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Legal FAQs

Click on a question to read the answer.

Do I actually need a lawyer?
Does Fenster & Cohen, P.A. allow for free initial consultation?
How might we help you?
What do our services cost?
What are your office hours?
How much is my claim worth?
If I was also at fault, what impact does it have on my claim?
How long will my lawsuit take?
What damages might I be entitled to recover?
What happens if my child was injured?
If I have been injured, what steps should I take to protect my legal rights?
How do I select the right Attorney for my serious injury claim?
What should I do after an accident and personal injury?

Do I actually need a lawyer?

Yes, in most cases. We will answer your questions without obligation and without charge so that you can make that decision. However, generally speaking, many accidents involve difficult and legal factual issues which can be best sorted out by an attorney who is trained in handling such claims.

Further, without an attorney an insurance company may underestimate or undervalue the amount of money you are entitled to receive as a result of injuries that you or someone else you know may have sustained in an accident. We are well-versed in dealing directly with the insurance companies to assure that our clients benefits are being paid and/or that they are receiving adequate compensation for their injuries.

Similarly, serious accidents can have long term effects on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. In those cases, the client is not well enough to handle the rigors of litigation and the stresses that the insurance company and defense lawyer for the insurance companies generate. Our goal is to stop adding “insult” to the injury you have suffered and protect you from these insurance companies and defense lawyers.

To that end, while insurance companies do, on rare occasions, admit fault, almost always they hotly contest the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by you, an innocent victim. The insurance company will often times look to every way imaginable to avoid responsibility for the full extent of a victims injuries. Often times insurance companies will claim that your injury was a result of some pre-existing condition or caused by a previous or subsequent accident or injury. Sometimes they will even go as far as claim that you are exaggerating your injury. Special expertise is required to develop the evidence necessary to prove the full extent your injuries and their relationship to this accident. Let us do the work for you.

Finally, personal injury litigation is a specialty. Often times merely identifying the available auto insurance coverage in a given accident is a complicated matter. For example, in the case of an uninsured or underinsured driver, a number of different policies may be involved. Sometimes there are notice provisions under the various insurance policies that must be complied with in order process your claim. Our experience in the personal injury field will help you accurately identify all potential policies and sources of coverage that might inure to your benefit.

In summary, an injured victim such as yourself had nothing to lose and a great deal to gain by contacting us for free legal consultation concerning any injury claim.

If you are contacted by an insurance company adjuster, be forewarned. They do not represent your best interest. They often times advise personal injury victims such as yourself that they do not need a lawyer and that a lawyer will only cost them more money in the long run. Suffice it to say that the relationship between an injured victim such as yourself and the wrongdoer’s insurance company is an adversarial relationship. The insurance company’s only concern is to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. They have no concern for your well-being and are not looking to protect your best interest. That is where we, as your lawyer, can help make the difference.

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Does Fenster & Cohen, P.A. allow for free initial consultation?

Absolutely.  Here at Fenster & Cohen, P.A. we will be happy to discuss your case with you.  There is never a charge for consultation.  Call us at (954) 845-8989, or call us toll free (877) 845-8989.  If you would prefer, take a moment to fill out our online case evaluation, and one of our experienced attorneys will be sure to get back with you within 24 hours.

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How might we help you?

If we accept your case, all of our professional resources will be directed to resolving the unique issues involved in your particular case and in obtaining maximum dollar recovery on your behalf. While no one can completely remedy or give back to you everything you may have lost by way of a serious personal injury, through our professional services, we can help put your life back together and get you back on your feet.

Our firm’s dedicated to servicing personal injury victims such as yourself. We take pride in preparing all claims with attention to detail. We are tough, aggressive, and experienced legal counsel. Because of this fact, many of our cases do settle without the need for trial and/ or arbitration.  If attendance at trial and/or arbitration becomes necessary, rest-assured that you as our client will be well-prepared.

A contract for our professional services means that you can expect, among other things, us to help you:

  1. Educate and inform you about the factual and legal issues involved in your particular case.
  2. Carefully and properly evaluate the human and economic loss components to your claim and so as to maximize the potential recovery.
  3. Demonstrate power and strength in negotiations.
  4. Present a “winning” case on your behalf (though results cannot be guaranteed).
  5. Work tirelessly on your behalf until the case is over.

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What do our services cost?

The vast majority of our personal injury claims are handled under what is known as a “contingency fee agreement”.  Simply put, a contingency fee agreement means that you only pay the attorney if the attorney makes a successful recovery on your behalf.  If there is no recovery, you do not owe the law firm attorney’s fees or costs.

The contingency fee may differ depending upon the identity of the Defendant and the type of litigation involved. 

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What are your office hours?

Our regular office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  However, we recognize that often times people are in need of emergency assistance- an accident can occur at any time of day/night.  In those situations, a person may need to meet with an attorney from our office after normal hours.  We recognize this fact and are more than willing to come to a perspective client’s home, hospital, or place of business when convenient.  When you contact us, we can discuss what time and place works best.

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How much is my claim worth?

This is one of the first things that our clients would like to know. However, even the most experienced personal injury attorneys would never go about trying to answer this question until they have had an adequate opportunity to fully investigate the underlying facts and obtain adequate information about the damages.

Sometimes it takes several months after an accident before all the necessary factors become known that will in turn enable lawyers to make an informed decision about the evaluation of your particular claim. Once that occurs, the lawyers can begin settlement negotiations with any insurance company that may be affording coverage. If the client insists on a quick settlement, this might be accomplished, but many times the client will end up getting less than the full value of the claim. Yet another problem with settling too soon is that sometimes injuries do not appear for weeks or months later as injuries are often times progressive in nature. Once a claim has been settled and the responsible party released, the claim cannot be re-opened or prosecuted against them. Our firm prides itself in settling every claim for “top dollar”. While we have a high volume practice, we pride ourselves in the quality of the cases we take on as opposed to quantity.
We do not sacrifice the value of our clients’ claims in favor of quick and easy settlements when adequate compensation has not been offered in exchange.

Oftentimes we are successful in achieving a full and fair settlement even before we resort to filling a lawsuit in court. We have a great deal of experience and have developed contacts over the years in dealing with various insurance companies. If, despite our best effort, settlement negotiations do not result in a settlement, we immediately file suit and push the case through the court system as rapidly as possible. Our goal remains the same throughout- that is, to achieve the maximum dollar recovery for our clients.

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If I was also at fault, what impact does it have on my claim?

Under Florida Law there may be more than one cause of accident.  Florida is a comparative fault state.  That is, the jury will take into consideration the conduct of all parties who may have caused or contributed to your injures.  The jury will then assess fault amongst the various persons. For example, if a jury were to decide that you were 20% at fault for causing the accident, any damages you might recover would be reduced by 20%. However, if your fault if found to be greater than 50%, you will receive no compensation for non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering). You might still be able to recover economic damage (i.e, wage loss, medical expenditures, etc.), however, any economic damage recovery will be reduced by that percentage of comparative fault that might be attributable to your conduct.

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How long will my lawsuit take?

Again, this varies from case to case. Many cases are settled within months retaining counsel and some even prior to suit. Others take longer.  Factors that can affect the length that a lawsuit may take, including, though are not limited to, where the action is pending, the complexity of the lawsuit, the nature and extent of the injuries involved, and ongoing medical treatment.  At Fenster and Cohen P.A., we will be able to provide you with an educated guess as to how long your case may take during your initial consultation.

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What damages might I be entitled to recover?

In Florida a victim of accidental injury may be entitled to recover damages, including, but not limited to, mental anguish, physical impairment and disfigurement, in the past and into the future. If the injury is serious and disabling, a spouse, parent, and/or child might also make a separate and additional claim for loss of consortium and companionship. Further, in wrongful death cases, the spouse, children, parents and heirs of the deceased may sue for monetary damages.  More distant relatives of the deceased and unrelated persons cannot make a claim, however.  The damages are more restricted and limited in medical malpractice actions because the legislature has imposed caps on damages.  However, those caps have yet to be ratified by the Florida Supreme Court and we treat every action as if the determination of damages are left to the jury.

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What happens if my child was injured?

Minors (children under the age of 18) technically lack the legal capacity to make a contract or sign a release. As such, claims for an injured child are often times brought by their next friend on their behalf. We can arrange for an appointment of a next friend to help prosecute the claim on behalf of your child. Normally, this is one or both of the child’s parents. However, it could also be a relative or person closest to the injured child. In Florida, settlement of major personal injury cases requires court approval to ensure the interests of the child are protected.

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If I have been injured, what steps should I take to protect my legal rights?

The very first thing we suggest you do is to contact Fenster and Cohen P.A., for consultation.  It is critical that you not do anything that might adversely affect or prejudice your rights.  No statements, written or recorded, should be given to adjusters or investigators.  No signed authorizations permitting the insurance company to the wrongdoers to have access to your medical providers and no records should be provided without the advice of counsel.

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How do I select the right Attorney for my serious injury claim?

While many lawyers profess to be experienced in personal injury, many lack the requisite degree of skill and training to adequately represent victims of serious personal injury and maximize a potential recovery for those injuries. Here at Fenster and Cohen P.A., personal injury work is all we do. We are competent, experienced, and aggressive litigators. Our reputation precedes us, and we have long-standing relationships with many insurance companies and adjusters that may work in you favor.  We are members of many state and national organizations which specialize in representing seriously injured individuals such as yourself. When you meet us, please feel free to inquire about our qualifications and experience with serious injury maters.  Feel free to inquire about our knowledge of the particular injuries involved. We also encourage that you explore the experience of our firm with the type of liability claim that would be involved.  After answering questions, we are confident you will see why Fenster and Cohen P.A. is one of the most successful personal injury law firms in the State of Florida.

Remember that insurance companies and defense attorneys alike consider the skill and expertise of legal representation in considering whether or not to pay and how much. This is particularly true when “serious injuries” are at issue. Their knowledge that a full and convincing presentation of your damages will be ultimately made to any jury by our office has a substantial impact on the evaluation of the claim in our experience.

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What should I do after an accident and personal injury?

Immediately following an accident where you have injured, it is very important to take certain steps to protect your rights:

  • If involved in an automobile accident, immediately after the collision and if you are physically able, obtain name address, telephone number, driver’s license information, and insurance information of the other parties involved. Write it down someplace where you won’t forget it. Keep it someplace where you won’t lose it.
  • If involved in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, as soon as you are able, be sure to look at what caused you to trip and/or slip and fall. See if you can determine where what caused the condition to materialize and see if you can determine the condition came from, what caused the condition, and how long it may have been there based on physical surroundings.
  • If there are any witnesses at the scene of your accident, ask them to give you their name and telephone number so you might be able to contact them, if necessary.
  • If you are injured on the property of a commercial establishment, like a department store, restaurant, or grocery store, be sure to report the incident to personnel and be sure the incident is documented by the personnel by some way of written form.
  • At the scene of any automobile accident, call the police, since you are required by law to do so, and this will ensure that the offending driver, if any is given a citation. Do not leave the scene of the accident until such time as the officers have authorized you to do so. The presence of police officers will help assist in interviewing witnesses at the accident scene. By all means, if the police recommend you to be transported by ambulance to a medical facility, follow their recommendations.
  • At your first available opportunity, contact your insurance agent and/or your insurance carrier and report the accident to them.
  • When and if the offending driver’s insurance company and/or other driver contact you directly for purposes of giving a statement or signing an authorization to release medical information, respectfully decline to do so. Refer them to your attorney, Fenster and Cohen P.A. Ask that they only contact you by and through your attorneys in the future.
  • If you have gone to an emergency room, contact your family physician or recommended specialist as soon as possible for necessary follow up treatment.
  • If you need to see a doctor for injuries you sustained, be careful in what you tell your doctor about how the accident occurred so that he may accurately reflect that in the history, and be sure to explain to your doctor the full nature and extent of any complaints you may be experiencing at the time of the examination, as well as what you have experienced leading up to the examination.
  • Shortly after the accident, take time to write down a detailed accounting and/or chronology as to the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident while it is fresh in your mind.
  • If you have been injured by any kind of product, you should be sure to retain all parts of the product and all purchase documents in order to prove a claim against the company responsible.
  • If medical receipts or bills are generated regarding your injuries and treatment, you should save those documents as well so as to make a claim for out of pocket expenditures at a later date.
  • You should keep a log of all events regarding your condition and document any pain and suffering, loss of work, impairment, and/or life impact as it occurs on a daily basis.
  • As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Arrange for photographs to be taken of any cuts, bruises, visible injuries, slings, casts, and/or other devices.
  • Similarly, if you have been injured in a slip and fall, and auto accident, or the like, you should attempt to take picture of the condition you deem to be responsible as soon as possible. This will help document the unsafe condition and is especially important in providing the existence of transient hazards such as ice, snow, water, oil, etc.
  • If you are inside a premise, be sure to bring the matter to the attention of personnel in charge so they may document your injuries, your potential claim, and the existence of the unsafe condition. Be sure to point out to the premises owner and/or occupier where you fell or what caused your injury. Be sure they write it down. They are obligated to preserve this documentation and it might prove to be extremely important to any lawsuit you might file in the future
  • Be sure to contact Fenster and Cohen P.A., your personal injury specialists as soon as possible to assist you with your claim.
  • Please keep an accurate record of all time lost from work because of your injuries, including time off to visit doctors and therapists. Please have your employer send Fenster and Cohen P.A., written confirmation of the amount of wages represented by the time lost. We require this information even if you are compensated for your lost pay through sick leave and vacation time.
  • Similarly, provide us with copies of all your medical, hospital, and/or pharmaceutical bills. Keep a record of any out-of-pocket expenditures you might have in connection with your accident such as the hiring of extra help around the house, mileage, or taxi fare for doctor visits. All these expenses should be paid by check and you should get a receipt so that there is paper trial
  • If you have health or medical insurance to cover medical bills, please consult with us prior to submission.

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