if you are injured in a Florida car accident, you will want to understand your options. You will probably have questions about getting compensated for your medical bills or lost income. Typically, there are two choices available. One is agreeing to a settlement with an insurance company and the other is filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person or persons who caused the accident. South Florida Law, PLLC represents people injured in car accidents. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer examines how to file a lawsuit in the following paragraphs.
How to Begin a Lawsuit After a Florida Car Accident
After you have retained our Hollywood, FL car accident lawyer, we will commence your lawsuit. Before filing the formal complaint, our office will thoroughly investigate the facts surrounding your accident. It is crucial to figure out who was involved in the accident and what occurred.
The complaint is the document filed in the Florida court system that explains what happened. It will include a statement of facts of what occurred, a list of the parties that should be held accountable for any damages, the legal basis for bringing the claim, and the compensation being sought. Drafting a compelling and legally sound complaint takes time and resources. It is essential to be as complete as possible before filing the complaint.
Once finished, the complaint must be filed with the court and delivered to all the defendants in the case. Providing the defendant notice of the lawsuit is known as “serving” them. There are specific rules on how to accomplish this based on the location and type of defendant, though generally, the complaint must be hand-delivered. An affidavit of service is then filed with the court, indicating that the service followed the proper procedural rules.
What Does a Defendant in Florida Do After You File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Once served, the defendant will be required to file an answer. The answer will generally either deny or admit the allegations contained in the complaint. It will also set forth any legal defenses available and might include a counterclaim alleging your conduct caused the accident.
Collecting Evidence After Filing a Florida Car Accident Lawsuit
Before filing a lawsuit, our Plantation car accident attorneys would have conducted a thorough examination of the facts surrounding the crash. This investigation includes collecting evidence such as photographs, surveillance videos, police reports, and witness testimonies. Additionally, our office would have gathered medical records and documentation to establish the extent of your injuries.
During the discovery process, the parties involved in the lawsuit exchange relevant evidence and information. This time-consuming procedure involves multiple avenues of communication. In most cases, discovery will include sending interrogatories to various parties involved in the case. Interrogatories are a series of written questions that the party served must truthfully answer or provide a legal reason why they are not required to respond. In addition to interrogatories, a party to the lawsuit could be questioned under oath. Known as a deposition, this process allows our attorney to pose questions directly to the defendant or other involved parties. In addition to this testimony, our Florida car accident lawyer will send requests for the production of documents. This is what it sounds like, a formal request to provide our office specific papers, reports, or materials, that are relevant to the case.
Taking Your Case to a Florida Court After Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
Once each side has completed the discovery process, the case is ready for trial. Our experienced Hallandale car accident attorney will make an opening statement explaining what occurred and what we are planning to prove. Next, as the plaintiff, we will present the evidence to show not only liability but also the damages you suffered. This will include offering documents, witness testimony, and, in some instances, expert opinion. The defense will have an opportunity to cross-examine or question the evidence presented. Afterward, the defense will present its case. Once all the evidence is presented, a judge or jury will render a decision.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
A “statute of limitations” is a state law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you try to file a car accident lawsuit after the time limit has passed, your case will most likely be dismissed. While the time limit is four years, it is essential that you do not wait that long to contact our Aventura car accident lawyer. Often, any delay in beginning a lawsuit will mean valuable evidence will be lost or unavailable. It is not uncommon for an insurance company to drag out a settlement negotiation beyond the statute of limitations to avoid a lawsuit. By acting quickly, an injured victim will provide themselves a better chance at prevailing at trial.
Call Our Florida Car Accident Attorney for a Free Appointment
Lawsuits can be long and complicated affairs. If you have been injured in a Florida car accident, you will want to have the best opportunity to recover for any damages you have suffered. Jared K. Newman is a Hallandale Beach personal injury attorney who is dedicated to helping people hurt through no fault of their own. Our law office has the staff and resources to handle your lawsuit, from the initial investigation through to trial. Call (954) 932-7877 to schedule a free consultation.