Step-by-Step Guide for Filing a Miami Personal Injury Claim
March 20, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Personal Injury
Filing a personal injury claim can be an intimidating process. It requires time, effort, and patience—not to mention the emotional toll of dealing with an injury.
However, if you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is important to know your options and how you can receive the compensation you deserve. Here are the steps to filing a personal injury claim in Miami, FL:
Step 1: Determine If You Have a Valid Personal Injury Claim
A valid personal injury claim based on negligence must meet certain criteria: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. In other words, the defendant must have had an obligation or responsibility towards you (duty of care), breached this duty by acting unreasonably, and caused the damages you are seeking compensation for.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident because another driver ran a red light and hit your car, they breached their duty of care and are likely responsible for your injuries.
Step 2: Gather Evidence and Documentation
Evidence is key when filing a successful personal injury claim in Miami.
Try to collect as much evidence as possible that supports your version of events, including the following:
- Photos taken at the scene
- Videos or audio recordings, if available
- Medical records documenting your injuries
- Witness reports and contact information
- Police reports
- Emails or text messages, if applicable
Other documents and evidence may also apply, depending on the facts of your case.
Step 3: Establish Liability
In order for your claim to be successful, you must establish that someone else was responsible for causing the accident due to their own negligence. This can be done by reviewing the evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting experts. An experienced Miami personal injury lawyer will be able to make a compelling argument that someone else is liable.
Step 4: Calculate Your Damages
The next step is calculating your damages.
This means adding up:
- All medical expenses resulting from your injuries (past and future)
- Lost wages due to time spent away from work recovering from your injuries (past and future)
- Pain and suffering endured due to physical and emotional trauma sustained during and after the incident
- Loss of consortium (deprivation of companionship)
Additionally, be sure to keep all documentation related to medical bills and lost wages, as these can serve as evidence when filing a personal injury claim.
Step 5: Notify the At-Fault Party & Insurance Companies
Before making any statements or signing any documents, consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you on how to proceed with your case. After speaking with an attorney, you will need to notify the at-fault party and their insurance company of your claim.
Step 6: Negotiate a Settlement
After notifying the at-fault party and/or their insurance company about your claim for damages, they may make an offer to settle out of court. This process is quicker, cheaper, and easier for all parties involved, and most personal injury cases conclude without actually going to trial.
It is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer during this stage so that you don’t lose out on compensation due to inexperience and lack of legal knowledge regarding personal injury claims.
Step 7: File a Lawsuit
In some cases, negotiations fail because an agreement cannot be reached regarding how much money should be paid out—leaving only one option: file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
If no agreement can be reached between both parties prior to trial, it will ultimately be up to a judge or jury as to who wins and how much money should be awarded for damages.
A Miami Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You File Your Claim
Filing a Miami personal injury claim can be overwhelming, but with proper guidance, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. If you need help, contact a personal injury lawyer in Miami today to schedule a free consultation.