An injury can be debilitating for the victim and their family. However, they can rest a little easier knowing that a restitution process exists. But this process is complex and paperwork-heavy. It is also tied to local laws, unique to each state. While personal injuries vary, car accidents are the most common type. Orlando has recently seen a spike in accidents as people moved around more after COVID restrictions were lifted. Moreover, the city is a hub for numerous commercial activities, so injuries are bound to happen.
If you or a loved one has been hurt on the road, consult an Orlando, FL, car crash lawyer to assess your legal options. The following information will help you understand the process as you go through your consultation. While your legal aid will explain everything again, it helps to be armed with information to make the most of your initial consultation.
1. Composing a Demand Letter
A Demand Letter needs to be composed and submitted to the insurance company. This note has to include all relevant evidence and any information regarding the injuries you’ve suffered. In this letter, you should include proof of the following:
- Medical bills
- Repair bills
- Lost wages
- And any other proof of injuries you sustained or damages you’ve had to pay for as a result of the accident
2. Filing a Complaint With the Insurer
Insurance companies can reject your claim, so a complaint must be filed directed at the company. All information in the demand letter must be included in the complaint.
3. Settlement Options
A settlement or compensation amount will be determined by your personal injury attorney and agreed to by other parties to avoid having the case go to trial. Agreeing to the settlement amount is considered the negotiation phase of the case. Typically only five percent of cases will go to trial because negotiations have failed. Based on the facts of the case, your lawyer will suggest an amount that the insurer will counter. Your lawyers can push for more if the evidence is in your favor. On the other hand, if the insurer’s offer is good, your representative will likely guide you to take it.
4. Going to Trial
The case must go to trial if the parties cannot agree on the compensation amount. Your personal injury attorney must prove the defendant breached their ‘duty of care’ during the trial. The jury or judge will either dismiss the case after the closing arguments are presented or find it in your favor. The personal injury attorney completes an investigation into your case and gathers evidence regarding your injuries. Once this is done, you will have to go through a deposition. A deposition will include you as the plaintiff and the defense, who will present sworn evidence.
The Statute of Limitation is Strict in Florida
Florida follows a strict statute where you can file a personal injury claim for a limited time. The state requires you to file a claim within four years of the incident, which should be sufficient time. After four years, you will no longer be allowed to have your case heard in court.
In personal injury situations, it is beneficial to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, as timing in these cases is essential. The attorney needs time to collect evidence for your claim and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Talking to the attorney as soon as possible will also have the accident fresh in your mind and those of any witnesses who may have seen how you received your injuries.
Once you’ve discussed your situation with the attorney, they can evaluate your case and decide which steps you need to take. Only talk to an insurance adjuster once you’ve discussed your situation with a lawyer. You will also want to ensure medical attention is received to document your injuries. Another critical factor is keeping all receipts and bills related to your accident. The time it takes to settle a personal injury claim for Florida depends on how complicated your case will become. The process can take from a few months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the claims.