Hi am just wondering what I can expect in terms of the steps involved BEFORE filing a lawsuit pertaining a personal injury claim due to the negligence of a health care provider in Florida . I want to emphasize this is not a medical malpractice case . I have a very vague understanding and I do not know if it is correct . After I have come to a point that I have selected a lawyer and signed the retainer agreement then what happens ? I suppose the lawyer collects my medical records , has me provide to one of their staff my personal recollection what happened , drafts a demand letter , and then discusses back and forth with insurance company a proper settlement offer . Is this it ? I do not want any surprises either in terms of costs ( expert witnesses ) , or time ( needing to be present somewhere )
You really need to talk to your attorney, or the paralegal assigned to your case. The way that each case progresses is very fact dependent, and every case is a bit different. There may be events that you will need to be present for, but your lawyer will need to tell you about them. Let the office know that you need more information, and want to be kept updated on the progress of your case.
I agree talk to a lawyer about your potential case....Most offer free initial consultations and can not only evaluate your case, but also answer your questions on how the process works, how the contigency attorney fee contract works etc. Notwithstandign all the information you'll get, you should expect that the unexepected can happen and that the process will take time.
Why is not this a medical malpractice case? Unless you slipped and fell in a doctor's office claims of negligence against medical providers are almost always medical malpractice cases.
If it is not a medical malpractice case there is actually no required pre-suit procedure. However typically your lawyer will collect your medical records and evidence relating to liability and then submit those the insurance adjuster for analysis before filing a lawsuit. Often, this is an exercise in futility because the insurance adjusters typically offer pennies on the dollar. However, since the work needs to be done anyway before trying your case a small delay in presenting it to the insurance adjuster is often taken.
If it is a medical malpractice case (even if you do not want to call it that), you must get a verified opinion from a medical provider in the same field and present that to your potential defendant before you sue that defendant. (The procedures actually more complex than this, but that is the gist of it).
You appear to have a general understanding of what might occur, however, each case is different. You say that this is involving a health care provider, but is not a medical malpractice claim. What is it?
Since most personal injury attorneys provide free consultations, I suggest you arrange an appointment with a local personal injury attorney and fully discuss your situation and ask the attorney exactly what he or she would anticipate the process to be. Also question the attorney about costs, experts, attendance at depositions and hearings etc. I am sure the attorney can answer your questions.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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