Florida law provides for an injured person to be compensated or “made whole” by the responsible party. Obviously, the extent of compensation will vary depending on the specific facts of a case. In many cases, however, full compensation may include elements of damage other than payment of medical bills, such as payment for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of ability to enjoy life, lost wages and diminished earning capacity. This is why early consultation with a lawyer experienced in personal injury cases can help you obtain the maximum recovery allowed by the law.
Personal injury claims are often brought against parties who are represented by adjusters and defense lawyers hired by insurance companies. Every insurance company works hard to keep its losses as low as possible, and they do that by aggressively defending claims. You can expect that your opposition will be represented by an attorney with a great deal of experience in personal injury defense. You should hire a lawyer whose focus is on pursuing personal injury claims so that he can best protect your interests.
Most personal injury lawyers are willing to handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will not charge you a fee for his time unless there is a recovery. If a recovery is made, then the attorney’s fee is based on an agreed percentage of the gross amount recovered. The Tripp Law Firm charges contingency fees in accordance with the Florida Supreme Court guidelines, typically 33-1/3% in a case that is settled before the need for a lawsuit arises, and 40% when a lawsuit becomes necessary and is contested. The contingent attorney’s fee does not include the costs of pursuing a claim, which may range from just a few hundred dollars to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the most complicated litigation cases. These costs are payable separately, and not a part of the contingent fee. Although many law firms may require you to pay these costs in advance, at the Tripp Law Firm we understand that the consequences of an injury make it difficult, if not impossible, for our clients to advance the costs of a case. In most cases, we pay the costs, and simply ask to be reimbursed at the conclusion of a case when your recovery is received.
Typically, no. The majority of cases we handle involve a contingency fee contract. That means we do not get paid unless and until our client makes a recovery. In some unique circumstances, we will represent a client on an hourly-fee basis, if the case calls for such an arrangement. In either case, the fee and cost agreement you have with our firm will be explained to you in detail before we begin pursuit of your claim.
I’m not the “suing” type. Is there any way my claim can be resolved without actually filing a lawsuit?
You should know that the vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved before a jury reaches a verdict at trial. Many cases are settled even before a lawsuit must be filed. The ultimate decision about whether to file a lawsuit at all is the client’s. At the Tripp Law Firm we are committed to helping our clients reach a satisfactory conclusion to their claim, whether by a lawsuit and trial, or by some alternative means. Alternative dispute resolution is one way a case can be resolved without the need of actually filing a lawsuit. In all cases, we take the time to explain to our clients the alternatives available, including the risks and advantages of each, so that our clients can make an informed decision that is best for his or her individual circumstances.
It is well-documented that most lawsuits that are filed are settled before trial. Regardless, we prepare every case as if it might ultimately be decided by a jury. We believe in being prepared in the event an agreement between the parties cannot be reached. At the same time, our philosophy is to aggressively pursue resolution of claims at all stages in the case, so that the process does not become unduly difficult, burdensome, or expensive for our clients.
You may discharge a lawyer retained under a contingency fee agreement at any time. There may be certain advantages or disadvantages in doing so and a second legal option is always advisable.
If you have additional questions that aren’t listed please contact Tripp Law Firm 24/7 for a FREE Injury Case Consultation by phone – we are here to help and answer all of your personal injury questions.