Step-by-Step Guide for Filing a Personal Injury Claim in West Palm Beach
Gregg Hollander | May 24, 2023 | Personal Injury
After an accident or injury in West Palm Beach, FL, victims can file a personal injury claim. The injury claim demands compensation for the person’s damages.
Filing a personal injury claim typically begins with an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s liability insurance carrier. However, if you cannot negotiate a settlement agreement, you may need to know how to file a personal injury lawsuit to protect your rights.
When Should You File a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury laws cover a wide variety of personal injury accidents caused by negligence. They also cover injuries caused by intentional torts and other wrongdoing. A West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim.
You could file a claim if the other party caused your injury and you sustained damages because of their actions. You have the burden of proving the legal elements of your claim. Therefore, working with an experienced personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach gives you a better chance of winning your personal injury case.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim in West Palm Beach, Florida
This step-by-step guide for filing a personal injury claim covers the main steps in the personal injury process. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, your attorney could take additional steps to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries
Prompt medical care is crucial after sustaining a personal injury. Accidents can cause severe and life-threatening injuries.
Common injuries in personal injury cases include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injury
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Broken bones and fractures
- Whiplash and neck injury
- Internal organ damage
- Chest injury
- Crushing injuries
- Back injuries
You need medical records to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. Delays in medical care could raise doubts about the cause of the injury. It could also be a basis for allegations of failure to mitigate damages.
Therefore, seek immediate medical attention. Follow the doctor’s treatment plan and keep detailed records of your recovery.
Consult a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
Schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach. The sooner you talk with a lawyer, the sooner you can get help with your personal injury claim.
The insurance company has a team of professionals working to protect its best interest. You need a legal team on your side that will do what is necessary to protect your right to fair compensation.
An attorney understands how to calculate how much your case is worth. Your lawyer also knows the best steps to maximize your chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Gather Evidence Proving Negligence
Your personal injury attorney will begin an independent investigation to determine how you were injured and who is responsible. You must have sufficient evidence to prove the elements of a negligence claim: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Evidence in a personal injury case can include the following:
- Copies of medical records
- Accident reports and police reports
- Statements from the parties involved in the case
- Opinions and reports from expert witnesses
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Videos and photographs of the accident
- Data collected from vehicle recorders
There could be other evidence depending on the type of case and the facts of the case.
You must prove that the other party caused your injury by a preponderance of the evidence. The evidence must show that there is a greater than 50% chance the other party caused your injury.
File an Insurance Claim
Your attorney will typically file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. The insurance company assigns an insurance adjuster to investigate your claim. The company gathers evidence to determine if its insured is liable for your claim.
Always ask if you are speaking on a recorded line when talking to an insurance company. If so, decline to answer questions about the case. Because your statements could hurt your case, allowing your lawyer to handle all communications with the insurance company is best.
Prepare a Settlement Demand Letter
Your doctor should give you an impairment rating when you complete medical treatment. Impairment ratings are between zero and 100%, with 100% being entirely disabled. Your impairment rating impacts the value of your damages.
Your attorney will prepare a settlement demand letter. The demand letter explains the legal basis for your personal injury claim, your injuries, and your damages.
Negotiate a Settlement Agreement
The insurance company could accept the settlement demand and agree to pay the amount you claim for damages. However, it will likely make a counteroffer for a lower amount. Experienced personal injury lawyers understand how insurance companies process claims, so they are prepared for this action.
Your attorney and the insurance company will negotiate an acceptable settlement amount. Then, you’ll sign a settlement agreement, and the insurance company will send the settlement check to your lawyer. The attorney pays medical liens, deducts their contingency fee, and cuts a check to you for the net amount.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you cannot reach a settlement with the insurance company, your lawyer might advise filing a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit has several phases, including:
- Filing the complaint and other pleadings
- Settlement negotiations and mediation
- Pre-trial motions
- Jury verdict
Filing a personal injury lawsuit does not guarantee compensation for your injuries. Most claims settle without filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer will discuss the pros and cons of a lawsuit and what your best option is to recover maximum compensation for your injury claim.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many people do not seek legal advice because they fear it costs too much to hire a personal injury lawyer. However, most personal injury attorneys work for a contingency fee. So, instead of paying an upfront fee, the attorney is paid when they recover money for your claim.
Hiring a lawyer does not cost any money upfront. It also costs nothing to meet with an attorney for an initial consultation. Therefore, seeking legal advice regarding your personal injury claim protects your best interests.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401