Are you filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida? If you’ve been injured, a lawsuit is your best option to recover maximum compensation. Sometimes it’s hard to win enough compensation just by working with an insurance company over the phone.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and protecting their profits is their priority. Claims adjusters will always offer victims the lowest possible amount of money, hoping they’ll accept it without question. Having a top-notch injury attorney will help you bypass this situation; however, you’ll still need some tips to win your case.
1. Listen to your attorney
The number one way to win your case is to listen to your attorney and don’t try to manage your own case. A strong attorney will always help you win your case. Without experience practicing law, you won’t see the big picture that will allow you to make good decisions.
For example, say your attorney presents you with a final offer from the insurance company. When your attorney tells you to accept an offer, listen to them and accept the offer. They know when they’ve reached the end of negotiations.
If you reject the insurance company’s final offer, they might rescind all offers, which means you’ll go to trial. If you go to trial, you can expect to get less compensation because your attorneys’ fees will increase exponentially.
Once you file a lawsuit, you lose the right to file another lawsuit or file another claim with your insurance company. If you hired a lawyer in the first place, your injuries probably exceeded policy limits.
2. Get a second opinion if necessary
If you saw a doctor after your injury, and their diagnosis doesn’t seem correct, get a second opinion. If your injury is more serious than initially thought, you could be entitled to more compensation. With a severe injury, you’ll need that extra compensation to cover extensive medical bills related to your care.
This is especially true for car accident injuries. In Florida, injured parties are required to carry and use personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover medical bills.
If PIP coverage isn’t enough, you can only sue the at-fault driver if your injuries are considered “severe” under the law or if your medical bills exceed $10,000. If you feel like your injuries were not properly assessed, seek a second opinion.
Doctors aren’t always right the first time around; people are frequently misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion if you feel like you weren’t properly diagnosed or if you think something was missed.
3. Create thorough documentation
Documentation is crucial for winning any lawsuit. Personal injury cases can be complex, especially when more than one party is at fault. Make sure to document everything possible, including:
- The time, date, and specific location of the incident.
- Names and contact information for witnesses who saw or heard the accident.
- What you were doing prior to the accident.
- What you did directly after the accident.
- Anything you remember about what others did and said before, during, or after the accident.
- If it was a car crash, note any unmaintained trees or bushes or other hazards that would make it difficult to see or navigate the road.
- If it was a car crash, document the weather conditions at the time, including the condition of the road.
If you find yourself involved in a comparative negligence case, your documentation could be the only way to prove how much at fault you are in the situation.
4. Conduct yourself professionally in court
Always maintain a professional appearance and demeanor in court. Your behavior will be under scrutiny by the judge, the insurance company, and the jury if your case goes to trial.
Don’t speak out of turn and always be respectful when addressing the judge and other court officials.
5. Understand the limitations of personal injury cases
You’re probably aware of punitive damages and you might be hoping your case qualifies for these damages. While some personal injury victims are awarded punitive damages, it’s not guaranteed. In some cases, it’s not even an option.
Florida caps punitive damages at three times the amount of compensatory damages. However, punitive damages are only awarded when someone acts in a truly egregious manner. This determination is left to the judge or the jury.
The right attorney will fight hard to win your case
Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you win the most compensation possible. No matter how things appear, yield to their expertise for the best case outcome.