Answering Common Questions About Negligence and Injuries Sustained in Florida
Come get your personal injury and accident questions answered on topics including motorcycle accidents, automobile accidents, disability insurance, and workers’ compensation matters. We handle cases throughout Florida concentrating on the greater Central and North Florida area, and we have the in-depth answers you need.
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Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
All car accidents are different, and each one will have specific circumstances that make to more difficult to get compensation. Some minor car accidents may only require a victim to file an insurance claim, while others may turn into battles with insurers and at-fault drivers.
With this in mind, there are a few ways to help victims determine when they should speak to an attorney after a crash.
How to Determine if You Need an Attorney After a Car Accident
Some victims may be able to handle their cases without legal representation if they're willing to do the legwork and negotiation to settle the claim. However, cases that involve high medical costs and extensive knowledge of the law should definitely be handled by an attorney.
If your case is somewhere in between, you can decide whether you can handle your case based on:
- The extent of your injuries. If your injuries have already healed completely and you won't suffer long-term effects, your case will be much simpler than if you experienced permanent injury. The more extensive your injuries are, the more you could potentially recover in damages—and the more resistance you may face in settling the claim.
- Whether fault is contested. There are many ways to establish fault for a car accident, and victims are often assigned a portion of blame by their insurers. If you cannot prove the other driver was at fault—or at least, that you were not at fault—you may need an attorney’s help to gather evidence and get fair compensation.
- How much you have paid for your losses. Some accident cases settle for a few thousand dollars, while damages for other cases may climb into the millions. If your total expenses for property damage, injuries, lost income, and permanent losses are more than you can afford to lose, you should seek an attorney’s advice.
- Whether your case will go to court. There's a big difference between negotiating with a claims adjuster over the phone and taking your case to court. If you cannot agree to a settlement with your insurance provider, you'll need a lawyer to represent you in court to protect your rights.
At Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., we believe all accident victims deserve to know their rights, even if they don't need a lawyer. That's why our firm provides free consultations to individuals injured by the negligence of another.
Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule your free case evaluation with our Florida injury attorneys.
How much does it cost to hire an injury attorney?
Many injury victims are afraid of pursuing a case because they fear they cannot afford to hire a lawyer. While some attorneys charge an hourly fee for their work, most lawyers use contingency fee agreements for their injury cases. This arrangement allows victims to spend their money on medical treatment and injury recovery rather than paying upfront legal fees.
Contingency Fees for Florida Injury Cases
The basis of contingency fee agreements is an attorney’s pay is "contingent" on recovering damages for the client. If you hire a lawyer under a contingency contract and your case isn't successful, you won't owe anything to the firm. If you win or settle your case, the attorney’s fees are paid directly out of the award.
Benefits of a contingency-fee arrangement include:
- Incentive to maximize recovery. Since your attorney gets a percentage of your settlement, he or she will be more invested in recovering as much compensation as possible in your case.
- No upfront fees. There are a number of upfront costs involved in filing a lawsuit, including filing fees, paying for copies of medical records and other documents, costs of hiring expert witnesses, and other legal expenses. Contingency agreements are often structured to cover all court costs until the case is resolved.
- Less risk to the client. Contingency fees shift some of the burden of winning the case to the attorney, allowing injury victims to get legal help without taking on additional debt.
- Fee approval. Florida law places a fee cap of 33-1/3 percent on out-of-court settlements of up to $1 million, which increases to 40 percent if the case goes to trial. While an attorney may charge any percentage up to the cap, our contingency fee contracts are approved by the Florida Bar Association to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected.
Not only do we take all injury cases on a contingency-fee basis, every consultation with our firm is free. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule your free case evaluation with Johnson & Gilbert, P.A.