Frequently asked questions
WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY?
A personal injury (sometimes referred to as bodily injury) is any physical or mental injury to a person as a result of someone’s negligence or harmful act.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
Car and truck accidents
Slip and fall accidents
Nursing home abuse
CAN I GET FINANCIAL COMPENSATION IN A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
Compensation for your injuries depends on several factors, including physical and mental pain and suffering, economic hardship or financial loss, decreased earning potential, and physical impairment, including disfigurement. Depending on the type and extent of your personal injury, you may be eligible for compensatory (actual) damages, and punitive (criminal) damages.
The damages may include the following:
Lost wages, including overtime
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment
Loss of love and affection
Out of pocket expenses (transportation charges, house cleaning, grass cutting and others)
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
To have a personal injury case, you must be able to show that you have been injured, either physically or emotionally, by someone else under a negligence, strict liability, or intentional misconduct theory. In some cases it may be necessary for you to show that the other party was more at fault for the injury than you were.
HOW LONG WILL A LAWSUIT AGAINST MY INSURANCE COMPANY TAKE?
The time involved varies greatly from case to case. Very often, the insurance carrier offers to pay the benefits owed shortly after they receive the lawsuit. Other times, they hire an attorney to defend them which usually results in delays as the case proceeds through the litigation process. Generally speaking, a lawsuit of this type can take anywhere from 90 days to several years to resolve. We try whenever possible to obtain a trial date for our clients within 12 months of the date the suit is filed. It is important to note that the law in some cases, provided for up to 5 years to file a lawsuit.
HOW DOES GIMENEZ & CARRILLO, LLC. GET PAID?
Our legal fee usually amounts to 40% of the total amount of benefits we recovered from your insurance company on your behalf. In most cases, however, we are able to require the insurance company to pay our legal fee in addition to also paying your benefits. If the amount of the court ordered fee equals or exceeds the contingency fee, than you receive all of your benefits without any portion being deducted for legal expenses.
MY INSURANCE COMPANY KEEPS ASKING FOR MORE INFORMATION. SHOULD I GIVE IT TO THEM?
Virtually all insurance policies contain a “cooperation clause”. This means that you must comply with all reasonable requests made by your insurance carrier. This does not mean, however, that you should endlessly continue to forward information to the company. We strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney at the first indication you receive that your claim is not being paid in a timely manner by the company. The initial consultation with our firm is always free.
IF I CAN’T FIND A COPY OF MY INSURANCE POLICY DO I STILL HAVE A CLAIM?
Yes. Although reviewing your policy is a very important part of our evaluation process, we can get a copy of the policy directly from the company if you cannot locate your copy. If you were never provided with a copy of your policy, please let us know as that is relevant in determining what defenses an insurance company may be able to assert in litigation.
The lawyers Gimenez & Carrillo, LLC, litigate numerous lawsuits involving Insurance Disputes as well as other personal injury cases every year throughout the State of Florida. We are extremely proud of the results that we have obtained. We look forward to sharing those results with you.
Wage & Hour Litigation
IF I AM A SALARIED EMPLOYEE AM I PRECLUDED FROM RECEIVING OVERTIME COMPENSATION?
Being a salaried employee is not in and of itself an impediment to receiving overtime compensation. In many cases a salaried employee is, in fact, entitled to overtime compensation. Some managerial, supervisory, or executive positions are exempted from overtime law. However, there areas are not “black and white” and we will be happy to review the facts of your case in an initial free consultation in order to determine your rights.
AM I ENTITLED TO A RECOVERY OF COMPENSATION IF I AM NO LONGER WORKING FOR THE EMPLOYER?
Possibly. The fact that you are no longer working for the employer is irrelevant to the issue whether compensation is still owed. In many cases, an employee can sue the ex-employer for the recovery of wages owed. However, there are statutes of limitations that apply. You should contact us for a free-evaluation of your facts.
HOW ARE THE ATTORNEY’S FEES PAID ON WAGE AND HOUR/OVERTIME CASES, AND DO I HAVE TO PAY A FEE IF I LOSE MY CASE?
Generally speaking, fees on overtime and wage cases are paid by the employer if the employee prevails on the claim for wages. The law allows for a recovery of attorney’s fees from the employer if the claim prevails, and are many times, in fact paid by the employer. There are times where the fees are paid as a percentage of recovery, contingent upon prevailing in the case. In the event, you lose your case or do no prevail, our firm does not generally seek fees, nor costs, from the client. Please feel free to contact us for more information in this respect.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO A FORECLOSURE PROCESS?
Generally, prior to being served for the foreclosure action, a financial institution or lender will provide you with at least thirty (30) days (time to cure default) in the event that a resolution is not made within the said period in “curing” the default. The next step is the lender instituting foreclosure proceedings. Upon filing a foreclosure action in Court, the lender is required to “serve” a copy of the complaint with the summons upon each defendants, including the owner. The law generally allows for twenty (20) calendar days, or as stated in your summons, for the served defendant to file a responsive pleading.
In the event that a responsive pleading is not filed with the Court, the lender/plaintiff in a foreclosure action can seek a default final judgment by which a foreclosure sale will be set. A foreclosure sale is generally at least twenty (20) to thirty (30) days subsequent to the entry of the final judgment.
By filing a responsive pleading, you will allow yourself additional time in order to attempt to defend yourself and find a solution.
WHY DEFEND THE FORECLOSURE IF I REALIZE I AM BEHIND ON PAYMENTS?
We recommend that every defendant in a foreclosure action defend themselves and/or have the matter reviewed by an attorney or other professional in order to ensure that all possible defenses are used on your behalf. There are many issues which may be brought up by the allegations of the lender’s complaint which may allow for defenses which could be used to protect your rights and buy you additional time.
SHOULD I DEFEND THE FORECLOSURE IF I OWE MORE MONEY THAN THE PROPERTY’S MARKET VALUE IS WORTH?
There are many possible solutions in a case where the market value may be less than the amount owed under your note and mortgage. Many times the banker financial institution will accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure in order to resolve the matter. Basically, this is an agreement whereby the owner will agree to transfer the deed to the lender in exchange for a final resolution in satisfaction of the mortgage debt.
Short sales have become more common in recent years. Basically a short sale is again an agreement whereby the bank will agree to accept less than the full payoff from a proposed closing, in order to limit their losses and avoid delays which could be presented in the litigation process.
So long as you are being properly defended, time is on your side.
CAN THE PROPERTY BE SOLD OR BE RE-FINANCED IF I AM IN THE PROCESS OF FORECLOSURE?
Until the property goes to a foreclosure sale and is purchased by the “highest bidder” (at the end of the foreclosure process), the property is still legally titled in your name and as such, could be sold, be re-financed, etc.
DO YOU HAVE TO ALLOW GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN YOUR HOME OR ANSWER EVERY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS QUESTIONS?
No, the Constitution of the United States is still alive and well. The Constitution under the 4th and 5th Amendment grant persons the freedom from illegal searches and seizures. At Gimenez and Carrillo, LLC our attorneys believe in protecting our client’s legal rights and intervening as early as possible to prevent government’s overreaching illegal searches and seizures by overzealous officials. Our clients are given detailed instructions and letters of representation on the very first day of representation to present to law enforcement in the event of an unannounced visit by agents to their home or business. Moreover, our attorneys can be contacted by cell phone within minutes of our clients having an unwanted encounter with law enforcement.