Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer | Law Office of Louiza Tarassova - Part 2

How Long Will My Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

By | Litigation, Personal Injury | No Comments

Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Stage One: Before a Lawsuit is Filed “Pre-suit Period”

Approximate Timeframe: 3-6 months. Medical Malpractice is 6-12 months.

What is your attorney doing? During the pre-suit period, a good attorney will initially attempt to resolve the case. But simultaneously to that, your attorney is also gathering evidence and assessing the case based on that evidence. A good attorney understands that it is important not to rush into a lawsuit but at the same time aggressively moves the case forward.

What is required of you? During the pre-suit period it is your responsibility to update your attorney on the status of your injuries and focus on getting well. Attending all medical appointments is very important. Your perfect attendance will pave the way to proving your case.

What you should expect? A settlement is possible before a lawsuit is filed, but do not count on it. Although an initial offer may come from the defendant, it is usually a very low amount compared to what your attorney can get for you later in the case and a good attorney will rarely recommend that you accept the initial offer.   But each case is different, and depending on the severity of your injuries and the clarity of fault, a high risk case can usually be resolved with your attorney’s hard work and skill during the pre-suit period.

I like to do everything possible to resolve the case for my clients early. But at some point it is important to take the focus off trying to resolve a case that is clearly not resolving and direct the focus onto winning at trial.

Stage Two: During the Lawsuit “Litigation Period”

Approximate timeframe: 6 months-2 years.

What is your attorney doing? When all required evidence is collected and it becomes clear that the defendant is not willing to settle the case for a reasonable amount, your attorney will file a lawsuit. Your attorney will be filing legal documents with the court, requesting evidence from the other side, compiling and proving evidence she has collected on your behalf, communicating with opposing counsel, attneding court hearings and preparing the case to trial. Much of the work that your attorney will perform on a case will be done without your involvement. And at some point, if the case is taking a while to resolve, you will wonder why the process is taking so long. You must not forget that the wheels of justice move slowly and the judge has many cases in addition to yours. Therefore, a monthly check-in with your attorney about your case will keep you updated and informed.

What is required of you? You must continue to focus on getting better and attending all of your medical appointments. Your attorney may request additional information from you to provide to the other side and you may be required to attend a deposition and a mediation. Your personal injury attorney will guide you through the process and explain exactly how each step of the litigation works.

What you should expect? A settlement of your case is possible and highly likely with a good attorney. Settlements usually occur during mediation and the amount you will be offered by the defendant will depend on the evidence that supports your case and your lawyer’s skill and diligence. If you do not come to an agreement with the defense on the amount of damages due to you for the injuries you have sustained, you and your attorney will start preparing for trial.

I like to move my cases quickly and request a trial date in the early stages of litigation. This way, if it becomes clear that a reasonable settlement is not possible, we are ready to go to trial within a few months of the mediation.

Stage Three: After the Lawsuit Concludes

Approximate timeframe: 1 month- 2 years.

What is your attorney doing? If your case has settled before the trial, your attorney will review important legal documents which you will have to sign. Your settlement funds will not be available to you immediately. It usually takes four weeks to receive payment from the other side. Your attorney will do the required accounting and may settle your medical bills depending on your agreement with your lawyer.

If your case goes to trial and you win at trial, the case is not over. There are many post trial matters that usually come up, including a possible appeal from the other side. The post trial process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on how you and your attorney decide to proceed.

What is required of you? If the case settles, you will have to sign some documents releasing the defendant from further liability.   You will be required to keep the settlement amount confidential and not share the details of the settlement with anyone.

If the case concludes after a trial, you should be patient. Unfortunately, the case is not over just because you won at trial.  You should follow the instructions of your attorney, but the most important job you will have to do is wait.

What you should expect? I tell my clients that this is the most important time to be patient. Whether I settled the case or won at trial, there are still many things to do before I can get that check to my clients.

If you have questions about your personal injury case, call us at 1-855-55-GO-LEGAL.

Lost in Translation: How Huge Corporations Play Nasty Games with Victims of Personal Injury.

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Ever since I started representing clients in personal injury lawsuits, I started seeing a pattern. Large corporations, who were clearly responsible for the person’s injuries would act borderline illegally in an effort to make evidence disappear or alter it to make it very difficult for the injured person to prove their case.

In one particular case against a worldwide company worth approximately $179.5 billion,* I represented the company’s employee who had sustained an injury resulting from repeated physical labor. In Florida, employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation coverage for all of their employees in case something like this occurs. The law also requires employees to inform their managers within 30 days of the injury.

My client’s injury occurred during her shift and was serious enough that she could not continue to perform her duties. She immediately told her manager that she had suffered an injury and requested to clock out to go see a doctor. She was not provided with any information regarding her automatic right to be treated by a physician, free of charge. Nor had she any idea that her employer is required to continue providing treatment until she heals, as well as compensation for missed work.

My client spoke limited English and this huge corporation took advantage of the fact.

She found out that she could make a claim to her employer only after paying out-of-pocket for several visits to her own physician. When she came to make the claim, the company had her write an explanation of how she sustained her injury. Since she could not write in English, they instructed her to write in Russian (her native language). Several days after she filed the Workers’ Compensation claim, she was officially denied coverage. The denial was based on two things: 1) her employer did not have a record of her notice of injury and 2) according to a translation of my client’s explanation of injury, the employer determined that the injury was unrelated to her job and therefore not covered by Workers’ Compensation laws.

Of course she was confused. Luckily she found our law firm and retained me immediately.

I immediately requested a copy of the Russian version of my client’s explanation and the company’s translation. The attorney even chuckled when I told him I wanted to see the Russian version. He said with a snicker, “What, can you read Russian or something?” I calmly told him I could.

When I received it, I was shocked. The translation, which did not indicate the name of the translator, completely misstated my client’s account of what happened. Later, when I took a deposition of the claims representative responsible for denying Workers’ Compensation claims at this multibillion dollar corporation, she stated that based on my client’s “own statements” the company had “proof” that the injury had no connection to her job. When confronted on the identity of the translator and the accuracy of the translation, she had no explanation. Shortly thereafter, we settled at mediation for a substantial amount of money, which was enough to pay for future medical treatment including surgery.

My client, who had worked for the company for over a decade, was almost left empty handed with an untreated injury, which required an expensive surgery that she could not afford.

If I had not been able to communicate with my client in Russian and truly understand her position and if I could not instantly evaluate the two conflicting documents, she would have been a victim of a game large corporations often play. I’ve seen many of these types of cases across Florida as well as surrounding states where the personal injury attorney must fight for the client to uncover the wrong doing.

In this example, the corporation took a chance, knowing that the likelihood of my client being able to find an attorney with whom she could communicate accurately was very low. On the surface, given the information the corporation had against her, it looked like she had no case, but when she retained an appropriate advocate to stand up for her, the giant buckled.

I have personally witnessed many other examples of how large corporations stop at nothing to avoid responsibility. When I take a new case, my staff and I always joke about what the new defendant corporation will be caught doing. Unfortunately this is common, but with a sharp attorney the client has a chance.

* According to Forbes Magazine

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Woman Personal Injury Attorney in Florida

By | Personal Injury | 4 Comments

Let’s face it; most personal injury attorneys are men. Female attorneys are rare in the practice of personal injury for many reasons, but you may have a very big advantage to hiring a woman attorney for your personal injury case. Here are the TOP FIVE REASONS why you want to hire a woman attorney for your Florida personal injury case.

1.Trial Juries Love Them. Women attorneys are perfect for jury trials. If your female attorney knows what she is doing, her style will make the jury feel comfortable and the jurors will connect with her better than with a male attorney. This means that when it comes time to deliberate, the jurors are going be more agreeable with your female attorney’s proposed compensation award.

2. They Negotiating Big Settlements. Female lawyers are better at negotiating large settlements. Women by nature are better at approaching difficult problems in a creative way. In situations where your injury is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is your attorney’s job to convince the other lawyer to send the check. In order to do that, your attorney has to be patient and persistent, something that female lawyers do very well.

3. Intimate Injuries. Lawyers who are women are less intimidating when you have to explain very intimate and personal details about your injury. During your case, you will be requested to show your most intimate personal injuries to your attorney and discuss your emotional suffering with her. Women are more disarming and less intimidating, making the process much more comfortable for you.

4. They Get Attention. Women attorneys who practice personal injury get more attention because they are rare. If you go to the courthouse, you will see many black, gray, and tan suits walking around, the majority of them are men. When a woman walks into the courthouse, people pay attention! Therefore, when it comes time to make a legal argument to the judge, they listen carefully.

5. They Understand You. Female attorneys can empathize with you better than a male attorney. The most important aspect of an attorney-client relationship is an attorneys’ understanding of her client’s everyday struggles as a result of an accident or trauma. Women attorneys are the best at relating to their clients and understanding what the client is going through.

If you are looking for a woman attorney to win your personal injury case, call Louiza Tarassova today at 407-622-1885 or email to info@mylawadvocate.com.  She has a passion for beating large corporations at their own games and has most recently won a $250,000 jury verdict in Orlando, Florida against Pollo Tropical.  For more on that story click here.  

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