About Your Personal Injury Case
Your personal injury case is extremely important to us because we know it is extremely important to you. We know it may have resulted in immediate injury and pain, adverse economic impact to your life and loss or damage to your property. We immediately start working to resolve your problems and lay the groundwork for your long-range settlement or courtroom case.
Call an experienced professional at The Law Firm of Cohen and Cohen, P.A. at 800-33-COHEN for a free consultation.
Communication is the key to victory, and you will be advised of every concrete development in your case as it happens. Each case follows a course of preparation that includes gathering information about your injuries and the accident or incident that caused them.
If you have a question, need legal advice about your case, or want to make us aware of new developments, do not hesitate to call the Cohen and Cohen, P.A. attorney handling your case immediately. The purpose of this page is to provide a general outline of how your case will develop. Of course, no two cases are alike, and the results of all cases might vary—even if the accidents are similar.
The Beginning of Your Case
At your first interview, we will ask for general information concerning your accident, how it happened and your injuries. A file is then opened in your name and assigned to an attorney, his/her assistants and a legal secretary. This team of legal technicians will then begin to prepare your case, contacting the appropriate parties and placing them on notice of your claim.
Your attorney will evaluate your case and immediately advise you as to what steps need to be taken for the best possible results. If witness statements are needed, they will be pursued. All of the efforts at the beginning of your case are to ensure that the attorneys handling it can formulate a general theory of injuries and liabilities, which enables them to present your case to the insurance company for a settlement.
Preparation for Settlement
Gathering Medical Information
After your attorney and his staff have all the liability issues information, they will gather all the medical documents from all the treating physicians and health care providers. These include treatment records, hospital records, x-rays and test results. Often, they will consult directly with your treating physician to determine the seriousness of your injuries. It is frequently difficult to obtain all the medical records needed from physicians simply because they and their staff are very busy.
Sometimes your treating physician will not write an opinion report of your injury until he has treated and examined you a number of times. In all automobile cases and most other cases, we request that your physician tell us whether there will be permanent injuries from your accident. Sometimes there are other questions a doctor cannot answer during the first weeks or even months following an accident. We will advise you if there are any unusual delays.
Reaching a Settlement or Pursuing a Lawsuit
Early on, we will contact your insurance company to discuss a possible settlement of your case before any lawsuit is filed. Before insurance companies consider settling cases, they usually want to see all of your medical records, information concerning lost wages (past, present and future), the damages to personal property (which might include your automobile), other expenses and all relevant information concerning your claim.
They will not settle a case until they are convinced that they have a legal duty to compensate you, so you must thoroughly substantiate and document your claim. Your attorney will prepare a settlement demand letter with all relevant enclosures to the insurance company. They will then review the documents and determine whether to offer a settlement.
If the insurance company does not make an acceptable offer, a lawsuit will be considered. A lawsuit or a “complaint” is the initiation of formal litigation. The complaint, which lists the nature of the accident and the injury sustained, is filed in the county courthouse where the accident happened or the plaintiff resides.
The courthouse personnel, usually the court clerk’s office, will assign the case a number and give it to a judge. That judge will then examine your case. Early on in litigation, the defendant and plaintiff exchange discovered information, which allows them to anticipate the other side’s position and study their theory of the accident and injuries. Your Florida state attorney will attempt to obtain a trial date from the court as soon as possible. This process usually takes between eight to 12 months after the lawsuit is filed.
Our personal injury law firm in South Florida can work toward having an early settlement set aside as fraudulent so you can bring a lawsuit and get the full resolution that you deserve.- Irwin Cohen