Dolman Law Group is an award winning Clearwater car accident and personal injury law firm. Matthew Dolman has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyers in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by his colleagues. Mr. Dolman has been nominated as a top 100 trial attorney and top 40 under 40 by National Trial Lawyers. He is a lifetime member of both the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocacy Forum.
Friday, March 6, 2015
What Is The Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
suffer injuries in various types of accidents every day. Many of these
accidents occur because another person or party has acted in a negligent fashion.
In such cases, injured victims have the legal right to recover for their
injury-related losses from the negligent party by filing a personal injury
lawsuit in civil court. Unfortunately, many injury victims who have the full
right to recover decide to not pursue a legal claim for various reasons. For
example, they may be intimidated by the idea of going to court or they may
worry that the legal process will be extremely stressful and time-consuming.
that financial recovery is not worth the lawsuit process is almost always
mistaken, however. This is because having the assistance of a qualified and
experienced personal injury lawyer can make the process go smoothly and be
relatively stress-free for you. The right personal injury attorney will understand
every facet of the lawsuit process and will guide you through every step of
your case so that you have as little to worry about as possible.
following is a brief overview of the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit:
In order to
initiate your case, your lawyer will draft and file a claim—also called a
complaint or petition—with the civil court in your jurisdiction. This complaint
will spell out the exact allegations that you are making against the negligent
party and the recovery that you seek through the lawsuit. The defendant will
receive notice that a complaint has been filed and will have the chance to file
an answer to your claims, as well as any counter-claims or motions to dismiss
important that you do not wait too long to discuss a possible case with a
client because a complaint must be filed within a certain time period, called
the statute of limitations. Under Florida law, the statute of limitations for a
personal injury case is generally four years from the date of the injury. Since
a complaint takes time to prepare, you never want to wait until the last minute
to contact an attorney.
situations, it may be possible to use alternate dispute resolution (ADR) methods to come to an
agreement with the defendant without any further litigation. One popular form
of ADR is mediation, which allows both parties (and their attorneys) to sit
down and discuss the case with a third party mediator. The mediator will try to
facilitate a discussion that may lead to
a favorable outcome for both parties. In some cases, courts will order parties
to attempt mediation before setting a trial date.
agreement is reached through ADR, your case will continue on to the discovery
stage, during which you and the other party will gather information from one
another to build your case. There are many different methods of discovery,
for production of documents
of the case is governed by procedural rules set out by the state of Florida.
the evidence each side discovered from the other, you may engage in settlement
negotiations to avoid going to trial, using evidence as leverage for a more
favorable agreement. The large majority of cases end up settling outside of
court at this stage of the process.
If you are
unable to settle the case, you will proceed to a jury trial. Each side will
present their case to the jury in accordance with strict procedural guidelines
and rules of evidence. During trial, you can bring in witnesses to testify and
also present physical evidence to support your claims. At the end of the trial,
the jury will enter a verdict that will determine how much you are able to
recover for your injuries.
an experienced personal injury attorney in Clearwater, Florida for a free
personal injury lawsuit process is not nearly as intimidating as most people
believe as long as you have an experienced lawyer handling your case. At the
Dolman Law Group, we help injured victims recover, so please do not hesitate to
call 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756 (727) 451-6900