Generally, the statute of limitations in Florida for a personal injury case is 4 years from the date of the negligence or accident which caused the injury. This means that your lawsuit against the person or business must be filed in the correct court within 4 years of the accident, or else your case may be forever barred. This is a difficult area of the law, so please consult with an accident attorney regarding the specific facts of your case.
This is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Every case truly is different. Ultimately, it is a jury that determines the value of your car accident case. But from our over 20 years of experience, we can advise you on a general range of a settlement value of your case, based on many factors which include, among other things, the following:
- how the accident happened;
- the extent of damage to the vehicles involved;
- the type and extent of your injuries and medical treatment, including surgeries;
- whether you sustained permanent injuries, fractures or significant scarring;
- your past medical history;
- the amount of your past medical bills;
- the expected amount of your future medical bills;
- the lost wages you have incurred;
- the future loss of your earning capacity;
- your age at the time of the accident and your remaining work years;
- other reasonable costs you have incurred caused by your injuries, such as the need to hire household help, child care services, etc.;
- insurance coverage available; and
- if married at the time of the accident, your spouse may have an additional claim for loss of consortium
You should report the accident immediately to the police if you have not already done so. Any and all witnesses to the accident need to be identified by name, address and telephone number. Take photographs or videos of the scene and vehicles from as many angles as possible. Photographs showing the damage to your vehicle can be invaluable in assisting us in maximizing your recovery. If you require medical treatment, be clear and accurate in what you say about how the accident happened. Also, be sure to give your doctor a complete, accurate and truthful description of how the accident happened, what problems you are having as a result of the accident, and make sure to tell your doctor about all prior similar injuries you may have had.
You have a duty in Florida to be cooperative with your own insurance company. You have no such duty to cooperate or give a recorded statement to the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. If you have lacerations, burns or bruising, take photographs of your injuries. The pictures need to reflect the injury and any bandages or braces that may are placed. Such photographs will become invaluable in establishing your injuries after your injuries have healed. Gather all automobile insurance policies in your household for evaluation by an experienced Attorney. They will determine the full extent of insurance available to you.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is also known as “no-fault” insurance. PIP insurance covers you and relatives residing in your household for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. This is regardless of who is at fault. This coverage pays 80% of reasonable and necessary medical bills, 60% of lost wages, and 100% of household services, up to a limit of $10,000. Florida law requires every owner of a motor vehicle registered in Florida to carry PIP to protect themselves in the event of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. For injuries sustained in an automobile accident, PIP coverage is primary over any health insurance.
The personal injury attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys take cases on a contingency fee contract approved by The Florida Supreme Court. This means that our clients do not pay at the beginning of the case – payment to us is contingent on us recovering money for you. At the end of the case, either when your case is settled prior to trial or after a jury verdict, you pay a percentage of the money you receive, in addition to court costs advanced by us. If there is no money recovered for you, you do not pay attorney’s fees or costs.
The percentage of attorney’s fees depends on at what point your recovery occurs. Our contingency fee contract provides for 33 1/3% of the recovery prior to the filing of the lawsuit, what is referred to as “pre-suit” or “pre-litigation,” up through the time that an answer to the lawsuit is filed by the defendant, in addition to the recovery of court costs advanced by the firm. If the case has not settled prior to this point, then the percentage increases to 40% of the recovery, through the end of trial, in addition to the recovery of court costs advanced.
Examples of court costs which our firm advances on your behalf include the following: court filing fees (filing fees are required by a court before it will accept legal papers); expert fees (experts and consultants charge for their time in evaluating cases and testifying in court and depositions, sometimes thousands of dollars); fees to obtain medical records; postage; deposition costs (certified court reporters charge for taking down testimony at depositions and providing written transcripts of testimony), etc. We are proud of our firm philosophy to keep your advanced costs down to a minimum, so as to maximize your recovery. We will not “nickel-and-dime” you with such charges as long-distance telephone costs, costs for sending a fax or a “file set-up fee,” for which some firm charge hundreds of dollars.