What should I do if I am involved in an automobile accident?
First and foremost, you should get medical treatment if needed. If you are in pain, go to a medical doctor, chiropractor, urgent care or ER as soon as possible. Your health is extremely important.
Second, you should open a claim with your automobile insurance carrier and the other driver’s insurance carrier. If the other driver’s insurance company calls wanting a statement, do not give them one. You are not obligated to do so. Before providing a statement to the insurance company, call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon for a free, no-risk case consultation.
Why do I need an attorney?
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, you should seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney. Call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon for a free, no-risk case consultations to discuss any injuries you or your family have suffered.
Is my case big enough for a lawyer to handle?
At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, our attorneys handle small, medium and large damage cases. Our cases range from soft tissue injury automobile accident cases to catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.
We are equipped to handle all personal injury cases resulting from negligence and are happy to review any case free of charge. At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, we provide free, no-risk case consultations to injured persons and their families.
What if I’ve already taken steps independently?
More often than not, our new clients have begun the claims process themselves and find it stressful and burdensome. Some victims seek our assistance because they simply cannot afford to pay out of pocket for the medical treatment they need.
Once we are retained by a client, we immediately begin gathering the needed information and immediately notify the insurance carriers to direct all communication to our office. Our goal is to alleviate as much stress as we can from our clients so they can concentrate on getting healthy again, both mentally and physically.
How soon after I am injured do I have to file a lawsuit?
The timeframe that you have to file a lawsuit is referred to as the “statute of limitations.” If you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, your case will be forever barred. For most personal injury actions in Florida, such as automobile accidents, you have four years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. However, with respect to claims against government entities, the statute of limitations is much shorter.
Therefore, due to the time-sensitive nature of personal injury claims, you should immediately contact an attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon regarding your injury.
The insurance company said I do not need an attorney — is that true?
It is important to remember that your interests and the interests of the insurance company are not the same. While it is illegal for a non-attorney, such as an insurance adjuster, to provide legal advice, they often do, and it usually is not very sound.
You should always seek an opinion from a personal injury lawyer to get an unbiased legal opinion regarding your case and your rights. At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon we provide free, no-risk case consultations to injured persons and their families.
Will the information I share with you be confidential?
Yes. The information you share with our attorneys is protected by the attorney-client privilege and will remain confidential. This protection applies even when our legal representation terminates or if you do not retain our firm.
Because your communications with us are privileged, it is important that you make full disclosure of all pertinent facts with respect to your personal injury claim so that we can fully evaluate your case. This is important so the defense does not catch us by surprise in the middle of representation, which could be detrimental to your case.
How much money am I entitled to recover?
This will depend largely on the type of case and the damages sustained. Most of our clients have suffered an injury and require medical treatment. Thus, past and future medical treatment is recoverable, as well as past and future lost wages.
We may also be able to recover for general damages, which includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and inconvenience associated with the injury. In some cases, our clients are entitled to punitive damages, which are intended to punish intentional or reckless actions by the wrongdoer.
In automobile collision cases, our clients are also entitled to recover for damage caused to their vehicle, as well as any periods of loss of use caused by the damage.
I was injured when I fell in a slippery area – can you help?
Whenever you are injured because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you may have a claim to recover compensation for those injuries. Landowners owe a duty to warn of dangerous conditions on their property and to make their property safe.
As with any personal injury claim, the most important thing you can do is find an experienced attorney to help you preserve your evidence and protect your rights. Any delay in retaining an attorney can adversely affect your claim. Be sure to report the incident and take pictures of the dangerous condition.
I was injured through someone else’s negligence, what should I do?
If you were injured through someone’s careless or negligent action, you may have a claim. It is important to consult with an attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon to determine if your injury was caused by the negligent actions of someone else
Be sure to see if there are any witnesses to the injury and document the incident with photographs. Also, make sure to get contact information for the responsible party, as well as any witnesses. This information will help if you later present a claim for your injuries.
Do I have to pay for my initial meeting?
All client consultations to discuss a potential personal injury claim are absolutely free. If you feel you have a potential claim, please call our office at 850-444-4878 to set up your free consultation and case evaluation.
What should I bring with me for my meeting with a lawyer?
You should bring all documents in your possession that are related to your injury. For example, if you’ve been in an automobile collision you should bring a copy of the police or incident report, a copy of your automobile insurance declaration page, photographs of your automobile, photographs of your injuries, copies of medical records for treatment related to the collision, correspondence from the insurance companies, estimates and repair records and receipts for your automobile, receipts for towing and car rental, and any wage loss information.
During your meeting, we will make photocopies of all of your documents so that you can retain a copy for your records. We will also provide you with checklists for any other information that we may need from you.
How much will I have to pay at the conclusion of my case?
The personal injury attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon only work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we do not win your case, we do not get paid. Most injury victims cannot afford to pay an attorney by the hour. Our contingency fee is in line with other top-quality lawyers who handle serious personal injury matters. There are no upfront costs or fees with us.
Is it possible to sue a county or city?
Yes. Cities and counties are liable for their negligent acts as well as the negligent actions of their employees. However, claims involving cities and counties involve different statutes of limitations that, if missed, can forever bar your claim. Be sure to consult with an attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon to see if your claim involves a city or county. Our attorneys deal with claims against the city or county on a regular basis and can help you recover compensation for any injuries caused by the negligence of the city or county.
I do not want to go to court, can you still help me?
Absolutely. In fact, most clients want to avoid going to court. We do our best to come to a reasonable settlement before filing a lawsuit.
How do you determine the value of my claim?
It is based on a consideration of the totality of circumstances. The attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon have negotiated thousands of claims and rely on their vast reserve of knowledge to ensure our clients obtain a maximum recovery.
What is negligence?
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to others. A person is negligent if he or she does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation, or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation. If you have been injured by another’s negligence, contact our office for a free, no-hassle consultation.
What if a person dies in the accident?
This type of loss is referred to as a wrongful death claim. Spouses, parents, children, siblings, and grandparents may have a claim for wrongful death against the responsible parties. The relationship with the decedent will dictate the priority of the claim.
The types of damages that can be sought depending on that relationship are: financial support that the survivor(s) would have received, value of household services that would have been provided by the decedent, loss of companionship, affection, love, care, comfort, society, loss of consortium (sexual relations) for the surviving spouse, funeral and burial expenses.
Because the loss of a loved one can completely alter the life of the surviving family, it is important to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to recover the just compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon have handled wrongful death cases with great success and compensation for our clients.
Do I still have a claim if my health insurance paid my medical bills?
Absolutely. What most injured persons do not realize is they are entitled to the full value of their medical treatment, which includes the actual cost of the treatment, not just the co-pay or deductible. Insurance carriers often attempt to reduce an injury victim’s damages by offering to just pay their out of pocket expenses, which leaves the injured person less than whole.
In addition, you can also recover for pain and suffering, loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life, disability, disfigurement, property damage, lost wages, loss of ability to earn money and mileage.
Can my health insurer file a lien against my case?
Not in all cases, but often yes. Health insurer liens are subject to complicated reimbursement laws. If there is a lien from a health insurer when the case concludes, the attorneys at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon will determine if your health insurer is entitled to reimbursement and will request a waiver or negotiate reduced payment of the lien pursuant to the laws protecting injury victims.
Who brings a claim on behalf of children who are hurt?
Typically, the parents or guardians of that child bring a claim. Our attorneys have extensive experience with injury cases or wrongful death claims involving children and understand the complexities of negotiating these types of claims. If a guardianship is needed or beneficial, we have attorneys who can handle this point of the legal claim, as well.
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