Legal Toolkit Florida Injury and Accidents

What to Know About Injury and Accidents

a

Injury or accident cases

Can be lengthy and your personal recollection of the details may fade with time. In anticipation of potential litigation immediately following the accident or injury, you should put the details in writing to preserve things for you and your attorney. As you write your summary, remember that you need to help your attorney understand all the aspects of your accident or injury so they can present the best case for you. You’ll want to remember to include details like day and time, weather conditions, what happened, what was said, who you spoke to, any witnesses at the scene, what parts of your body felt injured at the scene, what parts of your body began hurting after leaving the scene, why you think the accident/injury may have occurred, any medical providers you have seen and how your life, family, and/or job has been affected by the accident/injury. If you are not able to do this because of your injury, a loved one can write the summary for you. Having photos of your physical injuries, the scene and property damages can also be used to show what happened and illustrate the severity of the experience, long after any skid marks or bruises/scraps/cuts, etc. have faded. As your case proceeds, continue to document the day-to-day realities of how you’ve been affected mentally, physically, and/or financially by the accident or injury.

b

Insurance Settlement:

The facts of most injury and accident cases become clear fairly quickly and insurance companies usually respond to reasonable financial settlement requests or negotiations. Injury and Accident attorneys are skilled at negotiating these settlements and most cases don’t require the filing of a lawsuit and only a few of those that do actually go to trial because they are settled ahead of time. Settlements are usually beneficial to the client as they are likely to get payment for damages more quickly and may pay less in legal fees and costs than  they would if a lawsuit is filed or the case goes to trial.. However, settlement may not be beneficial if the case settles for an inappropriately low amount in the interest of expediency alone.

c

Case Selection:

Because they take cases on a contingency basis, injury and accident attorneys may choose not to take cases if the damages suffered by the client don’t outweigh the cost of having the attorney working on the case. They may also decline to take cases that don’t have a good likelihood of being settled or winning in court.

d

Dangerous Products/Product Liability:

Manufacturers have a responsibility to create safe products for consumers and to inform consumers if one of their products is now discontinued because of a previously unknown safety hazard. When a consumer product fails to perform safely and someone has been injured (or is now dead) as a result, a case may be able to be made for product liability. An injury and accident attorney with experience in this area  can advise consumers about the best course of action related to a dangerous product/product injury claim

e

Lawsuit Timing:

Generally lawsuits must be filed within a specific period of time referred to as the statue of limitations. Failure to do so could preclude a otherwise valid claim from being brought.  However, there may be some exceptions to these time periods. If you suspect that you may need to enter into litigation with another party over a legal issue, meeting with an attorney as early in the process as possible will help ensure that evidence is preserved and that timing deadlines are addressed to best protect your legal rights. An injury and accident attorney can advise you about the particulars of your legal situation and how to proceed in your best interests.