Personal injury cases award a victim of another’s negligence damages for his or her pain and suffering. Florida follows the comparative negligence system, allotting damages according to the degree at which each party is at fault. Whether injury resulted from a car accident, slipping on a wet store floor, medical malpractice or a dog bite, going through the process may be necessary to receive compensation. Personal injury lawsuits often involve a lengthy and detailed process.
Finding an attorney
The first thing you should do is find a suitable personal injury lawyer. Be prepared to answer tough questions. You lawyer needs detailed information about the accident, your insurance, who else you have spoken to and your injuries. You may also need to sign a form releasing your medical records.
Your lawyer can give you specific pleadings regarding your case, but you and your lawyer have a lot of paperwork to fill out before the lawsuit gets started. Initial court filings include:
- Complaint/Petition — This is the outline of the case, which includes the factual and legal basis for your claims against the defendant and what you want the defendant to do, such as pay damages.
- Summons and Service of Process — This is the court order informing the defendant he or she is being sued, which includes the time limit for responding and consequences for not responding.
- Answer — This is the defendant’s response, which includes admitting, denying or citing insufficient knowledge to admit or deny each section of the court order.
All facts and documents must be presented at this time prior to trial. There are three types of discovery:
- Written — You must admit or deny questions about your version of the facts.
- Document production — Includes computer files, medical records and police reports.
- Depositions — These are statements made under oath that reveal the other side’s information and how witnesses handle being questioned.
A motion can end a dispute before going to trial. Some of the motions you may see include:
- Motion to Dismiss — The lawsuit is ended before the discovery stage if the complaint is proven to be legally deficient.
- Summary Judgment Motion — Either side must prove the facts are disputable and a trial is needed for judgment.
- Motion for Default Judgment — If the defendant fails to appear after being summoned, he or she is in default and is obligated to pay all damages.
- Summary Judgment — Facts are proven indisputable, and the lawsuit is ended before going to trial.
- Lack of Personal Jurisdiction — Sometimes the court has no power to make decisions affecting the defendant.
Most personal injury cases settle without the need to go to trial. This is usually preferable because settling is simpler, takes less time, is less stressful and is cheaper.
If the case needs to go to trial, both the plaintiff and defendant have the chance to argue the case before a judge or jury decides whether, and to what extent, the defendant is liable.
Call a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer for a free consultation
If someone else’s negligence resulted in your injury, you need an experienced Jacksonville, FL personal injury lawyer who knows the laws and can use them to your benefit.Gillette Law, P.A is sensitive to your needs and understands how stressful a lawsuit can be on you and your family. Call today for a free consultation. We are centrally located to serve clients in Florida and Georgia, and you don’t pay unless we win your case.
Gillette Law, P.A.
603 North Market Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
2526 Norwich St.
Brunswick, GA 31520
Personal injury cases award a victim of another’s negligence damages for their pain and suffering. Florida follows a comparative negligence law, allotting damages according to the degree at which each party is at fault. It is important to understand each stage of a personal injury case. Gillette Law, P.A. knows the laws in Florida and Georgia and can help get you the damages you deserve.