Kibbey Wagner, PLLC | March 25, 2023 | Personal Injury
It may feel overwhelming to think about filing a personal injury claim after an accident in Port St. Lucie, FL. If you are struggling with physical injuries and emotional trauma, the last thing you want to think about is dealing with insurance companies or the courts.
You always have the option of hiring a Port St. Lucie accident lawyer to help you with your personal injury case. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide for filing a Port St. Lucie personal injury claim.
Get Medical Care As Soon As Possible
The first step is to get medical treatment from a qualified professional. If you’ve been in a serious accident, you may receive emergency medical treatment at a hospital. If your injuries are less severe or not immediately obvious, you may need to go to the doctor in the days after an accident.
You cannot file a Port St. Lucie personal injury claim without establishing that you are injured. Medical records and doctors’ opinions are the best evidence in these cases, especially when they are close in time to the accident.
If you have been in a car accident in Florida, you need to seek medical treatment within 14 days to get PIP insurance benefits.
You should collect as much evidence as possible following your accident. This evidence is necessary to prove who is at fault and responsible for paying for your losses.
Examples of evidence include:
- Photographs and video
- Witness contact information
- Police reports
- Medical records
It’s better to collect and document as much evidence as possible rather than not enough.
Document Expenses and Losses
You should also document pain and suffering damages. You can do this by keeping a journal of the emotional toll of the accident or documenting therapy and psychological treatment.
File a Claim With the Insurance Company
Insurance companies are usually involved in the personal injury claim process. You may need to file an insurance claim with your insurance or the at-fault party’s insurance. This usually involves contacting the insurance company and providing a statement, evidence, and the basis for the claim.
The insurance company will investigate the claim and decide whether or not they will accept or deny it. If they accept the claim, the company may agree to pay some or all of the requested losses.
Special Note for Florida Car Accident Cases
If you have been hurt in a car accident in Port St. Lucie, you need to file a PIP claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who caused the crash. If your damage exceeds $10,000 or you have severe injuries, you can typically file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Negotiate a Settlement
If the insurance company doesn’t agree to pay for all of your losses, you can still negotiate with them. You are allowed to make a counteroffer and convince them to settle for more.
For example, you may tell them that if they don’t pay your full losses, you will file a personal injury lawsuit. It is helpful to have a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you can’t agree with the insurance company, you should file a personal injury lawsuit. Your lawyer will know how to handle this legal process.
It starts by filing a complaint in civil court outlining the basis for the lawsuit and grounds for negligence. You will also give official notice to the defendant that they are being sued. The defendant can respond to the complaint, and then you can begin the discovery process. During this time, you can also negotiate for a settlement.
A Port St. Lucie Personal Injury Lawyer Will Handle Your Case from Start To Finish
If you are represented by a Port St. Lucie personal injury attorney, they will negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf. It’s always helpful to have a lawyer to help you through the process of filing a personal injury claim and to stand up for your rights.