Ocala, FL Personal Injury FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions: Personal Injury
Too many people experience severe bodily injuries and are uncertain of their rights or what they are owed. There are steps that you can take and the personal injury lawyers at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli will be happy to assist you throughout the process. Consider and review the following personal injury FAQs to learn as much as possible about how to begin your journey toward a successful personal injury claim (or lawsuit).
What is the process of a personal injury claim?
If you believe that you have a personal injury claim, the first thing that you should do is contact an Ocala personal injury lawyer. Discuss the events that led up to your injury and how the injury has impacted your life. While an attorney can assist with investigation and gathering of evidence, be sure to keep records of medical treatment, diagnosis, and time away from work. Once your case is compiled, the process can go in two ways. Either A) you will reach a settlement agreement with the party or entity responsible for your injury; or B) your case will go to trial. If your case goes to trial, both parties will be required to present their findings. A judge will make the final decision. If the decision of the judge goes against your wishes, you may potentially appeal the decision. Regardless of which route your personal injury case takes, an injury lawyer can prepare you for the process, help you understand your rights along the way, and aggressively advocate and negotiate on your behalf.
How long will a personal injury case take?
The length of your personal injury case depends on several factors. In most cases, it takes a couple of months to six months, but even this can vary. If you are being offered a favorable award and you are satisfied with that award, the process can end rather quickly. However, if you experience trouble gaining a favorable compensation award, you may experience lengthy negotiation meetings or a complicated trial. Once the terms of your personal injury case are finalized, it may take two to six weeks for you to receive compensation.
What is a personal injury deposition?
A personal injury deposition is used to discover more information about the case. During this meeting, a court reporter records the session. There is no judge (or other presiding officer) present. During the deposition, attorneys are permitted to cross-examine witnesses by asking questions. The deposition usually occurs shortly after a suit is filed, but before the trial. In a personal injury deposition, the following factors are likely to be exposed:2
- Specific facts regarding your case (including the factors that led up to your injury and why)
- Strengths and weaknesses of your case
- General behaviors that may be repeated when testifying during trial
A personal injury attorney in Ocala, FL can ensure that you are prepared for a deposition by presenting you with questions that are likely to be asked by the opposing attorney, and evaluating your responses.
Is a personal injury claim the same as filing a lawsuit?
A personal injury claim and lawsuit are not the same. In most cases, a personal injury claim is filed to allow an injured individual to seek compensation for damages, injuries, pain/suffering, medical expenses and unemployment. The money comes from the insurance carrier of the person who is at fault for the injuries. If, however, you are unable to reach a successful claim agreement, you may wish to file a lawsuit. In a lawsuit, it will need to be demonstrated and effectively proven in a court of law that another person’s negligence resulted in your injury. A judge is likely to make the final decision. At Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli, we typically advise our clients to file a personal injury claim, unless they have experienced a severe or permanent injury, or a wrongful death. In such cases, it is best to file a lawsuit as soon as possible. Regardless of which approach is deemed the most suitable for your unique case, an Ocala accident lawyer can provide you with the advocacy and support that you need to ensure that your claim is successful.
Can I be treated by my own doctor?
Yes. There are some cases, such as in workers’ compensation claims, in which individuals may be assigned a medical practitioner by the insurance company. But, by simply putting in a request for a change of doctor, you can opt to select your own. Whether you are treated by your own doctor or the doctor of the insurance carrier responsible for your fees, be sure to keep track of the medical records, diagnostics and treatment plans.
Can I appeal the court’s decision on my personal injury claim?
Yes. It is vital that you contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance since your success with an appeal largely depends on a strong presentation of case evidence.
What is Breach of Duty?
A Breach of Duty occurs when an individual or company fails to properly perform any and all required duties to another individual. When a breach of duty occurs, an individual or company may be charged with negligence and held liable for the personal injuries of the individual at hand.
What is Duty of Care?
A Duty of Care refers to the legal obligation and standard of reasonable care that is required of individuals who provide professional services to others. Acting with a duty of care requires individuals to behave and make decisions in such a way that does not result in harm to another individual.
What is a personal injury demand letter?
A personal injury demand letter is usually the first step of action that is taken by an attorney in a personal injury case. The demand letter is sent to the insurance company, entity or individual that is responsible for the negligence or breach of duty that resulted in the injury. The letter may summarize the events that led up to the injury, the types of injury and expenses related to the injuries, evidence of lost wages and expenditures, explanation of pain and suffering, and other supporting documentation.
What is subrogation?
Subrogation allows a party (usually an insurance company) to make payments that they do not owe. In most cases, the insurance company (or other entity) makes a payment on behalf of the individual or entity that is actually responsible, with an expectation to be reimbursed by the responsible party at a later date. Subrogation is a legal right that can be complex and easily misunderstood, so it is best to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine how a subrogation might affect your case.
If I suffer an injury, what is the first thing I should do?
The first and most important task is to seek medical attention. Medical records provide proof and evidence for injuries and will likely be the foundation of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. The second thing that you should do is contact an Ocala personal injury attorney at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli for legal representation and guidance.
What are my rights if I've been injured?
You have the right to file a personal injury claim or to pursue a lawsuit. If your injury resulted from the negligence of another party, you have legal and financial rights. You are owed compensation for your suffering, including lost wages, trauma, and medical expenses.
If I file a personal injury claim, will I have to go to court?
If the individual at fault is unyielding in his/her decision to reach an agreeable settlement with you, you can opt to take your case to trial, which will require traditional court proceedings.
For any concerns regarding personal injury claims, lawsuits and the overall process, contact Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli today for a free initial consultation. Our Ocala personal injury lawyers are happy to provide you with advocacy and representation.