Clearwater Personal Injury FAQ
Do I have grounds to file a personal injury claim?
You might. You'll never know until you come in for your free consultation. We will investigate the facts, insurance coverage, and theories of liability at no costs to you.
What if I'm partially to blame for causing the accident?
Under Florida law, even if you're partially at fault, you are entitled to recover the "pro rata" percentage of your damages. For example, in a hypothetical case where each party is equally responsible for an accident (50/50) and the damages (lost wages/medical bills) are $100,000, the recovery would be $50,000.
How can I afford to pay for medical treatment while I wait for my settlement or verdict?
Many doctors will agree to delay collecting your bills while your case is pending. In these cases, you direct our firm to pay the bills directly out of the settlement or verdict.
What are "damages"?
Damages are a term used by the Courts to describe losses caused by an accident or injury. They include medical bills, money lost from not working, loss of the ability to work in the future, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life. If your spouse is the one who is injured, a different set of damages will apply.
What are "punitive damages"?
Punitive literally means to punish. We use punitive damages to punish drunk drivers, willfully negligent corporations, and grossly negligent businesses for their outrageous behavior. The point is to send a message that their actions, or lack of actions, must stop. Many times, the only thing that sends that kind of message to big business is a big punitive damages award.
What if the other driver has no insurance or is underinsured?
This is an unfortunate part of life in Florida. Many drivers have no insurance or do not carry the kind that covers injuries to others. If this is the case, we can pursue your own insurance carrier for what is called uninsured motorist coverage. This is the type of insurance that covers you against uninsured or underinsured drivers. Florida law provides that if your insurance company can't produce evidence that your rejected this coverage, you are entitled to it.
How long will my personal injury case take?
That depends on your injuries and the extent of your medical care, the insurance companies involved, and the at-fault parties. We use our inside knowledge of insurance company and trucking company procedures to resolve your case as quickly as we can. Many cases resolve quickly so the insurance companies avoid "bad faith" and exposure above their insurance amounts. If the insurance companies won't pay what they should, we will make them pay in court, sometimes for many times their policy amounts.
What if my accident happened at work?
Don't think that just because an accident happened at work your limited in your recovery. As part of our free evaluation, we will investigate what options you have to ensure that your medical bills are paid and lost vacation/sick time is covered by the person/entity that injured you. Often, we seek recoveries from the manufactures of faulty equipment or other third parties who are responsible, not your employer.
Will my case go to trial?
An effective resolution of your case can only be had if the insurance company fears your trial team. Why would an insurance company settle for full value if they know your lawyer will always settle? We pride ourselves at preparing every case for trial from day one. We never know which cases will go to trial, but we are ready on all of them. Statistically, 97% of all cases filed throughout the entire state settle before trial.
Who can sue for wrongful death?
Under Florida's wrongful death statute, family members can bring a suit for wrongful death. This varies depending on a person's age, marital status, and whether they have children. Anyone who has lost a loved one in an accident should call us immediately, as wrongful death cases have a much shorter statute of limitation than other types of cases.
Do I really need to hire a Clearwater personal injury lawyer?
Insurance companies love saving money. They often try to settle cases for a small fraction of what they are worth for claimants who deal directly with insurance companies. This can lead to personal liability for unpaid medical bills and even bankruptcy. If an insurance company has offered you money, and we don't get you more after our fee, we will waive our fee in your case. Ask us in your free consultation how many times that has happened…
How much will it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
We only get paid if we make a recovery for you. We pay all the costs moving your case forward. See our page on contingency fees for more information.
“Thomas Cope is an outstanding lawyer!”Mr. Cope is an outstanding attorney. He has helped me tremendously throughout multiple cases. Mr. Cope will remain my attorney for life.- Lynzy
“Highly recommend”I couldn't recommend anybody better than Mr. Cope. He's professional and thorough. I've never dealt with an attorney as sufficient as Mr. Cope. He's very knowledgeable and keeps you informed through your entire case. Due to Mr. Cope and how he handled my case it ran extremely smooth. I will never deal with any other attorney.- Anonymous
“DUI-Thomas Cope did an outstanding job on my case”Thomas Cope did an outstanding job on my case. He is a great attorney and I would recommend him to anyone who has legal troubles. I trusted him and he kept me informed and told me exactly what I needed to do. I would like to thank him and his firm for the awesome job he did for me.- Derek
“Excellent results”I used Thomas Cope for a bad accident that I was involved in. I never leave reviews, but with the amazing results that he got for me I couldn't help but to leave a good review. He did a great job keeping me informed throughout the case. He went above and beyond for me and I cannot express my appreciation enough. Great guy and firm to work with.- Jeremy
“Excellent”I am a business owner and Mr Cope help me solve my issue. I highly recommend Mr. Cope- Vince
“The BEST lawyer EVER!!!”Tom Cope helped me through a difficult DUI. He told me all I needed to know and it helped more than anyone will ever know. I am very thankful that I had him as an attorney.- Amanda