FAQs

After you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, you probably have a lot questions or might not even know what questions you need to be asking. Attorney Amanda D. Suriel is dedicated to educating and informing our clients about their legal rights in regard to their injury claims. If you have any other questions, give us a call today.

Attorney Amanda D. Responds

How much is my case worth?

How much do I have to pay my attorney?

¿Puede una persona indocumentada presentar una demanda por lesiones personales?

¿Puedo confiar en la evaluación de mi caso según la aseguradora?

¿Cómo es dirigir un bufete de abogados de lesiones personales?

Can I trust the insurance company’s evaluation of my case?

What is it like to Run a Personal Injury Law firm?

When should I go see a doctor after an accident?

Below we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions.

In most personal injury cases, a lawyer’s services are offered on a “contingency fee” basis, which means the lawyer’s fees will be a percentage of the final compensation the injured person receives. The percentage that a personal injury lawyer can receive in a contingency fee agreement varies, but typically ranges from 25 to 40 percent, and 33.33 percent (or one-third) is most common when a case does not require litigation. If for whatever reason, a client doesn’t have a favorable outcome in a case, then the lawyer collects no fees. The client is not expected to come out of pocket on anything.

Maybe; but if you have sustained an injury or have extensive property damages, it’s always worth scheduling a free consultation with an attorney. Insurance companies cannot be trusted with evaluating a person’s injury because they are a for profit company. Insurance companies are focused on their business’ bottom-line and not on the well-being of the injured person. They work hard to ensure they pay the injured person as little as possible when there is a claim filed. Always remember non-attorneys are not allowed to offer legal advice; if you think you deserve more money or at the very least want to explore your options, contact an attorney.

Negligence is when someone’s actions fall short of reasonable standards for protecting a person from harm; for example, a distracted driver causing an accident. To win a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove the defendant is responsible for and caused their injuries, meaning they acted in negligence. If a person fails to act as a reasonable person would, he or she may be liable for any resulting damages.

There is no hard timeline on how long a case will take from the moment it is filed until a verdict or settlement could be reached. One main factor of determining how long a case will take is the injury a client has sustained. Understanding completely a client’s injury is what allows proper evaluation of a personal injury case. Therefore, a lot depends on the injured client’s recovery and/or prognosis. Once the injured client has reached maximum medical improvement, the attorney can collect all the medical records and proof of lost wages to present as damages.

Every case is different, and some cases take longer than others. However, with proper file management, an attorney can minimize unnecessary delays in moving the case towards a successful resolution. On average a case takes 12 to 18 months from beginning to end. Nevertheless, if your case does become a lawsuit with the court and is set to go to trial, it is possible that ​it will take over 18 months from beginning to end. This, however, should not discourage an injured person from pursuing his/her claim through the court system because it is our experience that when a lawsuit is filed the defendant and/or the insurance company will more effectively consider an injury case.

No. Options for personal injury claims include settling outside of court, mediation or heading to trial. Most injury lawsuits are settled before ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. However, part of an aggressive attorney strategy will be acting, at the very least, as if the injured person is willing to take the case to trial. If there is a reason an injury case needs to go to court, our legal team will explain all the options available, so the injured person can make the right decision for him/her.

While there is no quick definitive answer for how much a personal injury case is worth, it is often possible to determine a reasonable settlement range for a claim after a client’s medical condition has stabilized. However, many factors affect how much an injury case is worth. For example, how badly you were injured, the liability and/or negligence of the parties involved, the insurance coverage and/or financial assets available for compensation, etc.

Yes. In Florida, all car owners must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. The policy behind PIP is based on the concept of paying a percentage of your medical bills and lost wages without regard to fault. Therefore, the injured person must use his/her own PIP insurance. However, there are certain circumstances where the injured person can try to use another person’s PIP insurance instead of his/her own, but this is very fact specific.

Many people are rightly concerned that their insurance rates will go up or their policy of insurance will be cancelled if they use their PIP insurance after a car accident. The short answer is that if you were not at fault for the accident your insurance rates should not go up from the accident.

Your insurance rates should not go up if you use your legally required PIP insurance. There is some protection in Florida law for consumers. Florida Statue 626.9541 prohibits insurance companies from raising rates or cancelling coverage for improper reasons. Florida law provides that it is a deceptive or unfair act or practice when an insurance company raises rates or drops a policy holder without a legally valid reason. When an insurance company is determined to have committed a deceptive or unfair act, that insurance company may be subject to civil liability and fines. The insurance company can be fined up to ten thousand dollars for each violation in addition to administrative penalties.

If your rates go up or your policy is cancelled and you believe that the insurance company’s action were wrong or illegal, you should request that your insurance company provide you with the reasons for the increase of your rates or cancellation of your policy. If the insurance company fails to adequately explain or answer your inquiry, you can contact the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation at the statewide toll-free number 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).

You can also file a specific complaint with the Florida Chief Financial Officer at the Division of Consumer Services. It is most important that you understand that you do not simply have to accept the insurance company’s rate increase or cancellation. You are entitled to answers and the State of Florida provides an avenue for you to force the insurance company to answer your questions.

Insurance companies can increase rates and cancel policies based on claim and accident histories as well as other factors. Insurance companies are in the business of managing risk. To do this effectively, these corporations will not only review claim histories but also employ algorithms that analyze many factors such as locations, traffic, population density and crime rates. While your rates may go up or your policy may be cancelled, it may have nothing to do with your PIP claim. But you have the right at ask and the means to get your answers.

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