People in Miami and across Florida are injured daily in a variety of ways, including car accidents, slip and falls, or other incidents that were caused by the negligence of others. If you have been hurt and suffered both physical harm and financial losses, you should be compensated for your damages. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA is dedicated to getting injured victims’ financial settlements. One of the ways our office goes about getting compensation for injured individuals is through personal injury lawsuits. Our Miami personal injury lawyer reviews how you file a personal injury lawsuit in the following article.
Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits and the Statute of Limitations
The first thing to know about personal injury lawsuits is that they must be filed within a certain amount of time. Florida’s statute of limitations sets the legal deadline to file a lawsuit with the Florida court system. Under the statute, you have four years from the date of the accident or incident to file your personal injury lawsuit.
While this might appear to be a long period, time remains of the essence when filing a civil lawsuit seeking recovery of damages. Any delay in retaining our experienced Florida personal injury attorney or investigating the facts surrounding your accident could reduce your chances of prevailing in court.
Success in a personal injury lawsuit often hinges on the quality of evidence presented. If you hesitate when preparing your case, vital evidence could be lost, records could be missing, and witnesses’ memories could be foggy, or they could be unavailable. In some instances, the defendant could be impossible to find. Just because the law grants you four years does not mean you should wait that long.
Investigating Your Case Before Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Whether you win or lose a personal injury lawsuit could swing on actions taken before the lawsuit is filed. In some cases, it is easy to determine what occurred, such as a rear-end collision at a traffic light. However, in many instances, the facts surrounding your injury will be disputed by the parties involved. Additionally, more people than you were initially aware of could have contributed to your injury. For example, if you fell in a supermarket because of a spill, the management and the store owner could be held liable. However, if a display case was defective, you could also have a claim against the manufacturer.
A personal injury lawsuit also needs an injury. Without proper medical treatment and documentation, it might be challenging to prove the severity and the extent of the impact of the harm you suffered. Our Florida personal injury attorney understands the importance of gathering sufficient evidence of your medical state before filing a lawsuit.
Filing the Complaint in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit
The legal process begins by filing a complaint with the Florida court. After collecting the evidence surrounding your accident or incident, a complaint will be drafted that includes the facts of the case, the allegations against any defendant that contributed to your injury, the legal theory upon which the case was filed, and the compensation being sought. Any procedural error or drafting mistake could result in your case being dismissed well before you get to trial. To ensure that your complaint is drafted correctly, and all the intricate procedural rules and regulations are complied with, you should retain our experienced personal injury attorney in Florida.
After the complaint is filed, it must be served or delivered to any defendants in the case. After they receive the complaint, each defendant will have to file a response or answer with the court. The answer will either admit or deny the allegations laid out in your complaint, offer any legal defenses available, and possibly contain a counterclaim alleging you either caused on contributed to the accident or injury.
The Discovery Process in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit
Once the complaint and the response are filed, the discovery process begins. Discovery is when the two sides in a lawsuit share relevant evidence. This is accomplished in a variety of ways.
First, a request for production of documents could be sent to the opposing party. This will be a formal and detailed request for materials such as phone records, emails, communications, medical records, bank statements, or any other pertinent documents that provide evidence in the case.
Another method of discovery is sending interrogatories to the various parties involved in the dispute. Interrogatories are written questions that require written answers. The corollary to this is a deposition. A deposition is when a party involved in the case is directly questioned while they are under oath. Another attorney will typically represent any person being deposed.
Getting the most out of the discovery process could swing your case one way or the other. Our Florida personal injury attorney has years of experience drafting interrogatories and questioning individuals in depositions to gain vital information. Without fully understanding the discovery process, essential evidence might never come to light.
Taking Your Florida Personal Injury Claim to Trial
Once the discovery process is complete, it is time to take your case to trial. At this time, our Florida personal injury attorney will have a good idea of the strength and value of your claim. If a settlement amount is offered before trial, it will be essential to have the advice of an experienced attorney to determine if the offer is fair or if you have a good chance at prevailing in court.
The trial will consist of both the plaintiff and defendant offering opening statements and presenting their respective evidence and witnesses. Depending on the facts of your case, expert testimony might be required to establish the severity of your injuries or the value of your financial losses. Our law office has the resources to ensure you have the experts if necessary.
Once all the evidence has been presented, the judge or jury will decide the matter. They will proportion fault and award compensation if required.
Call Our Florida Personal Injury Attorney if You Need to File a Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits are complicated matters that are governed by numerous rules and regulations. While there are online guides to help you handle your case, you only have one opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you want to maximize your potential claim and avoid making costly errors, you need Prosper Shaked, our experienced Miami personal injury attorney. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free consultation.