So it is extremely rare that accident injury victims ever see the inside of a Florida courtroom. However, there are cases where the insurance companies refuse to provide a full and fair settlement for the damages as a result of the accident. In those cases, you may have to go to trial.
How Accident Injury Claims Typically Work
Usually what happens in the case of accident injury claims is not as dramatic as we see on television. The accident injury claims process is pretty straightforward. You’ll start by notifying your insurance company that there has been an accident. Be careful what you say though, insurance companies often use what you say against you. Stick to the facts of the incident.
Next you will hire a personal injury attorney. It’s important that you vet your attorney thoroughly to ensure you are choosing one that has a lot of experience and knowledge.
Although the process is straightforward, Florida’s personal injury laws are very complicated and require a high degree of expertise. Next your attorney will take you through the steps including:
You’ll have an initial consultation with your attorney where you will review the details of your case together and discuss your options and strategy
▪ Your attorney will then file all the appropriate court documents and establish communication with the insurance company
▪ Next you will go through the discovery phase where all the evidence of the accident and your injuries are collected and assessed
▪ Your attorney will then initiate all the pretrial motions and hearings required for the case
▪ You will then begin the settlement negotiations with the insurance companies
In most cases your auto accident injury claim will stop here. If the terms offered by the insurance company are acceptable, you’ll agree and move to collecting your settlement. However, in some cases you may have to go to trial.
When Do Accident Injury Cases Go To Trial
Though it is not usually the case, there are times when you have to go to trial. There are several reasons why you and your attorney may decide to take this step. The first is that the insurance companies are being unreasonable and refusing to pay what you are legally owed.
The second reason is the accident is very complicated and there are multiple parties that could be liable or complexities around the law that are best overseen by a judge. Accident injury cases will also often go to trial if the injuries are very severe like in the case of a permanent disability to ensure that your rights are fully protected.
Finally, accident injury cases often go to trial in the case of extreme or intentional negligence like a road rage accident or an assault.
What Happens If My Claim Is Taken To Trial?
If the case will be taken to trial, your attorney will file the paperwork. They may do another period of discovery to help strengthen your claim. Then you will go to trial. At trial, a judge and jury will hear all the details from both sides. That is usually followed by two stages. The first is determining liability for the accident. The second is determining the cost of the damages and the amount legally owed.
Once the trial is complete, if the ruling is in your favor, your attorney will file all the paperwork, collect and distribute the funds you are owed. However, the defendant may file a post-trial motion in attempts to reduce the value of your settlement. If the ruling is not in your favor, your attorney may file an appeal. In these cases, if the courts accept, you may go to trial again.
In most cases, your claim will not go to trial. However, it may. So it is important that when you choose an attorney, you select one that has a lot of trial experience. Michael Babboni, the St. Pete Lawyer, has nearly three decades of defending Southwest Florida accident injury victims. He has a strong reputation among the insurance companies as an attorney who will fight hard for his clients. They know that if they go to court, they will be in for a major fight.
To learn more about Michael Babboni’s experience and to understand your legal options in an accident injury claim, give us a call at 1-727-381-9200. We’ll provide a free case review and help you explore all your legal options.