MORE RESPONSIVE REPRESENTATION
Car accidents change lives. Car accidents not only leave you injured, but also dealing with financial stress, the stress of filing an insurance claim and dealing with the insurance companies, your medical treatment, paying medical bills, and getting your car fixed. Car accidents look simple enough on a billboard, just get in an accident and sign up with a lawyer and get presented with a giant check. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most accidents. These claims can be long and complicated and Florida Consumer Lawyers makes it our mission to keep in constant contact with our clients during the process. Clients have access to the lawyers cell phone and will be in constant communication throughout this ordeal.
MANAGING YOUR CAR ACCIDENT
STEP 1 - SET UP YOUR CLAIM
Once you retain Florida Consumer Lawyers we set up your claims with the insurance companies. It is vital that your claim is set up immediately and that we make contact with the insurance companies very early in the process. Our staff then disburses your relevant claim numbers to any medical providers treating you for injuries. We take the extra time to contact the emergency room provider to make sure that they have the PIP claim number so they can get paid for any outstanding bills and not leave you holding the bag at the end of your case. Florida is still a no-fault state. This means that your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage covers up to $10,000 of your medical bills even though you weren't at fault. Setting up the claim quickly is key to protecting you financially, so this step comes before the investigation.
STEP 2 - INVESTIGATE
Florida Consumer Lawyers begins the process of investigating your accident. This includes inspecting the car for damage, reviewing the accident scene, speaking to any witnesses, and discussing the claim with the at-fault insurance company to determine whether or not they plan on fighting liability. In many instances accidents are simple. If you were rear-ended then the investigation happens quickly. If your accident was more complicated then the investigation becomes more complicated. For instance, if you are hit by a commercial truck then we will pull the truck's computer data to determine speed and breaking distance at the time of the accident. Often times, small pieces of information gathered early in the investigation make a big difference in cases.
STEP 3 - MANAGE YOUR MEDICAL TREATMENT
Florida Consumer Lawyers begins the process of managing your medical treatment. While your lawyers do not make medical decisions or pick and choose your doctors, we do continue to monitor your treatment, review your medical records in real time, make sure that your doctors are treating you with the respect and competence you deserve, and most importantly monitor your medical bills to make sure that your bills do not exceed the value of your case. Unfortunately, in our experience many people end up accumulating large medical bills even though the insurance policy is not large enough to cover such expenses. All the while their lawyers say and do nothing. In these instances, the consumer gets the short end of the stick and ends up walking away with a small amount of money for their trouble. It is our mission to make sure that every consumer is fairly compensated for their injuries and that the doctors and the lawyers are not the ones walking away with the lion's share of the settlement money.
STEP 4 - DEMAND FOR SETTLEMENT
In some catastrophic cases, litigation becomes necessary early in the process. However, in most cases, once you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) we review and summarize the records and create a "Demand" package to send to the insurance companies demanding a settlement on your case. These "Demands" include a detailed and thorough case analysis, complete medical records, accident reports, investigation details, accident scene photographs, property damage reports and information, all medical bills, analysis of potential loss of income, pain and suffering, and an overall evaluation of the value of the claim. Some lawyers believe these "Demands" are ignored by insurance companies and simple, boilerplate letters are enough. At Florida Consumer Lawyers we know better. Detailed "Demands' make a big difference and set the stage for the possibility of litigation if the insurance company won't pay the appropriate value for your case.
STEP 5(A) - SETTLEMENT
If your case settles at the "Demand" stage then Florida Consumer Lawyers begins the process of negotiating any outstanding medical bills with your providers. We perform a detailed case analysis evaluating the treatment received, the amount of money the medical provider already received from insurance sources such as PIP or health insurance, and the amount of bills still outstanding. Four lawyers negotiate directly with medical providers to get you as much money in your pocket as possible.
STEP 5(B) - COURT
If the insurance company refuses to pay the true value of your claim then Florida Consumer Lawyers will take your case to court and to trial if that's what it takes to get you the best result. In reality, our lawyers analyze every case in the very early stages and have a good idea if litigation will be needed. Cases that require litigation typically include serious injuries, extensive property damage, other exacerbating factors (such as DUI or distracted driving), the availability of significant insurance policies, or corporate at-fault drivers. If your case is evaluated for litigation in the very early stages then we do not waste any time. While we may file the lawsuit down the road, at a more strategic time, your case is immediately assigned to our litigation team who will manage your case from start to finish with the understanding that we will go to court when the time is right.
Our consumer lawyers handle more than just car accidents. We will represent you in all types of personal injury cases, including:
Slip and Fall
Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED A LAWYER? YES. If you settle your case on your own then your settlement will be significantly less than the one Florida Consumer Lawyers will achieve. Insurance companies are good at collecting premiums and very bad at paying claims. They became billion dollar companies by not paying claims. Thus, any offer they give you will surely be a small fraction of your case's potential value.
CAN I SETTLE MY CLAIM WITHOUT MEDICAL TREATMENT? NO. Technically you can but your settlement will be a "nuisance value" claim with the insurance company. Maybe $500 or $1,000. Think about it this way, if you don't need medical treatment then you are not hurt. If you are not hurt then you don't get a settlement. Car accident claims are designed to compensate victims for injuries. Doctors may not be able to get you back to 100% so the money paid by insurance companies compensates you for this loss. You don't get compensated for simply being in an accident.
DO THE LAWYERS AND DOCTORS GET ALL OF MY SETTLEMENT MONEY? NO. At Florida Consumer Lawyers the goal is to put the lion's share of settlement one in your pocket. Every case presents their own unique challenges, but our lawyers work to make sure you are compensated fairly. The system works best when the client gets paid.
HOW LONG DOES A TYPICAL CASE TAKE TO RESOLVE?
The time involved in resolving cases varies. There are a number of factors that determine how long your case will take. They include:
- The seriousness of the injuries
- The amount of insurance available
- The medical treatment needed
- Settlement vs. verdict
The most important thing isn't the time involved, but getting the right result. Smaller injury cases that don't involve litigation may settle in anywhere from 3-6 months. If your case is more complex and requires litigation then it will take significantly longer.
WILL I MEET WITH MY LAWYER OR NON-LAWYER STAFF? At Florida Consumer Lawyers you will always meet with a lawyer. Furthermore, our car accident clients will have their lawyers cell phone number and will be able to text or talk about their cases in real time. That is our pledge.
CONTACT FLORIDA CONSUMER LAWYERS
Florida Consumer Lawyers will review your claim and discuss the matter with you for free.