The Trial Process of a Personal Injury Lawsuit and Can I Afford It?
Our Florida personal injury trial lawyers guide clients through the trial process. We answer your questions and prepare you for the questions the defense lawyers will have. We use our experience, resources, and advocacy skills to present the best case possible on your behalf.
All our personal injury clients can afford to pursue their claims in court. This is because we represent clients on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means we only get paid if the case settles or if the jury awards damages to you. We take cases on a percentage basis – not an hourly basis.
The Common Phases of a Personal Injury Case
Victims of any accident should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. There are many things victims should do and not do immediately after an accident. These are the basic components of every trial.
This stage involves the basic steps before a lawsuit is filed. We call this "pre-litigation" since certain steps are required to be taken to determine if a client has a case that can be taken to trial. These steps include:
- Select a lawyer. Experience matters. Skilled trial lawyers understand how each part of the trial process affects other parts. We prepare each case for a jury trial. Only lawyers who have tried cases successfully understand how to fully prepare a case. A respected trial lawyer understands the legal arguments. He understands how to review evidence. The trial lawyer knows when and how to negotiate with insurance adjustors. He understands the arguments defense attorneys make.
- Get medical care. For most accident victims, seeing an ER doctor is just the first stage of their medical care. Experienced legal counsel works with injury victims to help them see the right doctors. Early intervention and experienced care often lead to better medical outcomes. Our lawyers work with your doctors to determine your diagnosis and prognosis.
- Investigate the cause of the accident. Our Florida personal injury trial attorneys investigate why the accident happened. We analyze which defendants are accountable. Often, we work with private investigators.
- Determine your medical status. Generally, our lawyers do not negotiate settlements until your medical condition is stable. Thus, it’s good to wait until your doctors tell you that more surgeries or treatment won’t improve your condition. When we know your full prognosis, we can begin to value your case.
At a certain point, an experienced personal injury team can assess an individual's claim and can determine if the case can be taken to trial. Once a claim is filed, the litigation phase starts. The steps during litigation include:
- File a legal claim. Usually, we file a complaint soon after the accident. Filing the complaint allows us to formally investigate the case. Consequently, it is best to begin questioning witnesses as soon as possible. Many witnesses can’t remember when too much time elapses. In car accident cases, for example, we need to inspect the vehicles before the owners do any repairs.
- Conduct discovery. Discovery includes:
- These are written questions to the defendants
- These are face to face oral questions under oath
- A request for documents. These are requests for photographs, videos, written records, and other physical evidence.
- Respected lawyers wait to begin discussing a possible settlement. The client must approve any settlement. There is an art to negotiate. Likewise, respected Florida personal injury trial lawyers understand how much your case should be worth. They understand the strengths and weakness of the defendant’s case. Therefore, they know and can anticipate the reasons insurance companies settle such as the cost of a jury trial and the likelihood of a significant recovery.
- If there's no settlement, the case is set for a trial date. A trial begins with the selection of a jury. The plaintiff presents evidence showing:
- How the accident happened
- Who is responsible
- Your full medical history and future medical needs
- Your pain and suffering
- Any disfigurement
- How much income you lost.
- Any property damages
Exceptions to Litigation
There are some exceptions to the standard trial procedure.
- Smaller cases may be submitted to arbitration or mediation.
- In Florida, your own insurance company pays some of your medical bills and lost wages.
- If an accident victim dies, the surviving family members have the right to damages for the loss of their loved one.
- In some cases, we may file an appeal.
Speak with one of our experienced Florida personal injury trial lawyers today
Delay can hurt your case. Florida has strict time limits for filing lawsuits. Our Florida personal injury trial lawyers work aggressively to present your best case. We tell clients that insurance adjusters are not your friends.
At Lulich Attorneys and Consultants, we fight to get you every dollar you deserve. We have been helping victims get justice for 30 years. For help now please call us at 772-589-5500 (Sebastian) or 772-774-7771 (Vero Beach) to schedule a free consultation. You can also start the process by filling out a Free Case Evaluation by clicking here.