#7 in a series of discussions on Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault laws.
Once your attorneys have received a reply to their F.S. 627.4137 claims notice letter, and assuming that the wrongdoer has at least the minimal liability insurance benefits, you and your attorney should have a meaningful consultation as to whether to attempt to negotiate with the wrongdoer’s insurance carrier or file immediate suit. While some injury cases need an appropriate period of time to determine whether the victim will be able to establish that they have suffered threshold injuries (which allow them to recover their damages under Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault laws), unfortunately, there are those victims whose injuries are so overwhelmingly and obviously serious that there should be no dispute as to the victims right to recovery.
Even under those circumstances, the victim and their Florida Injury Attorney should think long and hard about the pros and cons for filing suit immediately versus attempting to negotiate with the wrongdoer’s insurance carrier. The primary concern that should be communicated by the attorney is what is truly in the best interests of their victim/client. Consideration should always focus not only on what is most expedient, but what will produce the most net money damages for the victim/client — over and above the attorney’s fees, the healthcare providers’ costs, and all the experts’ expenses. Most attorneys charge a contingent fee for representing accident victims and this fee has been limited by Florida’s Supreme Court. In most instances, an attorney’s fee rightfully increases from 33 1/3% to 40% of the first one million dollars recovered in the event an answer to a lawsuit is filed in the victim’s action.
Oftentimes, the wrongdoer has an insufficient amount of insurance to cover the total amount of the victim’s losses and therefore, the attorney must carefully counsel the victim/client as to minimizing the amount of expense versus what the ultimate recovery might be.