Were you recently hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault? The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are over 39 million medical exams for accidental injuries in the US.
In Florida, if you can prove the other person’s irresponsible behavior or negligence is responsible for your accident, then this guide is for you.
Do your homework today and our system of justice will award you for your loss.
Personal Injury Definition
There are many common types of personal injuries, including:
- Dog attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Public or private property liability
- Motor vehicle collisions and
- Work sight injuries.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Process: Step by Step
Navigating the personal injury case process may not be foremost on your mind following your accident. You will most likely be experiencing other feelings like pain or shock.
It’s important, however, that you follow these action steps to reinforce your case.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, your best course of action is to pull over to a safe area immediately to assess the scene. Be sure to check and see if you or anyone else involved in the collision have any injuries. Call 911 to request help and then exchange information with others involved in the accident.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It’s vital you call and get medical treatment as soon as you can. Sometimes, injuries won’t be immediately visible nor apparent. Swelling and scar tissue can form many days after the accident occurred.
Talk to your physician to make sure that any injuries are diagnosed and treated right away. Documenting this medical exam can help prove the accident caused your injuries.
Collect Your Evidence
Evidence plays a central role. Write down the details of your accident as you remember them. Take pictures of the accident scene as well as your injuries.
Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
Communicate with law enforcement so they can file a report.
Hire a Lawyer
In Florida, personal injury attorneys are the experts that can guide these cases through the legal system so the victims can focus on recovering.
You should look for someone with extensive litigation experience. If the case goes to court, you’ll want a professional with years of successful experience in the courtroom.
Follow the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations specifies the amount of time a victim has after their injury to file a lawsuit in the court system. If a victim doesn’t file their claim before these deadlines, they can’t receive reimbursement to cover their damages.
The Florida Statute of Limitations for a personal injury case is four years after the injury occurred.
Complaint and Answer Phase
A personal injury claim (or “complaint”) alerts the local courts a victim intends to collect payment from the responsible party. Complaints are filed in the court system where the responsible party lives or where the injury took place.
When victims file a legal claim, the responsible party must respond to the evidence and arguments presented to the court. If they don’t respond, the court automatically rules in the victim’s favor. If the responsible party disagrees with the presented arguments, the claim then moves along to the discovery phase.
Discovery is the trial process where both sides of a case exchange their evidence. Each side shares their expectations so all parties involved can choose their next course of action.
The responsible party can submit a motion either before or after the discovery phase to request the court to act in their favor. This request might include a request to dismiss some or all of the victim’s claims in the lawsuit.
Approximately 95 percent of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. If both sides want to reach a private settlement, the lawsuit is dropped and the parties move on to mediation to negotiate outcomes.
Personal Injury Trial Phase
If the victim and the responsible party don’t settle the case, the claim moves into the trial phase where a judge or jury makes the final decision on whether victims should receive compensation and how much.
If you’re a victim and think you have a strong personal injury claim on your hands, then you should act today. Collect your own pictures and testimony to outline what exactly took place during your accident.
Schedule appointments with many different personal injury lawyers to find the professional that’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their litigation experience.
Check out our website for more insights on the personal injury lawsuit process. You can speak with us for free. Call 904 LAW-1212 anytime, day or night.