Q:  How do I know if I have a case?


Contact Mark G. DiCowden for a free consultation to discuss your injuries. It is better to make the call as soon as possible after the time of the incident. If you have a case, the other side knows it and is already preparing their defense. Waiting may cost you your case because collect evidence and taking witness statements becomes more difficult with the passing of time.

Q:  What should I do as soon as I have been involved in an accident?


As soon as you have been involved in an accident, you should immediately seek medical attention as needed and contact the authorities to file an official report. Next, you should take pictures with your cell phone to document the site of the accident and the injuries you sustained. Never admit fault and do not give a statement until you have consulted with Mark G. DiCowden.

Q:  When is a personal injury attorney needed?


If you have been seriously injured or are unsure as to the outcome of your injury, you should immediately hire a lawyer whose practice focuses on personal injury. We recommend a free consultation with Mark G. DiCowden before you give any statement or sign papers of any kind.

Q:  How soon should I hire Mark G. DiCowden after I’ve been injured?


You should call Mark G. DiCowden as soon as possible after being injured. In most cases there are time limits for filing claims after an injury occurs, and if this deadline passes, any claim you may have will be barred forever. You should contact Mark G. DiCowden to get his advice before admitting any responsibility for the accident and any resulting injuries, including your own. Additionally, finding witnesses and gathering evidence to support your case becomes more difficult the longer you wait.

Q:  How long will it take to finish my case?


Depending on the complexity of your case or nature of your injury will determine when your case will be closed. A case should not be resolved while our client is still in the hospital, treating with a doctor, healing or does not have a good understanding of what their future medical condition will entail. It does not benefit our clients to rush settlement of an injury case and then find out after settling that they need additional treatment or surgery, which will entail future medical expenses. On average, most cases involving automobile accidents or premises liability case or some other type of general negligence case is usually settled within six to twelve months after our clients have completed their doctors’ recommended course of medical treatment. If your case is litigated in the court system, we strive to take your case to trial within approximately twelve months.

Q:  Will I lose my case if I am partly at fault?


Not necessarily. Just because a victim is partly at fault, does not preclude them from recovering any money. There are many factors that go into assigning percentages of fault to each party involved. You should consult Mark G. DiCowden to discuss the specifics of your case.

Q:  What can hurt my case?

  • Giving a recorded statement to the insurance company without consulting a lawyer can seriously damage or destroy your case.
  • Overstating or underestimating all of your injuries.
  • Talking to anyone about your case (except us and your doctors).
  • Posting issues about your case on social media sites, including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Not contacting a lawyer as soon as practical. Preserving evidence and testimony from witnesses is essential immediately after being injured. If they are not, they could be lost forever and seriously damage or destroy your case.

Q:  What are your fees and costs?


Our fees in a personal injury case are contingent upon the financial recovery in your case. The fees are in accordance with guidelines set by the Florida Supreme Court.If there is no recovery, there is no fee. Therefore, we share a common objective of obtaining a favorable result in your case. Costs are incurred in pursuing your case. We do not ask you to provide a money retainer and we do not send you an invoice for costs as they are incurred by us. The costs are reimbursed to us at the end of the case. The most common costs are for investigation, medical records, depositions, filing fees and expert witness fee. Our financial arrangement will be clearly and fully explained to you before you sign the Authority to Represent.

Q:  Do I have to go to court or file a lawsuit in my case?


Many cases resolve prior to a lawsuit being filed. When a lawsuit is filed, it does not necessarily mean that you will one day be sitting behind a table with your lawyer in a courtroom. However, it does mean that it is a possibility. Personal injury claims can be settled for their full value through negotiation, mediation or arbitration, without you having to go to ever go through the process of trial.Although most cases settle before trial, there is the possibility that once a lawsuit is filed in your case, it can go to trial. Therefore, ever case we take, we prepare it as if it will be tried and we are always prepared to try your case. However, it is not our decision if a case goes to trial, it is always up to our clients to decide whether a case is settled or tried.

Q:  Can you predict from the beginning whether a case will settle or go to trial?


As stated, though you will have legal advise at every stage of your case, it is always up to the client to determine whether they decide to settle a case or it is tried in front of a jury in a courtroom. When clients decide to settle their case it is because settling reduces the risk of exposures to weakness to their case and/or for cost-effectiveness reasons. Whether a legal proceeding is ultimately required to bring your case to its final disposition is something that is determined after all efforts to settle the case are exhausted. The preparation of a case assists in facilitating a successful settlement or trial of your case.

Q:  Can I get money for my personal injury claim and, if so, how much?


Payment and for your injuries varies for several reasons. This depends on the extent and type of your physical injuries and mental pain and suffering, economic hardship and financial loss, lost wages, decreased earning potential, past and future medical bills and physical impairment, including any disfigurement. Depending on the type and extent of your personal injury, you may be eligible for actual damages (referred to as compensatory damages) and damages to punish the defendant (referred to as punitive damages). The damages may include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent scars
  • Emotional trauma
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of love and affection
  • Embarrassment
  • Mental disability

Out-of-pocket expenses (co-pays, insurance deductibles, costs of transportation, anything that you have had to pay someone for as a result of your injury, including cleaning your house, cutting your grass, doing laundry and others).