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FAQFrequently Asked Questions

We know that being injured and away from work can be a stressful experience. We will guide you every step of the way.

This experience can also be highly confusing. Who should you talk to — or not talk to? How can you get compensated? These and other questions are commonly asked by nearly all of our personal injury clients.

If you’ve been injured, take some time and read through these frequently asked questions. Then, give us a call for a free consultation.


If we do not win your case, no money will come out of your pockets. We work on a contingency basis which means that you do not owe anything unless we recover a verdict or settlement for you. If a verdict or settlement is reached, our attorneys will charge a percentage of that verdict or settlement and any costs associated with your case.
We want to make sure that you are compensated fairly for your injuries. We are proud that many of our cases come from satisfied clients. Please do not hesitate to recommend our services to a friend or family member if they should ever be in need of a personal injury attorney.
Any one working on your case would be happy to answer any questions you may have. It is sometimes necessary for an attorney or paralegal to be out of the office while working on your case. If you leave a message, your call will be returned within 48 hours unless told otherwise.
The amount of time depends on many factors. Cases can take several months to several years. The average personal injury case takes about 12 to 18 months to resolve. The main factor in determining how long your case will take is your body’s healing process. In order to achieve a favorable settlement, it is sometimes necessary to postpone your case until your doctors are able to accurately predict what problems or costs you may incur in the future as a result of your injuries. We don’t want to settle your case too quickly and then find out that you condition is much worse than we originally thought.
Every personal injury case is different.

First, we must determine whether the defendants’ negligence caused your injury. If we can not prove liability, then no compensation can be recovered from the other party.

We also must determine the damages that you suffered as a result of the injury. Damages can include:

1. Past medical expenses and any future medical care that you might need.
2. Lost wages
3. Pain and suffering
4. The loss of your spouse’s services, comfort and companionship.

You are the only person who can decide to settle your case. Throughout the process, your attorney help you understand the elements of the case and decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed to trial.

Please understand that a settlement guarantees some compensation for your injuries. We can not guarantee what will happen if your case goes to trial. If we are unable to obtain a settlement that you are satisfied with, we have the experience and resources necessary to take your case to trial.

After your case settles, it takes approximately twenty (20) days to receive the settlement check from the insurance company or defendant. After you sign the check, Florida law requires that it be held in the firm’s trust account until the check clears. This generally takes seven (7) to ten (10) business days. When the check clears, your attorney will provide you with an itemized closing statement which reflects the total settlement or verdict, the amount of attorneys’ fees and costs and any unpaid medical expenses which will be paid from the settlement. After you approve and sign the closing statement, your attorney will provide you with a check for your percentage of the money. If your case is settled without a trial, it takes approximately thirty (30) days from the date of settlement until you will receive the settlement proceeds.

Regardless of whether your case is settled or goes to trial, the amount of money you receive from a settlement or verdict in a personal injury case is not taxable. However, any interest earned on your money after disbursement to you is taxable.

If we can not reach an acceptable settlement with the insurance company or defendant, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Your case will ultimately go to trial if it is not resolved by way of settlement during the litigation process.

Just because your case does not settle before a lawsuit is filed, it does not mean that your case will definitely go to trial. Cases can settle at any time up until, during or after a trial.

Only about 10 to 15 percent of cases actually go to trial. Most civil cases settle prior to trial. However, our firm will handle and prepare your case as thoroughly as possible in the event that it does go to trial.
If your case is lost, your attorney may file a motion for a new trial. These motions are typically denied unless something egregious occurred during the trial of your case. If the judge refuses to grant a new trial, you have the right to appeal your case to a Florida District Court, and in very limited situations, to the Supreme Court of Florida. The appeal process typically takes between twelve (12) and eighteen (18) months.

If you lose your case at trial, the defendant is entitled to tax certain costs of preparing their defense against you personally. Additionally, in some circumstances if the amount of money that the jury awards you at trial is less than the amount of money that the defendants have offered you to settle your case, the defendant is entitled to tax not only costs, but also attorneys fees against you.

If your case is lost at trial, you will not be responsible for paying The Gordon Law Firm any attorneys’ fees or costs.

If your case is won, you are entitled to tax certain costs of preparing your case against the defendant. Likewise, in some circumstances if the amount of money that the jury awards you at trial is more than the amount of money offered by the defendant to settle your case, you may be entitled to an award of attorneys fees as well as costs. If the defendant appeals, you will be entitled to interest in addition to your judgment if you prevail on appeal.
The most important thing you can do is to keep your attorney completely informed. You should openly discuss all aspects of your case and your personal background, both good and bad. Virtually every case has some negative element. Most negative aspects of a case can be successfully handled by your attorney, as long as your are honest.

It is also imperative that our firm has copies of all of your medical records and medical bills. Please keep your attorney and paralegal informed of all of your doctors appointments and medical treatment so that we can obtain the records and bills.

It is also important that the attorney and paralegal handling your case have knows your medical history prior to your accident or injury. If you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition it is essential that you tell your attorney about it.

Make sure you follow all of your doctor’s recommendations. If you do not complete your medical treatment, you give the insurance company a very valuable argument that your injuries cannot be as bad as you claim because if they were, you would be going to the doctor and following his/her recommendations.

Be sure to let your doctor know about all of your medical complaints. Insurance companies will carefully review your medical records in determining the value of your case.

Please keep us advised as to any changes of address, marital status, occupation, new doctors or physical therapists, or additional accidents or injuries.

Make sure to let your attorney know about all of the following:

1. Prior lawsuits or claims you have made or have been made against you;
2. Prior criminal history;
3. Prior psychological treatment;
4. Prior accidents or injuries;
5. Prior worker’s compensation claims;
6. Prior hospitalizations;
7. Alcohol or drug use;
8. Accidents or injuries that may occur after your accident date;
9. Statements given to insurance adjusters;
10. Failure to report income on tax returns;
11. Failure to file tax returns;
12. Failure to tell the truth.


If you have worked in a Social Security-covered job for at least five of the last 10 years, you should be eligible for SSD benefits. If you cannot pass the work requirement tests, have not held an eligible job, or have not worked at all, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
You can file for Social Security disability benefits immediately after becoming disabled. If you are suffering from a serious illness or injury and predict you will be out of work for at least a year, do not hesitate to file a claim. You should not file a claim if you are suffering from a minor illness or a condition which is not expected to last more than a year.
It depends. To qualify, you must have been disabled for no less than a year, expect to be disabled for at least a year, or have knowledge of a condition which will prove fatal within a year.
Yes, but the amount of Social Security you receive may be lowered to offset your workers’ compensation benefits. If you receive Social Security disability benefits first, your workers’ compensation benefits may be reduced to offset the money you are already receiving in SSD benefits.
The amount of money in your savings account is irrelevant if you’ve worked sometime during the past few years, or if you are applying for Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s benefits or Disabled Adult Child benefits. Income and assets (or “resources”) are taken into account only in connection with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits.
Disability insurance benefits are based on past wages and the amount of time worked. Monthly SSI disability benefits are set by federal law and are increased each January to account for a rise in the cost-of-living. Benefit calculators can help applicants estimate their potential benefit amounts. Many states supplement these amounts. Benefits generally range from $500 to $2,000 per month, with the average monthly payment over $1,100.
It depends whether you are approved on the date of your initial filing or if you will have to undergo the two-step appeals process. If the initial filing goes through, you only have to wait one to three months; an appeal can last anywhere from two to three years.
If your application is approved, you will receive your first Social Security benefit check for the sixth full month following the date the Social Security Administration determines your disability began. For example, if your disability began on June 15, 2013, you would be paid for the month of December 2013, the sixth full month of disability. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they’re due. This means that benefits due for December 2012 would be paid in January 2013.

Applicants may be eligible to receive retroactive payments for the 12 months prior to the application date, minus a five-month waiting period. Since claims may take time to be reviewed and approved, back pay is often awarded to applicants for the time period between application and approval. This is usually paid in a lump sum, unless the payments are significant.

Yes. In fact, many claimants receive Social Security disability benefits due to mental illness. The Social Security Administration will determine whether you are entitled to benefits based on your specific condition.
Possibly, though it’s very unlikely. To be eligible for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration must determine that you are incapable of working. In a few limited circumstances, individuals may work highly-reduced schedules and still receive Social Security disability benefits.
Your Social Security disability benefits will last as long as you are disabled and unable to return to work. Social Security will periodically monitor your condition, and you are required to notify the SSA if your condition improves.
You are not required to have representation when applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income; however, it is highly recommended. Claimants who do not hire an attorney may be at risk for filing incomplete applications or missing important deadlines. Retaining a Social Security attorney may increase your chances of filing a successful claim.
If you are receiving a small amount in Social Security benefits, you may also qualify for SSI. Effective Jan. 13, the maximum federal SSI payment for an individual is $710 per month and for a couple is $1,066 per month; however, some states will supplement the federal SSI payment. In general, the amount of SSI benefits you receive will be based on the amount of income you earn. If your countable income is over the allowable limit, you cannot receive SSI benefits; however, some of your income may not be considered “countable income” for the SSI program.
You are permitted to ask the administration to continue payments while your claim is being reviewed on appeal if:

  • You are appealing the administration’s decision to stop payment of benefits because your medical condition is not disabling; or
  • You are appealing the administration’s determination that you are no longer eligible for SSI or that your compensation should be reduced.

All requests for continuation of benefits during the appeals process must be made within 10 days of receipt of the letter from the administration.

If you believe you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, or have any further questions about the application process, do not hesitate to contact an experienced our Social Security disability attorneys today. For a free, no-obligation case review, fill out ourcontact form today.