninsured motorist coverage, health insurance coverage, PIP, and medical payment’s coverage. There are many different ways you may qualify for these benefits… and all of them must be evaluated. An experienced personal injury attorney knows of all the possible ways to find these potential benefits.

We are here for you 24/7

(Consultations are Free)

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What Is a Demand Package in a Gainesville Personal Injury Claim?

A Demand Package is a compilation of all records and is sent out to the insurance company (this is just one reason why it is important to hire a law firm that has adequate, competent and experienced staff to help the Gainesville personal injury attorney compile all this data).

This “Demand Package” is on average one to two inches thick and can be several hundred pages in length, consisting of these types of documents:

  • Crash report
  • Photographs of vehicles and scene
  • Property damage reports
  • EMS report
  • ER records
  • All doctor reports
  • All diagnostic tests including X-rays and MRIs
  • Medical bills
  • Prior medical records
  • Final medical evaluations
  • Expert witness reports
  • Witness statements
  • Evaluation of future medical expense
  • Statement regarding the effect of the accident on the victim and their family members

Evaluation of loss of future earning capacity

This “Package” includes a letter from the attorney that summarizes all the facts and information about the case and “Demands” that the insurance company pay a certain amount of money within a certain period of time (on average 30 days).

Negotiations Now Begin Between Your Attorney and the Insurance Adjuster

After the insurance company receives the Demand Package and evaluates the claim, they then will make an initial offer to settle the case.

Sometimes this initial offer will be the maximum limits of the insurance policy and will be accepted by the client. Other times they will offer less than the full policy limits and the negotiations are now in full swing.

The Gainesville personal injury lawyers will consult with their client about the strengths and weaknesses of their case and make recommendations on how to proceed now.  The final decision is always up to the client, but it is important to listen to the attorney’s advice (another reason to get an experienced and knowledgeable attorney).

At this point negotiations and offers to settle can go back and forth numerous times until an offer is accepted (a settlement) or a lawsuit is filed.

Advantages to settling a case without a lawsuit, outside of court:

  • Lower attorney fees and costs
  • Money is obtained immediately
  • Avoiding the stress involved in a drawn out lawsuit that can take years
  • Life goes on and plans for the future can be made
  • Guaranteed outcome

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Gainesville, Florida

If the insurance company’s highest offer is rejected by the client the next step is to file a lawsuit known as a complaint. The attorney will serve the complaint on the defendants (the people legally at fault for the accident and injuries).

In Florida, more than one person can be held legally responsible, such as the owner and driver or employer. Florida also has “comparative negligence” which means that more than one person may have contributed to causing an accident and that everyone needs to be served with the complaint.

Filing a lawsuit means that the case will be scheduled to be presented and argued in a trial in front of a judge and jury to decide what is just. To do this there is more information to be gathered to prove or try a case to a jury:

  • Interrogatories or questions for all parties
  • Requests or subpoenas to produce records or other information from all parties involved and all witnesses, including doctors
  • Depositions or sworn statements taken by the attorneys for both sides of the case and for all potential witnesses
  • Motions may need to be filed in this process

Mediation Is Ordered in the Case Management Conference By the Judge in Most Cases in Florida

Note: Mediation can be utilized before a lawsuit is filed. 99% of personal injury cases in Florida will be ordered to mediation before a case can be tried before a jury.

Mediation is when both sides sit down together in a conference room with a mediator. Mediators are usually an attorney or a retired judge that have special training in helping to settle cases. Present in the mediation are the attorneys for all sides (insurance companies hire an attorney to defend them) and their clients, an insurance company adjuster, and the mediator.

Both sides take turns explaining their side of the case and can present exhibits, if desired. Negotiations then begin with each party going to a separate room. The mediator then performs a type of “shuttle diplomacy” going back and forth between the other party and your Gainesville personal injury lawyer trying to arrive at a settlement.

If a settlement is reached in mediation the insurance company will write a check to the injured person within two to three weeks, then the lawsuit is then dropped, and the case is over.

Trial in Front of a Judge and Jury

If a settlement was not reached in mediation, a date is set for trial. The trial can last from a few days to a few weeks depending on the number of witnesses and how long they are on the witness stand.

The trial can cost as much as $50,000 to $100,000 dollars to present. A jury consists of  six people plus one or two alternate jurors selected by the attorneys. These six “strangers” will decide the case (give a verdict) and how much money (if any!) is to be awarded.

There is no way to accurately predict what a jury will decide. Attorneys and insurance companies use their past experience to make educated guesses regarding the outcome of the case. This is another reason to get an experienced accident attorney to help you decide if your case should go to trial.

Appeals Can Follow After the Jury Verdict

Appeals can attack the rulings of the judge, the jury verdict, and in some cases the conduct of the attorneys. Appeals can take years to resolve. If the appellate judges order a new trial, the whole process starts over.

Meldon Team

We are here for you 24/7

(Consultations are Free)

Call Us Now

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Gainesville Personal Injury Claim?

In Florida, more than one person can be held legally responsible, such as the owner and driver or employer. Because Florida has “comparative negligence” laws and more than one person may be responsible for the wreck to various extents, everyone who contributed to the accident needs to be served with the complaint.

A Gainesville personal injury attorney can thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence, and identify all potentially liable parties. This may include drivers, vehicle owners, employers of at-fault drivers, government entities responsible for road maintenance, and more. By holding all responsible parties accountable, you won’t be leaving any money on the table.

Our Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyers Help Our Clients Through Every Step

If you have suffered a serious injury in Gainesville and the surrounding areas, we can help you. Call us now at (352) 373-8000 for a free consultation with our experienced personal injury attorneys in Gainesville. You need a law firm that will provide you with an honest, straightforward, easy-to-understand discussion about your case.

We will begin working on your case immediately and will answer all of your questions and set well-defined expectations. At Meldon Law, we provide expert legal aid and compassionate client care to victims of all types of personal injury. You don’t have to go it alone against the insurance companies.

We will keep you updated and informed through the resolution of your claim. At our firm, you are a friend and client for life. Your experience with us doesn’t end after you receive your settlement check. Client satisfaction is of utmost importance at Meldon Law.

There Is a Time Limit to File a Gainesville Personal Injury Claim

Florida limits the amount of time personal injury victims have to seek compensation for expenses due to a personal injury. If you believe that you have a personal injury case, it is important to contact our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible.

Once Meldon Law takes your case, you will have nothing to worry about in your personal injury recovery other than your injuries. Contact us at our Gainesville law office. We handle cases in the greater Gainesville area, including surrounding areas like Newberry, Alachua, High Springs, Jonesville, and Archer.

Our Gainesville personal injury lawyers handle a variety of injury cases throughout Gainesville, Alachua County, and all of North Central Florida, and we are looking forward to helping you resolve your case.

Cases Our Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyers Handle

We handle many types of Gainesville injury claims. If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, we can tell you about your legal options. Our Florida personal injury lawyers provide representation for a wide variety of different types of negligence cases, including:

Reach out to our Gainesville personal injury team to tell us the details of your accident and your injuries. We can help you decide what your next steps should be after an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Personal Injury Claim in Gainesville, FL

As Gainesville personal injury attorneys, we often see legitimately injured people make these mistakes. Here are some of the common mistakes that you do NOT want to make if you want to win your personal injury case:

  • Failing to seek immediate medical attention: It is important to seek medical care and not just ignore the pain or think it will get better with time. Otherwise, the attorney for the insurance company may open his argument with, “He didn’t even see a doctor for two weeks!”
  • Failing to be totally honest about your past medical history and habits: If you give your doctor incomplete or inaccurate information, their medical opinions could be rejected by the insurance company or jury. For example, do not tell your doctor the car was “totaled” when it was only scratched. It will catch up with you and destroy your case.
  • Talking with your doctor about lawsuits or an attorney’s advice: Sharing this information with your doctor can also negatively impact your legal case. Florida statute 456.057 lays out the laws regarding confidentiality and doctors. Remember: Whatever you say in confidence to a doctor is not confidential once you file a personal injury claim!
  • Missing or showing up late for medical appointments: You may have had a very good reason for not showing up for an appointment, but excuses usually do not make it into the record. You don’t want the insurance company’s attorney saying, “It must not have hurt that much, he didn’t even show up for his appointments.”
  • Failing to accurately document your pain: Insurance companies and juries will not believe you are in pain just because you say so. They need to read about your pain in medical records. When they review your records, they will be looking to see how soon you reported pain after an injury and how long you continued to report it. 
  • Failing to inform your doctor if your injury is affecting your ability to work: Insurance companies and juries will not believe that your injury affects your ability to work just because you say so. If your injury is affecting your ability to work, it is important to tell your doctor and get it into your medical records. 
  • Failing to take medications as prescribed: There is a reason why doctors prescribe medication for a particular period of time. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations. Do not put yourself in the position where you may have to admit that you chose not to follow your doctor’s advice. It can be devastating to your claim.
  • Stopping medical treatment too soon: Insurance companies and juries often believe if a person stops getting medical treatment for an injury, the injury must be all better. They also believe that big gaps between treatments suggest that someone must have healed from one injury and suffered a new injury unrelated to the first.
  • Failing to follow treatment recommendations related to depression or anxiety: Often pain or disability can cause depression or anxiety. It is important to talk to your doctor so it is in your medical record. Remember: If it isn’t in your medical records, it is difficult to prove to insurance companies or juries that this “suffering” exists at all!
  • Failing to keep a personal medical file: Your attorney needs to know every medical care provider you have seen and procedure you have undergone. It is also important that you keep track of all doctors’ orders, treatments, referrals, and work restrictions. The easiest way to do this is just to make a folder to keep track of all your medical care.

Making any of these mistakes could leave you unable to prove your case and unable to receive the fair compensation you deserve. Our Gainesville personal injury firm will provide the legal guidance throughout your claim.

Questions Our Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyers Often Get

An injury can leave you with dozens of questions. Our personal injury lawyers in Gainesville, Florida have answers.

An injury can leave you with dozens of questions. We have answers.

How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Lawsuit?

According to Florida Statute § 95.11, you have two years to file a lawsuit. This may seem like a long time, but building strong cases can take months. If you do not act quickly, you risk recovering nothing.

However, the statute of limitations is not the only reason we recommend you act immediately. Your case hinges on the evidence we find. If you wait too long, that evidence may have disappeared.

Can I Recover Compensation If I Contributed to My Accident or Injury?

You can still recover compensation if you contributed to your injury. However, it is important to note that if you are more than 50 percent responsible, you recover nothing. That is why it is so important to have us on your side. We will fight to prove the other party was more responsible than you were for the accident.

Can I Afford a Lawyer?

Yes. We work on a contingency-fee basis. That means you pay us nothing upfront and we only get paid if you win your case. There is no risk when you work with the Meldon Law team.

Speak to a Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyer Now

Call us today or fill out our online contact form to arrange a free consultation with an experienced Gainesville personal injury attorney. Our team will use our decades of combined experience to fight for the compensation you need.

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