How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida
If someone else’s negligence hurts you, then you have a right to file a personal injury claim in Florida. You can seek full compensation for your losses. However, the process isn’t easy. You can easily get swamped by the details while, at the same time, you are trying to deal with your medical bills, living expenses, work situation and – most importantly – your health. This is why you should always get help from an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney.
When you hire Buckman & Buckman, P.A., we will explain to you how the personal injury claims process works in Florida. We want you to understand your rights and options and work with us on a strategy that meets your goals. Above all, we want to take the stress off your shoulders. You can count on us to provide:
- Support – We understand families. Our two lead partners are married, and their daughters practice law on our team. We provide the support that injury victims and their families need. We make sure they get the right medical care, help them with repair or replacement of their car and keep debt collectors off their backs.
- Experience – We have sought compensation for personal injury victims and their loved ones in Sarasota for more than 20 years. We know how to investigate claims, deal with insurance companies and win cases in court.
- Determination – We know your case is important to you. We will tirelessly pursue the compensation that you deserve, and we will charge no fees unless we secure a financial recovery for you.
If you or a loved one have been seriously hurt by someone else’s negligence, contact Buckman & Buckman today. We can promptly review your case in a free consultation through our office in Sarasota.
The Early Stages of a Florida Personal Injury Claim
Before anyone files a lawsuit or appears in a courtroom, a lot happens in a personal injury case. It starts, of course, with the accident that causes the injury. The early stages of an injury case in Florida also involves:
Medical attention. Experienced personal injury attorneys know that an injury victim’s medical care often serves as a case’s strongest evidence. We have forged relationships with skilled medical experts who help us to evaluate claims. Likewise, we can help you to receive the medical care and attention that is appropriate for your injury.
Consultation with an attorney. Everything in your legal case begins with a one-on-one consultation with an attorney at Buckman & Buckman who will carefully listen to your story and help you to understand your options. At your initial appointment, you will meet with one of our skilled personal injury lawyers. You should try to bring:
- Your identification
- Health insurance card
- Auto insurance (for auto accident claims)
- Police or incident reports
- Any medical records you have
- Any photos, videos, or other relevant items.
Investigation of your case. If we decide that you have a case, we will immediately begin a thorough investigation. We will determine what happened and why it happened. Things we typically search for include:
- Surveillance tapes
- Witness statements
- Police and government reports
- Corporate ownership (for business defendants)
- Multiple defendants
- Insurance policies (including commercial, auto, homeowner, workers’ comp, and umbrella policies that may apply)
- Anything else that may be helpful to your case.
Gathering of all records. Medical providers charge a lot for complete copies of medical records. Sadly, it has become a cottage industry for some private companies. It’s always helpful if you obtain your records early. If you can’t, our firm can advance these costs and obtain any medical records or billing statements we need to prepare your case.
Resolving Your Personal Injury Claim in Florida
The resolution of a personal injury lawsuit depends on a client’s goals. Those goals may include securing maximum compensation, achieving justice and simply getting answers about what happened so they can move on in life. Every case is different. Some cases settle without a lawsuit. However, in most cases, some form of litigation must take place.
Filing a lawsuit often serves as the only way to get an insurance company and potential defendants to respond to demands for payment of a personal injury claim. Once you file the lawsuit in the proper state or federal court in Florida, strict deadlines and schedules will kick in. They help to move a case forward – whether defendants like it or not. The next stages include:
Discovery. This stage may be the most important one in the civil lawsuit process. At this stage, all parties have an opportunity to exchange questions with each other and conduct sworn depositions that cover anything that could potentially be relevant at trial. Discovery includes:
- Written interrogatories
- Subpoenas for records and other evidence
- Depositions of parties, witnesses, doctors and other experts.
You can gain information in discovery that fills in the gaps and cements a solid case for liability and damages. If the other side refuses to turn over information, you can obtain a court order that forces compliance.
Settlement demand and negotiation. Because discovery can establish the facts of a case, cases often settle towards the end of the discovery process. This is when serious negotiations take place. We make a formal demand, based on our assessment of your case’s value and leverage our preparation of your case to seek the maximum amount of compensation.
Going to trial. If the defendant and the insurance company are not willing to negotiate, or if they do not offer fair and reasonable compensation, it may be necessary to schedule the case for trial. This can be a lengthy process. However, our attorneys have done it many times. We know how to navigate the system and do our best to keep a case moving forward.
Appeals and post-trial motions. In most cases, the final judgment of the jury is the end of the case. However, the losing party may appeal to the next level of courts on technical or procedural matters. If your case must be appealed, Buckman & Buckman can represent you. We can also help you with other matters that come up after the trial such as disputes over jury awards, disputes regarding potential healthcare liens or insurance liens and government reimbursements such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Disbursement of funds. Our office will carefully negotiate, where possible, to maximize the value of your jury award or settlement. This means working to ensure that the funds are properly distributed to protect your interests.
Get Help from Our Sarasota Personal Injury Attorneys Today
For more than 30 years, our family has protected the families of Sarasota and throughout neighboring communities. We know what it takes to succeed, and we take our clients’ injuries very seriously. When the stakes are high, you can count on Buckman & Buckman to fight for you. We never charge a fee unless we recover compensation for a client, and our consultations are always free. Contact us today to discuss your case.