The Anatomy and the Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The Anatomy and the Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida

date iconApril 25, 2024

The journey through a personal injury lawsuit is complex, daunting, and overwhelming as each and every step is both multifaceted and time-sensitive. When you’re seeking compensation, the best way forward is to hire a personal injury lawyer who can traverse the legal system for you, allowing you to prioritize rest and recovery. Understanding the structure and progression of a personal injury lawsuit can help prepare you with what to expect along the way, and more importantly, how your lawyer can achieve a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Seeking Medical Care For Your Injury – Not to be Delayed

Not only is seeking medical care important for your well-being, but it is also a precursor to being able to file. Your treatment plan, the severity of your injury, and the medical care you receive have a direct impact on the length of your personal injury lawsuit and the compensation you receive. For example, if your injury results in a permanent disability or impairment, you could potentially receive disability compensation, future damages for ongoing care, and lost wages. Medical records are an essential piece of evidence, so get hold of them as soon as possible.

The 7 Steps In The Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

Once you’ve sought medical attention and have hired a personal injury lawyer, the next step you’ll need to take is to initiate the legal process by filing a claim.

1. The Initial Investigation & Review: Your personal injury attorney will start the legal process by conducting a comprehensive investigation of your claim. We’ll interview you to gain a clear understanding of how the accident occurred and the severity of your injuries, then assess your medical records and associated bills to determine the full extent of your damages. This part of the investigation takes time, but is critical to your case, as it allows us to analyze the facts thoroughly and gather the necessary evidence to provide you with effective counsel.

2. Settlement Negotiations: A significant number of personal injury lawsuits in Florida are resolved outside of court through a mutually agreed upon resolution. This typically happens after your case is reviewed, and we either file an insurance claim on your behalf or engage in settlement negotiations with the responsible party. The advantage to settling a case outside of court is that it saves time, resources, and money, but requires an attorney who is a skilled, effective negotiator.

3. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit: In cases where a negotiation settlement isn’t reached, a personal injury lawsuit is then filed. Under Florida law, you have 4 years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim, and it can take an additional 1-2 years before your lawsuit goes to trial. This means that it could take upwards of 6 years before you get a resolution if you wait until the tail-end of your allowable time-frame to file a claim.

4. The Discovery Process: After a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the next step in the process is called discovery. We are already familiar with the facts of your case, however, more evidence is often necessary. As such, in discovery, we interview the other party to find out what evidence they possess.

5. Alternative Dispute Resolution: After discovery, both parties make another attempt to find a resolution. Known as an alternative dispute resolution, this is achieved through mediation or arbitration. In mediation, both sides meet with a mediator who assists in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement, whereas, with arbitration both parties go to a hearing with a neutral third-party who acts as a judge.

6. Trial: If both parties are unable to agree, your claim will move to trial. The duration of your trial and the subsequent deliberations by the jury vary based on the complexities of your case.

7. The Appeal Process: After a decision has been made, either party has the option to appeal an unfavorable ruling to an appellate court. At this point, we will guide you through your post-trial options and assist you in determining the best course of action going forward.

Suffering an injury because of someone else’s negligence is devastating, which is why it’s important to have one of our skilled attorneys by your side to navigate the intricate process of a personal injury lawsuit. Reach out to our attorneys here at Personal Injury of Florida today for a complimentary consultation. We will walk you through the legal process, answer questions about each stage, and support you in taking the first step forward with your case.