Every injury claim is unique, but most cases follow a similar timeline. Having an experienced and understanding personal injury attorney at your side all throughout every stage is a great advantage for you and your case.
The first step for many injured accident victims seeking compensation after a crash or fall, after seeking medical attention, is choosing, and meeting with an attorney. Upon meeting your chosen attorney, keep in mind, to be honest, and provide them with thorough details about your accident and injuries.
Your attorney will ask specific questions about your accident. Make sure to answer completely and honestly. Your attorney will need accurate information in order to pursue the claim in the way that is most advantageous to you. Also, remember that every piece of information you put out to your Florida accident lawyer is held in strict confidence, so you do not need to keep some information to yourself and be embarrassed about revealing the details of the accident, your medical concerns, or other personal circumstances.
Your personal injury lawyer can offer you an honest assessment of whether you have the basis for a Florida personal injury claim after hearing the specifics of your accident and injuries.
When the magnitude of the injuries and damages is obvious, it may make sense to initiate a lawsuit. In some cases, it makes more sense to attempt a non-judicial resolution of the conflict. We will go over both procedures.
Filing a Demand in a Personal Injury Claim
Often, the same results can be accomplished by presenting an effective argument to the defendants before filing a lawsuit as would be achieved by spending the additional money to file a lawsuit and litigate the issues. In those cases, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts, possibly utilizing expert engineers or physicists, compile pertinent information from your medical records, and present the strong points of your case in a demand package. This demand package presents insurance companies with a review of the facts and acts as a starting point for negotiating a settlement.
Filing Suit in a Florida Personal Injury Claim
Every lawsuit begins with the filing of a complaint. This document, which explains the nature of the legal action between you, your insurance company, the other parties involved in the accident, and their insurance companies, is filed with the court and served on the opposing party. Such a conversation should be led by your personal injury attorney.
The initial papers, or pleadings, include:
- Your complaint. Your complaint is the formal document outlining the accident, your injuries, and the compensation you (the plaintiff) seek.
- Summons and service of process. This is an order for the defendant to appear before the court in which your case will be held. It notifies the other party that you intend to sue them for your injuries and damages.
- Answer. An answer is the other party’s response document to your complaint. It will address every part of your complaint to either admit or deny each part individually. It may also raise defenses.
- Counterclaim. Like a complaint, a counterclaim is what the other party will file against you, should they have their own complaints regarding the same incident.
- Reply to counterclaim. Your reply to the counterclaim works the same as an answer does to the original complaint, but to the counterclaim.
- Cross-claims and replies to cross-claims. These occur only when there are multiple parties involved that could be “aligned” as plaintiffs or defendants.
Your personal injury lawyer will oversee the process of filing all required papers, including claims and answers to counterclaims, throughout the following phase of your personal injury claim. This is called the discovery phase.
Discovering all relevant information regarding the case is exactly what it sounds like; it’s called discovery. The American judicial system dislikes surprises, therefore all sides must be aware of the facts and pertinent information before the trial even starts. The process of discovery involves the exchange of copies of the interrogator questions that will be used in court, the evidence that will be presented, the documents that will be used, and the witness depositions.
At this point, your injury claim can be resolved in one of two ways, before trial or at trial.
Resolving a Florida Personal Injury Claim Before Trial
A case can be resolved before trial either by motion or by settlement. If a motion can end your case, your personal injury attorney will file a motion (a request that the court take a certain action) for the court to rule on a particular matter that could end all litigation. Such motions are successful when the other side is lacking convincing evidence, key facts are not disputed and can therefore be decided by a judge, or the defendant does not file an answer in his or her allotted time limit.
To end your case by settlement, an agreement must be reached between the parties. Generally, the plaintiff agrees to dismiss all pending legal actions in exchange for a sum of money, but every case is different. Sometimes, an agreement is made with only some of the parties and others leave the issues to be decided by a jury.
Letting the Jury Decide
Through trial, a judge or jury will hear all evidence regarding the accident and decide who is at fault and whether you deserve compensation for your injuries.
The phases of a trial are as follows:
- Jury selection;
- Opening statements;
- Witness testimony;
- Closing arguments;
- Instructing the jury;
- Deliberation; and
Because you are most likely to be called to speak about how you were hurt, what has changed since the incident that caused your injury, and how your life has been altered, you will be most involved with witness testimony. The truth is what matters most, and your attorney will work with you to make sure you are well-prepared for your time testifying.
Darfoor Law Firm specializes in Personal Injury Claims. We, at Darfoor Law firm, understand the burden, the baggage, and the pain you are enduring. Thus, we are here to help you fight for your rights and we are with you along this journey.
Call Darfoor Law Firm at +1-833-327-3667 and let us guide you on what are the best ways to do when you are injured and involved in an accident.