Personal Injury FAQs

Information on Personal Injury Claims

Many people experience severe injuries and are unaware of their rights or how to pursue compensation. Attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts can provide you with the answers to any personal injury questions you may have.

How does the process of a personal injury claim work? 

The personal injury claim process involves a series of steps toward one goal: reaching a settlement to cover your expenses/damages. One of the most crucial steps is deciding if you desire to take legal action. If you choose the affirmative, you will be required to submit necessary paperwork. Documents such as personal injury demand letters are key.How does the process of a personal injury claim work?

After filing a personal injury claim, you, your personal injury lawyer in Gainesville, FL, and the opposing party will meet with regularly to discuss the matter and negotiate a settlement arrangement. During this process, you will have to present information and evidence to support that your claim is true. In most cases, the opposing party will offer a settlement award to assist you with your injuries and damages.

However, not all parties are willing to negotiate this way. In such cases, it is likely for your case to be taken to trial. During this process, you should expect for your lawyer to advocate for you within a courtroom in front of a jury and judge. Both sides are expected to make their requests and defenses known in a court of law. Upon listening and evaluating the arguments and evidences presented by both parties, a judge will make the final decision on the case. He/she will determine if the proposed at-fault party is truly at fault and demand a settlement award for your benefit. In the event that the judge does not rule in your favor, know that you have the right to appeal.

How much time does a personal injury case take?

Although it is common for a personal injury case to take up to several weeks, the length of personal injury cases vary.

What should I expect during a personal injury deposition?

In all personal injury cases, there is a process known as the “discovery stage” that enables lawyers to perform an in-depth investigation into your case. This is how evidence, witnesses and experts are located. A personal injury deposition is a standard method for both parties to gather as much information and details on an incident/injury as possible. The meeting typically occurs in a law firm office. During the deposition, you should expect to be asked basic questions pertaining to the incident, injuries sustained, and certain character traits. The deposition is often recorded and the statements are always documented. Based on what is revealed during a deposition, parties may choose to settle or take the case to trial. Information that is learned during the deposition has a high chance of being used again in court.

If you are given a court order/subpoena to attend a deposition, it is vital that you seek the guidance of personal injury attorneys. You can attend a mock deposition to prepare yourself for the actual deposition.

Are personal injury claims and lawsuits the same thing?

No. In fact, this is a common misconception. Personal injury claims involve the pursuit of compensation from an at-fault party. The goal in personal injury claims is to reach a settlement. However, a settlement may not always be achievable. When this occurs, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Instead of negotiating to reach a favorable settlement, your lawyer will instead promote your interests in a court of law. The judge in authority will dictate if the proposed at-fault party is responsible for your injuries and draft a settlement award that the at-fault party will be required to pay.

After sustaining injuries, you may wish to begin your claim or immediately file suit. We recommend seeking the advice of an attorney before doing anything. At Warner, Sechrest & Butts, we offer free initial consultations.

Is it possible to be treated by my own doctor?

The first step to take after sustaining a personal injury is to gain medical care. If your personal injury claim is approved, your medical needs will likely be supported by a doctor of their choice. If you are not comfortable with this, you may request another doctor.

If I am unhappy with the court’s decision, do I have the right to appeal?

Yes. If you desire to appeal the court’s decision, you should promptly visit our Gainesville personal injury law firm to speak with one of our attorneys. Cases that make it to the appellate level require strong advocacy and even more compelling evidence. Allow our personal injury lawyers to go over your case and to pinpoint errors or weaknesses that may have resulted in your initial lost. This way, we can make your case stronger and increase your chances of being successful at the appellate level.

What is Breach of Duty?

All professionals and everyday citizens owe a certain level of duty to others. When these individuals act intentionally or unintentionally negligent, careless, or reckless, the acts are considered a breach of duty.

For example, a driver has a duty to drive in such a way that accounts for the safety and wellbeing of others on the road. When a driver fails to follow traffic laws or drives while distracted, he/she places other drivers and pedestrians at risk for harm. As such, the driver has breached his/her duty to others on the road.

What is Duty of Care?

A duty of care is a legal standard that is required of professionals to act in ways that promote the safety and wellbeing of others in order to prevent harm. An important element in all personal injury cases is evidence that supports that a duty of care existed between or among conflicting parties.

What is a the purpose of a personal injury demand letter?

A personal injury letter is a document that is delivered to the alleged at-fault party. The document details the negligence of the individual or entity, gives an account of the incident and injuries sustained, and provides documentation to support the expenses that a victim must afford to correct the damages. Personal injury letters also demand a specific amount of compensation from the alleged at-fault party.

What is the process of subrogation?

Subrogation is a process that is commonly used in personal injury cases. It is often referred to as the method of substitution because it allows an at-fault party’s debt to be afforded by another party that is not actually responsible for the injury at hand. During the process of personal injury claims, your insurer may afford the expenses of your injuries with the expectation to be reimbursed by the alleged at-fault party (if they are charged with fault). The process of subrogation allows the paying party to charge interests against the at-fault party. They also have the right to place liens against the at-fault party in order to secure debt.

What is the first thing that I should do after suffering injuries?

The most important matter is your health. So, the most important thing for you to do immediately following your injury is to recover. You can do this by seeking medical attention regularly and following up with your healthcare provider. If you expect to file a personal injury claim or pursue damages at a later date, you will need proof of your injuries.

After being injured, do I have any rights?

Yes. You have the right to file a claim or pursue a lawsuit. You also have the right to consult with your lawyer before responding to any offers, threats or statements from the at-fault party. To learn more about your rights and entitlements during this process, visit our law firm in Gainesville, FL.

Does filing a personal injury claim indicate that I have to go to court?

Filing a personal injury claim indicates that you are prepared to negotiate with the at-fault party to reach a settlement. If the at-fault party is unyielding, your case may be taken to court, in which the judge will make the final decision.

For more insight on personal injury claims in the state of Florida, contact Warner, Sechrest & Butts today. We offer free initial consultations.