No one, except maybe emergency responders and Florida personal injury lawyers, is taught what to do after a serious injury. If you’re ever in a serious accident or suffer an injury anywhere in Florida, knowing what to do can help protect your rights. It can even save your life.
Here’s what you need to do.
Start by evaluating the situation. Do you need to call 911 because you may have suffered a head injury or serious injury?
If you can, take photos of where you suffered the injury, as well as the surrounding area. Get as much evidence as you can.
Report the injury
If you’re injured in a public place, like a store, make sure you leave a written report of your injury with the manager or property owner, and keep a copy of the report. If your injury involved a serious car accident or a potential crime, report the incident to police. Depending on your situation, you may also need to report the injury to your insurer.
Get medical attention
If you don’t need to call for emergency help, you’ll still want to visit a medical professional soon after your injury. A doctor can rule out any injury and can start documenting and treating any injury you have sustained.
Contact a qualified attorney
Should your injuries be serious enough that you need medical care or need to lose time at work, you need to seriously think about how you will pay for medical bills and how you will replace lost income. In many cases, injuries can cost more than people suspect.
You may need to negotiate with insurers or file a personal injury claim to get the financial recovery you need to pay for your injuries. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can explain how much your injuries may cost and may be able to file a claim for you.
Consider any settlement offers with your attorney
Before you file a claim, your attorney may seek a settlement with any liable parties. Your attorney can review any offers so you can make the right decision.
If you accept a settlement, you will need to sign a release form. It’s important to only sign this document when you have fair compensation and you understand the full extent of your injury costs. Once you accept a settlement a sign a release, you will not be able to seek more compensation for your injury.
File a lawsuit
In situations where a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney may suggest filing a claim against the parties responsible for your injuries. This is a multi-step process itself that will include:
- Filing the correct paperwork
- Serving all defendants with a complaint and a summons, so they know that they are being sued and so they have a chance to respond.
- Going through the discovery process, which involves gathering evidence and sharing it with both sides.
- Getting a court date and presenting evidence in your case to the court.
- Filing an appeal
If your case is heard by a court, the judge may decide on a verdict. If you lose the case or your case is dismissed before trial, your attorney may decide to appeal. The court of appeals will then decide whether there were any mistakes made in your case and whether you should, in fact, have a chance to secure compensation.
Ideally, at the end of the legal process you will get compensation that lets you pay for your injury and legal costs. If your attorney worked on a contingency fee basis, this is when you will pay your lawyer and you will get the remainder of the proceeds of settlement to pay for your bills.
At every step of the legal process, there are deadlines and complex paperwork to file. Working with an experienced attorney ensures your case isn’t harmed by preventable mistakes.
If you’re looking for an experienced attorney, get in touch with the Flaxman Law Group by calling 866-352-9626. Schedule a zero-cost, zero-obligation consultation with an attorney in our Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood offices.