Thursday, 10 December 2015


At J. Allen Law P.L., we can relate to the devastation and the pain endured by many of our clients throughout the years. Since the very beginning, it has been our unwavering commitment to help guide the injured towards a financially sustainable future and a path towards recovery, helping them live more fulfilling and pain free lives. We take pride in committing ourselves to this cause, and feel rewarded when we see the injured back on their feet and filled with joy for having achieved most pain free recovery possible. 

While some of us believe we are immune to accidents, they can happen at any time. If you have been hurt or injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, even if you were partly at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Here at J. Allen Law, P.L. we offer a free 20-minute consultation to help you get started. Whether you are in need of a personal injury lawyer in central Florida, or are looking specifically for a car accident attorney in Orlando, we can help you.

In addition, if you have been injured in an accident, below are some general steps to help you understand the basic processes for obtaining recovery. However, because your case is unique, and each jurisdiction has different laws, these recommendations are very general, and cannot be relied upon to replace the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney in Orlando or in central Florida. If you are visiting this website because you reside in the vicinity of Orlando, or have been involved in a car accident in this area, consult the automobile injury pages on this website, and immediately contact an automobile accident lawyer in Orlando to prevent the passage of important deadlines and statute of limitations.

1.    Before meeting with a personal injury lawyer in Orlando or Central Florida to request a case evaluation, he or she will attempt to make a preliminary determination to ascertain if any procedural hurdles are present in your case, such as missed deadlines and treatment dates, lack of insurance coverage, inadequate policy limits, presence of outstanding liens, bills or claims, and many other notable considerations. If all such matters appear workable, the car accident or personal injury attorney will ask you to bring to the meeting as much information outlined below about your injury as possible. You don’t have to have all this information available at the meeting, but the sooner you provide it, the faster your case will progress. Such information may include:

a.    police reports, if any;
b.    medical records relating to your personal injury (and to preexisting conditions if necessary);
c.    insurance information, including Medicare or Medicaid (and any other entity who has paid or may be responsible for paying on your behalf);
d.    amount of your medical bills and any outstanding liens;
e.    wage statements;
f.    property repair estimates and rental vehicle charges, if any;
g.    correspondence notes between you, your insurance and any third party or witnesses, relating to your injury;
h.    photographs; and
i.    any other information that could be help your attorney determine how to help you.

2.    Once above information has been gathered, your Orlando auto accident lawyer or personal injury attorney will closely evaluate this information to determine if continuation of your case would be proper and viable under the circumstances. During this process, your injury lawyer will gather all missing information to ascertain the extent of: (1) your injury and property damage, (2) policy limits of applicable insurers, (3) amount of your medical expenses and other bills, (4) those who may be entitled to subrogation or payment, including all amounts claimed, and (5) any other information that depending on circumstances could be appropriate, such as records of any pre-existing conditions, police reports, wage loss records and so forth. Note that often times, there are a lot of factors and considerations involved when making such an evaluation. For instance, if your bills have already been paid, and the insurance or payor that paid your bills (e.g. cost of treatment) is entitled to reimbursement (or a lien) in the amount that is more than your policy limits, your central florida car accident attorney, among other things, may attempt to resolve this issue by requesting a reduction to some percentage from recovery. Naturally, there are many nuances associated with such negotiations, and if Medicare, certain payors or multiple lien claimants are involved, the analysis could become even more complicated, thereby give rise to additional delays. In fact, precisely because it is not uncommon for the evaluation process to take at least a few months, it is important for the accident or injury lawyer to carefully explain to his or her client during the meeting, or shortly thereafter, all the obstacles and challenges facing the case.

Please note that in order to maintain certain benefits you must begin treating with a medical doctor as soon as possible following the accident. Stated more fully, effective January 1, 2013, in order to preserve your PIP / No-Fault benefits, you must commence treatment within fourteen (14) days from the date of your accident. If you don’t, all your No-Fault / PIP benefits will be lost. These benefits amount to $10,000 if a licensed medical doctor diagnoses you with an “EMERGENCY MEDICAL CONDITION,” and $2,500, if your diagnoses is not an “EMERGENCY MEDICAL CONDITION,” or is made by a non-medical doctor, such as a chiropractor. See § 627.736, Fla. Stat. (2015).  For this reason, the importance of this deadline cannot be overemphasized, and pursuant to the advice of your attorney in Orlando or central Florida, you should be prepared to begin treatment as early as possible, and in no event later than within fourteen (14) days from the date of the accident. In addition, because your auto injury attorney might be able and willing to help you choose the right physician or doctor, you should make an effort to consult with him or her first before commencing treatment. Here at J. Allen Law, P.L., our Orlando and Central Florida automobile injury attorney will advise you as appropriate to make sure that you remain compliant with this deadline. Of course, if you are experiencing pain or need urgent care, you should immediately call 911 and seek treatment right away. 

Your injury attorney will monitor your treatment until it reaches what is known as “maximum medical improvement” (or “MMI”). This is the point from which it becomes possible to determine the degree of ultimate recovery you are going to achieve from the incident. Stated differently, you reach MMI when the final results of your treatment point to your ultimate state of condition, thereby making it possible to know or ascertain the extent of your permanent disability (if there is one). Getting to this point is of particular importance to your personal injury / car accident attorney because it helps to determine your ultimate damages and the appropriate amount of recovery your lawyer will request. This information may also help insurance companies who often use it to come up with what is called “permanent impairment rating,” which among other things, helps them assess the severity of the injury (see guidelines of American Medical Association). Finally, MMI is crucial to the presuit process because it marks the point from which all information will be gathered and ascertained (along with a final summary) to determine the ultimate strength and viability of your case. 

If after careful and close review of your entire case, including assessment of your injury, your claim is still viable, our Orlando personal injury attorney will discuss its value with you and begin finalizing the demand package, - also known as “presuit settlement offer,” or a “demand letter.” We will request that you review the final demand, including the amount requested, and shall go over any needed changes, before sending it to the claims adjuster or the appropriate party. For sake of accuracy and completeness, it is very important that the demand be properly reviewed and corrected, before it is submitted by your injury attorney.

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