For most people who have not been involved in a motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall or other type of incident where they sustain personal injury due to the negligence of another, the lawsuit process is, thankfully, a mystery to them. It is not surprising then, that once someone is involved in such an incident, they not only have to deal with the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the incident, they also have to deal with the stress and anxiety of a lawsuit to obtain a recovery. If we settle a case at mediation, my clients often ask—Why couldn’t the insurance company have paid this amount a couple of years ago to get the case resolved? Well, here is the answer I usually give: The insurance company will generally not pay you anything near fair value for your case without a lawsuit because they are a business and they are tasked with making money. When you bring a claim against an insurance company you are usually met with offers that are not fair or reasonable and do not compensate you for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages—because the more an insurance company pays you, the less they profit. They want to drag the case out and see if they can get you to fold. So what can be done? If you are unlucky enough to be injured in a motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall or trip and fall or any other incident where you were injured because of another’s carelessness, you need to hire a firm that tries cases . This means you need to hire a firm that has a history of taking cases past the mediation phase and into the trial phase. This serves two purposes – the insurance company knows that your attorney will try your case for you and more importantly, you will have an attorney who is capable in litigation and has been through the process many times. Our firm takes pride in our trial practice and has Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial attorneys. We battle against insurance companies to protect your rights and we feel a client should be given their day in court if they want it.
So what is the lawsuit process like? Our firm will walk you through every step. You have enough worry with the injuries, medical bills, and stress of the lawsuit, so we try to always keep our client apprised of what is going on with their case and prepare them for everything that comes. After we file a lawsuit, an attorney is hired by the insurance company of the person or entity that injured you. This attorney is hired to represent the insurance company and defend the case. Our firm knows most of these attorneys because we litigate against them every day. The defending attorney will send written questions to us and requests for documents to have our client answer. We meet with our clients to answer the questions and we keep your medical records, bills, and all other evidence for you, so it is easy for us to produce requested documents to the defense and move the case forward in a timely manner.
The next step is your deposition. A deposition is an oral statement you give to the defense attorney. Again, we prepare you for that, so there are no surprises. We also take necessary depositions of defense witnesses. The next step is mediation where both sides come together with a certified mediator and attempt to hash out a settlement. Again, we meet with you to prepare you for mediation. If the case does not resolve at mediation, then the case moves towards trial. Many insurance companies will settle at mediation because they know the law firms who are willing to go to court against them. Our firm takes pride in the fact that we will give our clients their day in court if the insurance company continues to be unreasonable.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall or other type of accident where you sustained injuries due to the negligence of another it is in your best interest to retain a law firm that has a history of going to trial and winning. Without extensive trial experience, your attorney may encourage you to settle for less than your fair value.
Call our office at (239) 334-1146 for a free consultation. Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz has been serving clients for over 50 years. We have six locations in the Southwest Florida area: Fort Myers (two offices to better serve you), Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh Acres, and Port Charlotte. Call and ask if our trial lawyers can help you.