Common Personal Injury Questions in Florida
The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. patiently addresses your concerns
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury or wrongful death, we know you have many pressing questions. As a service to prospective clients, we offer this brief list of frequently asked questions. We encourage you to scan the rest of our pages for further information, and contact us when you’re ready.
- What advantages are there to hiring an attorney rather than handling the case myself?
- How much does it cost to take a case to trial?
- What happens when a case goes to arbitration?
- How important is it for my attorney to have had recent trial experience?
- How long does a personal injury case take to resolve?
Call our hometown Tampa attorneys today to manage your personal injury claim
Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney can do a great deal to ease your mind about your accident claim. Our attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. are happy to answer any and all of your questions in our office or, if necessary, at your home or hospital room. Call us today at 813.379.2007 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
What advantages are there to hiring an attorney rather than handling the case myself?
If you are an injured party, you must consider how much you can take on while still trying to recover your health. Can you reasonably expect to:
- Learn all you need to know about the law and court procedure?
- Interview all the witnesses and get their testimony on record?
- Collect all the physical evidence connected to your case?
- Consult with qualified experts who can interpret the evidence?
- Advance all costs of the litigation?
- Correctly assess the value of your case and negotiate a settlement for that amount?
- Represent yourself in court against trained professionals who try cases for a living?
How much does it cost to take a case to trial?
A trial is very expensive, since a plaintiff’s attorney must advance costs for:
- Filing the case and serving the defendants
- Preparing and filing motions and responses to motions
- Making court appearances
- Assembling physical and documentary evidence
- Reviewing documentary evidence
- Preparing plaintiff interrogatories/subpoenas
- Answering defense interrogatories/subpoenas
- Copying and shipping documents
- Deposing witnesses
- Having a court stenographer transcribe witness depositions
- Consulting with experts
Fortunately, you are not responsible for these advanced costs. The Matassini Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us after we recover compensation for you through a settlement or trial verdict.
What happens when a case goes to arbitration?
Arbitration is an alternative means for resolving a legal dispute, designed to be faster and less expensive that a trial. Each side presents its case to an arbiter rather than a judge or jury. The arbiter then rules in favor of one side or the other. In binding arbitration, the sides agree to be ruled by the arbiter’s decisions; in non-binding arbitration, they reserve the right to take the case to trial.
How important is it for my attorney to have had recent trial experience?
Defendants — which more often than not are insurance companies — hate going to trial. When your attorney can credibly threaten to go to trial, insurance companies are more likely to settle on favorable terms. Attorneys who have a reputation for settling quickly and easily have very little leverage in negotiations. Since our attorneys have a record of success at trial, defendants must take us seriously.
How long does a personal injury case take to resolve?
There is no average time for a personal injury case, since each case entails a unique set of facts. Some cases resolve within weeks, others take years. However, factors that can make a case take longer include:
- Uncertainty about the defendant’s fault
- Uncertainty about the plaintiff’s contributory fault
- The high cost of the plaintiff’s damages
- Uncertainty about the plaintiff’s damage claim
- Multiple defendants
- Multiple plaintiffs
- The availability of a trial date
- The plaintiff’s decision to opt for a jury trial rather than a bench trial
As a general rule, the more compensation the plaintiff requests, the harder an insurance company will fight to bring that number down, which often involves stalling the process and dragging out negotiations. In many high-value cases, defendant insurance companies wait until the trial date approaches to begin serious settlement talks.