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Life is way too short to be stuck waiting on insurance companies to pay you fairly

The way insurance companies delay paying claims is terrible. Don’t waste another day.

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Isn’t it frustrating having to wait for your insurance settlement?

It can be terrible when the insurance company constantly makes lowball offers. It doesn’t have to be that way. We have helped hundreds of Brandenton residents recover the full compensation they deserve after an injury. We want to do the same for you.

We are dedicated to serving our community.

We are here to help.

Don’t you hate having to wait for your insurance settlement?

It can be terrible when the insurance company constantly makes lowball offers. It doesn’t have to be that way. We have helped hundreds of Sarasota residents recover the full compensation they deserve after an injury. We want to do the same for you.

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Salter, Healy, Rivera Injury Attorneys

Salter, Healy, Rivera’s Sarasota law office is conveniently located on 2nd Street between North Osprey Avenue and Links Avenue. If you or a loved one is in need of a Florida personal injury lawyer, please contact our Sarasota law office to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We welcome the opportunity to serve you and will work tirelessly to earn you maximum compensation

Sarasota Law Office

1800 2nd St

Sarasota, Florida 34236

Phone: (727) 321-4357

Personal Injury Attorneys Sarasota, FL

Getting hurt due to someone else’s carelessness is beyond frustrating. When you have a serious injury, it can really turn your life upside down and cause you some financial hardship. We are here to help you pursue a personal injury case. You deserve compensation for your damages and we want to make sure the liable party is held accountable for their actions. After you’ve read about your case, please give us a call to set up a free consultation with a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL to see how we can help you get the best result possible.

Types of Personal Injury Cases We Represent

Personal injury is a term that covers a lot of different types of accidents. We represent a variety of personal injury cases that include:

  • Bicycle accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Truck accidents

Every case is different and each type of personal injury requires specialized experience to handle it effectively. We have handled these types of cases for years and are confident to take on yours. If you have been injured in any of these kinds of accidents, please do not hesitate to reach out to our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL to see what we can do for you.

Important First Steps for Any Case in Sarasota, FL

One of the most important things to remember about a personal injury case is that your health is more important than anything else. You have to get to a medical professional to seek out treatment as soon as possible. Your injuries could get worse if you ignore them. You also want documented proof that your injuries were from your accident to show to the insurance company that their insured is, in fact, liable for your injuries.

Also, it is important, at the scene of the accident, to collect as much evidence as possible. You can take photos and get contact information from witnesses. You may want to collect video from any security cameras nearby that might have picked up the event and you should never leave the scene without some proof that you were there. That could be making an accident report or having the police come to the scene to fill out a report.

How Compensation Rules Work in Sarasota, FL

Sarasota allows for you to receive compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident. The way it works is that your role in the accident that caused your injury is deliberated and you are given a percentage from 0-100 that will account for your shared fault. If you are deemed 100% at fault, you will get no compensation. If you get 0% fault, you will receive full compensation. If you are somewhere in between, your award will be reduced. For example, if you have been deemed 20% at fault, and have been awarded $100,000 in damages, you will have it reduced to $80,000. We work very hard to keep you from getting pinned for any of the blame so that you get the fullest amount of compensation.

Sarasota, FL Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations is the amount of time in which you can wait before pursuing a personal injury attorney. In Sarasota, FL, for most personal injury cases, you have four years from the date of your injury to either bring your claim or settle it in civil court. Personal injury cases such as medical malpractice will have a shorter statute of limitations. To be sure about your time limits, contact our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL as soon as possible to ensure you are on track to receive compensation.

Avoid Talking to the Liable Party’s Insurance Company

We want to avoid you being blamed for this accident and a huge part to that is making sure the insurance company that represents the liable party does not speak to you without us present. They will call you shortly after you are injured to see if you will give them a recorded statement. While they claim for it to be helpful to you, it will only be detrimental to your case. We will take over this communication and make sure they cannot trick you into taking the blame for your injuries. You should never at any point take their call and make a statement without first speaking to your attorney.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find the Right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

I spoke with somebody who was seriously injured in an accident and they asked, “How do I know who the best personal injury attorney is for me?” The first thing that I explained to them is that you need to make sure the attorney you’re hiring only handles personal injury cases. You don’t want a general practitioner who handles everything from real estate to bankruptcy, to wills and trusts, because they just don’t have the experience and the expertise to help in a serious injury case.

The other thing that can be done is looking to see if you’re hiring a board certified civil trial attorney. A board-certified, civil trial, personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL is a specialist in civil trial law, and that’s less than 1% of the attorneys in the state of Florida. Our attorneys are board certified civil trial attorneys, and that means that we go to trial and we’ve been reviewed by other attorneys and judges about our expertise in this field.

You want a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL who goes to trial because insurance companies and defense lawyers all know who goes to trial regularly and who does not go to trial. Because we go to trial regularly, they look at our clients and our cases with a different eye and tend to make better settlement offers and end up with a lot of cases that don’t go to trial because we’re able to push the case hard enough and get settlement offers that our clients find to be acceptable.

What Mistakes Should I Avoid?

Someone reached out to me and asked me, “What are some common mistakes that people make with their personal injury cases?” They were very concerned that maybe they were going to make a mistake. I told them there are a number of common mistakes that can be easily avoided.

The first thing with a personal injury case is to be sure that you obtain immediate medical care. If you’ve been injured and it’s someone else’s fault, you need to get immediately to a medical professional, whether it’s to the emergency room, a walk-in clinic, or to some other medical professional to document your injuries and complaints.

The second thing that happens, which is a common mistake that people make, is they feel like they want to call the insurance company before they hire an attorney. This is a critical mistake because, if you call the insurance company, they have an army of insurance adjusters who are trained to make sure that they minimize the value of the claim by asking particular questions when you’re in a state of distress and discomfort, and they’ll use those questions against you weeks, months, and even years later. Be sure not to call the insurance company. Call an attorney who deals with the insurance companies instead, and that attorney can then guide you through the process and deal with the insurance companies directly instead of you dealing with them and giving statements that are not in your best interest.

Hiring the wrong attorney can be just as big of a mistake as all of these other mistakes put together. If you hire an attorney who’s not familiar with personal injury cases and what needs to take place in order to prove and win those cases, you’re likely to end up with a result that is not going to be appropriate to your injuries and your discomfort. If you hire an attorney who handles family law to handle your personal injury case, they’re just not going to know what to do.

If you hire an attorney who doesn’t do trial work, you’re going to have a situation where the insurance company knows this lawyer doesn’t go to trial and the offers are going to be lower. Be sure that, when you hire an attorney, you hire the right attorney. For a personal injury case, be sure that attorney’s board certified in civil trial law by the Florida Bar because that makes that person a specialist in civil trial law.

What Do I Do After a Personal Injury in Sarasota?

If you’ve been injured in a serious accident, the first thing that you should do is make sure that law enforcement is notified so that the accident can be investigated, evidence can be documented, and fault can be assessed against the party that caused the accident. The next thing that should be done is make sure that you gather all the contact information for any witnesses to the accident.

Oftentimes, people at fault for accidents deny that their actions caused the accident. For instance, in an intersectional collision between cars where both sides claim that they had the green light, in order to convince an insurance company that they are responsible and they need to pay your damages, the third-party witnesses are often what’s going to tip the scale in your favor.

The next thing that you should do if you’ve been involved in a serious injury accident is seek immediate medical care. When someone goes days or even weeks trying to tough out an injury, hoping it gets better but it doesn’t, the insurance company ends up using that lack of treatment against you to say that you really weren’t injured.

The next thing that you should do if you’ve been involved in a serious accident is hire a competent, qualified, personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL. Specifically, hire a board certified personal injury lawyer who does nothing but personal injury. If you’ve been injured in a serious injury accident, we’re here and ready to help.

Can We Avoid Trial?

I recently had a client ask me, “Is my case going to go to trial, or can we avoid it?” I told her, like I’ve told a lot of clients, that there are many different factors that you have to look at to determine whether that’s going to happen or not.

One of the main things is somewhat out of our hands, and that is what the insurance carrier is going to do to respond to the facts and the injuries that are involved in this case. Sometimes they do the right thing, but a lot of times, they don’t. If that happens, then sometimes you have to go to trial to hold their feet to the fire and get them to do the right thing, or have a jury do the right thing for them. That typically can happen, but a small amount of cases actually get to a trial.

The way that we avoid a trial is by being prepared. We’re thorough with our discovery, our depositions, and in the preparation that we have for not only the client but for any medical providers that are going to testify, and for any experts that we have to hire. They are all ready to go by the time we get to court, so that there’s no room for error.

Are There Minimum Amount of Medical Bills Required to File?

Recently, someone came into our office regarding a personal injury case, and they were concerned that they didn’t have a case because they didn’t have a significant amount of medical bills. There is no minimum that is required to present a claim for your personal injury case. Every case is different and every person is different. Someone might be able to recover with physical therapy, while someone else might ultimately need a surgery as a result of a personal injury matter.

How Much is My Case Worth?

One of the questions that I get, in handling our cases, from every potential clients is, “What is the value of my case?” That’s a complicated question because there are a lot of factors that go into determining what the value of a case is. The first thing that insurance companies look at is if there was immediate complaints of pain and medical treatment right from the scene of the accident or shortly thereafter. If someone’s hurt in a car accident or personal injury and they don’t see a doctor for a period of days, weeks, or months, then that’s going to adversely affect the value of their case.

The next thing to look at is what the extent of the injuries are. There could be fractures, herniated discs, significant spinal injuries, and surgeries that are required. All of those things and the cost of that care have to be taken into account.

The next thing that insurance companies look at is what this person is going to need in the future for their injuries. Are they going to need more medical care? Are they going to need more surgeries? That information has to be documented by appropriate experts and medical professionals. Another thing that’s important in determining the value of a case is if the person has missed work or if they’re going to be permanently impaired in doing their job going forward, where they’re going to have a loss of earning capacity into the future for the rest of their lives.

In determining what a fair value of a case is, those are the factors that we look at. We have to get all that information to give an appropriate and fair answer about what the value of a case is.

Who Pays My Medical Bills?

Someone recently called our office after they were seriously injured in an accident and wanted to know what was going to happen with the medical bills that they kept receiving. We advised them that the person who ultimately caused the accident would be response for those medical bills. We find out what insurance company would be paying for those bills, and we also communicate with doctors’ offices regarding the personal injury case. Most doctors will wait until a settlement is complete in order to receive payment for those bills.

How Long Will This Case Take?

I got a call from a new client. She had been seriously injured in an accident in Sarasota, FL, not as a result of anything that she did, and one of the first questions she asked was, “How long does this process last?” I told her, in every case, there’s initially a pre-suit period before we’ve filed a suit in court. During that time period, she would receive the medical treatment necessary to treat her injuries and try to make her better.

At some point, she would reach what’s called maximum medical improvement. Her doctors will say they’ve done all they can for her at that point. Then we would make a demand to the insurance company that’s responsible for covering this damage. If the insurance company doesn’t do the right thing, then we would file suit. Suit can take some time. I told her, as I tell every client, to be patient with the process. We need to work through it in order for us to maximize your recovery. Initially, there’s a deposition that’s taken, there’s paper discovery that’s exchanged, and a mediation. If we can’t settle the case at mediation, we always seek a trial date.

Trial, in essence, is the light at the end of the tunnel. That process can take a couple of years, but every case is different.

What If I Have Preexisting Injuries?

Under Florida law, an individual can make a claim for an aggravation of a preexisting condition.

Understand that insurance companies assert that the condition preexisted the accident in defending every case there is, no matter how healthy the person was before their accident. In truth, having a preexisting condition often is an asset because it explains why the person sustained the degree of injury that they suffered in that case. Oftentimes, people with preexisting conditions suffer far worse or extensive injuries when they’re in accidents because of the preexisting condition.

We had a case tried recently, in which my client had significant preexisting conditions. The insurance company asserted that it was entirely preexisting, nothing was made worse as a result of the collision, and refused to offer that client even his past medical expenses. When we went to trial, the jury awarded all of his past medical expenses, all of his future medical expenses, and extensive pain and suffering damages.

Do I Need to Speak to the Insurance Company?

I took a call from a client who was involved in a serious motor vehicle collision and they had been getting repeated calls from the insurance company shortly after the accident, and the person called wanting to know whether or not they should give that recorded statement to the insurance company.

Anyone who’s been involved in a serious accident should never give a recorded statement or even an un-recorded statement to an insurance company without first consulting a lawyer. The insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses that will minimize any future payout they make to you.

What Are the Steps in a Personal Injury Claim?

We had a client come into our office who was involved in a personal injury matter and they wanted to know about the steps in a personal injury claim. We first make sure that our client receives proper medical treatment. We make sure that they’re healing properly and that they see any specialists required. Once our client is done with treatment, we give a demand to the insurance company. That is when we supply the insurance company with all of the medical records/bills and outline a settlement demand. The insurance company typically has 30 days to make an initial offer.

Once that initial offer is submitted to our office, we determine whether it’s reasonable or not. If it’s reasonable, we can begin the negotiation process. If it’s not reasonable, then we should file a lawsuit on behalf of our clients. Sometimes it takes filing a lawsuit in order to make these insurance companies make fair offers.

Should I Take the First Settlement Offer?

When an insurance company makes an initial offer on a case, in response to an initial demand, I usually tell clients not to take it. That’s because the insurance company is not necessarily going to put their best number out there initially. In fact, nine times out of ten, that doesn’t happen.

Usually what we have to do is go through the process, whether it be through litigation or all the way up through a trial. By going through that process and showing that we’re ready, we have our client prepared and our case prepared. By the end, if we’re on the courthouse steps, they’ll understand that they need to put a reasonable number on the case to try to settle it.

Call Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL Today for a Free Consultation

If you are looking for dedicated and experienced legal guidance, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL. We will make sure you are informed about your case, you know what steps you need to take, and you are on track to get the compensation you deserve. We want to make sure you have the best shot at full compensation. Please call a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL today to get started on your personal injury case.

Car Accident Lawyers Sarasota, FL

Being in a car accident is downright awful. We want to express our sympathy if you have been hurt in a car accident. We understand that you’re probably feeling anxious and frustrated after your accident because of the injuries you have to deal with. You may have a lot of unexpected medical bills topped with lost wages from having to miss work. This can make your financial situation into a crisis. Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL wants to help you recover for your damages by means of a compensatory reward.

Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim in Sarasota, FL

You need to keep in mind that you do not have all the time in the world to bring a car accident claim. We suggest that you get to personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL as soon as possible. You will be barred from receiving compensation if you wait longer than four years from the date of the accident. Do not take your time. If you ask an attorney to help you when you only have a week left of your statute of limitations, they may have to turn you away. It takes time to build a strong case and you want to be able to give your attorney as much time as possible but calling them right away. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL.

How Compensation Works in Sarasota, FL

Florida is a pure comparative negligence state which means that the only way to completely bar you from receiving compensation is if you are deemed to be 100% at fault. If you are 0%-99% at fault, then you eligible for a compensatory reward. The insurance company will try to deem you for as much fault as possible so that they owe you less money. We will make sure that they do not succeed. Your full and fair compensation is our priority. We will strive to get you the biggest award possible by keeping the insurance company from pinning any of the blame on you.

Important First Steps After a Sarasota Car Accident

Make sure that you treat your health as a priority after the accident. You need to seek medical treatment for your potential injuries. It is likely that you have adrenaline that is coursing through your body and you won’t be able to immediately recognize that you are injured. Make sure you either get on the ambulance when it shows up or go see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. That can be an urgent care center, an emergency room doctor, or your general physician depending on how badly you need care.

If you are able to stay on the scene after the accident, make sure you move your vehicle to a safe place out of the way of traffic but near the collision site. Then call 911 if need be. After the authorities and ambulance are on their way, you can begin to collect your evidence. Take as many photos and videos as possible of the scene and both vehicles involved. If there are witnesses, get their contact information. You also want to get the insurance information off of the driver who collided with you. In doing all of these things, make sure you avoid saying this was your fault. It might seem like you caused the accident in the moment, but we have experts who have the ability to discern who was truly at fault and it very well might not be you.

Common Types of Injuries in Sarasota, FL

Car accidents have the potential to cause serious and life-long injuries. The most common car accident injuries include:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Nerve, tissue, and muscle damage
  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • Internal organ damage
  • Paralysis

We want to emphasis how important it is that you get the compensation that you deserve. You won’t get it until we can show the insurance company the damages that their driver caused you. We do that in forms of medical records. Once you seek medical attention, we have proof that the accident caused you harm and we can seek compensation to cover those damages.

Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company

Shortly after your accident, it is nearly guaranteed that you will receive a call from the insurance company of the other driver involved in the accident. They will want to get a recorded statement from you, but you need to know that it will not help your case if you give them one. In fact, it will most likely harm your case if you talk to them. You have no legal obligation to talk to them and you should let your personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL take over all communication as to avoid any reduction to your compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find the Right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

I spoke with somebody who was badly hurt in a car accident. This person was in the hospital and needed to get surgery because of the injuries. The first question they had was, “How do I hire the best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?” Certainly, the most important thing to consider when hiring a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL is if this person handles car accident cases and exclusively does personal injury cases day in and day out. There are a lot of attorneys out there willing to handle a car accident case, but they don’t really do it very often. They don’t have the expertise or experience, and don’t understand the process so they’re not going to be able to recover as much as you’re entitled to if you have a serious injury claim.

One way to check objectively if somebody is qualified to handle these types of cases is if they are board certified in civil trial law with the Florida Bar. That’s a process that’s not easy for attorneys to complete and requires judges and other attorneys to agree that this attorney is a specialist in civil trial law; it’s less than 1% of the attorneys in the state.

Hire a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL or a car accident attorney who goes to trial and is willing to take a case all the way to trial when the insurance companies aren’t fair. When you hire an attorney who is a trial lawyer, and actually tries cases, the insurance companies know them, and the offers that they make are going to be better because they know that they can’t lowball somebody with this attorney because this attorney is going to take them all the way to trial.

If you look at those things and you find a board certified civil trial lawyer that only handles car accident cases and personal injury cases, that’s going to give you a leg up.

What Mistakes Should I Avoid?

I spoke with someone who was in a car accident. She was seriously injured and had some questions. One of the questions she had was, “What are some of the common mistakes that people make when they’re in a car accident?” I explained that there are several things that are big mistakes for people if they’re in a car accident.

It’s critically important, if you’re in a car accident, to call law enforcement and to document what happened in the accident. After doing that, the next thing is to obtain immediate medical care. A number of people try to put off medical care, hoping that their injuries are going to get better over the next four or five days, but the problem with that is the insurance company is going to use that against you to try to make a claim that you did not sustain an injury in this crash. If you’re in a car accident and you’re injured, you need to get immediate medical care at an emergency room or walk-in clinic, or another appropriate medical professional.

The next mistake that people make in car accident cases is they call their insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company before calling an attorney. That’s a huge mistake. If you call an insurance company and speak with a professional insurance adjuster, that person’s going to ask questions, probably take a recorded statement which will be used against you in the weeks, months and years to come to try to establish that your case is not as serious as it really is. They’re trained to do that, so be sure, before calling any insurance company, that you hire an attorney.

That leads me to the last mistake that people commonly make, and that is hiring the wrong attorney. Be sure, if you’re in a car accident and you have a serious injury, that you’re hiring an attorney who handles car accidents every day and handles only personal injury cases. Don’t hire a family friend or an attorney who does foreclosures, and does bankruptcy, and does real estate, because you’re going to have someone who doesn’t have the experience or expertise to prove your case. Instead, you should be looking for a board certified civil trial lawyer who has experience in handling car accident cases and proceeding to trial.

If you find an attorney like that, you’re going to have someone who the insurance companies know is serious about proving your case. They’re going to know what advice to give you, and you’re not going to make any mistakes with your car accident case.

What Steps Should I Take?

Recently, someone came into our office regarding an auto accident and wanted to know what all the steps of the case would entail. Number one, we want to make sure that our client is getting the proper treatment that they need, so we will assist with getting them treatment required for their injuries. In the meantime, we are doing our investigation and finding out who the insurance companies are, what the witness statements are, and preserving evidence. It’s very important that all evidence is preserved as quickly as possible.

Once our client is done treating, then we do what’s called a demand to the insurance company. We gather all medical records, all medical bills, and evidence, and we present that to the insurance company. The insurance company then has 30 days to evaluate the claim and make an offer. Sometimes the offer is fair, other times the offer is not reasonable. If the insurance companies do not want to be reasonable with our clients, then we suggest filing a lawsuit on their behalf. A lot of times it takes filing a lawsuit to make these insurance companies present our clients with fair offers. Sometimes it’s necessary to go to trial.

What Do I Do After the Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, there are a few things that are essential you do. The first thing is contacting law enforcement. Make sure that they’re there to document the scene, assess who was at fault, and hopefully gather witness names. Notwithstanding, even if police come to the scene, make sure that you independently get witness name and contact information. Don’t rely on law enforcement because there are many times that law enforcement does not document the witness information. Oftentimes, when we have an independent third-party witness who’s going to tell an insurance company how an accident happened, it tips the scale in our client’s favor to make the insurance companies pay.

The next thing that you should do if you’ve been involved in a car accident is document any injuries including bruising, cuts, or any other physical manifestations of injury as a result of your car accident. It’s important that that be documented because it will go away otherwise, and the insurance company may not believe that it actually happened.

The next thing that you should do if you’ve been involved in a car accident is hire a competent, qualified attorney. Don’t contact any insurance companies before you do that. The insurance companies are trained to ask you questions that will minimize any payout they ultimately have to make to you.

How Do I Avoid Trial?

I had a client ask me recently, “How do I know if my car accident case is actually going to go to trial, or is there a way that we can avoid trial?” I told him, first of all, that cases usually go to trial if the insurance company is not doing the right thing, which is evaluating the case fairly and offering what should be offered. In those circumstances, sometimes we have to try cases. Sometimes we have to go to trial and, if the insurance company won’t do what’s right, we have a jury do what’s right for our client.

Not many cases do go to trial, though, and the way that we avoid cases being tried is by being prepared. We prepare our clients for any testimony they’re going to give. We’re thorough with our depositions. We’re thorough with the discovery that we conduct. We have medical providers who are prepared and ready to go. We have experts, if necessary, who are prepared and ready to go so that by the time we do get to a trial, the insurance company can see we’re ready. If they’re not going to do the right thing, we’re going to have a jury do it for us.

Can Pre-Existing Injuries Affect My Car Accident Claim?

Last week, a client came into the office who had been in a recent motor vehicle collision and was telling me about the various parts of the body that he injured in the accident. One of those parts of the body that he injured in the accident was his back, and he was concerned that he would not be able to make a claim for his back injury because he had had issues with his back in the past.

Insurance companies use pre-existing conditions as a defense in all cases, no matter how healthy a person may have been before that motor vehicle collision. In truth, a pre-existing condition often explains how and why a person sustained the extent of injury that they did in an accident. We handle cases involving pre-existing conditions all the time, and we have had great success in representing clients and making sure that they get the recovery that is fair for their past medical expenses, and their future medical expenses they will incur as a result of aggravating pre-existing conditions in motor vehicle collisions.

How Much is My Case Worth?

I spoke with someone who was seriously injured in a car accident and I took over their case for them to help them. Their question to me at the end of the interview was, “What’s the value of my case going to be?” What I explained is that I can’t tell you at the first day, because there’s just too much information we need to find out, but here are some things that we look at to think about while we handle your case.

An important factor is if you sought immediate medical care. If you’re injured in a car accident, be sure to get to the doctor immediately, or at least as soon after the accident as you possibly can. The next thing to consider in determining what the value of your car accident case is the extent of your injuries. These have to be documented and determined by physicians, and they may have to do studies like MRIs, x-rays, and examinations to determine what the extent of the injury is.

The next thing to consider is the extent of the medical care that the person obtained for their injury. Obviously, as time goes on, this will develop itself, whether the person has to have therapy or they have to have more invasive care, like injections or surgeries. Whether the person missed work is an important factor. If someone misses work, they’re entitled to those lost wages in their car accident case. They’re also entitled to make a claim for future loss of earning capacity because they maybe can’t go back and do their job like they did before. Those are important claims, and we’re sure to document those claims with appropriate experts.

The other thing that has to be asked about is if the injuries are permanent, and if they are going to require care in the future. If they do, we need to have those expenses considered as well. We would always have the appropriate doctors and experts look at those things to make sure that we are proving those future damages. The last part of it is the effect on you from the car accident. How did it affect your enjoyment of life? How did it affect how you deal with your family? What is your pain and suffering? While it’s tough to put a dollar figure on those, they’re very important and are something that we consider.

Is There a Medical Bill Requirement to File a Claim?

Recently someone came into our office regarding an auto accident case. They were concerned that they could not present a claim to the insurance company because they had minimal bills. There is no minimum requirement of medical bills that someone has to have in order to present a claim. Every case is different, and every person is different.

At our firm, we evaluate each case separately. We determine with our client if they’ve received all the medical treatment that they need. If so, then we can go ahead and submit the claim to the insurance company. It might be possible that physical therapy or chiropractor treatment doesn’t help our client and, in those cases, they would need to see a specialist.

Who Pays My Car Accident Medical Bills?

We received a phone call the other day from someone who was seriously injured in an auto accident. They wanted to know who was going to be paying for their medical bills. There are two parts to that answer. First, in the state of Florida, everyone is required to have personal injury protection. Everyone has $10,000 that will afford them insurance towards their medical bills. However, that personal injury protection only pays 80% of the medical bills, so we investigate the case. We find out who caused the accident and what insurance company will be paying the remaining of the bills.

Do I Have to Give a Recorded Statement?

I took a call from an individual who had been involved in a serious car accident. They had been getting repeated calls from the other driver’s insurance company, and they weren’t sure what to do. They didn’t know if they should give a statement to the insurance company or not.

Anyone who’s been involved in a car accident with serious injuries should not give any statement to an insurance company without first talking to a lawyer, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer, with a specialization in personal injury, who handles serious car accident cases on a regular basis. The insurance company adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses designed to minimize any future payment that the insurance company may have to make for your injuries.

Should I Take the Initial Settlement Offer?

I had a client in a car accident case ask me, when we received our initial offer from the insurance company, “Should we take it?” I told him that he should not. The rule of thumb is that that initial offer is not going to be what the fair and reasonable value of the case is. Nine out of ten times, you’re not going to receive that on the first offer. The reason for that is you have to push the ball downfield through litigation, depositions, discovery, and potentially a trial. The insurance company needs to see that we’re prepared at every step of the process. If they see that, even if it’s on the courthouse steps, they’ll understand that they need to be fair and reasonable in the offer that they’re making and, nine out of ten times, that first offer is not close to what the last offer is.

How Long Will This Case Take?

I had a new client call in with a car accident case. She some very serious injuries as a result of this crash. Her question for me was, “How long until we get this case resolved?” I told her that every case varies, but in car accident cases, typically we have a pre-suit period before a suit is filed with court where she would be seeking medical treatment from providers to help treat her very serious injuries she had as a result of this crash.

At the end of that process, we would then submit a letter to the insurance carrier that’s responsible for these damages to do the right thing. A lot of times they don’t and we then file suit. The litigation process can take a while. I always tell clients to be patient and let the process work. We’ll have depositions, discovery exchanged, a mediation, and settlement conference where we try to resolve the case with the insurance company. If we can’t get that car accident case resolved in mediation, we set up for trial.

Call Our Personal Injury Lawyer in Sarasota for a Free Consultation

If you have been involved in a car accident that gave you a serious injury, please call our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL today for a free consultation. We want to take the weight of your case off of your shoulders so that you can make your recovery your main focus. We will handle the insurance company and make sure that they are being held responsible for their insured’s wrongdoing. Contact our office today to get the results you deserve. We will begin working on your case as soon as possible.

Bicycle Accident Lawyers Sarasota, FL

It is often a convenient form of transportation to use your bike to get around. It’s good for the environment, your health, and often times your wallet as well. What you are probably already aware of are the hazards that come with riding your bike. The roads aren’t easily shareable with cars and bikes and it can lead to some pretty horrific events. If you have been seriously injured in a bike accident, you’re probably feeling scared and frustrated. If you’re missing time from work and you have a lot of medical bills, then the frustration is probably amplified. We are here to guide you through your bike accident claim every step of the way. Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL would be glad to set up a free consultation to go over your case with you. Please read and learn a bit about your case, then give us a call.

How to Win the Most Compensation in Sarasota, FL

Luckily for some people, in Sarasota, you can receive compensation for your injuries even if you are deemed to be mostly at fault for causing the accident. You could have swerved into the road and gotten hit and still receive an award. The downside with this is that it is not without consequence. If you share any fault, you will have a reduced award. For example, if you were to be deemed as 10% at fault for causing the accident, you will have to have your award reduced be 10%. Let’s say you were awarded $10,000. You would be able to collect $9,000. If you are deemed 100% at fault for causing the accident, then you will be barred from receiving compensation. Our goal is to prevent you from being blamed for causing the accident.

Not Talking to the Insurance Company

The people who will try to blame you for the accident include the liable party and the insurance company that represents them. The insurance company will reach out to you shortly after the accident and ask you to give them a recorded statement. It is in your best interest not to give them one. You should let your attorney take over all communications. If you were to talk to them, they would be asking you all of these weighted questions that would give you no option but to answer unfavorable. They will take advantage of the fact that you are probably still recovering from these injuries and they will do whatever they can to reduce what they owe you or be able to throw away their case.

What to Do After the Accident in Sarasota, FL

St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident GuideSeeking medical attention is going to be the most important thing that you do. The injuries that you suffer from an accident like this can be severe. They include traumatic brain injury, broken bones, spinal cord damage and more. Immediately after the collision, if you are conscious, you may have a ton of adrenaline that will mask the pain you will most certainly feel when it wears off. Don’t use that as a reason not to see the doctor.

At the scene, if you are able to wait for the police to show up, there are a few steps you might want to take to get evidence. You can talk to witnesses and get their contact information, get insurance information from the driver involved in your accident, and take photos of everything on the scene that seems relevant. It is also very important that you do not say it was your fault to anyone no matter if you think you caused it or not. You might be wrong. If you are unable to stay on the scene or your were taken away on an ambulance, you can have a friend or family member come collect evidence for you. You may also consider hiring an attorney right away who can step on the scene for you and collect the evidence.

How Long You Have to File a Claim in Sarasota, FL

If you want to ensure that your case is going to have the best possible chance of success, you need to make sure that you get everything done on time. Florida law states that you need to have filed your claim or settled it in civil court within four years from the date of your bike accident. That means if you wait four years and a day to try to file a claim, you will be barred from receiving compensation altogether. You’ll want to ask quick after your accident so that you don’t risk losing precious evidence and witness statements. The sooner you get a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL, the better off you will be.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Pick the Best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

Last month, a gentleman came into our office who’d been seriously injured in a bicycle accident. Because his injuries were so serious, he was insistent on finding the best qualified personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL. The first thing I told him was he needed to find an attorney who handles only personal injury cases, and specifically bicycle accidents. There are a lot of attorneys out there that would be happy to take your case, but they handle all types of cases – from family law issues, to bankruptcies, to real estate – and they don’t have the experience to handle a bicycle case best or how to maximize a recovery based on your serious injury. The first step is hiring an attorney who only handles personal injury.

The second step is to find an attorney who is board certified in civil trial law. That’s a certification by the Florida Bar, and less than 1% of the attorneys in the state have obtained it. The only way to obtain it is to go to trial, and have judges and attorneys give reviews to the Florida Bar that the attorney has the expertise and skill to be called a specialist in civil trial law.

Not only do you want to find someone who’s board certified and only handles these types of cases, but you need to find somebody who regularly goes to trial. If you’re attorney doesn’t regularly go to trial, they’re going to be in a category of attorneys who are going to get lesser settlements, because every insurance company and every defense lawyer in the Sarasota area knows which lawyers don’t go to trial, and which do. Trial lawyers end up getting better settlements.

What Are the Common Mistakes?

A gentleman who had been in a bicycle accident was seriously injured and very concerned about recovering for his bicycle accident injuries. He was concerned about whether he was making mistakes and what advice I could give him about avoiding mistakes in his bicycle accident case, so I told him a few things.

If you’re in a bicycle accident, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you call law enforcement and document the scene and what happened in the accident. The next thing you need to do, when you leave the scene of the accident, is get medical care immediately. That could be via ambulance, an emergency room, at a walk-in clinic, or other appropriate medical professional, but you can’t wait a period of days or weeks. You want to get immediate medical care, because that’s going to make a big difference in proving your case.

The other thing that you need to do is make sure that you do not call anyone at any insurance company, or speak with them if they call you. People often feel like that’s something they need to do. The insurance professionals are trained to ask questions in a way that will minimize your claim going forward. You need an attorney to handle those conversations for you, someone who understands what needs to be done and what information does and does not need to be provided to the insurance company at that time.

The last mistake people make when they have a bicycle accident injury is they might hire the wrong attorney do. You could somebody on TV, but those attorneys may not practice exclusively in personal injury or handle bicycle accidents. Furthermore, those attorneys may not be board certified civil trial attorneys with the Florida Bar. If you hire someone who’s not a board certified civil trial attorney, then you’re hiring someone who doesn’t have the additional qualifications that allow them to say they are a specialist in civil trial law and are in the top 1% of civil trial lawyers in the state.

What Steps Do I Need to Take for a Successful Claim?

Recently, someone came into our office regarding a serious bicycle accident that they were in, and they wanted to know what the steps of their case would entail. First, we want to make sure that our client is receiving the treatment that they need. If they have not already received medical treatment, we can assist with that.

Second, we want to gather evidence. If there are witnesses, we want to take those statements. If there are photographs of injuries, we want to make sure that we get those as quickly as possible. Sometimes evidence is lost and we want to make sure that that does not happen. Third, we want to contact the insurance company who ultimately will be liable. Part of our investigation is to find who is at fault for this accident and what insurance company is ultimately going to be responsible for our client’s damages.

Once our client has fully recovered from their injuries, we submit a demand to the insurance company. That’s when we submit medical records, medical bills, and evidence so that the insurance company can evaluate the case. Typically, the insurance company has 30 days to make an offer. Once we receive that initial offer, we will discuss that with our client and we would advise our client if the offer is fair or if it’s unreasonable. If an offer is fair, then we can begin negotiations. More often than not, the initial offers are unreasonable. If an offer is unreasonable and an insurance company is not fairly treating our client, then we need to file a lawsuit on behalf of our client.

What Do I Do After a Bicycle Accident?

I was meeting with a client who was injured in a serious bicycle accident and, fortunately, she did everything right. If you’re injured in a bicycle accident case, it’s important that you do everything right, too.

The first thing that you should do if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident case is to make sure law enforcement is called. Make sure that they arrive at the scene, assess fault, and document any evidence at the scene. The next thing that you should do is make sure that you get the contact information for any independent third-party witnesses. Often in bicycle accident cases, the drivers of cars deny that they’re at fault. they claim that the bicycle shot out in front of them and that they had no opportunity to avoid it. Often, it is the testimony of these independent third-party witnesses that make our client’s case a success when liability is disputed.

The next thing that you should do is seek immediate medical care. Don’t try to tough your injuries out, because the insurance companies will use any gaps in treatment against you to claim that your injuries are not the result of your accident. The next thing that you should do is document any injuries. If you have cuts or bruises, make sure that those visible injuries are documented to help us prove your case.

The next thing that you should do is hire an experienced personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL. Don’t talk to the insurance companies first because insurance adjusters are trained to ask you questions designed to minimize any payout they owe you for your injury.

Can We Avoid Trial?

I had a client ask me recently, “Are we going to have to go to trial on this case, or is there a way that we can avoid that?” I told her, as I tell every client, the main reason that we try cases is because the insurance company is not reasonably and fairly evaluating your case and offering what they should offer. If that happens, we’ll try the case and we’ll go ask a jury to do the right thing.

The way to avoid having to try a case is by being prepared. We will be thorough in our preparation for depositions and for discovery during the litigation process. Very importantly, we will have you thoroughly prepared for any depositions. If it comes to it and you have to testify in court, you’ll be prepared, not only for talking about the facts and your injuries in that bicycle case, but also what sort of cross examination may be coming from the insurance company. We’ll also have medical providers prepared and ready to go as well as any experts that we have to hire. If we do have to try that case, the insurance company will see that if they’re not going to do the right thing, then we’re going to be ready for a jury to do it for us.

How Much is My Claim Worth?

We met with someone who was in a serious bicycle accident. They were struck by a car and one of the questions they had was, “How do I determine the value of my case?” This is difficult to answer at the beginning of the case, but there are factors that we’ll be looking at to make sure we prove your case and help you understand what the value of your bicycle accident case is.

The first is the medical care that you obtained. What types of doctors did you go to? What was the cost of that care? What injuries did those doctors determine you had? We’ll make sure that you go to an appropriate medical professional who will take MRIs, x-rays, and provide treatment that will help you to get better. Also, we’ll document those injuries so we can provide that information to the insurance company and the defense lawyers. We’ll obtain the medical bills, so that we know what the cost of that care was, to make sure that those medical bills are taken care of.

We’ll also work with the medical professionals to determine what you will need in the future for your medical care. Will you need to get more therapy? Will you be seeing the doctor the rest of your life because of these injuries? Are you going to need surgery in the future? Will you need multiple surgeries? Those are important questions, and we need to know from the doctors the value of those things so we can present those damages on your behalf.

A client of ours who was hit on a bike missed significant periods of work because of serious injuries in the bicycle accident. If you’ve missed work, we have to document those lost wages. We have to make sure that we recover those lost wages on your behalf and if you’re going to miss work, or lose your job, that we can make that claim for you and present it to the insurance company or to a jury if need be.

Finally, we look at how this accident has affected interactions with family, and the activities that you like to do together. That’s an important damage, although difficult to value, because it’s the loss of enjoyment of life.

Is There a Requirement for Medical Bills to File a Claim?

Recently, a client who was involved in a bicycle accident came into our office and they were concerned that they would not be able to present a claim because they had minimal medical bills. They wanted to know if there was a certain amount of bills that they had to have in order to pursue a claim. The answer is that there is not a certain threshold that one needs to have to pursue a claim.

We first ask any potential client if they still have any ongoing problems or if they need further treatment. If someone needs additional treatment, we make sure that they get to the appropriate doctors for that treatment.

Who Will Pay My Medical Bills?

Recently, we received a phone call from someone who was seriously injured in a bicycle accident. They were riding their bike in the bike lane and they were still hit by a vehicle. They started receiving medical bills from the emergency room and they needed follow up care, and they had those bills piling up. They called us wanting to know who was going to pay for those. In every case, the person who caused the accident is going to pay for that. Their insurance company would be responsible for paying those medical bills. Not only would they be responsible for paying past medical bills, but also future medical bills and pain and suffering.

Do I Need to Give a Recorded Statement?

I met with a client who was injured as the result of a bicycle accident with a car. In the days leading up to speaking with me, the individual had been getting repeated calls from the car driver’s insurance company asking to give a recorded statement, and the client was unsure of whether or not they had to give that statement. No one is obligated to give an insurance company a recorded statement, and no one should give an insurance company any type of statement without first talking to competent legal counsel, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer, with a history of successfully prosecuting bicycle versus car accident claims.

The insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses from you that are designed to eliminate or minimize any payment to you for your injuries.

Should I Take the First Offer?

I had a client in a very serious bicycle accident ask me recently, “Should we take an initial offer that came in from the insurance company?” There are a lot of factors involved in answering that question, but typically, nine out of ten times, the answer is no. When that initial offer is made, we haven’t pushed the case very far, and usually you have to litigate the case. You have to have depositions, discovery, and take it to the courthouse steps if necessary. If a reasonable offer doesn’t come in at that point, then we’ll try the case.

How Long Will This Case Take?

I had a new client call me recently. She was riding on a bicycle and was hit by a car in a very serious crash. She wanted to know how long the case would take.  I told her that, in all of these cases involving bicycle accidents there will be a pre-suit time period first before we file a lawsuit. During that pre-suit time period, she would be getting the medical treatment that she needs to treat her very serious injuries from that bicycle crash.

At the end of that time period, we would then submit a demand to any insurance carrier responsible for her damages. If they don’t do the right thing and settle the case, then we would file a lawsuit. You have to be patient as lawsuits can take time and can be extensive. There are depositions that have to be taken, paper discovery that has to be exchanged, and a settlement conference that will happen during that process.

At that conference, if the insurance company, again, doesn’t do the right thing and settle that bicycle case, we would seek a trial date and go to trial.

Can Preexisting Injuries Affect My Bicycle Accident Claim?

We recently prevailed in a case involving a bicycle rider struck by a car, and the defense said that the injuries were preexisting. While my client did have significant preexisting conditions to the spine, her conditions were made worse as the result of being struck by the car. Insurance companies always claim that preexisting conditions are the real cause of a person’s problem, rather than the aggravation of those conditions.

Florida law allows individuals who have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, including bicyclists who are struck by cars, to make claims for aggravation of those preexisting conditions. We have extensive experience, and we have successfully handled many of those claims involving bicyclists who have been injured, even though they have preexisting conditions.

Call Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today

If you want a strong, dedicated, and experienced Sarasota bicycle accident attorneys, please do not hesitate to call our office today to set up a free consultation. We will put your case a priority and make sure we do not give up until we have the best possible result for you. Call us today to get the ball rolling on your bike accident claim.

Boating Accident Lawyers Sarasota, FL

It’s easy to forgive an accident when the consequences are insignificant. We don’t cry over spilled milk and it’s no big deal if we break a plate while washing the dishes. It’s harder to look past mistakes that are careless and negligent. If you are reading this, you are probably paying for a mistake that someone else made. When someone acts reckless or thoughtlessly and it ends up getting somebody seriously hurt, you can pursue a personal injury claim.

At our office, we represent the victims for boating accidents. We understand that you are probably feeling terribly frustrated about the fact that your accident was completely avoidable. Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL is here to protect your rights against the insurance company of the person who created this mess. We will fight for your full and fair compensation and support you throughout the entire legal battle and into trial if necessary. If you have been seriously injured in a boating accident, please contact our office today to arrange a free consultation with our experienced personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL.

Types of Injuries and Compensation

Injuries from these accidents come in all varieties. Some can be taken care at home with over-the-counter pain killers and some good, solid rest. Others require major surgery, countless doctor’s visits, and after all that, you may never be the same again. Those are the hardest cases to see and we want to make absolute sure that those victims see justice.

The way compensation works is the worse you’re hurt, the more your case is worth. It’s a system that the insurance companies know about and will do everything they can to make your injuries seem less severe than they might actually be. They’ll ask you to attend a medical exam with their own doctors to check your injuries out and see exactly what needs to be done to get you back to health. Their hopes are that you will have inconsequential injuries and they won’t have to give you the compensation you deserve.

What we do is we have you go to doctors as well to get a thorough evaluation of you. We understand that the insurance company will try to undermine the pain and suffering you’ve had to endure and will most likely continue to endure because of their insured’s negligence. As mentioned, the worst those injuries are for you, the more compensation we will pursue.

In Sarasota, FL, we follow pure comparative negligence rules that have to do with how much you are allowed to collect in compensation if you are to be found at fault. Luckily, if you have shared fault, you can still collect an award. Some victims in other states aren’t so fortunate. Sarasota, FL allows for you to collect an award up until 99% of fault. That means if you are found to be 100% at fault for the accident, you are unfortunately barred from compensation. However, if you are less than 100% at fault, you can get an award. The only caveat is that with shared fault you will have your award reduced. If, for example, you are found to be 30% at fault and have been awarded $100,000, that award will be reduced to $70,000 to account for your fault.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find the Right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

Personal Injury Attorneys Sarasota, FLIn the Sarasota area, we have a lot of boating accidents because of everyone on the water in this beautiful area. I talked to somebody who was seriously injured in a boating accident and their question was, “How do I find the best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL for my case in a boating accident?” I told them a number of things.

The first is to be sure that you are hiring an attorney who handles all personal injury cases and has experience with boating accident injuries, specifically. The second thing that I told them was to be sure that you are finding a board certified civil trial lawyer. What that means, in Sarasota, FL, is that the attorney is in the top 1% of attorneys in the state as certified by the Florida Bar. They would be someone who has the skill and the expertise, as commented on by judges and other attorneys that have cases against them, to get that certification.

You have to go to trial to be a board certified civil trial attorney. For your boating accident case, you need a trial lawyer because, if you hire an attorney who doesn’t go to trial, that attorney is not going to be able to get the same settlements for you from the insurance company, because that they are going to know that your lawyer does not go to trial and they’re going to treat that lawyer accordingly. Even if you’ve sustained a serious injury in a boating accident, they may try to lowball you on your case.

On the other hand, if you have a trial lawyer who all the lawyers and all the insurance companies know is ready to go to trial if they’re not fair, you’re likely to get a fair settlement short of trial, and if they force you to go to trial, you’re going to have a lawyer who knows how to win.

What Mistakes Should I Avoid?

In talking to a new client about their boating accident, one of the questions they had was, “What are some of the mistakes that I can avoid in trying to prove my injuries in this case?” I went through some of the common mistakes.

One common mistake that people make is they don’t document what happened. It’s important in a boating accident, like any other accident, to get law enforcement involved and have them take a report and document what happened on the water. The next thing that people do is, frequently, they try to avoid going to the doctor, hoping that things are going to get better in a period of days or weeks. The problem with that thinking is that the insurance company is going to use that against you to try to argue that you weren’t seriously injured. It’s very important that you immediately seek medical care, once you’ve dealt with law enforcement and made sure everybody’s safe, and go to an emergency room, a walk-in clinic, or other appropriate medical professional, to treat and document the injuries that you sustained in your boating accident.

The next mistake that people commonly make is, once they’ve gotten that medical care, they call the insurance companies and give a recorded statement. It’s a huge mistake to call an insurance company before you hire an attorney because insurance professionals are highly trained to get information from you that will help minimize your claim, so that they pay less than what’s fair for the injuries that you sustained. It’s very important that you call an attorney first and let the attorney deal with those insurance professionals. Attorneys that handle personal injury cases in their practice know how to deal with these insurance professionals.

Don’t hire the wrong attorney. That’s a huge mistake. Make sure that the attorney you hire exclusively handles personal injury cases, has experience with boating accident cases, and is a board certified civil trial lawyer, according to the Florida Bar. If you find a board certified civil trial lawyer who handles personal injury cases, that person is among 1% of the attorneys in the state and is a specialist in civil trial law.

What Steps Should I Take?

The other day, someone gave us a call after they were seriously injured in a boating accident. They wanted to know what the steps were in a boating accident case. First, we want to make sure that our client receives the medical treatment that they need. If they have not started treatment, we can assist with making sure that they find the appropriate doctor.

Second, we do our investigation. We look for witnesses that we need to speak to and take statements from, we take photographs, and gather information and evidence as soon as possible. Evidence can disappear, witnesses can leave town, and we want to make sure that that does not happen. Then we do our investigation regarding liability and insurance companies. We find out who ultimately is going to be responsible for our client’s damages.

Third, once our client has recovered and has finished treatments, we then submit what’s called a demand to the insurance company. That’s when we gather all the medical records, and evidence. We submit that to the insurance company, and they have 30 days to evaluate our client’s claim. After 30 days, an initial offer will be made to our office. We then determine, with our client, if the initial offer is fair or if it’s unreasonable. If the offer is fair, then we can start negotiations with the insurance company. If the offer is unreasonable, then the next step would be to file a lawsuit on behalf of our client.

What Do I Do After My Accident?

Boating is a regular and popular activity here in Sarasota, FL, and with that comes a number of injuries, unfortunately. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, there are certain things that you need to do. First, contact law enforcement to make sure that the accident is appropriately documented. The next thing that you should do, if you’ve been injured in a boating accident, is to seek immediate medical care, because if there’s any gaps in treatment between the time of your accident and the time that you ultimately seek that care, the insurance company will use that gap against you to claim your injury was not related to the accident. You should also document any visible injuries. Take photographs of any cuts, bruises or abrasions.

The next thing you should do, if you’ve been injured in a boating accident, is contact an attorney. Don’t contact the insurance company first, because the insurance adjusters are trained to ask you questions and elicit responses to minimize any payment that they may have to make to you in the future. You should hire a board certified civil trial lawyer with experience in handling boating accidents.

Can I Avoid Going to Trial?

I recently had a boating accident client ask me, “Are we going to have to go to trial in this case, or is there a way that I can avoid that?” Typically, the reason we try cases is because the insurance company is not being reasonable or not making a fair offer. When that happens, we will go to trial and we’ll ask a jury to do the right thing in what’s fair and just.

The way to avoid having to do that is to be thoroughly prepared for trial through depositions, discovery and, most importantly, having the client ready for any deposition that they’re going to have to go through and any trial testimony they have to present for that boating accident. We’ll have them thoroughly prepared not only for that, but also for any cross examination that may come from the defense. Medical providers and expert witnesses will also be thoroughly prepared. That way, if we take that boating accident case to trial, the insurance company will see that we’re ready to go, and if you’re not going to do the right thing, then we’re going to ask a jury to.

How Much is My Case Worth?

A woman came in to talk with us about her jet ski and boating accident case. One of the questions she had was, “How do I determine the value of my case?” We have to get a lot of information. It’s not an easy question to answer, but we’re experienced in arriving at a reasonable value.The first part of it is what medical care you have obtained so far as a result of your boating accident. Did you go to the hospital? Have you obtained therapy? Do you need invasive care?

A lot of people in jet ski or boating accidents are seriously injured and have fractures, require surgeries, or continued care for the rest of their lives. We have to look at what the medical bills are so far and what those injuries are, we have to make sure that an appropriate medical professional has documented them via x-ray or MRI, and we have to work with that medical professional to determine, in the future, what types of medical care will be required because of this boating accident injury. That may include simple things like therapy, or it may require multiple surgeries over a period of years. We’d ask the medical professional to document that as well and provide the cost of that care, so we can present that claim and make sure that that future care is taken care of for you.

The other factor that we look at is if you’ve missed work because of your boating accident. Oftentimes, the answer to that question is yes, and we have to figure out what the total amount of those lost wages is and present that information. We also have to determine if there’s going to be a future loss of earning capacity. Is this accident going to keep you from working in the future like you had before this accident? It may be that you can’t work at all, and we’ll work with appropriate professionals and experts to document those claims.

The last part of evaluating the value of your boating accident case is how it has affected your life, and things that take pleasure in doing. Has this affected your relationship with your family? Those are what we call pain and suffering damages or loss of enjoyment of life damages. Those are very important damages, even though they don’t come with a medical bill or a specific dollar figure.

We go through all the information about that and make sure we understand the effects that this particular boating accident has on you and your family and tell you what we think is a reasonable value for your particular boating accident case.

Do I Need to Have a Lot of Medical Bills to File a Claim?

Someone recently came into our office regarding a boating accident that they were involved in. They were concerned that it wasn’t necessary to make a claim because they had minimal medical bills. They were under the impression that they had to have significant medical bills for an insurance company to take their injury into consideration, and that simply is just not true.

The first thing I wanted to know from this person is if they have fully recovered from their injuries. If not, we make sure that they get the additional medical treatment that they need. Regardless of the medical bills, you can present a claim.

Who Will Pay My Medical Bills?

In Sarasota, FL, everyone’s on a boat as soon as the sun comes up. You may be wondering what to do when you’re involved in a boating accident, and as a result you’re injured and have medical bills. The person who caused the accident would be responsible and their insurance company would be responsible for your compensation. We also do investigations to see if there’s any other types of insurance that would be able to assist with your medical bills.

Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?

Just the other day, I met with an individual who had been in a boating accident. In the days leading up to speaking with me, the client had been getting repeated calls from the insurance company asking to give a recorded statement. He was unsure of his rights as to whether or not he had to give that statement and was concerned that giving that statement may negatively affect his case. If he had given that statement, it would have because the insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses designed to eliminate or minimize any payment that they may ultimately have to make for your injuries.

Before giving any type of statement, or considering any type of statement, first talk to a competent personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer, with a history and track record of successfully pursuing boating accident claims.

Should I Take a First Settlement Offer?

I had a client who was in a very serious boating accident ask me, “Should we take an initial offer from the insurance company or shouldn’t we?” There are a lot of factors involved in answering that question but, typically, nine out of ten times, the answer is no, you should not. When that initial offer is made, we haven’t pushed the ball down the field very far, and usually that’s what you have to do. You have to litigate the case and have depositions and discovery if it’s necessary.

If a reasonable offer doesn’t come in at that point, then we’ll try the case, and we can do that for you. We’re board certified in civil trial, so if it’s a serious accident and we’re trying to get what’s reasonable and what’s fair out of the insurance company, we’re here to help you do that.

How Long Will This Case Take?

You may be wondering, “How long is it going to take to handle a boating accident case?” There are different phases and it’s hard to know right away how long it will take. The first phase that we start out with is called pre-suit. During that pre-suit time period, before we file the lawsuit, any medical treatment that’s needed for the injuries from that boating accident would occur. At the end of that time period, we would then submit a demand to an insurance carrier that’s responsible for the injuries from that boating accident.

If the insurance company doesn’t do the right thing and settle that boating accident case, we would then file suit. Suit can be extensive. I tell clients, as I told this potential client, to be patient. It could take a while. There are depositions that have to occur. There is paper discovery that has to be exchanged. There’s a mediation that will occur in every case, this one included. At that time, if the insurance carrier does not do the right thing and settle this boating accident case, then we would get a trial date and we would try that case.

Can Pre-Existing Injuries Affect My Boating Accident Claim?

I was talking with an individual just last week who was injured in a boating accident. They had preexisting conditions to their back and were concerned that having that condition would foreclose their ability to make a claim for the aggravation of that condition. Florida law specifically allows claims to be made for aggravation of preexisting conditions. Rather than a negative, the existence of those preexisting conditions often are an asset to the case because they explain why and how the person sustained the extent of injury that they did. Preexisting conditions often predispose individuals to significantly bigger injuries than someone who did not have a preexisting condition in the first place.

Contact Our Sarasota Office Today

We know that the insurance company has a job to do. They are trying to reduce their costs by any means and that including bullying tactics used against you. Our job is to fight against them. We will do everything it takes to get them to give you the compensation you need to get back to normal. We will put a barrier between them and you.

If you have been seriously injured in a boating accident by the negligence of another, you deserve compensation in its fullest. There is nothing quite like getting hurt because someone else wasn’t doing what they were supposed to be doing. You don’t deserve to be left out to dry by the insurance company. Our Sarasota boat accident lawyers are here to protect your rights and defend your case. We will work with you and make you a priority and tirelessly push the insurance company to do what is right and give you the amount of compensation you deserve. Call our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL today to get a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Sarasota, FL

Being involved in a motorcycle accident is a terrible scenario. These accidents are brutal and in many cases lead to fatalities. If you were lucky enough to survive your accident, you still may feel anxious, frustrated, and confused. Your life is probably flipped on its head right now and you may not know what you need to do in order to get compensation. Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL here to help you along the way. Please contact our firm and hire our services to get you the compensation you deserve.

Please read up about your case, then give our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL a call to set up a free consultation.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Due to the lack of protection from impact, the potential for serious injury in a motorcycle accident is great. You do not have the metal frame that someone in a car has, or the airbags to take some of the impact from the collision. The most common types of motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion or contusion
  • Broken bone or fracture
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord and neck injury
  • Paralysis

What you need to know is that your health is more important than anything else. You have to make sure you get your injuries looked at right away. You can visit an urgent care center, see your primary doctor, or go to the emergency room if need be. Do not delay this procedure as you run the risk of making your injuries worse. You also run the risk of the insurance company who represents the liable party trying to throw out your case or reduce your compensation. They will try to say that your injuries were not bad enough to get immediate medical care or that you got these injuries elsewhere.

Important First Steps After the Accident in Sarasota, FL

If you are not physically able to stay on the scene to collect evidence, you can have a friend, family member, or your attorney get on the scene to do it for you. If you are too injured to be there, get on the ambulance and let someone else take care of this for you. The evidence that needs to be collected includes photos of all vehicles involved, photos of the scene around the motorcycle, contact information from any and all witnesses, as well as the insurance information from the driver or drivers who were involved in the accident. It is important to have all of this so that your attorney can build you a strong case.

Sarasota, FL Statute of Limitations

You have four years from the date of your accident to bring your motorcycle accident claim. If you wait longer than four years, you will be barred from receiving compensation. It is better to talk to an attorney early on so that you do not have to worry about that. You also have the added benefit of having your witnesses’ memories be fresher and your evidence less likely to disappear. Giving your attorney time to build you a strong case makes it more likely that you will get the compensation you deserve.

How Compensation Works in Sarasota, FL

Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. That means you can receive compensation even if the insurance company were to blame part of the accident on you. You will be barred from receiving an award if you are deemed 100%. For any other percentage, you will be able to get an award, but it will be reduced. For example, if you are deemed 10% at fault for your accident because you were speeding, and you were awarded $100,000 for your damages, it will be reduced to $80,000 to account for your role in causing the accident. We work very hard to keep you from getting pinned for any of the blame so that you get full and fair compensation.

Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company

The most detrimental mistake you can make is giving a recorded statement to the liable party’s insurance company. It is almost guaranteed that you will be receiving a phone call from them in which they will claim to be helpful if you give them a statement. It is never wise to do so as they are trained to ask you questions that put you in a position to say the wrong thing which could ruin your case. The best thing you can do is tell them that your personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL will be taking over all forms of communication.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find the Right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

I was speaking with someone who was catastrophically injured in a motorcycle accident in Sarasota, FL. The family was most concerned about how to know if they were hiring the best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL for their family member. There are a number of things that are important in determining if you have a good, qualified motorcycle accident attorney.

The first one is if this attorney handles only motorcycle accidents and personal injury claims. Certainly, it doesn’t make sense to go to a general practitioner such as someone who handles real estate, foreclosures, or bankruptcies when this is an important and serious injury claim. You need to make sure that the attorney that you hire handles only personal injury claims and has significant experience with serious motorcycle accident injuries.

One way to check whether the attorney is qualified in this field is to look with the Florida Bar and see if the attorney is board certified in civil trial law. That requirement to become certified is based on the attorney going to trial on a regular basis, getting the approval of judges and other attorneys about their qualifications and expertise. It allows them to tell people that they are a specialist in civil trial law, which is what a motorcycle accident involves.

If the attorney that you’re speaking with does not go to trial on a regular basis, you are not hiring someone who’s going to be able to handle your case as well as someone who does. All of the insurance companies know who the attorneys are who go to trial and if you hire an attorney who goes to trial on a regular basis, you’re going to have a case that is handled more appropriately. The insurance company is going to take it much more seriously. The defense lawyer is going to be much more concerned about that attorney, and your likelihood of having a good settlement or an excellent trial result is much better.

What Do I Do After My Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, there are a few things that are imperative for you to do. The first thing is to contact law enforcement to make sure that they document the scene and issue appropriate citations. The next thing that you should do is gather all independent third-party witness contact information, so that, if there is disputed liability in that case, we can call those witnesses to trial to testify on your behalf.

The next thing that you should do is document any injuries that you’ve sustained. If you have road rash, bruising, or cuts, make sure that those things are photographed so that we can help prove your damages at trial. The next thing that you should do is to seek immediate medical care. Don’t try to tough it out, because any gaps in treatment, from the time of your accident until the time you seek medical care, will be used against you by the insurance companies.

The next thing that you should do is to hire a competent attorney, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer, who practices only in personal injury law. Do not contact the insurance company first, because the insurance company personnel are trained to ask you questions that will minimize or eliminate any payout that they have to make to you at a later date.

What Are the Steps in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

Recently, someone called us. They were involved in a serious motorcycle accident. They wanted to know what the steps were in a motorcycle accident. First, we want to make sure that our client is getting the treatment they require. Oftentimes, I see the most horrific injuries when a motorcycle is involved. We want to make sure that our client is getting physical therapy and seeing any appropriate special lists.

Second, we do our investigation. We talk to witnesses, and gather evidence. Sometimes witnesses leave the state and evidence disappears. We want to make sure that we gather all that evidence and preserve it as quickly as possible. We also find out who ultimately is going to be responsible for our client’s damages. Who was at fault for the accident? What insurance company is going to pay for our client’s damages?

Once our client is stable and has recovered from their injuries, we do what’s called a demand to the insurance company. That’s when we submit the evidence, medical bills and medical records, so the insurance company can evaluate our client’s claim. Typically, the insurance company has 30 days to evaluate the claim. After those 30 days, they will submit an offer to our office. If that offer is reasonable, then we can start negotiations. More often than not, insurance companies are not fair with their initial offers and it’s necessary to begin the litigation process and file a lawsuit on behalf of our client.

How Do We Avoid Trial?

I had a motorcycle accident client ask me recently, “Are we going to have to go to trial on this case, and can we avoid going to trial?” Trials are stressful and that’s not something clients are usually looking forward to doing. The typical reason that we end up having to try a case is because the insurance company is not being reasonable. We go to trial if they’re not offering an amount that is fair under the light of the evidence and the facts that they see. We ask a jury to then do the right thing for our client, and that’s what I told him.

The way to avoid a trial is by being prepared, not only preparation through thorough discovery and depositions during the litigation process, but also thoroughly preparing our client for any deposition they’re going to give for testimony at trial. We prepare medical providers to testify if we have to hire them. By the time we get to trial, the insurance company will see that we are fully prepared. If they won’t do the right thing, then we’re going to ask a jury to.

Can Preexisting Injuries Affect My Motorcycle Accident Claim?

A preexisting condition will not negatively affect you if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and you’ve had injuries worsening or aggravating a preexisting condition. Preexisting conditions often explain why people suffer the extent of injury that they do. People who have preexisting conditions are predisposed to further injury as a result of their motorcycle accident.

We have extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases and all the insurance issues involving motorcycle accident cases that involve preexisting conditions.

What Are the Most Common Mistakes?

You may be wondering what mistakes you can avoid. The first thing is, as soon as the accident happens, and it’s documented with the law enforcement at the scene, you need to obtain medical care with appropriate medical professionals. You need to document those injuries that you sustained as a result of the motorcycle accident, either at the emergency room, the walk-in clinic, or another appropriate doctor, immediately. If you wait days or weeks, it’s going to be used against you, and it’s going to be more difficult to prove your case.

The other thing you need to do is make sure that you call an attorney before you speak with an insurance representative. Insurance representatives are highly trained, and their job is to make sure that they minimize what they pay to injured people in motorcycle accidents. They can do that in a simple conversation that happens the day of the accident by asking you questions that they’ll use against you as the case continues. Don’t let that happen. Call an attorney first, so that the attorney can deal with the insurance companies.

Make sure that you don’t hire the wrong attorney. You need to hire an attorney who practices personal injury exclusively, and handles motorcycle cases regularly. If you hire an attorney who does family law, bankruptcies, or any other type of case, they’re not going to be as experienced in handling these types of cases, and they’re not going to be prepared to take your case all the way to trial if need be.

What I tell people in a motorcycle accident case is not to make these mistakes as they’re very easy to avoid. Get immediate medical care. Call an attorney who is qualified and handles only personal injury and motorcycle accident cases before calling anybody from the insurance company.

How Much is My Case Worth?

I spoke with someone who was on the back of a motorcycle and was injured significant as a result of someone else’s negligence when they turned in front of the motorcycle. One of the questions she had was, “What’s the value of my motorcycle accident case?”

Some of the factors we look at in determining a fair value of a motorcycle case include the extent of the injury. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, there’s a very good chance that you sustained very serious injuries – whether it’s fractures, herniated disks, or tears to different parts of your body – and you may need surgery in a number of places. That care is expensive, and we would want to look at the cost of that care and make sure that you obtain the appropriate care.

With these serious injuries in motorcycle accidents, there’s going to continue to be problems in the future. So in determining the fair value of a motorcycle case, we have to get that information as well from the doctor. Are you going to need therapy in the future? Are you going to need more surgeries in the future? Are you going to have permanent disfigurement or permanent injuries? We’ll work with the appropriate medical professionals, who will obtain MRIs and x-rays, to document that information and provide that information to the insurance company.

The next thing is missing work. We have to document and make sure we make a claim for all those lost wages, both the lost wages that occurred from the day of the accident and those in the future. If this injury from this motorcycle accident means you can’t do your job anymore, and you have to change jobs or go to some other type of employment arrangement altogether, we have to make sure that we recover that for you.

The last part is the pain and suffering and non-economic damages, like loss of enjoyment of life, that you’re going to live with for the rest of your life. While those are difficult to value, they’re very important to most people, how an accident, and a motorcycle accident specifically, impacts their life.

Do I Need to Have High Medical Bills to File a Claim?

Recently, we received a phone call from someone who was involved in a motorcycle accident. They wanted to know if there was a minimum amount of medical bills necessary to make a claim against the insurance company. There is no minimum amount of medical bills necessary. When a client comes into our office for an evaluation, the first thing that I want to know is if if they still have any ongoing problems as a result of this motorcycle accident. If they do, then we make sure that our clients receive the treatment that they need.

Who Pays My Medical Bills?

Recently, someone gave us a call. They were involved in a serious motorcycle accident. They were receiving a lot of medical bills and they wanted to know who was going to pay for these medical bills. When someone is involved in a motorcycle accident, we immediately begin our investigation. We find out how the accident happened, who caused the accident, and ultimately what insurance company is going to be paying for these medical bills.

Do I Need to Provide a Statement?

I met with a gentleman who was involved in a motorcycle accident and was injured. In the days leading up to meeting with me, he had been getting repeated calls from the insurance company, asking him to give a recorded statement, and he was unsure of what his rights and obligations were in regards to those requests.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, do not give any insurance company any type of statement until you’ve hired an attorney first, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer, with experience handling motorcycle cases. The insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses that are designed to minimize any payment that they may ultimately have to make to you for your injuries.

Should I Take a Settlement Offer?

I had a motorcycle accident client ask me recently, when we received the initial offer from the insurance company, “Should I take it?” My response was that he should not, at this point. There’s generally a process that has to occur in these cases. The insurance company has to see that that initial offer was low and unreasonable.

Through the process, we can demonstrate where the offer should be through depositions, discovery, a trial if we have to, and at the courthouse steps. If we’re not able to get them to offer something that’s reasonable and fair, then we’ll try the case. Usually that’s the process that has to occur, as opposed to taking that initial, lowball, offer.

How Long Will This Case Take?

The other day I had a new client call in. He’d been very seriously injured in a motorcycle crash. A question he had for me was, “How long will this process last?” I told him there are different stages.

The first stage is called pre-suit; it’s before we file a lawsuit. During that time period, you would be getting the medical treatment you need to treat your very serious injuries from that motorcycle crash. At the end of that time period, we would submit a demand, asking that the insurance carrier do the right thing. If they don’t, then we will file suit. You must be patient. It can be a lengthy process. Typically, we’ll have depositions, we’ll exchange paper discovery, and then we’ll have a mediation, which is like a settlement conference. Again, if the insurance company doesn’t do the right thing and settle the case at mediation, we get a trial date and we would try that case.

Call Our Sarasota Office Today for a Free Consultation

If you need an experienced personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL, please do not hesitate to give us a call to set up a free consultation. We will go over the details of your case and let you know what your legal options are as well as what your next step should be. We want to make sure you have the best chance at full compensation.

Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Sarasota, FL

If you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, we want to first express how sorry we are that you have to deal with this. Your injuries are most likely severe and require medical treatment. It can be very stressful to get hit with unexpected medical bills as well as having to miss time at work. If you are worried about your financial future, please give us a call. Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL dedicated to providing their expertise to getting you full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Read up a little bit about your case and then call our office to set up a free consultation.

How to Get Full Compensation in Sarasota, FL

Florida is a state that follows the rules of pure comparative negligence. What that means is that, even if the liable party’s insurance company pins some of the blame on you, you can still receive compensation. However, with shared fault means you have a reduced award. If you have been awarded $100,000 in damages, but you have been deemed 20% at fault for your part in causing the accident – say you were not in a crosswalk when you were hit – then your award will be reduced to $80,000. We will do everything we can to keep you from getting blamed for the accident. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with our Sarasota pedestrian accident attorneys.

Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company

Speaking of getting pinned for the blame, there is a big mistake that you need to avoid if you want to get full compensation. The liable party’s insurance company is most likely going to call you very shortly after the accident to try to get a recorded statement from you. If you agree to this, they will be asking you questions that might give you no choice but to answer unfavorably. The best thing you can do is have your personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL take over all communication with the insurance company.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries in Sarasota, FL

Because of the nature of these accidents, pedestrians are more likely to face life-changing injuries. You are completely exposed when you are hit by a vehicle and that can permanently change your body. The most common types of pedestrian accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Traumatic brain injury or concussion or contusion
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis

The most important thing you can do for yourself is get medical attention right away. There is nothing more important than your health. You want to make sure that your injuries are tended to. You might have a lot of adrenaline coursing through your body that makes it harder to tell how badly hurt you are, so you want to make sure that you have everything checked out.

Important First Steps

You might be too injured to collect evidence, so if that is the case, you can call on a friend, family member, or even an attorney to go on the scene and do these things for you. On the scene, you should take photos and videos of the vehicle that collided with you, and the area around you including tire marks and debris. You should also get contact information from any and all witnesses as well as the driver of the vehicle that hit you. Something that you should always remember while you are on the scene is that you should never say it was your fault. This can be used against you even if you weren’t the true cause of the accident.

Sarasota, FL Statute of Limitations

You have four years from the date of your accident to bring your claim or settle it in civil court. It is not a deadline you can get an extension for, and if you try to bring your claim after four years, you will be barred from receiving compensation. Four years seems like a long time, but you should never delay in talking to a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL. Your case is important and you want it to be as successful as possible. Getting to an attorney as soon as possible is only going to benefit your case because they need time to build you a strong case.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find the Right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

In talking to somebody who was hit by a car while a pedestrian, they sustained very serious injuries, as they usually do if you’re a pedestrian hit by a car. That person and their family wanted to know, “In the Sarasota area, how do I figure out who some of the best lawyers are to handle this case?”

You need to make sure that you hire an attorney who handles only personal injury cases and has experience with pedestrian cases specifically. You need to also be sure that that attorney is qualified to take the case as far as it needs to go, including trial. There’s a qualification that the Florida Bar does, which is board certification in civil trial law, that can help you understand whether the attorney you’re talking with is appropriately qualified. Less than 1% of the lawyers in the state are board certified, and it requires extensive reviews, testing, and trial experience to get that qualification and to be able to say that the attorney is a specialist in civil trial law.

That leads into the third most important thing, which is making sure the attorney who you talk to about your pedestrian injury is someone who does go to trial. Every insurance company knows the attorneys who don’t go to trial and just want to settle the case quickly for whatever they offer, and those attorneys get whatever the insurance companies first offer. On the other hand, they know who the trial lawyers are, that do go to trial, and because attorneys go to trial, they get different offers and are treated differently by the insurance companies and the defense lawyers.

In that situation, by hiring someone who’s board certified in civil trial law for your pedestrian accident, you’re going to have an attorney who is going to be able to obtain a fair settlement for you and, in the event that the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement, is going to have your case prepared to have your case go to trial and win.

What Do I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?

I was talking to an individual who was struck by a car. They did everything right. It’s important in your case that if you are a pedestrian struck by a car, to do things right, too.

The first thing that you should do is contact law enforcement. Make sure law enforcement gets there to document the accident, document any evidence, and assess fault. The next thing that you should do is get the names and contact information of any independent third-party witnesses. In pedestrian accident cases, liability is often disputed with drivers claiming that the pedestrian just jumped out in front of them, and they had no opportunity to avoid it. We know that’s not true, but oftentimes it is the testimony of independent third-parties who make the difference in proving that the fault was on the driver of the vehicle.

The next thing that you should do, if you’ve been injured as a pedestrian, is document any physical injuries that you sustained. Oftentimes, people who are pedestrians struck by vehicles have bruising, abrasions, road rash, things like that, and it’s important that those injuries be documented to help prove your damages case.

The next thing that you should do is seek medical care as soon as possible. Don’t try to tough it out. Don’t try to hope it just goes away, because oftentimes it doesn’t, and what happens is the insurance companies use those gaps in treatment against you to try to claim that your injury is from something other than your pedestrian accident.

The next thing that you should do is hire a competent personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL to assist you with the situation. Oftentimes, people call insurance companies first, and that’s the wrong thing to do. The reason that that’s the wrong thing to do is because insurance company adjusters are trained to ask you questions designed to minimize any payout that they may ultimately make for your injuries.

How Can I Avoid Trial?

I recently had a client who was involved in a pedestrian accident where she was hit by a car while she was walking. She asked me, “Are we going to have to go to trial on this case, or is there a way that I can avoid that?” She was obviously nervous. I told her, as I tell every client, the main reason that we end up having to try a case is because the insurance company is not fairly and reasonably evaluating their case like they should. If they don’t do that, we will take that case to trial, and we’ll ask a jury to do what’s right.

To avoid trial, though, we have to be prepared. We will have thorough preparation for depositions and discovery throughout the litigation process. Very importantly, we would have her prepared for any depositions she was going to have to undergo, and that she would be thoroughly prepared for any trial testimony, including a heads up as to what sort of cross examination she can expect from the insurance company. We would have medical providers also thoroughly prepared and ready to go, as well as any experts that we have to hire to testify in court, so that, by the time we get to a trial, the insurance company can see we’re ready to go and, if you’re not going to do the right thing, we’re going to ask a jury to do the right thing for our client.

Can Preexisting Injuries Affect My Pedestrian Accident Claim?

Last week I was meeting with a client who was a pedestrian and was struck by a motor vehicle. She sustained significant back injuries and was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to make a claim for those injuries because she had had prior problems with her back. Florida law does allow individuals, who have been struck by motor vehicles, to make claims for aggravation of preexisting conditions, as well as any new injuries that were suffered in that accident.

Our firm has extensive experience in handling pedestrian accidents, including those involving preexisting conditions. Understand that, many times, preexisting conditions help a case in that they explain why the injury became as extensive as it did.

What Mistakes Can I Avoid?

In speaking with a gentleman who was hit by a car as a pedestrian the other day, he had some questions about his serious injuries and also wanted to make sure he didn’t make any mistakes. He asked me, “What mistakes can I avoid?” The first thing to avoid, if you’re in a pedestrian accident, is make sure that you call appropriate law enforcement to the scene so that it is documented what happened and they take a report of your injury and accident.

The second thing is to obtain appropriate and immediate medical care. Don’t wait days or weeks to get seen at the emergency room, the walk-in clinic, or another appropriate medical professional. You need to document that injury immediately, because the insurance company will use it against you if you wait weeks or longer to go get your medical care.

The next mistake that pedestrians make when they’re injured in accidents is they may want to reach out to the insurance company, and talk to them about what happened, thinking that they can handle that all by themselves. That’s a huge mistake because most people in pedestrian accidents have no experience in this area and the insurance professionals on the other end of the phone do, so they’re going to be asking questions and doing things immediately to try to minimize the value of your pedestrian accident case. You need to have an attorney immediately dealing with these people, and you need an attorney that knows how to handle these types of cases.

The last mistake is to hire the wrong personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL for your pedestrian accident case. If you hire an attorney who doesn’t regularly handle personal injury cases, and doesn’t handle pedestrian cases, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. A general practitioner or a lawyer who just does pedestrian accident personal injury on the side doesn’t have the expertise, doesn’t have the experience, and isn’t somebody who is going to be capable of pushing your case as far as needed in order for you to get the recovery that you deserve.

How Much is My Case Worth?

While speaking with somebody who is a pedestrian and was hit by a car, one of the questions they had for me was, “How do I figure out the value of my case?” I explained to that person, what we have to do is look at the medical care and the medical records, and make sure that you’re being seen by highly qualified doctors and that you’re following those doctors’ advice. What we need to determine from the MRI studies, the x-rays, and the doctor’s opinions is what the extent of the injury is. Is this a fracture? Are there herniated discs? Are there tears in knees or shoulders? Are there other injuries, such as a head injury?

We will obtain the appropriate treatment records, see what the medical bills are, and ask these qualified physicians about what you will require going into the future for your injuries. We need to know, so that we can present it to the insurance company, if you will need more therapy in the future. Are these injuries permanent? Are they going to require invasive injections going forward? Are you going to need surgery? Those things can be put together by a qualified physician, and we can present that claim on your behalf.

The other thing we see in pedestrian accidents is that the injuries are very serious and the person misses work. If the person misses work, they’re going to be out-of-pocket immediately for their lost wages and we have to recover those wages for our clients. We’ll document those lost wages from the time of the accident, all the way forward to the settlement of the claim. Those are not the only lost wages that’s important. What is going to be missed in the future is critically important as well. If the injury that you sustained in your pedestrian accident means that you can’t go back to your job at all, we have to present that claim for future loss of earning capacity, and that’s something we do on a regular basis.

The other thing that we look at going forward is how this pedestrian accident has impacted your life. Is this something that is going to be with you the rest of your life? Is this a permanent injury? Are you going to have a loss of enjoyment of life? Are you going to have interactions with your friends and family that are different because of your injuries? Do you have pain and suffering? We have to look at those things because they’re very important damages, and those are damages we present to insurance companies, to defense lawyers, and to juries if we go to trial.

Do I Need to Have a Minimum Amount of Medical Bills to File a Claim?

I had a client come into our office who was involved in a pedestrian accident, and they were concerned that they weren’t able to make a claim because they had minimal medical bills. They wanted to know if there was a threshold or a certain amount of medical bills that was necessary to present a claim. It doesn’t matter what your medical bills are.

The first questions that I always ask a potential client is, “Have you received all the treatment that you need? Do you still have any ongoing problems as a result of this accident that you were involved in?” If they still have ongoing problems, we want to make sure that they get to the appropriate specialist for additional treatment.

Who Pays My Medical Bills?

Recently, someone gave us a call. They were involved in an auto accident, but they were a pedestrian. They were walking in a crosswalk when a vehicle hit them. They had mounting medical bills and wanted to know who was going to pay for these medical bills. We immediately begin our investigation and we find out who the other person’s auto insurance is, and then we pursue that auto insurance for all medical bills.

We also do additional investigation. Was this person in the course and scope of employment? Were they running an errand for someone? Were they driving for Uber, Lyft, or Uber Eats? Those are all questions that need to be answered, and our firm is very capable of answering all those questions and investigating the case properly.

Do I Need to Give a Recorded Statement?

I met with an individual who had been struck in a crosswalk by a vehicle. In the days leading up to talking with me, he’d received numerous phone calls from the other driver’s insurance company, requesting that he give a recorded statement, and he was unsure of his rights as to whether he had to give that statement or not. The answer is, no, there is no requirement to give a recorded statement to an insurance company, especially not before talking to a lawyer first.

Anyone who’s a pedestrian struck by a vehicle and injured should first talk to a lawyer with a track record of successfully prosecuting injury claims for pedestrians who have been struck by motor vehicles, and our firm has that experience. The insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses to eliminate or minimize any payment that they may ultimately have to make for your injuries.

Should I Take a Settlement Offer?

I recently had a client who had been involved in a very serious pedestrian accident. She asked me, when we received our initial offer from the insurance company, “Should we take it?” I told her no. A rule of thumb is that the initial offer is going to be a lowball offer from the insurance company. Usually what has to happen is we have to push to litigate the case, demonstrate to the insurance company through depositions, and exchange of discovery that that initial offer is not fair or reasonable. If we have to go to the courthouse steps and into a trial to do it, then we’ll do it.

How Long Will This Case Take?

I had a new call from a client, recently. He had been involved in an accident as a pedestrian. He was walking on a crosswalk when he was hit by a car. The questions he had for me were, “How long is this going to take?” and “How much time are we going to have to go through until I can potentially get this case resolved?” I told him, like I tell every client who has been involved in a pedestrian accident, that there are different phases.

The initial phase is pre-suit; that’s before we file a lawsuit. During that time period, he would be getting medical treatment for the injuries he sustained in that pedestrian accident. At the end of that time period, we would submit a demand to any insurance carriers that are responsible for those damages. If they don’t do the right thing, then we would file a lawsuit.

You have to be patient with the suit process. It can be extensive, but we’re here to help. We’re here to try to make it as least frustrating a process as we can. During that time period, we’ll have depositions, we’ll have paper discovery that’s exchanged, and we’ll have a settlement conference, called a mediation. At that settlement conference, if the insurance carrier doesn’t do the right thing and settle that pedestrian accident case, then we would seek a trial date. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel.

What Steps Do I Need to Take?

Recently, someone came into our office regarding an accident that they were in. They were walking in a crosswalk and they were hit by a vehicle. They wanted to know what the steps of a case like this would entail.

First, I want to make sure that our clients are getting the medical treatment that they need. We can assist with that if they have not already started their medical treatment. Second, we want to preserve all evidence. We want to gather witness statements, photographs, and any evidence that we can. Oftentimes, evidence can disappear, and we want to make sure to preserve that.

We then find out who’s going to be liable for our client’s damages. Once our client has completed all medical treatment, we can then submit what’s called a demand. A demand is when we submit all medical records, medical bills, and evidence to the insurance company so they can properly evaluate our client’s claim. After 30 days, the insurance company will give us an initial offer. If that initial offer is reasonable, we can begin negotiations on our client’s claim. If the initial offer is unreasonable, then we would recommend filing a lawsuit.

Call Our Sarasota Office Today for a Free Consultation

If you need a strong and dedicated personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL to guide you through your case, please do not hesitate to give us a call to set up a free consultation. We will make sure you are on track to receive the best possible compensation award.

Slip and Fall Lawyers Sarasota, FL

If you suffered a serious injury from slipping and falling, you may be eligible for compensation. You probably have most likely incurred a lot of unexpected medical expenses and have had to miss time at work to recover from your injuries. We work hard to get you compensation for your injuries and hold the insurance company for the liable party responsible for your damages. Give this page a read and then please call our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL to set up a free consultation to go over the details of your case and discuss what your next legal steps should be.

Sarasota, FL Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations

In Sarasota, FL, you have four years from the date of the slip and fall to bring your claim or settle it in civil court. That means you have a four year time frame in which you can pursue compensation from the liable party. If you wait longer than four years, you will be barred from receiving compensation altogether. Four years may seem like a very long time and you may think you have plenty of it to bring your claim, but we do not advise waiting any period of time. As soon as you’re able to call, you should. If you wait, it could put pressure on your attorney to rush the process in order to put together your case. You want to be able to give your personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL as much time as possible to put together your case and make sure they fully investigate it to create a strong argument for you.

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

Not only are slip and falls kind of embarrassing, but they can cause some serious injury that have the potential to be life-changing. The most common types of slip and fall injuries that we see clients get include:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Slipped discs
  • Neck and head injuries
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cuts and lacerations

You must ensure that you seek medical attention right away for your injuries. Do not ignore any pain you may be feeling and don’t feel like you can just brush it off. You do not want to risk worsening your condition for any reason.

Important First Steps After a Slip and Fall in Sarasota, FL

The most important step will be getting yourself in front of a medical professional. Whether this happens because you got on the ambulance and were taken to the ER that day or you went to see your primary physician the next day, you need to do it as soon as you can. You want to ensure that you have documented proof of your injuries so you can show the liable party’s insurance company just how badly you are injured because of their insured’s negligence.

The second most important step after your slip and fall is the collection of evidence. You want to make an accident report if you’ve slipped in a store or on public property. On private property, you want to let the owner know you were hurt on the property. You should take photos of what caused your trip or slip and ask any witnesses for contact information. Lastly, never admit that it was your fault. That is important if you want that full and fair compensation.

Avoid Talking to the Insurance Company

The biggest mistake people often make is usually done because you want to be cooperative. The insurance company that represents the liable party in your slip and fall will reach out to you after your injury and will ask you to give them a recorded statement about the accident to help them help you. You should never give that recorded statement. It will only hurt your case. They are trained to ask you questions in a way that will force you to answer unfavorably. They will try to trick you into blaming yourself for the accident. What we suggest is having your attorney either moderate a conversation between you and the insurance company or have your attorney take over the communication altogether.

Frequently Asked Slip and Fall Questions

How Do I Pick the Right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

In speaking with somebody who was in a slip and fall accident in Sarasota, Florida, and ended up sustaining very serious injuries, the first question they had was, “How do I find the best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL for me?” The first thing to consider is if this attorney handles slip and fall cases. There are a lot of attorneys who handle all types of cases, from family law to bankruptcy cases, and there are’s a lot of lawyers who handle personal injury cases that don’t handle slip and fall cases. You need someone who specifically handles a high volume of slip and fall cases, like our firm does.

You can look at the Florida Bar to see which attorney has their certification for civil trial law, which means that those attorneys are specialists in that field. They can only become specialists in civil trial law by trying a certain number of cases in front of a jury and getting the approval of judges and other attorneys.

If you hire an attorney who doesn’t go to trial, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice because, all the defense lawyers know who the lawyers are that go to trial, and they take those lawyers more seriously because they know if they lowball those attorneys, those attorneys are going to go to trial and push the case as far as they need to, to make sure that their client gets something that’s fair.

What Are the Steps in a Slip and Fall Claim?

Someone came into our office regarding a slip and fall accident that they had been involved in. They wanted to know what a slip and fall case entails. First, we want to make sure that our clients receive the appropriate medical attention that they need. If they need to see an orthopedic specialist, we make sure that they get there.

Second, we want to do our investigation. Are there pictures of the substance that cause the slip? If not, can we get out to the location and gather that evidence as quickly as possible? Then we determine who is going to be responsible for our client’s injuries.

Once our client has recovered from their injuries and has gone through the medical treatment that they need to, we gather all medical records and medical bills and submit that to the insurance company in a demand. The insurance company will have 30 days to evaluate our client’s claim and, after those 30 days, they will submit an initial offer to our client.

If that initial offer is reasonable, then we can begin the negotiation process. More often than not, the initial offer is not reasonable and we have to file a lawsuit against the appropriate entity.

What Are the Common Mistakes After a Slip and Fall Injury?

We handle a lot of slip and fall cases at our law firm, and there are some common mistakes that people make that can be easily avoided. First, if you are in a slip and fall accident at a store, you need to make sure that you bring that accident to the attention of the store personnel and that you show them where it was you fell and the reason you did. Oftentimes, we have clients who are in a slip and fall injure themselves, and they’re quick to get up and leave the store. The problem with that is, it doesn’t document what happened and it makes it harder, as the case goes on, for us to prove the event. Be sure to let the store personnel know.

The second thing is, if you’re well enough to do so or you have friends or family with you, document the cause of the slip and fall by taking photographs at the scene. It’s important that we establish the reason for the fall. Oftentimes, the employees of the store are going to try to clean that up before any photographs can be taken, so we need to have that evidence.

Next, be sure that you don’t give a statement about fault to store personnel or their insurance companies before you hire an attorney. They may ask you questions that they then can use against you. If you have an attorney hired, they can navigate that part for you and make sure that you’re able to recover what’s fair in your case.

Last, make sure you hire a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL who is qualified. Don’t hire an attorney who doesn’t handle personal injury cases regularly. Make sure that the attorney you hire is someone who’s highly qualified and has trial experience. The easiest way to do that is to make sure you hire a board certified civil trial lawyer, like most of the attorneys at our firm.

What Do I Do After a Slip and Fall Injury?

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, there are a few things that are imperative for you to do. The first thing to do is contact store personnel and make them aware of the problem. The next thing that you should do is document the scene yourself. Take a photograph of whatever caused your fall, and make sure that you know what it is that caused your fall. Oftentimes when people fall, they’re hurt, stunned, and leave the store immediately, thinking that they’ll have a case, even though they haven’t left any documentation with the store. That’s not true. In order to be successful in your slip and fall injury case, there needs to be documentation and you need to be able to tell a jury what it was that caused your fall.

The next thing that you should do is seek immediate medical care. If there are any gaps in treatment, the insurance companies will use those gaps against you to claim that your injuries were caused by something else and were unrelated to your slip and fall. The next thing you should do is contact a competent attorney, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer, who practices nothing but personal injury. Do that before you contact any insurance company, because the insurance company personnel are trained to ask you questions that get you to answer in a way that will minimize any potential payout they have to make for your damages resulting from your slip and fall injury.

Can We Avoid Trial for a Slip and Fall Claim?

I recently had a slip and fall client of mine ask me, “Are we going to have to go to trial on this case?” First of all, the main reason that we would have to go to a trial is if the insurance company is not fairly and reasonably evaluating the case and offering us an amount that is just, in light of the circumstances and the facts that they have. If that happens, we will try the case, and we will ask a jury to do the right thing because the insurance company won’t.

The way to avoid trial is by being prepared, not only through preparation, depositions, and discovery, but by preparing you to be ready for any depositions that occur. That includes making sure you know what’s coming on a cross examination from the insurance company. We also prepare any medical providers for testimony at trial, thoroughly, and any experts that may have to be hired as well, so by the time we get to court, the insurance company will see we’re ready.

Can Preexisting Injuries Affect My Slip and Fall Claim?

I met with a client who had been injured in a slip and fall accident and the client sustained numerous injuries, some of which were to body parts that had been injured at previous times in their lives. That client was concerned that she may not be able to make a claim for certain injuries sustained in the slip and fall because there were preexisting conditions.

Florida law allows people who have been injured as a result of someone’s negligence in a slip and fall accident to make a claim for the aggravation or worsening of a preexisting condition. Our firm has extensive experience handling slip and fall cases and obtaining excellent results for our clients who have been injured, even when they have preexisting conditions.

How Long Will My Case Take?

I had a client call me recently about a very serious slip and fall. He had some very serious injuries as a result of it, and the question he had for me was, “How long is this process going to last for me?” I told him there are different stages for these types of cases when you’re involved in a slip and fall.

First, there’s a pre-suit time period where he would be getting medical treatment for the serious injuries that he had from that slip and fall accident. At the end of that time period, we would submit a demand to the insurance carriers responsible and, if they don’t do the right thing by offering a fair settlement, we would file a lawsuit.

The suit period can be extensive. I told him that, if we have to file a lawsuit, we have to be patient. It can take some time. We’ll have depositions, paper discovery,, and a mediation that needs to occur. At a settlement conference, if the insurance company doesn’t do the right thing and resolve that slip and fall case, then we would seek a trial date and we would try the case.

How Much is My Case Worth?

In talking to a client in Sarasota, FL about a slip and fall case that they had not too long ago, one of their questions was, “What’s the value of this slip and fall case?” There are a number of factors that are important in determining a slip and fall case value. One of them is how the accident happened. That is discovered through an extensive interview with our attorneys to determine how it happened and how we can prove that it was the fault of the store or residence where you slipped and fell.

Was there immediate medical treatment, and what was it? It’s important that a doctor document the injuries that occurred initially and that highly qualified doctors continue to treat you, if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, and obtain appropriate MRIs, x-rays, and any other diagnostic tools they have, to identify the full extent of your injury.

In evaluating the value of your case, we have to look at what the injuries are, what care was obtained and what the cost of that care was. If you’ve had therapy, injections, surgery, those are all important factors to consider. It’s important to consider, as well, what you will need in the future because of your injuries. Will you need more therapy? Will you need additional surgeries? We’ll work with highly qualified doctors who can evaluate your injury, look at the appropriate studies, and offer opinions about what you’re going to need in the future for the rest of your life, so that we can make that claim on your behalf to the insurance company or in front of a jury trial.

The other thing that’s important when determining the value of the case is if the person missed work. Are there out-of-pocket for lost wages, and are they going to miss work in the future? Are these injuries going to be with them forever? Are the injuries going to shorten their work life? Are the injuries going to cause them to have to give up an occupation that they loved and find something else to support their family? We will document those with appropriate experts who can put a dollar figure on those losses and present them to the insurance company.

Finally, what is the effect on the person in a non-economic way? That is not calculatable, but how this affects the person’s enjoyment of life, their interactions with their children, and family. What is the pain and suffering as a result of the accident? These are very important damages, and we can help evaluate these as well.

Do I Have to Have a Certain Amount of Medical Bills?

Recently, someone gave us a call regarding a slip and fall accident, and they were concerned that they weren’t able to present a claim, because they didn’t have very many medical bills. That simply is not true.

The first question that I ask any potential client is, “Have you fully recovered from your injuries?” More often than not, people have not and they need further treatment. We make sure that they get the treatment that they need for their injuries. Once they’re done with their treatment, that’s when we can start negotiating on a case.

Who Pays My Medical Bills?

Recently, we received a phone call from someone who was injured in a slip and fall accident. Sometimes slip and fall accidents are the worst because you don’t anticipate falling on a substance that shouldn’t have been on the floor. The client asked me, “Who’s going to pay those medical bills?”

We contact the facility or the location where the person has fallen, and we begin our investigation. They will have a liability coverage policy in place, and we pursue that policy for all of our client’s damages, including past medical bills, future medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Do I Need to Speak to the Insurance Company?

I met a client who was injured in a slip and fall accident in a grocery store. She had been getting calls from the insurance company for the store wanting to take her recorded statement. She hadn’t given the statement and was unsure of whether she was obligated to give that statement in order to have a claim. There is no obligation to make that recorded statement.

Before giving any type of recorded statement, if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, make sure you call a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer, with a history and track record of successfully handling slip and fall cases before talking to any insurance company. The insurance company adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses designed to eliminate or minimize any payment that they may ultimately have to make to you for your injuries.

Should I Accept an Initial Settlement Offer?

I recently had a slip and fall client ask me, when we received the initial offer from the insurance company, “Should we take it?” I told her no. Most initial offers that we receive are not going to be close to what’s reasonable and fair to resolve the case. Usually, what has to happen is we have to push the case to litigation and show the insurance company, through depositions, discovery, and through medical providers that that initial offer is not what’s reasonable. If we have to show that all the way to the courthouse steps and into a trial, we will do that for you.

Call Our Sarasota, FL Office Right Away for a Free Consultation

If you have been seriously hurt in a slip and fall, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Sarasota slip and fall lawyers today to set up your free case evaluation. Your case is important to us and we want to ensure you will be getting the best possible compensation award. We are here to answer your questions, guide you through the legal battle, and safeguard your right to full and fair compensation. We have handled many cases just like yours and are eager to take your call.

Truck Accident Lawyers Sarasota, FL

Getting in a truck accident can be absolutely horrifying. It is truly a traumatic event that can lead to some life changing injuries. You might be feeling like your life has been flipped on its head and now you may be feeling confused about what you should do next. If you have been seriously injured in your truck accident, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation. Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL is here to guide you through this legal situation. We will work tirelessly to get you the result you deserve.

Important First Steps in Your Sarasota Truck Accident Case

The most important thing you can do is get immediate medical attention after the accident. Your injuries may be so severe that you are taken on an ambulance and immediately taken to the emergency room. You may want to visit an urgent care after the police come and take a report or you might call your primary doctor to set up an emergency visit. Whatever you do, don’t wait to seek medical attention and don’t avoid it either. You will only end up making your injuries worse. It will also prompt the liable party’s insurance company to try to throw out your case by saying your injuries were not either relevant to the case or that you are not injured to begin with.

Most Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries

Truck accidents are typically pretty severe because of the nature of the collisions. Trucks are excessively heavy and hard to manage. They don’t stop quickly and they have huge blind spots. Because of this, the injuries tend to be extremely serious. The most common injuries we see from truck accident victims include:

  • fractures and broken bones
  • internal organ damage
  • spinal cord injury
  • slipped disc
  • nerve damage
  • traumatic brain injury
  • concussion
  • paralysis

Unfortunately, many of these cases result in permanent and life-altering injury. The best thing you can do is seek medical attention and continue to do it. Your health is the most important thing and even trumps your compensation. Make sure you take care of yourself.

Sarasota, FL Statute of Limitations

You are allowed four years from the date of your truck accident to either bring your claim or to settle it in civil court. Four years seems like a long time, but with a personal injury case, those years can go by quickly. You do not want to delay in hiring an attorney. If you miss this four year deadline, you will be completely barred from receiving any compensation. Even if you have maybe a week left of your statute of limitations, an attorney might not be able to help you. These cases take time to build into a strong claim. The sooner you get to an attorney, the better off you will be.

How to Avoid Getting Reduced Compensation in Sarasota, FL

In Sarasota, FL there are pure comparative negligence rules which allow for you to receive compensation even if you have shared fault. The only way you can get barred from compensation is if you share 100% of the fault. If you have 0-99% fault, you will have your award reduced by the amount of blame you share. For example, if you have been awarded $100,000 and you have been deemed 20% at fault, your award will be reduced to $80,000. Our job is to keep you from getting any of this shared fault so that you can get the most possible compensation.

Do NOT Talk to the Liable Party’s Insurance Company

The insurance company is almost certainly going to call you shortly after the accident to try to get a recorded statement from you. They will be looking to get you to put yourself at the center of the blame. If they do that, they can owe you less money than what you are entitled to. If they are calling you, please understand that you are not legally obligated to cooperate with them. Giving them the recorded statement is not going to benefit you. It is only going to hurt your case if you answer in an unfavorable way. You should never speak to the insurance company before first consulting your attorney. You can also allow your attorney to totally take over communication with that insurance company.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Find the Best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

I spoke with somebody who was seriously injured in a semi-truck accident in Sarasota, FL. In talking to him about the case, one of the first things they asked was, “With a serious injury like what I have, how do I find the best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?” There are a number of things to look at when hiring a truck accident attorney. The first thing to look at is if this attorney handles only personal injury cases and has significant experience with truck accident cases.

There are a number of attorneys out there who handle all types of matters, from bankruptcy, to divorces, to custody battles, to real estate, and they might handle a car accident case if you call them, but they don’t have the expertise to properly move a case forward if you’ve got a serious truck accident case.

The Florida Bar has a civil trial certification. That is only given to those who regularly go to trial in civil cases, and who judges and other attorneys agree are specialists in the field of civil trial law. When looking for a truck accident attorney, be sure that you’re only looking at civil trial board certified lawyers. That goes to the third most important point, which is why you need a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL who is going to go to trial on a regular basis. That’s because the insurance companies, the truck companies, and those who handle those claims know who the attorneys are that go to trial.

The attorneys who don’t go to trial are going to get much lesser offers, and if the company forces them to go to trial, they’re not going to be capable of doing a good job. On the other hand, if you hire an attorney who is a regular trial attorney, and goes to trial on a regular basis, they’re going to get better offers on your claim. Make sure they’re board certified, make sure they go to trial, and make sure they regularly handle truck accident cases like our firm.

What Mistakes Can I Avoid?

I got a call last week from somebody who was in a serious truck accident and was injured as a result. One of his concerns was avoiding making mistakes. I told him a number of things. First, when you’re in a truck accident and you’re injured, it’s important to call law enforcement immediately and document what happened in that accident.

As soon as that’s done, it’s very important to obtain the appropriate medical care immediately. What we found is that insurance companies are going to hold it against you if you don’t get immediate medical care by suggesting that somehow you weren’t seriously injured, even when you were. Don’t make the mistake of waiting days or weeks before getting medical care. Instead, get immediate medical care after your trucking accident.

The next mistake that people make is they think that they can handle these types of cases on their own and they start calling the insurance company. That’s a huge mistake. Insurance professionals, and particularly trucking accident insurance professionals, are highly trained to make sure that they ask the types of questions that are going to make it very hard for you to recover what’s fair in your case down the road. Be sure that you call an attorney before you start speaking with anybody from the trucking companies or from their insurance companies so that you can get the appropriate advice and the attorney can handle those conversations on your behalf.

Lastly, make sure you don’t hire the wrong attorney. It’s important that you hire an attorney who has experience handling only personal injury cases, and has significant experience handling truck accident cases, so that you get the right advice. It’s more important to hire somebody who is board certified in civil trial law because that person is a specialist in civil trial law.

What Steps Should I Take?

Recently, we had a client come into our office who was involved in a very serious trucking accident. They wanted to know what the steps of a trucking accident would be. First and foremost, we want to make sure that our clients get the appropriate medical attention that they need. We want to make sure they’re getting the treatment and that they’re seeing the appropriate doctors.

Second, we immediately begin our investigation. Witnesses can disappear, as well as evidence. We want to make sure that we gather and preserve that as soon as possible. We then look at all the different entities that could possibly be responsible for our client’s damages. A lot of times, with trucking accidents, there could be several entities with several different insurance companies. We do that investigation and we find out who ultimately is going to be responsible.

Once our client is done treating, we give a demand to the insurance companies. That’s when we gather all the medical records, all the medical bills, and outline the evidence and explain to the insurance company why they are responsible for our client’s damages. Typically an insurance company has 30 days to make an offer. Once our office receives the initial offer, we determine if that initial offer is fair or if it’s unreasonable.

If it’s fair, then we can start the negotiation process with the insurance company. More often than not, insurance companies are unreasonable with their first offers and sometimes it’s necessary to litigate the case.

What Do I Do After a Truck Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, there are a few things that are imperative for you to do. The first thing is to contact law enforcement so that they can arrive at the scene, document any evidence as to how the accident happened, and assess fault. The next thing that you need to do is to make sure that you gather any contact information of independent third-party witnesses. Oftentimes, it’s the witness testimony that decides who’s going to prevail in a case of disputed liability.

The next thing that is imperative for you to do is to seek immediate medical attention and make sure that you tell your medical provider about every problem that you’re having. Oftentimes, we see cases in which people come to us too late after an accident. They’ve gone days or weeks trying to tough it out, thinking it will go away and it doesn’t. What happens is the insurance companies use that gap in treatment against the person to say that they really weren’t injured.

The next thing that anyone who was in a truck accident should do is contact a competent attorney, specifically a board certified civil trial lawyer that specializes in personal injury law.

Can We Avoid Trial?

I had a client ask me about her trucking accident case. Her question for me was, “Is my case going to have to go to trial, or is there a way that we can avoid that?” I told her that the main reason we have to try cases is if an insurance company is not doing the right thing, and that is fairly evaluating her case and offering what her case is worth, in our opinion. If that doesn’t happen, then sometimes we have to go to trial and have a jury do the right thing, if the insurance company won’t.

The way we avoid trials is by being prepared. We will fully and completely prepare not only our case through depositions and through discovery, but also have our client prepared if they have to testify. We will have medical providers prepared if they have to testify about this case. We will have experts prepared as well, so that if we have to try the case, then the insurance company’s going to see we’re prepared and ready to go, and if they won’t do the right thing, we’ll have a jury do the right thing for us.

Can Preexisting Injuries Affect My Truck Accident Claim?

A client was in the office who had recently been in a truck accident, and he was concerned that he would not be able to make a claim for his back injury because he was in the construction industry and he had issues with his back for several years prior. That notwithstanding, his back condition was made far worse as a result of his motor vehicle collision.

Having a preexisting condition is not a detriment in those cases, and it often explains why clients who are involved in truck accidents have the extent of injury that they do. We have extensive experience trying truck accident cases involving preexisting conditions. In one particular case, we tried a case where the insurance company refused to even offer our client his past medical expenses, who had significant preexisting conditions but was injured in a truck accident. We went to trial on the case, and the jury awarded all of our client’s past medical expenses, future medical expenses, and extensive pain and suffering damages.

How Much is My Case Worth?

We had a truck accident client ask us, “How do I figure out what’s a fair settlement in my case?” We reviewed with him all the information that goes into determining a fair settlement value of his case, and those things are the same for everybody. The first is about the documented injury sustained in the truck accident. That information is obtained by medical professionals treating the person who’s injured by obtaining MRI and x-ray studies to document whether there’s fractures, herniated discs, tears in shoulders and/or knees, and whether surgery needs to take place. That leads into the second factor.

What was the cost of the medical care? Was it therapy? It may have been more invasive care, like injections or surgeries. Those things have to be taken into account and they’re very costly.

The next question is, even if there’s been a successful surgery, what is this person going to have to deal with in the future? Doctors will be able to testify about that and explain what future medical care, future surgeries, cost of those things are going to be in the future.

Did this truck accident cause the person to lose time from work? That’s an important claim for those lost wages. It’s also important, if they will be missing work in the future, that those wages are compensated.

The final piece, which is more difficult to put a dollar figure on, is how this injury affected this person in their personal life and their family life. It involves the loss of enjoyment of life and the inability to do things that you were able to do before the accident.

Do I Have to Have a Lot of Medical Bills to File?

Recently, someone came into our office regarding a trucking accident, and they were concerned that they were not able to make a claim because their medical bills were minimal. When someone comes into our office for a free evaluation, the first question I have for them is, “Are you done with your treatment?” If they still have any type of ongoing issues as a result of the accident, then we make sure that our clients go and get the medical treatment that they need for their injuries. Once treatment is completed, then we submit that information to the insurance company for further evaluation.

Who Pays My Medical Bills?

Recently, someone gave us a call that they were injured in a commercial trucking accident. They wanted to know who was going to be paying for their medical bills. We advised them that, in the state of Florida, there’s personal injury protection that pays for some of the medical bills. However, it only pays 80%. Part of our investigation is to find out what insurance company involved in the accident will be paying for the remaining of the bills. Additionally, there will be payment for pain and suffering and future medical care as well.

Do I Need to Give a Recorded Statement?

I met with an individual who had been involved in a truck accident and had sustained significant injuries. In the days prior to meeting with me, he had been getting repeated calls from the other driver’s insurance company asking him to give a recorded statement, and he was unsure of what he had to do in response to those inquiries. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, do not give any statement to the insurance company without talking to a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL first. Specifically, hire a board certified civil trial lawyer with experience in truck accident cases before talking to any insurance company.

The insurance company adjusters are trained to ask questions and elicit responses designed to minimize any payment that they have to make to you for your injuries.

Should I Take a Settlement Offer?

I had a client in a very serious trucking accident ask me, when we received our first initial offer from the insurance company, “Should I take it?” I said no. Typically, I’m going to say no because at that initial stage, the insurance company is potentially lowballing the case. They’re not offering what is reasonable and what is fair for the injuries that were sustained.

Usually, we need to push that case downfield. If we have to litigate, we have to show that we’re prepared with our depositions, prepared with our discovery, and with a potential trial, if we have to do that. That way, even if we’re on the courthouse steps, the insurance company will see that they need to be reasonable and fair. Nine out of ten times, that’s when the number that you receive will be something that is fair. That’s the reason why the initial offer generally should be rejected. We’re here to help you evaluate that process.

How Long Will This Case Take?

I had a client call recently about a trucking accident. She was involved in a very serious crash involving a semi-truck and she wanted to know, “How long is it going to be until I can get my case resolved?” I told her that the process happens in phases.

We start out with pre-suit, that’s prior to filing a lawsuit. During that time period, she would be getting treatment for her injuries that she sustained as a result of that truck crash. At the end of it, we would submit a demand to any insurance carrier that’s responsible for her injuries. If they don’t do the right thing – and they typically don’t – then we would file suit.

The litigation process can be lengthy. I told her, like every client that has a trucking accident, you have to be patient. We’ll have depositions, an exchange of paper discovery, and a settlement conference to try to resolve the case. If the insurance company doesn’t resolve it with us at that time, we get a trial date.

Call Our Office Today for a Free Consultation

If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL has handled dozens of cases just likes yours and will dedicate their practice to getting you the best result possible. You deserve full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages and we want to ensure that that happens for you. Please call us today to set up a free consultation to go over the details of your case and find out what your next step should be.

Wrongful Death Lawyers Sarasota, FL

If you have lost a loved one because of someone who was being reckless, careless, or even malicious, you are probably feeling very heartbroken and lost. These incidents can’t be fixed and no amount of litigation can bring your loved one back, so it’s harder to cope with. To seek compensation, it involves medical bills, dealing with insurance companies, having your life slipped on its head, and more, but we are here to handle it all for you.

Our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL knows that you need help financially after an accident like this and we are here to help you recover it from the negligent party who tore your loved one from you prematurely. You did not deserve to go through this just because someone else wasn’t doing their job and their due diligence. We will go head to head with the insurance company that represents the person who caused this wrongful death and we will not stop until they offer you the compensation you deserve. If they fight us more, we are willing and able to take them to trial. Please call our office today to set up a free consultation and let us get right to work for you.

Wrongful Death Accidents in Sarasota, FL

Our firm handles even the most severe of cases. We have experience handling every variety of wrongful death cases that victims in Florida have faced. It is so important that you have an personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL who has the knowledge necessary to take on this case for you. The types of wrongful death cases that we have represented victims for include:

  • Auto accidents including:
    • Car accidents
    • Truck accidents
    • Motorcycle accidents
    • Bus accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bike accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Product liability

We know that, with these devastating accidents, it can lead to devastating results. They can leave you really struggling to live a normal life and provide for yourself and your family.

Sarasota, FL Wrongful Death Rules

One of the most important things to keep in mind is your statute of limitations. In Florida, for most wrongful death cases, you have four years from the date of the injury or death to bring your claim. That does not mean that you can sit on it for months and call a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL the day before your limitations runs out. Four years may seem like a lot of time, but in terms of personal injury and wrongful death cases, it is not. Our attorney needs time to go through discovery of your case and plan out how to get you the best possible results. You also want to be aware that you have to have the proper person bring a wrongful death claim and that takes time to figure out as well. The wisest thing to do is to call an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so that evidence doesn’t disappear, witnesses do not forget key details, and we have plenty of time to do what we need to do to make this case win.

Next, you should know how the rules of compensation works in Florida. In our state, we follow the rules of pure comparative fault. That means there is a lot leeway for collecting a reward if there is shared fault in the actual happenings of the wrongful death. This will all be negotiated by your attorney and the insurance company. Wrongful death cases break down into two forms of compensation. There is wrongful death awards and there is pain and suffering awards. The wrongful death awards has to do with the lost wages your family will experience without the help of your loved one as well as any medical bills you have had to incur. Pain and suffering is an award that is based on the loved one who passed. You will receive compensation for how awful the injury that lead to death was and how much that loved one was in aguish before they passed. The insurance company will always fight you and your attorney on how much you will be awarded. The wrong attorney won’t know how to fight back. We don’t want to see you get less compensation because you didn’t have the right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Pick the Right personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?

Tragically, we spoke with someone who had a family member who was killed because someone else was and they were very concerned about taking care of the family and the children. Their question was, “How do I find the best personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL?” I told them a couple of things that I would look at when interviewing attorneys and determining if you want to hire them.

Does this attorney handle all personal injury cases and, specifically, have experience with wrongful death cases? There are a lot of attorneys out there who handle all types of matters, from real estate, to family law, to contract disputes. Those attorneys might agree to take a wrongful death case if you walked into their office, but it doesn’t mean that they’re the best qualified. Frankly, even a personal injury attorney that doesn’t have wrongful death experience is probably not the person to hire for such a serious and important claim.

In addition to making sure that the personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL has wrongful death experience is to get a board certified civil trial lawyer. The Florida Bar certifies lawyers in the field of civil trial if they have been to trial a significant number of times, and had the approval of judges and other attorneys that have commented on their skill expertise. That puts those attorneys in the top 1% of all attorneys in the state for civil trial law and makes them specialists in civil trial law. If you’ve had a wrongful death claim with a family member, it just doesn’t make sense to hire an attorney who is not board certified when you can hire a board certified attorney.

The third question is, does this attorney that I’m speaking with go to trial on a regular basis? That’s important because the insurance companies know who goes to trial and who doesn’t. Their offers and the way that they litigate cases is different depending on if they know the lawyer on the other side is a serious trial lawyer. Serious trial lawyers are going to get better offers from insurance companies and, if the insurance company still won’t be fair, are going to be ready to handle your case all the way through trial to get a fair result.

When looking for a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL, make sure that the attorney you’re talking to has handled wrongful death cases on a regular basis, only handles personal injury cases, is board certified in civil trial law and does go to trial like the attorneys at our firm.

What Do We Do After a Wrongful Death?

Death caused by another’s negligence or a company’s negligence is a devastating time for a family. Family members are often in the grieving process and not thinking about what needs to be done to ensure that the party who is responsible for that death is held accountable. It is imperative that, if you have experienced a wrongful death in your family, you immediately contact a board certified civil trial lawyer with experience in personal injury and wrongful death to help you in your time of need.

Having an appropriate attorney there will ensure that any investigation that needs to be done is conducted, witness statements are taken, and that anything else that needs to be done to ensure that the responsible party for that death is held accountable is done. Our firm has extensive experience in handling wrongful death claims.

Can We Avoid Trial for a Wrongful Death Claim?

I had a client ask me on a very serious wrongful death case, “Are we going to have to go to trial on this case, or is there a way that we can avoid going to trial on this case?” I told him that, typically, we have to try wrongful death cases if the insurance company is not doing the right thing, not being reasonable in fairly evaluating the case, and offering an amount that they should. If that happens, then we will try that wrongful death case and we’ll ask a jury to do the right thing.

The way to avoid having to go to trial is by being thoroughly prepared through depositions and discovery that we’ll exchange with the other side. Also, any survivors of the person who was killed in that wrongful death case will be prepared and ready for any depositions or trial testimony that they have to present, including any cross examination that might be coming from the insurance company.

We’ll have medical providers, as well as any experts that are necessary for that wrongful death case. We will have them ready to go so that by the time we get to trial on that wrongful death case, the insurance company will see we’re ready and if they’re not going to do the right thing, then we’re going to ask a jury to do it for us.

What Are Common Mistakes Made After a Wrongful Death?

We spoke with a family that had a loved one who was tragically killed in an accident that wasn’t their fault. They had a lot of concerns, and we spent a lot of time with them going over everything they needed to know about making this claim on behalf of their loved one. One of the questions they had was, “What mistakes should we avoid making in proceeding with this wrongful death claim?” There are a number of mistakes in a wrongful death claim. They can be very easy to avoid, but critically important to make sure that they are avoided.

It is very important that the cause of the accident and death are documented extensively. These are very important claims for every family member, whether it’s a car accident or a truck accident, or some other type of accident, it’s important that appropriate professionals are sent out to the scene to document evidence, document tire marks if that’s appropriate, take measurements, do interviews and determine what all the factors were that led to this accident and this death. That needs to take place immediately.

Most people, when faced with a death, don’t want to get an attorney involved for a period of time because they have a number of other things and family considerations that they have to deal with. The problem with that is, the scene where the accident and the death occurred is going to change immediately, so it’s critically important that someone go out there on your behalf, from an attorney’s office, and document all of those things immediately in order to prove your claim.

That leads me into the next thing that’s critically important to avoid in a wrongful death claim, and that is hiring the wrong personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL. If you hire the wrong attorney for your wrongful death claim, it’s going to be very difficult to prevail. You need to hire only an attorney who handles all personal injury cases, has experience with wrongful death cases, and is a trial attorney. If you hire somebody who has no experience with wrongful death cases, they’re not going to know the steps to take to maximize the claim for you and your family.

If you hire a personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL who doesn’t do trial work, the insurance companies and defense lawyers are going to know that that lawyer is not willing to take it all the way, and the offers and settlement possibilities are going to be very different, so make sure that you’re looking for an attorney that exclusively handles personal injury cases, wrongful death cases, and is a trial lawyer.

What Are the Steps in a Wrongful Death Case?

Recently, a family came into our office regarding a potential wrongful death case. These are the most tragic cases that our firm has to deal with because it’s the loss of a loved one. They wanted to know what the steps of the case would entail. First, we do our investigation. We find out how the accident happened and who will ultimately be liable for our client’s damages. We then contact all insurance companies that would be involved.

When we have gathered all the evidence, witness statements, and photographs, we then submit that to the insurance company for what’s called a demand. The insurance company then has 30 days to evaluate the claim. If the initial offer that the insurance company makes is unreasonable, then we will file a lawsuit on behalf of our clients.

How Much is My Claim Worth?

In speaking with a family that had a tragic death in the family and wanted to bring a wrongful death case, one of their questions was, “How do you value a wrongful death case?” It’s a very difficult question because it gets back to the question, how do you value the loss of human life? That’s not easy, but it’s something that a qualified wrongful death attorney can help you and your family understand.

The first part of it is economic. What was this person contributing to his or her family members through their work and their earnings? That’s a part of the claim, and we’ll look at that and be able to get the information, get the proof, and provide that to the insurance company.

The truth is, in most wrongful death cases, the majority of the evaluation of what the case is worth is how the loss of this person has affected his or her family members. There is a claim for pain and suffering to the remaining survivors or family members of the person who is now deceased as a result of somebody else’s fault.

We’ll interview and speak with children, sisters, brothers, and parents to determine what this relationship was like. What was this person’s involvement? What we find with many of our clients is very close familial relationships. When determining the value of a wrongful death case, we get all of that information and we’re sure to provide that information to the insurance company and to the defense lawyers to make sure that we get a fair settlement for the wrongful death case.

Should We Take the First Offer?

I had a client ask me, recently, regarding a wrongful death case that she’s involved with, “Should we take the first offer that’s come in from the insurance company?” I told her there are a lot of factors involved in answering that question but, nine out of ten times, the answer is no. That initial offer from the insurance company is going to be low; it’s not going to be in a range that’s fair and reasonable to settle the case. Usually, what we have to do is depositions, discovery, and get to the courthouse steps. If a reasonable offer doesn’t happen at that point in time, then we’ll try the case.

How Long Will the Case Take?

I had a new client recently contact me about a very serious wrongful death that had occurred to one of her family members. One of the many questions she had was, “How long is this process going to take??” I told her, like any other wrongful death case we handle, there are different phases we need to go through and timelines vary case to case.

The first phase is called pre-suit. We would be gathering information about how the death occurred, their funeral expenses, who the survivors were, and gathering all the information that we need to present the claim to any insurance carrier responsible for that wrongful death.

After we get that information together during that pre-suit time period, we would submit a demand to the insurance carrier. If they did the wrong thing and didn’t settle that case, then we would file a wrongful death lawsuit. That process can be extensive. I told her, as I tell every client, you have to be patient; it can take a while. There are depositions that will occur, paper discovery that will be exchanged, and there’s always a settlement conference, that will happen during that process. At that conference, if, again, the insurance carrier does not do the right thing, and try to settle that wrongful death case, then we will go to trial and we will try that case.

Contact Our Sarasota, FL Office Today

If you are looking for the attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve, please call our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota, FL today to set up a free consultation and let us get to work for you. We will make sure you are protected from the insurance company. Let us be your champion!