Attorney Chris Keith
Serving the Palm Beaches, Broward and Martin County.
Attorney Chris Keith
I help good people through difficult times.
Q. What happens before a trial?
A. Almost all personal injury cases are tried to a jury. A jury is a panel of 6 disinterested, fair-minded citizens.
Jurors are the judges of the facts - the determine whether anyone was careless, the extent of the carelessness. and the amount of any losses and damages suffered by you.
Jury trials may be broken into at least five major activities: Pretrial matters; opening statements; presentation of the evidence; closing arguments; and jury deliberations.
Your major participation during the trial will be your testimony. Your lawyer will help you prepare for your testimony and support you during your testimony. You will have an opportunity to tell your story and express the justice of your case to the fair-minded members of the jury.
A. There is no standard for how long a case takes to settle. How long it takes depends on how quickly you heal.
Florida law prohibits claims for injuries suffered in auto accidents unless you qualify under one of the thresholds of the "No Fault" law. The most common threshold satisfied is a permanent injury.
A doctor must opine whether you have a permanent injury, so you must treat until you reach maximum medical improvement. The worse you're hurt the longer it takes to reach maximum medical improvement.
If after you finished treating with your doctors, you're not fully recovered, then you have a permanent injury, and you qualify to make a claim.
How quickly people heal varies with the severity of the injury and their genetic nature and their efforts, so there is no standard time frame.
Automobile law is complicated. If you've been injured in an automobile accident, I Urge you to seek the advice of an attorney immediately.
A. For any claim to viable there are three requirements:
First you have to be hurt. No matter how upset you may be at the carelessness of someone, their carelessness is not actionable unless you are seriously hurt;
Second, someone else has to be at fault. Just being hurt won't support a claim. Tripping over your own feet or being struck by lightning will not do. The injury you suffer must be someone else's fault.
Finally, there must be someone who can answer in damages. That is, the person who hurt you must have sufficient wealth or an insurance policy from which you can be compensated.
Unless all of the factors are satisfied, your claim is not viable. A lawyer will help you determine if your claim is viable. The claims process is difficult. If you've been injured in an accident, I urge you to seek the advice of an attorney immediately.
Q. What can I do to help my lawyer with my injury case?
A. Hire a lawyer as soon after the accident as you are able. The sooner a lawyer is hired the better able he is to preserve the evidence.
Keep a journal. Every day you should record what happened regarding your recovery: what doctor and providers you saw; how you felt; how you are healing; what drugs you took; and what activities you engaged in.
Take photos. The saying about a picture being worth a thousand words is true. It is one thing to describe a bruise or a wound; it is another to see a picture of it.
Respond to your lawyer. If he sends you a request for papers or your signature, respond promptly.
Call your lawyer occasionally, to inquire about the status and report your progress. These simple actions may greatly increase your recovery.
Q. I was injured in an auto accident. How long will it take for my case to settle?
A. If settling your claim without a trial is not possible - because of a dispute about liability
or a dispute about a fair amount of compensation - a lawsuit is filed.
A lawsuit is a formal request for a court to help resolve the dispute.
The legal process before the trial involves each side investigating the legal case of the other.
You will likely be asked written questions, submit documents, including tax returns, testify at a deposition, and submit to medical examinations by a doctor employed by the defense lawyer.
These activities are called discovery.
It's not always a pleasant experience.
After all the discovery is completed, you will have the opportunity to tell your story to a jury.
Q. How long do I have to make a claim for my injury?
A. One should always pursue claims as soon as possible. The older claims get, the less valuable they tend to become. But sometimes circumstances cause delays in prosecuting claims. Laws barring stale claims are called "statutes of limitations."
How long one has to file a claim varies with the kind of case.
For cases sounding in negligence, auto accidents and slips, trips and falls, for example, you typically have 4 years from the date of the incident to file a claim, but there are exceptions.
While it is always wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible after you're injured, don't fail to seek justice because some time has passed since your accident.
Q. What happens during a trial?
Q. Do I have a claim/case?