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Florida personal injury lawyers



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    How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take?

    People ask us all of the time, as the leading Florida personal injury lawyers, about timelines concerning personal injury cases. It’s easy to understand why. Injured people or the loved ones involved in wrongful death lawsuits hate to see things drag on and go on for a tremendous amount of time.

    When negligence or wrongful acts cause injury or death, there are several reasons why people seek fast resolution. First of all, there are bills to be paid. Seeing doctors, getting physical therapy, dealing with emotional or physical suffering, and repairing damaged property (like cars in a motor vehicle collision) can be expensive.

    Depending on the severity of the incident, victims can face costs that far exceed their cash reserves. When a case takes too long, it unnecessarily puts them in a financial bind that can lead to stress and to a feeling of frustration and despair.

    While there are certain things you can’t control, experience is something you can select for that will shorten your journey to the proper personal injury case outcome. With an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer helping you, it’s possible to secure the damages you deserve faster than you would otherwise.

    Here’s some information on why personal injury cases take as long as they do and what you can expect for your case.

    Florida Personal Injury Lawyer – Know The Experience of The Attorney You Select

    Most lawyers you talk to work with clients in similar situations every day. At least, you should be working with an attorney who has specialized experience with cases just like yours. That’s one of the best ways to get results. Seek out an attorney that has the experience, knows how to successfully handle a claim and can assist you through the pitfalls of the claim process.

    In general, a personal injury case can take anywhere from months to years. Why the difference? Well, the length to closure depends a great deal on the details of your case and the resources at stake.

    Just to offer a simple example, a small business may be quicker to settle when a smaller amount of money is on the line rather than drag things out and rack up legal fees. Likewise, a large company may quickly settle a personal injury claim to avoid reputational damage.

    However, some personal injury cases drag on when both parties are far apart on compensation, or the details of the case are in dispute.

    Sometimes Defendants Purposely Prolong Your Claim

    The unfortunate reality is that sometimes liable parties will slow your case down. Why? They want to get you to accept lower settlement amounts.

    These people know the stress victims are under and know that most claimants have significant financial obligations. By slowing the process, the thinking goes that a victim may take on debt or be unable to work, so they will be eager to settle according to unfriendlier terms.

    While this is sometimes an effective strategy, it can also backfire. If you have an expert Florida personal injury lawyer working your case and your evidence is solid, then they will end up paying more to cover your costs.

    The key here is finding the right strategy to pursue your claim to cover:

    • Medical Costs
    • Lost Income From Work
    • Therapy
    • Expenses Related to the Injury
    • Pain & Suffering

    This requires a careful approach and thorough evidence gathering to prove your case.

    The Personal Injury Claim Process

    In addition to timelines, people often wonder what the process will look like. Most personal injury victims are entering the process for the first time. They have little to no experience working with lawyers, and their dealings with insurance companies are probably limited to a past car accident or something similar.

    The process can be confusing, so working with a good lawyer who explains things clearly and keeps you updated is essential. Here’s what you can expect with your personal injury claim.

    1. Seek Medical Care – Anytime you’re hurt, you should seek immediate medical care. Don’t make the mistake of shrugging off a severe fall or any sort of assault that takes place on someone else’s property. Usually, your adrenaline spikes, and you have difficulty noticing symptoms. Be safe and call for emergency responders or go to the hospital to document your injuries and ensure that you’re alright.
    2. Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer – Although you’ve probably got a million things on your mind, the next thing you should do is to contact an expert attorney to discuss the details of your injuries and find out whether you have a case. Many attorneys offer no-fee consultations to help talk you through what needs to happen next.
    3. Attempt to Settle – Both you and whoever is liable don’t want a drawn-out process most of the time. Fast resolution is ideal and saves everyone time and stress. Problems happen when people don’t know what they are doing. With experienced legal help, you’ll know what your claim is worth and how to negotiate the top end of the range you’re in. You spare yourself the time it takes to go to court to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
    4. File Your Lawsuit – When negotiations fail, it’s time to file suit. Remember, sometimes other people don’t believe that you’ll file a suit. Instead, they use the prospect of going to court as a negotiation tactic. There are times when the filing of a lawsuit will need to be expeditious and fast. This is one of the main reasons why you should hire a Florida personal injury lawyer with trial experience. It makes it much harder to bluff, and when things do move to trial, you’ll be ready.
    5. Discovery – Once you’ve filed suit, then both parties have a chance to investigate each others’ claims. They gather evidence and prepare arguments. Lists of questions go back and forth, and there are depositions and other preparatory work. This phase of your lawsuit can take months to complete. Sometimes it is a frustratingly long time, but remember that negotiations for settlements don’t stop just because you file suit. Your lawyer and other parties likely continue an ongoing dialogue about an appropriate settlement.
    6. Trial – If negotiations fail, and you have a strong enough case, then your lawsuit will move to trial. Scheduling depends on your jurisdiction and the current court caseload. Sometimes it takes a week to schedule a trial, and other times you need months. The faster you file and complete each step, the sooner your case will close.

    How an Expert Lawyer Moves Your Case Along

    Again, a lawyer likely can’t change the time it takes to schedule a trial, and they typically can’t force the other side to finish their discovery process earlier.

    However, a seasoned attorney will check each box precisely and find ways to resolve your claim faster than otherwise.

    For example, a lawyer slip and fall attorney with years of experience will know what your case is worth. They know what a realistic settlement is and how to negotiate successfully to that point. They won’t’ waste your time by asking for too much, and they’ll also save you from accepting too little.

    There are also lower chances of your lawyer making careless administrative mistakes. They’ll know what paperwork needs to go where to guarantee everything is in its place on time. Likewise, they’ll make fewer mistakes than delay the trial or slow evidence gathering.

    Choosing the Right Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

    So, how do you choose the right Florida personal injury lawyer? As in any industry, not all attorneys will provide the same experience. However, there are areas of expertise, just like physicians, so choosing the one for your situation is vital.

    The first thing that you should do is search for a local attorney who specializes in your type of case. They should have extensive experience negotiating settlements and winning court judgments for victims. For instance, if you’re suing a cruise company, find a legal team with years of experience representing cruise accident victims.

    Once you’ve zeroed in on some possibilities, read as much as you can about their firm and their track record. When your health or your family’s financial future is at stake, it’s no time to take a chance on an unproven team. Instead, look at what they’ve done for other victims. Read reviews to ensure their communication style and the experience they deliver to clients meet your needs.

    Finally, schedule a free consultation with them as an informal interview. These short meetings are no-obligation appointments that let victims and attorneys feel each other out. Depending on the case, you could potentially work with each other for months or even years, so you need to feel comfortable around each other.

    The Final Word

    It would be wonderful to have a standard schedule for personal injury cases. That, however, isn’t reality. Instead, each case is dependent on many factors, and timeframes vary based on injuries, liable parties, their resources, and the local legal environment.

    The team at Leighton Law is the leading Florida personal injury firm. We help victims win compensation for injuries and wrongful death. If you or someone you know needs legal help, give us a call and schedule a free consultation with our team.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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