Personal Injury Lawyer

Broward/Plantation: 954-583-8999 Collier/Naples: 239-403-3728 Throughout Florida: 877-GLUCK-LAW Email Address: robert@robertgluck.com

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Attorney Robert Gluck
Personal Injury

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an injury lawyer do?

A: An injury lawyer assists people who are hurt in any way due to the fault of other people. The lawyer helps you recover money damages for your injuries. In particular, a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer helps investigate the incident to determine who is at fault, gather and review the medical records, talk with the treating doctors about the injuries and future care, and help the client determine what a fair value is for their case. Then, the lawyer negotiates with an insurance adjuster to get the best and highest offer possible. This is where most cases settle. If the offer is not fair, a lawsuit may need to be filed. This would involve the injured person going to court and asking six members of the community to determine the value of the case. An injury lawyer guides you through this entire process.

How much do personal injury lawyers take?

A: Personal Injury Lawyers only get paid a fee if the injured person receives money. In fact, even if the lawyer advances money for things like ordering reports or records, or hiring experts to do things like an accident reconstruction in serious car accident cases, only in the event of recovery does the injured person have to pay those costs back to the lawyer out of the settlement.

The standard lawyer’s fee in Florida for a Personal Injury case is 33.3% of any recovery up to $1 million dollars and 40% after an answer to a lawsuit is filed. As the settlement goes up, the fees go even lower. Again, if there is no recovery, THERE IS NO FEE.

These contingency fee contracts have been approved by the Supreme Court of Florida. The fee will usually be the same no matter which personal injury lawyer you select, so what differentiates law firms is their reputation and experience of the lawyer, not their fees.

Do I need a lawyer for personal injury?

A: Yes, you should definitely hire an attorney for your personal injury case. According to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council, settlements for people in a car accident case are 40% greater when hiring a lawyer, rather than going at it alone.

Lawyers handling a personal injury case in Florida are paid on a contingency fee basis so if there is no recovery, there is no fee. Because of this method of compensation, the client can obtain the services of a skilled and experienced attorney without having to spend one penny out of pocket.

What kind of cases do personal injury lawyers handle?

A: Personal Injury Lawyers handle every type of situation where someone is injured due to the fault of someone else. That could be from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, truck accident, bus accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, trip and fall or slip and fall accident, an injury causing a brain injury or spinal cord injury, defective product claim, an electrical accident, burn injury, dog bite situation, pool accident, boating accident, medical malpractice claim, worker’s compensation related injury, nursing home abuse claim and other types of insurance disputes of any kind.

Will a lawyer take my case?

A: A lawyer will take your case if they believe they will be able to prove the accident or injury was the fault of another party and if they believe there are funds to pay you if you win. Usually, unless there is insurance coverage for an injury, even if it was obvious that it was the other party’s fault, it will be difficult to recover any money. If you do not recover any money, the lawyer does not get paid, when working on a contingency fee basis, as all personal injury lawyers do. A lawyer will want to make sure there is a chance of recovery before he or she will spend a significant amount of time on a case especially where it is likely that the other side has no insurance or assets and will never pay.

How much do you get for pain and suffering?

A: Pain and suffering in the past as well as pain and suffering into the future are both elements of damages you are entitled to recover under Florida law. There is no set amount or method of calculation required in the Florida Jury Instructions. This is a very difficult number to determine because it is not like other damages in a case that you can clearly value, such as a medical bill or a lost wage claim for days missed from work. Awarding money for someone’s pain and suffering is a very subjective thing, and each insurance adjuster, or jury if the case does not settle, could come up with a different amount for the same set of circumstances. This is where the skill level of your lawyer comes into play. The more persuasive and believable your lawyer is, the more money your pain and suffering claim will ultimately be worth. There is no schedule or set of numbers to look to in order to determine if a pain and suffering award is fair or not.

How much should I ask for a Personal Injury Settlement?

A: Florida Law governs how much you should ask for in a personal injury case. The elements of damages that are recoverable under Florida law would include past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and past and future pain and suffering. It takes lawyers years and years of experience in handling these cases day in and day out to come up with a feel for what a fair settlement should be in a particular case. The amount demanded and the negotiations need to be well thought out by an experienced personal injury lawyer.

The old rule of thumb, that does not always apply, is that the non-economic damage portion of the claim, for pain and suffering in the past and in the future, for example, should be a figure around but not less than three times the total medical bills in a case. This rule of thumb does not always work and sometimes someone is deserving of a significant amount of money for their pain and suffering but due to other unrelated reasons, has low medical bills. Every case is different and you should rely on an experienced lawyer’s opinion to help you determine how much to demand settlement of your personal injury case.

What do personal injury lawyers look for?

A: Personal injury lawyers first look for a person that is in need of assistance due to an accident or injury. Then, the lawyer will need to investigate the situation to determine who was responsible for the accident or injury. You can only recover money damages if your injury was due to the fault of another. If so, the next question would be to determine if that person has any ability to pay a judgment that may be entered against them in the future. If the at-fault party has no ability to pay, the lawyer looks to insurance coverage that may apply to the loss. After insurance coverage is confirmed, the lawyer looks to the medical records to determine the extent of the injuries involved. This helps determine the “value of the claim.” The lawyer will also determine if there are any other economic damages such as wage loss or future medical treatment that will be needed. These are just some of the things a lawyer will be looking for in any personal injury case.

How do personal injury lawyers get paid?

A: Personal Injury Attorneys get paid on a contingency fee basis. Usually that fee is 33-1/3% of any recovery up to one million dollars. The fee goes up to 40% if a lawsuit is filed. Once the recovery reaches above a certain amount it starts to go down. The key feature of a contingency fee contract with a personal injury lawyer is that the lawyer does not get paid unless there is a recovery from the at-fault party. If there is no recovery, the lawyer does not get paid.

Is it worth it to hire a personal injury lawyer?

A: It is worth it to hire a personal injury lawyer because studies have consistently shown that claims where a lawyer is involved settle for significantly more than claims that settle without the injured party being represented by a lawyer. The lawyer is well versed in reviewing insurance policies, medical records, diagnostic studies, accident reports, and other critical documentation that significantly affects the value of a personal injury claim. A lawyer’s advice on whether to settle and for how much is critical. A lawyer has to advise you what the odds are of a significant recovery if the case goes forward to litigation and an eventual jury trial. If the settlement offer is not fair, compared to other cases, the lawyer will know that. If the case goes to trial, you need a lawyer because he or she is well-versed in the rules of evidence and otherwise has the trial skills to be able to move your case to a satisfactory conclusion that you would otherwise likely be unable to obtain on your own.

Do you pay taxes on a settlement?

A: No you do not pay taxes on a settlement of a personal injury case in Florida. A settlement of a personal injury claim is considered reimbursement of a loss under the I.R.S. rules and not income. As a result, the injured party will never receive a 1099 or a W-2 for the amount of their recovery.

How much money can you sue for pain and suffering?

A: Pain and suffering in the past as well as pain and suffering into the future are both elements of damages you are entitled to recover under Florida law. There is no set amount or method of calculation required in the Florida Jury Instructions. This is a very difficult number to determine because it is not like other damages in a case that you can clearly value, such as a medical bill or a lost wage claim for days missed from work. Awarding money for someone’s pain and suffering is a very subjective thing and each insurance adjuster, or jury if the case does not settle, could come up with a different amount for the same set of circumstances. This is where the skill level of your lawyer comes into play. The more persuasive and believable your lawyer is, the more money your pain and suffering claim will ultimately be worth. There is no schedule or set of numbers to look to in order to determine if a pain and suffering award is fair or not.

Why do lawyers not take cases?

A: Lawyers do not take cases when they do not believe the likelihood of recovery is strong. That could be for several reasons. The lawyer might not believe that the injured party will be able to prove that another person was responsible for causing or contributing to the injury. The lawyer may believe that the injured party also acted wrongly and is likely not going to be able to recover due to his or her own “comparative fault” for causing their own injury. The lawyer may find no viable insurance coverage and thus no likely money recovery at the end, even if you win. Sometimes a lawyer does not take a case because they have a conflict of interest with one or more of the parties involved. That usually means the lawyer represented someone else involved in the accident in the past. These are just some of the reasons why a lawyer would not take a case.

Can a personal injury lawyer drop your case?

A: Yes, a personal injury lawyer can drop your case at any time. However, the lawyer will not get paid a penny in fees if he or she does so. This is because, in a contingency fee contract arrangement, the lawyer only gets paid if you do. The only exception to this rule is that once a lawsuit is filed, the attorney of record is not allowed to withdraw from the case unless the presiding judge grants him or her permission to do so.

What falls under personal injury?

A: Any type of accident or injury case falls under Personal Injury. The main areas are vehicle accidents of all kinds. These would include car crash cases, trucking accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian claims involving a vehicle.

Personal injury also includes trip and fall cases, slip and fall cases, medical malpractice cases, product liability claims (defective products claims), dog bite claims, burn injuries, pool accidents, boating accidents, workers compensation claims, and nursing home abuse claims.

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