FAQs

Q :

Should I contact a lawyer about my case?

A:

One of my favorite quotes about insurance companies was in the movie, The Rainmaker.The insurance adjuster testified that her employer, Great Benefit Life Insurance Company, would deny claims that should have been paid because the company was playing the odds that the insured would not consult with a lawyer.

It is always beneficial to contact an experienced attorney to provide you with answers to all your questions. Also, in cases involving personal injury or insurance related issues, the initial consultation with me is always free. I would not recommend that you speak with a, “friend” or family member who was involved in an accident or had an issue with an insurance company. The law is constantly changing and your friend’s case is most likely different than yours.

An experienced attorney can properly guide you and make recommendations to assist you through your case. Contacting an experienced attorney earlier in your case will allow your lawyer to insure that your legal rights are properly protected.

Q :

How do I pay for an attorney?

A:

Unlike criminal or family law cases, attorney’s specializing in personal injury and insurance litigation is permitted to represent their clients on a “contingency fee,” basis. This means you will not have to pay your lawyer for his time if you do not obtain a recovery in your case,

For an injury claim, your attorney is entitled to a percentage of that recovery. That percentage depends on many factors, but cannot be higher than 33 1/3% if resolved without a lawsuit or 40% if a suit is filed and the opposing party denies any liability. However, that percentage can be less, depending on the amount recovered and the clients, “net” recovery after the attorney, medical specialists and costs are paid.

It has always been my practice to ensure that the client receives more money than a lawyer when a case is settled. If that requires that I reduce or waive my fee, so be it. It is my belief that you will receive more money at the end of a case with me as your attorney, then if you elected to represent yourself.

For a case involving the wrongful denial of insurance benefits, the law requires the insurance company to pay your attorney in the event it is shown the claim was improperly denied. Therefore, your attorney will not seek a percentage of your insurance benefits as compensation for the legal work performed.

Q :

Do I have a case?

A:

Many factors need to be considered before an attorney is able to advise you if you have an injury case. Also, there are many components which need to be investigated prior to making any determinations about your case:

  • Was the other party at fault for the accident/incident?
  • Were you partially at fault for the accident/incident?
  • Does the at-fault party have insurance and if so, how much?
  • Do you have insurance and if so, how much?
  • How bad are your injuries?
  • Have you ever received similar injuries in the past?
  • What effect will your injuries have for the rest of your life?
  • What type of medical care will you require?
  • How much future medical care will you require for the rest of your life?
  • Did you lose any wages from missing work?
  • How has your job been affected?

For a wrongful denial of an insurance claim case, there are other components which need to be determined prior to make a determination about your case:

  • What type of insurance coverage did you purchase?
  • What is the insurance carrier’s basis for denying your claim?
  • If an offer was made, was the amount that was offered correct?

The best way to determine if you have a case is to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in handling these matters.

Q :

How long will my case take to resolve?

A:

If you have a personal injury case, the length of your case depends on many factors, including the seriousness of your injuries and the position of the insurance company who ensures the at fault party. If an insurance company makes an unacceptable offer to resolve your claim, an experienced trial attorney will recommend that you reject the offer and authorize the filing of a lawsuit. Lawsuits range from between 6 months and 2 years.

If your case involves the wrongful denial of insurance benefits, those types of cases can range between 6 months and 2 years as well.

Q :

Is there a time limit on my case?

A:

In Florida, the legislature created a “Statute of Limitations,” which places a time limit on when individuals are able to sue for damages arising out of an accident/incident or the wrongful denial of an insurance claim.

Generally, the Statute of Limitations for a motor vehicle accident or premises liability case is four (4) years from the date of the accident or incident. If a person, unfortunately, passes away from a motor vehicle accident or premises liability case, the Statute of Limitations is two (2) years.

For a wrongful denial of an insurance claim, the Statute of Limitations is five (5) years from the date the insurance company “breached” its insurance agreement. The date the insurance company “breached” its obligation under your insurance policy may be different than when you first reported the claim. The best way to determine this is to consult with an experienced attorney who specialized in handling these types of cases.