Frequently asked questions
The information on this page is for the viewer's general information. For answers to specific questions about your case please fill out one of our Case Evaluation Forms and we will contact you, or call for a free consultation.
- How long do I have to bring my claim?
- This depends on the claim and the state. In Florida, most injuries like auto accidents, slip and fall, dog bite, and motorcycle accidents give you 4 years to file your claim. However in wrongful death actions -- no matter what how the victim is killed, the time is limited to 2 years. Medical Malpractice and other professional malpractice claims limit the time to two years. Boating accidents are more problematic and depend on whether the incident happened within State waters, the Atlantic Ocean or other navigable waters and even the type of vessel (such as a cruise ship that can limit the statute of limitations by contract).... and it is best to consult an attorney with your specific facts. Defective products cases may vary dependent upon the age of the product and the date the injury occurred..... and again it is best here to consult an attorney as soon as possible. In general it is good to consult an attorney regarding your specific facts because these statute of limitations periods vary from state to state and Florida is different from many states.
- How long will the case take?
- It depends on a wide range of factors that are almost individual to each case. Type of injuries, type and amount of insurance involved, whether the adverse party admits fault, preexisting injuries and length of medical recovery are just a few of the things that need to be considered in settling any claim. There is no hard and fast rule, and we would rather get you the most money in your pocket than settle the claim too quickly.
- Will I have to pay for an attorney?
- When you let me represent you on an injury claim, we handle our claims on a percentage of the recovery basis. If you do not get a recovery, we do not get paid, or even reimbursed our costs.
- Who can sue for Wrongful Death?
- This is a complex question because it depends on the way the decedent was injured. Generally the estate of the decedent makes the claim on behalf of the survivors. Potential survivors included are: spouses, minor children, dependent blood relatives, and parents of adult children without a spouse or children. Minor children, however, according to the statute, is not the traditional definition of a minor child. The age of minority is redefined to age 25 for most types of claims, and this basically means that children up to age 25 are able to recover pain and suffering losses for the loss of an adult... and parents are able to recover pain and suffering losses for any child up to age 25. When a child dies, and has no spouse, and no children of his or her own, then the parents of the adult child (any age) may recover on his or her behalf.
- Will I be paid for the time I am losing at work?
- While your personal injury claim includes a claim for lost wages, unless you are injured in an automobile accident that pays no-fault benefits or have already paid for benefits under a disability policy, you will not be able to collect lost wages. Lost wages will then just become one of the elements of the total settlement and will not be paid separately.
- Will my medical bills be paid?
- In an automobile claim, no-fault insurance will pay basic medical bills. If you have a major medical policy or belong to an HMO, these companies can pay your bills. Medical bills are simply one element of your personal injury claim and are not usually paid separately. They will normally be included as one element of damage and lumped together in any settlement offer.
- What do I do if the person who hit my car doesn't have insurance?
- You need to look at your own policy. You can purchase comprehensive, collision and rental coverage to pay for property damage when buying insurance for yourself. To cover yourself against the uninsured driver for your injuries, you can purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. With such a large portion of Florida drivers being transient or from different states, it is a good idea to have uninsured motorist insurance not only because it steps into the shoes of a completely uninsured motorist, but it adds to any potential recovery for pain and suffering because it can stack on top of the adverse coverage to potentially put more money in your pocket.
- Is it possible to settle out of court without a jury trial?
- Most cases are settled without going to court. At least half of all cases are settled without suit even being filed. In those cases where suit is filed, most are settled either at Mediation or at some point before trial. It is rare when a meritorious case does go to trial, but sometimes there is no choice and trial is the only way to get a fair amount.
- If I am contacted by an insurance adjuster for
the party at fault in an accident,
do I have to give a statement?
- No! You should almost never give a statement to an insurance adjuster without consulting an attorney. These insurance adjusters are trained professionals that can sometimes trick you into giving an admission that hurts your case. Call an attorney before giving a statement.
- If I am contacted by an insurance adjuster for
the party at fault shortly after the accident
and offered an amount to settle my case, should I take it?
- No! You seldom know the full extent of your injuries right away. Some types of injuries take weeks and even months to manifest themselves. Settling too early prevents you from getting a full recovery for your injuries.
- Is there a charge for our first meeting?
- No. We handle all injury cases on a percentage of the recovery basis and we do not charge for the initial visit even if we do not take your case.
- Why should I hire Jim Ledford as my attorney?
- If you let me work for you I will give you the benefit of my almost 28 years worth of experience in handling thousands of personal injury cases. As a smaller firm, we will give your case the personal attention that always seem lacking at large firms where you are seldom anything but a number. I won't mind taking as much time as is necessary to explain the intricacies of your case to you. It does take more than a few years to learn the tricks in this business and I have been doing the same type of law, in the same location, since 1983.
Our Offices are
787 S. Yonge St. (US 1)
Ormond Beach, Florida 32174
Florida Bar # 354341
Areas of Practice Include:
- Car Accidents
- Fatal Car Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Boating Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Dog Bites
- Sexual Abuse of Children
- Serious Injury Cases
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Burn Injuries
- Wrongful Death Actions
We're here to provide responsive,
personalized legal service
of the utmost quality to our clients
in a cost effective manner
consistent with our client’s
best interests and goals.