Part 2; The Seven Basic Legal Phases of a Personal Injury Case
This is a brief summary of the basic steps that a top Florida personal injury attorney goes through for most personal injury or accident cases, especially those involving serious injury whether from an accident involving a rear-ender, car crash, truck wreck, big rig/semi accident, motorcycle accident, or multi vehicle pile up. The process of a personal injury or accident case can be lengthy and has many important decisions to be made along the way. It is important to have an experienced accident lawyer with you on your side at every phase of the legal process in order to have the best chance of getting the best and fairest result possible, and the justice you deserve. To help you understand the process, I have summarized the procedures that are normally taken in my office, one of the most experienced personal injury law firms in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness and North Florida.
Step II., Now that it has been established that there is a claim to made, a Demand Package is compiled, and sent out. 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 lawyer compile all this data). This “Demand Package” is on average 1 to 2 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).
Step III., Negotiations now begin between your lawyer 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 lawyer 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 lawyer’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
We at Meldon Law strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys, trial lawyers, negotiators, litigators, paralegals, and staff that have been proudly working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and the rest of North Central Florida and North Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
Based on Jeffrey Meldon’s, founder of Meldon Law, over 40 years of helping accident victims get justice and a fair shake from the insurance companies, he has written the consumer guide book, Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case. You can request your free, no obligation copy right now, or contact our office for your complimentary copy sent to you today.
Contact Meldon Law at 800-373-8000 immediately if you have been involved in a serious auto, truck, or motorcycle accident. We are in your community, have the experience and resources required to work towards obtaining a fair settlement for you – we are here to help you.