Several steps must be taken before filing a personal injury lawsuit if you have been injured in an accident. First, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately after an accident so that your injuries are documented. Once you have received medical treatment and know the extent of your injuries, you can pursue compensation for any damages caused by the accident.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to file for a personal injury lawsuit in Florida:
Consult with a lawyer
The first step to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida is to consult with an attorney. In 2022, Florida will have a population of more than 22 million residents—making it the third-largest state in America (behind only California and Texas). To put that into perspective, around 21 million people live in New York City alone. This means there are plenty of personal injury lawyers fl throughout the state who can help you navigate your way through this process.
File the complaint
In 2022, 39,610 Law Firms were operating in Florida—an increase of 2.4% from the prior year. Most importantly, personal injury cases are filed in the county where the incident occurred. If you were injured in Miami-Dade County, for example, your case would be heard by a judge in that county; however, if you’re dealing with an injury lawsuit involving multiple parties (such as an accident between two cars). In that case, filing in more than one location within Florida may be necessary.
Serve the defendant
According to statistics from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), 200,000 car crashes occur in the state every year—more than 500 accidents per day. This is a huge burden on the state’s healthcare system and a financial drain for insurance companies. The FLHSMV also notes that these numbers have been on the rise over the past decade; crashes have increased by more than 50%.
The most common causes of car accidents in Florida are driver distraction, speeding, fatigue, and reckless driving. The FLHSMV reports that speeding contributes to almost half of all crashes. Other factors include alcohol consumption (nearly 20%) and drugs (more than 10%).
The defendant responds to the complaint
Once your complaint is filed, the defendant has 30 days to respond. The most common response by a defendant is a motion to dismiss. It asks the court to throw out all or part of your lawsuit because it doesn’t have enough facts or legal claims for any possible remedy requested. The defendant could also file a motion for summary judgment, which means they want their case heard immediately because there are no issues that need to be decided by a jury. All evidence favors one side over another.
Discovery and pretrial motions
After your complaint is filed and the defendant files a response, both parties are entitled to conduct discovery. Discovery is the method by which each side can obtain evidence from the other party, usually through written questions.
For example, personal injury lawyers in Florida often use discovery to find out about the other party’s insurance coverage. At any time during discovery, either party may file a motion requesting that certain things be excluded from evidence at trial.
Each step of your injury lawsuit can be stressful and overwhelming. However, if you follow this process and get the help of a lawyer, then filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida will go smoothly. The best thing you can do to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve is to hire a personal injury attorney.