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Personal Injury

Speak with Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers to Get the Compensation You Deserve

Our Injury Lawyers are Here to Help After an Accident or Act of Negligence in Florida 

Being injured in an accident is a difficult, stressful and often painful experience. Accidents can also raise a number of complicated questions about who is to blame. That is why it is vital for you to have a seasoned Florida personal injury lawyer by your side.

At Searcy Denney, our injury attorneys have helped people injured in accidents recover billions in damages via settlements and court verdicts. We assist clients by fighting for the full compensation available under the law. We also provide our clients with the confidence to focus on their physical recuperation, knowing that our team is working aggressively to protect their rights.

Whether you have been injured in a car accident, a collision with a truck, a slip and fall or you have had a mishap with a defective product, we have the resources and experience to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable. We take the time to understand each client’s personal situation and we craft an approach that is tailored to their specific needs.

What Searcy Denney Will Do for You 

Most personal injury claims have three primary stages: (i) investigating the claim, (ii) preparing the claim, and (iii) negotiating a settlement. However, if the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to settle, then there may be additional stages involved as well – including taking your claim to court. Here is an introduction to what you can expect along the way when you work with one of our Florida personal injury lawyers:

1. Preparing Your Claim

Preparing your claim is the most important stage of the process. Preparation involves gathering all of the documentation needed to convince the insurance company to settle (such as medical and employment records) and determining the total amount that you are entitled to recover.

When filing an insurance claim, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and if you do not have the evidence to support your claim or you ask for less than you deserve, then you are going to give the insurance company the upper hand.

2. Negotiating with the Insurance Company

Once our attorneys thoroughly prepare your claim, we will submit a demand for payment to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This will start the negotiation process, which will involve our attorneys going back and forth with an insurance adjuster to try to arrive at a mutually-agreeable settlement amount. If the insurance company makes a fair settlement offer, we will calculate exactly how much you will take home so that you can make an informed decision about resolving your claim.

3. Filing a Lawsuit

If the insurance company does not make a fair settlement offer during these negotiations, then our injury attorneys will file a lawsuit in court. While this will result in a trial date being set, settlement negotiations will continue, and there is still a good chance that your claim will settle before trial.

4. Pursuing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

In some cases, pursuing a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or arbitration, may provide the most-efficient means of securing a favorable result. If this is a viable option in your case, our personal injury attorneys will represent you throughout the process.

5. Going to Trial

Finally, if the insurance company simply refuses to offer a fair settlement, then our attorneys will take your case to trial. Our Florida personal injury lawyers will present all of the relevant evidence in court, and we will hire expert witnesses to paint a clear picture of exactly what happened. At the end of trial, the judge or jury will render a decision. If you are satisfied with the decision, your case will likely be over. If you are not, your Florida personal injury lawyer can determine if you have grounds to file an appeal.

What Damages Will My Florida Personal Injury Attorney Pursue?

man laying on the couch with a cast on his foot and crutchesFlorida law gives people injured in accidents the right to seek compensation from those responsible.

The money damages typically available in accident cases are generally designed to compensate people for the financial impact of an injury. That includes covering current and future doctor’s bills and other medical costs. Additional compensation is also usually available for lost wages while recuperating and any impact that the injuries may have on your future earning capacity.

In certain cases involving gross negligence or intentional misconduct, extra punitive damages may be imposed as a way to punish those responsible for recklessly causing your injuries.

In tragic cases in which a person is killed in an accident, his or her family members have the right to seek similar compensation for wrongful death. They can seek much of the same money damages that would have been available for their loved one had the person survived, as well as funeral and burial costs.

To obtain this compensation, you have to first prove that the person or entity responsible for your injuries is legally liable. A seasoned Florida personal injury attorney can help you build the strongest possible case.

Establishing Fault with the Help of Your Florida Personal Injury Lawyers

Most personal injury cases are based on claims of negligence, which is a legal theory that holds people and entities responsible for failing to live up to a “duty of care.” The infographic below and the following information reveal the basics of negligence that your Florida injury attorney will try to prove. 

How Your Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Will Prove Negligence

A person alleging negligence has to prove that the person or entity he or she is suing didn’t live up to a specific duty of care. That means you must first show that there was a duty and then explain how it was breached. A well-versed Florida personal injury lawyer can make the appropriate arguments on your behalf. For example, police reports, witness testimony and – in some cases – accident reconstruction evidence is often central to proving negligence in car crash cases. On the other hand, observations from people who witness a slip and fall on a slick floor in a grocery store aisle, as well as testimony from employees about the floor’s condition before that accident, can also go a long way in premises liability cases.

Florida is a “comparative negligence” state. That means that a person who is partly to blame for his or her own injuries can still obtain some damages. A person who runs through a cluttered or wet grocery store aisle, for example, may be considered 35 percent responsible for a slip and fall. Still, that person may obtain up to 65 percent of the available money damages with the help of a Florida personal injury lawyer.

Proving Causation for Your Florida Accident

A person seeking compensation for injuries sustained in an accident also must prove what courts refer to as “causation.” To be clear, this means that you have to show that the negligence specifically caused you to be injured.

Take, for instance, a person who suffers whiplash and a broken arm when the car he is driving collides with a speeding truck. An insurance company or the trucker’s employer may try to explore whether the injured person already had some or all of those injuries before the crash. Alternatively, they may argue that the injuries were caused by another source, like a faulty seatbelt.

Causation is just one of the complicated legal issues that can arise in these types of cases. It is another area in which a Florida injury attorney with a strong track record in personal injury litigation can provide important assistance. You, however, can assist your Florida personal injury lawyers by using our checklists to keep your possible evidence organized. 

How Much Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?

Regardless of who or what caused your injuries, in order to recover compensation, you need to be able to prove your claim for damages. This requires proof of:

  • The cause of your injuries,
  • The extent of your injuries, and
  • The long-term effects of your injuries.

Even if you only have a no-fault PIP claim (which you should not assume until you speak with an attorney), you will still need to prove that you suffered your injuries in the accident. If you do not have evidence to prove that your injuries are accident-related, you can be almost certain that your insurance company will deny your claim for coverage.

How do you prove a claim for damages after an accident in Florida? Proving your claim requires:

  • A prompt and comprehensive on-scene investigation;
  • Follow-up investigation to obtain relevant records, video recordings and other evidence;
  • Immediate medical attention to document your diagnosis;
  • Follow-up medical treatment and medical records;
  • Collection of bills and receipts; and,
  • Ongoing documentation of the effects of your injuries.

Steps to Take to Maximize Your Potential Compensation 

As soon as possible, after being involved in an accident in Florida you should:

1. See a Doctor

After any type of accident, one of the first things you should do is see a doctor. In order to protect your health and your legal rights, you need to receive a comprehensive diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible. Regardless of whether you have a claim, your health and treatment of your injuries are the most important thing. 

2. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

Once you receive medical advice, you should either (i) follow your doctor’s advice carefully, or (ii) seek a second opinion if you have concerns about the quality of the treatment you received. In addition to prolonging your recovery, ignoring your doctor’s advice can have significant negative repercussions for your personal injury claim.

3. Preserve Important Evidence

If you took photos or video, if you have damaged clothing or other personal items, or if you have any other evidence from the accident, you should preserve it. Keep it in a safe place, and be prepared to give it to your attorney at the first available opportunity.

4. Do Not Talk to Insurance Companies 

If you were involved in a car accident, you may need to file an insurance claim promptly. But, other than this, you should avoid the insurance companies unless and until otherwise advised by your attorney. Most likely, your attorney will handle all communications with the insurance companies on your behalf.

5. Contact an Injury Law Firm in Florida

To make sure you collect evidence right away and complete all necessary steps, you will need to contact an injury law firm in Florida as soon as possible. Our firm accepts new cases 24/7, and we can put a personal injury attorney on your case immediately if necessary.

Mediation and Arbitration for Personal Injury Claims

Taking your case to trial does not always guarantee the best results. For many victims, personal injury mediation or arbitration is a faster, cost-effective, and confidential way to receive fair compensation. 

  • Mediation: When the injured person and the insurance company try to reach an agreement with the help of an unbiased mediator. 
  • Arbitration: A neutral third party, usually a retired judge or lawyer, hears arguments from both sides and determines the outcome and the amount of the financial award. 

If you have the opportunity to participate in mediation, you have the right to work with an attorney to protect your interests. At Searcy Denney, our personal injury attorneys have helped Floridians injured in accidents recover billions in damages. We assist clients by negotiating for the full compensation available under the law. 

Lawyers Reviewing a Personal Injury Claim

The Personal Injury Mediation Process in Florida

Mediation is a collaborative process. Both parties have the opportunity to present their arguments and work together under the supervision of a neutral third party to reach a favorable outcome. The mediation process is structured to allow for both sides to make a fair argument. 

  1. The mediator makes an opening statement. It includes information relevant to both you and the insurance company.
  2. Each side is allowed to tell their side of the story. In most cases, your attorney will present a prepared statement. Our personal injury mediation attorneys use charts, graphs, and other visual aids to demonstrate your claim’s value. 
  3. After everyone has spoken, you have the opportunity to discuss options and solutions in private. When you are ready, the mediator will present these options for discussion. 
  4. The negotiations and decision-making phase will continue until both sides reach an agreement and settle the case. 

Our Florida personal injury lawyers have decades of combined experience fighting for the people we represent at the negotiating table. We understand the strategies that insurance companies often employ to try to reduce or avoid payouts

The Arbitration Process for Injury Claims

If you feel you may be unable to reach an agreement during settlement negotiations, arbitration is sometimes an option. Arbitration is an alternative to a trail. A neutral third party serves as the arbitrator and determines the outcome of the negotiations. While it may sound simple, arbitration is a complicated process. There is a 10 step process required before the proceedings can even begin. 

Every case is unique, and the decision to arbitrate should be made with the assistance of an experienced Florida accident lawyer. There are procedural requirements, filing deadlines, and other bureaucratic pitfalls that may work against you. 

What to Do While Our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys Fight for Your Case 

While your law firm will be able to handle many aspects of your claim for you, there are steps that you personally can take as well. In fact, the more involved you are throughout the process, the greater your chances of maximizing your compensation as quickly as possible. Here are five tips for helping your attorneys achieve a favorable result on your behalf:

1. Avoid Resuming Activity or Returning to Work Too Soon

After suffering traumatic injuries in an accident, you need to take your recovery seriously. Rest as recommended by your doctor, and make sure you do not resume activity or return to work too soon.

2. Refer All Inquiries Regarding Your Case to Your Florida Personal Injury Lawyers

If you are contacted by insurance adjusters (or anyone else) regarding your case, you should refer all inquiries to your attorney.

3. Keep an Injury Journal and File

Try to keep a daily journal in which you record all of the various ways your injuries impact your life. Also, keep a file in which you place all records, receipts, scans and other documents related to your personal injury claim.

4. Stay Off of Social Media

While your personal injury case is pending, stay off of social media. The insurance companies will be watching; and, even if your profiles are private, the insurance companies’ lawyers may still be able to gain access through the courts.

5. Stay Involved in Your Case by Actively Communication with Your Lawyer

Finally, stay involved in your case. Your lawyer will need to speak with you regularly, and the more engaged you are, the better your outcome will be.

Our Injury Attorneys in Florida are Standing By

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Sunshine State, you have the legal right to seek money damages from those responsible. It is crucial that you have a proven Florida injury attorney in your corner.

At Searcy Denney, our Florida personal injury law firm has decades of combined experience fighting for the people we represent in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. We know how courts and juries often look at these cases and we understand the strategies that insurance companies often employ to try to reduce or avoid payouts. Our track record of success speaks for itself.

We are pleased to be able to provide comprehensive and personalized services for our clients. That includes helping you find medical care, dealing with your employer, haggling with insurance companies and litigating lawsuits in court when needed.

Our team of dedicated legal professionals is ready to fight for you. Our offices are conveniently located in TampaWest Palm Beach and Tallahassee. Call us toll-free at 888-549-7011 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"Cannot say enough about Mr. Ward and his team. Joanna and Mr. Ward helped me through a very difficult time while being extremely professional and prompt. I would highly recommend."
Posted By: Samantha Saundry