The Typical Florida Injury Case Timeline

When your life has been interrupted by an injury due to an accident caused by another’s negligence it’s important to have a clear idea of what to do, and how long it will take. While every injury case is unique, on average they take around 18 months to be resolved. It is important to note that this timeline is based on when you hire an attorney through trial or settlement, not from the time of your accident.

Some cases will resolve sooner than others. A quickly resolved matter can be completed in as little as nine months while a longer case can take several years to be over. Regardless of the expected timeline, there are some steps that traditionally happen in every Florida injury case. 

The First Step After an Injury

Regardless of whether you plan to hire an attorney or not, the first thing you need to do when you’ve been injured in an accident is to seek qualified medical attention. Even if you don’t believe your injuries are bad enough to go to the Emergency Room, you should still see a doctor within 14 days of your accident.

Some injuries don’t show up immediately after an accident and can take days to appear. Getting an exam from your doctor can start your road to recovery and make sure minor injuries don’t get worse. 

The 14 Day timeline is also important to ensure all or a portion of your medical care is covered under Florida’s PIP Statute. This is insurance you’re already paying for with your car insurance and can cover up to $10,000 in medical expenses.

When to Contact our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys

Anyone injured in an accident in Florida should seek out a consultation with an attorney experienced in handling injury cases. A good lawyer can explain all of your rights, what to expect, how long they think your case will take, and what you’ll need to do and provide to make sure you have the best case possible.

Once you’ve discussed all of your options with an attorney, they will have you sign a contract allowing them to represent you against the other people, companies, and insurance providers involved in the case. They will then go forward with an investigation into the case where they will analyze the case based on who is involved, the injuries incurred, and what assets and insurance coverage are included.

Valuing an Injury Case

One area that attorneys consider when taking on a case is the value of that case. This includes understanding the companies and people involved in causing the injury, the cost of medical care for those injuries, and the value of any insurance policies or property that might be available to help pay for that care. If there were multiple people involved in the accident, the amounts of insurance coverage, and how the accident occurred are just some of the things that will be considered at this phase of the case. 

To Settle or to Sue

The question of whether you should settle your case, or sue will come up several times in the life of your case. Your insurance company will likely send you a settlement offer early on and this is something you should discuss with your lawyer before making a decision on whether to accept or deny it. 

There are several factors to consider including:

  • Your current medical expenses
  • Any future medical expenses you may have 
  • Any lost wages
  • Additional travel costs you incurred
  • Any pain and suffering you have had and will have going forward

If the settlement offer is enough to cover all of these, then your lawyer may suggest you accept it. Usually, however, these early offers are lower than they need to be to cover all of the expenses listed.

Remember:

Insurance companies will always try to lower their costs overall.
The offers they make always have their best interests in mind.

If you and your attorney aren’t able to agree to a settlement with opposing counsel, the insurance companies, and the other parties involved, then you may come to the decision to file a lawsuit. This moves the case to the next phase and will bring you closer to going to trial.

You still have the ability to reach a settlement between when the lawsuit is filed and when the trial starts, but the costs to both sides increase once a lawsuit is filed. It’s important to have a conversation with your attorney to discuss the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit or accepting any settlement offer that has been made.

The Pre-Trial Period

Once you decide to file a lawsuit in your injury case you move on to the Pre-Trial period of your case. This is when a trial date will be set by the courts.

During this period you will likely be required to attend mediation to see if all parties can come to an agreement and settle the case before going to trial. Your attorney will also take depositions (legally admissable interviews) with any witnesses, company representatives, friends, and experts they might want to hear from if and when your case goes to trial.

You may also be required to attend a Compulsory Medical Exam (CME). This is an exam done by a physician who works with an insurance company. Their job is to review your medical records and make a determination of your injuries for the insurance company. They are not your doctor and are NOT held to the traditional doctor/patient confidentiality relationship.

What Happens in a Personal Injury Trial

If, over the course of the Pre-Trial Period, you and your attorney are unable to reach a settlement with those who caused the accident, you will go to trial on your case. Personal injury trials can be as quick as a single day or last over a month depending on the number of people involved.

In our experience, most injury cases will only be in trial for three to five days.

During the trial, the judge and jury will hear from all the parties involved in the case. They will also hear from witnesses, experts, and others who have information on the case, the injuries, and who have an interest in the outcome of the trial.

Once all the evidence has been presented, the jury will then determine who is at fault in the case. In Florida, they will also consider “comparative negligence” in determining the fault of the case. This means that they have the option of putting a portion of the blame on anyone, including you, for causing the accident.

Once this has been discussed and determined, they will either decide what to award you for your injuries. This award may be reduced if your actions are found to have added to the cause of the accident. This is where “comparative fault” comes into the case.

After the Trial – The Appeals Process

If you win at trial, the other side has the opportunity to appeal the verdict. If they choose to do so, it could take over another year for you to get the resolution you deserve. The appeal may sustain (agree with) the outcome of your trial or it could cause that decision to be overturned which could lead to a retrial of your case. 

If there is an appeal to your case, then you can rely on our Florida Appellate Lawyers to help, or you could choose a lawyer in another firm. You might also have another opportunity to settle the case if the original decision was reversed.

Wrapping Up Your Personal Injury Case

The steps above may or may not be required in your injury case. The time it takes to complete each of those steps is dependent on your case and all of the parties involved.

One area that is extremely important to the outcome of your case and your health is following the instructions and recommendations of your doctors. Failing to follow through on treatment recommendations can cause your injuries to last longer or even get worse. The opposition will also use your lack of treatment as “proof” that your injuries aren’t as bad as they are.

As your attorneys, we at Chad Barr Law will make sure you’re aware of the expected timeline for each step. We’ll be there to ensure you have someone who is experienced and understands the process and can help you through the end. Each Florida Personal Injury suit is unique and will take a unique amount of time.

When you’re ready to start the process, contact us today.

Chad and his team were very professional!

Chad and his team were very professional! The help my wife so much with our case ! They recovered the full amount we asked for and it came at the best possible time. My wife and I found out we’re expecting our 1st child, and we got the good news they recovered the full amount very shortly after!

Matthew O.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:09:51-04:00

Matthew O.

Chad and his team were very professional! The help my wife so much with our case ! They recovered the full amount we asked for and it came at the best possible time. My wife and I found out we’re expecting our 1st child, and we got the good news they recovered the full amount very shortly after!

True Professionalism at it’s best.

True Professionalism at it's best. Great communication. Highly recommended. Give him a try you won't be disappointed if he is able to help. He will give you his all.

Ryan S.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:10:33-04:00

Ryan S.

True Professionalism at it's best. Great communication. Highly recommended. Give him a try you won't be disappointed if he is able to help. He will give you his all.

Great guy… great Attorney

Great guy... great Attorney, I have trusted him to handle my mom's case and have been extremely impressed.

John O.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:12:38-04:00

John O.

Great guy... great Attorney, I have trusted him to handle my mom's case and have been extremely impressed.

Professional and efficient.

Professional and efficient. Mr. Barr always stays in communication and follows through. I have hired a few attorneys in Orlando and he is by far the best!

Kimberly W.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:11:21-04:00

Kimberly W.

Professional and efficient. Mr. Barr always stays in communication and follows through. I have hired a few attorneys in Orlando and he is by far the best!

I could not be happier with the way Chad handled my situation.

I could not be happier with the way Chad handled my situation. He went above and beyond to protect me and achieved a resolution better than I hoped for. He's professional, communicated quickly, and answered all my legal questions. I highly recommend him.

Andrew H.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:08:35-04:00

Andrew H.

I could not be happier with the way Chad handled my situation. He went above and beyond to protect me and achieved a resolution better than I hoped for. He's professional, communicated quickly, and answered all my legal questions. I highly recommend him.
5
5
The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A

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Professional and efficient.

Professional and efficient. Mr. Barr always stays in communication and follows through. I have hired a few attorneys in Orlando and he is by far the best!

Kimberly W.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:11:21-04:00

Kimberly W.

Professional and efficient. Mr. Barr always stays in communication and follows through. I have hired a few attorneys in Orlando and he is by far the best!

I could not be happier with the way Chad handled my situation.

I could not be happier with the way Chad handled my situation. He went above and beyond to protect me and achieved a resolution better than I hoped for. He's professional, communicated quickly, and answered all my legal questions. I highly recommend him.

Andrew H.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:08:35-04:00

Andrew H.

I could not be happier with the way Chad handled my situation. He went above and beyond to protect me and achieved a resolution better than I hoped for. He's professional, communicated quickly, and answered all my legal questions. I highly recommend him.

Chad and his team were very professional!

Chad and his team were very professional! The help my wife so much with our case ! They recovered the full amount we asked for and it came at the best possible time. My wife and I found out we’re expecting our 1st child, and we got the good news they recovered the full amount very shortly after!

Matthew O.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:09:51-04:00

Matthew O.

Chad and his team were very professional! The help my wife so much with our case ! They recovered the full amount we asked for and it came at the best possible time. My wife and I found out we’re expecting our 1st child, and we got the good news they recovered the full amount very shortly after!

True Professionalism at it’s best.

True Professionalism at it's best. Great communication. Highly recommended. Give him a try you won't be disappointed if he is able to help. He will give you his all.

Ryan S.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:10:33-04:00

Ryan S.

True Professionalism at it's best. Great communication. Highly recommended. Give him a try you won't be disappointed if he is able to help. He will give you his all.

Great guy… great Attorney

Great guy... great Attorney, I have trusted him to handle my mom's case and have been extremely impressed.

John O.

The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A
5
2019-08-05T13:12:38-04:00

John O.

Great guy... great Attorney, I have trusted him to handle my mom's case and have been extremely impressed.
5
5
The Law Office of Chad A. Barr, P.A