Thousands of persons are injured in New Port Richey every year. In 2016, in Pasco County, where New Port Richey is situated, 6,621 persons were hurt in motor vehicle accidents alone.
After an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, many people feel tempted to simply accept a settlement with the other person’s insurance company without hiring an attorney. They may believe in the sincerity of representatives from the insurance company, they may feel financial pressure to take a settlement as quickly as possible, or they may simply want to avoid paying a lawyer to do something they think they can handle themselves.
Many stronger reasons exist to hire an attorney to handle settlement negotiations with an insurance company after sustaining a personal injury. Here are five of those reasons.
1. Education. Experience.
Technically, those are two reasons that are tied together. The point is this: Personal injury attorneys have the training and real-world experience to negotiate personal injury settlements. They have skills most non-lawyers don’t have, because negotiating settlements is a core part of what they do, day-in, day-out. Through that training and experience, lawyers develop an instinct and understanding for:
- The proper legal procedure and time constraints for pursuing a personal injury claim.
- The legal rights of individuals who have filed a claim, and how to protect those rights.
- The ability to negotiate with insurance companies, and to understand the tactics that insurance companies use in order to avoid paying large settlements, such as convincing the claimant that hiring an attorney is not necessary and trying to convince the claimant to accept a quick, low-ball offer.
- The ability to help you properly determine the amount of compensation that is fair to you, based on the severity of your injuries, the medical treatments you are receiving and will need in the future, any physical therapy or ongoing treatments for the management of chronic pain, your loss of income and loss of future earnings, as well as the impact that the injury has had on your life and any property damage that was sustained, such as damage to your car if the injury occurred due to a car accident.
- Provide guidance for avoiding pitfalls that could hurt your case, including talking to representatives from the insurance company without consulting with a lawyer or posting details about your case on social media.
- The reputation with others involved in the legal process of being a fair and determined negotiator.
- The ability to understand when negotiations have failed and to offer advice and guidance regarding the pursuit of a fair settlement by way of litigation.
- The appeals process both for a denied insurance claim, and—if necessary—experience in the appeals process if litigation doesn’t go in favor of the client.
Individuals who have been injured in an accident often have a lot on their plate. Recovering from your injury takes time. Returning to work after your accident takes time. Getting your property damage repaired takes time. Dealing with the trauma that impacts one’s life after sustaining an injury adds to the daily stress and time-consuming activities that we all deal with day-to-day.
Negotiating a settlement in a personal injury case also takes time. In fact, the entire process often takes several months and can include labor-intensive tasks such as:
- Assembling a settlement demand package to send to the claims adjuster that includes all pertinent medical bills, medical records, lost wage information, and a demand for the insurance policy’s limits or another amount that reflects the claimant’s medical, psychological, and economic needs due to the injury.
- The actual negotiation of the settlement, which generally includes an initial settlement offer from the insurance company that is often quite low. The intensity and time involved in negotiating a settlement depends on a number of factors, but the more severe the injuries and the life impact of those injuries, the longer the negotiation process tends to take.
- Filing a lawsuit if a fair settlement cannot be reached. It should be noted that simply filing a personal injury claim doesn’t mean that the case is automatically going to go to court. In 90 to 95 percent of Florida’s personal injury cases, a settlement is reached before a trial begins.
- Preparing for trial, if necessary. Some of the components involved in pre-trial preparations include an independent investigation into the facts of the case, taking statements from witnesses, exploring the limits of the insurance policy or policies involved, and speaking to experts, such as those in the field of accident re-creation and medical professionals. There are also pretrial motions and depositions, jury selections, and an opening statement to prepare. Once the trial begins, there are examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses, ensuring the jury has been given appropriate instructions, closing arguments, jury deliberation, and the verdict. The trial process can take months.
At Dolman Law Group, our clients’ cases are our number one priority. We have the time to take all of the necessary steps involved in every case we handle, and to fight aggressively on our clients’ behalf for the compensation they deserve.
A personal injury lawyer who works on building your case draws upon resources the general public may not know how to find on their own. Those resources include expert witnesses, including accident reconstructionists, vehicle maintenance specialists, cell phone records specialists, forensic toxicologists, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, life care planners, pain management specialists, and vocational specialists. They also include special reference materials to assess the settlement value of a matter. And, they include a network of other lawyers with whom the lawyer can, without disclosing confidential information, compare notes and discuss legal theories and tactics.
If you’ve suffered injuries due to an accident in New Port Richey, you have a higher likelihood of obtaining fair compensation if you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Dolman Law Group, we have experienced attorneys and support staff that are able to focus solely on your case and how to achieve the best possible outcome. Consider some of our results in personal injury cases:
- $3.2 million for the victim of a semi-truck accident that resulted in a brain injury. The case was resolved in pre-trial mediation.
- $1.58 million for a claimant who was in a motor vehicle collision and sustained two herniated discs that were impinging on the spinal cord. The insurance carrier offered $62,000 before the filing of a lawsuit, and stated in court that the back injury had existed before the accident. After demonstrating that the injuries were, in fact, due to the accident, the Dolman Law Group consulted a life care planner, who estimated the cost of future medical treatment at $435,000 and loss of future income at $350,000. Aggressive and smart litigation led to the $1.58 million in compensation.
- $300,000 for a client who was injured in a slip and fall accident in a restaurant parking lot. The restaurant owner initially denied any liability for the accident.
- $1.75 million for a claimant who sustained a shoulder injury and mild brain injury in a collision with a semi-truck. Dolman Law Group helped the client by filing a lawsuit and, during discovery, found that the truck had been improperly maintained.
- $1 million for a claimant who suffered numerous brain, spine, and shoulder injuries. The case was resolved shortly before trial.
- $750,000 for the victim of a motorcycle accident that resulted in a very serious shoulder injury. Dolman Law Group was able to access the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limit of $250,000, as well as the client’s own insurance carrier’s $500,000 underinsured motorist policy limit.
- $750,000 for a client who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a rear-end collision.
- $525,000 for the victim who suffered neck and back injuries in a car accident. The settlement was combined between both the at-fault driver’s insurance and the client’s underinsured motorist coverage. In spite of the client having significant pre-existing medical issues, the Dolman Law Group was able to get both insurance companies to settle. Previously, the companies had offered our client $45,000.
- $425,000 for a client who sustained lower back injuries in a car accident. The insurance company, prior to litigation, had offered to settle for $265,000.
- $380,000 for a claimant who suffered a herniated disc due to a car accident. In spite of a radiologist who argued for the at-fault party’s insurance company that the injury was pre-existing, and eight months of litigation, the Dolman Law Group was able to obtain the $380,000 settlement.
People who choose to represent themselves in a personal injury lawsuit are not able to recover attorney fees, but could, in certain circumstances, be ordered to pay the attorney fees of the opposing party if they are unsuccessful in court.
5. You Don’t Have to Fight Alone.
Recovering from injuries that were sustained in an accident that wasn’t your fault is a difficult thing to do. If you are trying on your own to obtain compensation to pay medical bills and more, you will often find yourself outnumbered. For example, after a car accident, you will likely find yourself dealing with both the other party’s insurance claims adjuster as well as a lawyer representing the insurance carrier. Additionally, you may find yourself trying to deal with your own insurance carrier’s claims adjuster regarding personal injury protection and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. A lot of the people you will be dealing with are in the business of trying to pay as little as possible to settle your claim. It can be a lonely, confusing, and intimidating path to walk alone.
Dolman Law Group represents clients in a wide variety of personal injury matters. We fight for our clients’ rights and for the compensation they deserve. Some of our practice areas include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall
- Rideshare accidents
- Birth injuries
- Sexual assault
- Workers compensation
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
We understand the time and complexity that is involved in personal injury matters and our policy is to keep our clients fully informed of any new developments as the case proceeds. We try to resolve claims as quickly and efficiently as possible so that you can get on with your life. However, we are also ready and able to fight a court battle in order to assist our clients. When we agree to represent a client, we provide the client with the personal cell phone number of an attorney working on the case so that you have access to information and are able to get your questions answered any time the need arises.
We also understand that there is a limited amount of time for you to file a personal injury suit if need be. The statute of limitations in which to file most personal injury suits in Florida is four years. You only have five years to file a claim against your own personal insurance carrier for uninsured and underinsured motorist cases. The statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is only two years.
Call the Dolman Law Group if You Are Settling a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Port Richey
If you’re worried about how you will afford a lawyer, you should know that most personal injury lawyers, and all of those who work for the Dolman Law Group, typically work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that we will not charge you any fees for our services unless and until we are able to make a recovery on your behalf. Part of our commitment to good communication with our clients is to help you to understand how we charge for our services and how our fees are paid and impact the compensation you receive via successful settlement or litigation.
The first step to letting us work with you on your case is to meet with us for a free consultation. This will be a time for us to review the details of your case, discuss your options with you, and let you know more about our services. To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call us at (727) 853-6275 today.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652