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Filing a Lawsuit and Taking the Case to Trial

If your claim cannot be settled with the insurance company for the at-fault driver or the  need otherwise arises to file a lawsuit without pre-lawsuit negotiations, a car accident  lawyer can promptly file a lawsuit on your behalf. Filing a lawsuit is an intensive and time consuming process. It can take more than a year, and often longer, to finish the lawsuit  process. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the steps involved in filing a personal  injury lawsuit and taking the case to trial. 

Getting Proper Medical treatment: The priority after handling the scene of the accident  is to get proper medical treatment. You should go to the hospital or emergency care clinic  within twenty-four hours of the crash and the sooner, the better. You may not feel like you  have major injuries, but often the symptoms of your injuries won’t show up for several  days. That is why you need the doctor run tests to properly diagnose you. You will be  more bruised and have more pain one or two days after the crash, but do not wait until  then to get checked out. You may later need injections, surgery, or another type of therapy if you cannot manage the pain. Your attorney should request a permanency rating from  the physician to evaluate the extent of the injuries and the possibility of recovery. 

Demand: A demand is generally sent to the defendant after the attorney reviews the  injuries suffered by the plaintiff. This is done by reviewing medical records. I use my  knowledge in personal injury and the insurance field along with the doctor’s final report to  determine an amount to demand from the defendant. Keep in mind, as previously  mentioned, the defendant will almost always counter a demand and argue the injuries are  not permanent. Do not be discouraged by the defendant denying your demand and  initially offering a lesser amount. This is part of the process. 

File Suit: The next step after the insurance company denies your demand is filing suit. If  the insurance company does not agree to settle based on the demand sent, then a suit  is filed, and the parties involved are served. A complaint naming the parties and  allegations against them is filed with the court, and the defendants are served by a  process server. After the lawsuit is filed in the court and the parties are served, the  discovery process begins. 

Discovery: The parties in the lawsuit exchange written discovery like written questions  called interrogatories and requests for production of relevant documents. During this  phase, you will have to meet with your lawyer and staff to answer questions and supply  documents to the other side. Each of these discovery items have deadlines and must be  responded to completely and accurately. I recommend working with your attorney and the  firm in answering these questions to avoid errors. A simple mistake in answering your  questions or providing documents can negatively impact your case. 

Depositions: This is where you will have to go to a court reporter’s office and give  testimony under oath to the other lawyer. We will have the same opportunity to depose  the at-fault driver, any witnesses, and your medical providers. During a deposition, you  will be asked questions to determine what you did to avoid the accident or what you saw  prior to the accident. It is important for you to pay attention to your surroundings when  you are on the road because if you inform the insurance company that you did not and  somehow acted negligently, then a portion of fault may be placed on you. The best way  to prepare for depositions is to take notes and refresh your memory prior to the deposition.  

Mediation: Florida courts require the parties attend mediation prior to trial period there is  no requirement that you settle, but you must attend mediation. The goal here is to obtain  the best settlement for you and if the insurance company does not agree to an amount  that would make you whole again, then we can continue to pursue the lawsuit and litigate  the matter in court. When a case proceeds to trial, the court will set the trial date, and the  parties will begin asking the court for evidence to be admitted or excluded. The Florida  rules of evidence and Civil Procedure will apply during this entire process.  

Appeal: A case may get dismissed prior to trial or proceed to trial and have an  unfavorable verdict. In some of these cases where the attorney and you find there is  sufficient evidence to find in your favor, an appeal may be filed. In addition, an insurance company will often appeal a verdict with the hopes of overturning the judgment or at least  delaying payment that they owe you.  

Post Settlement Issues 

After the settlement or verdict, the medical and insurance liens must be paid before the  attorney can disburse the proceeds to the injured client. A lien is a security on real or  personal property for the payment of the debt owed to the creditor. Accident attorneys  have agreements with many medical providers to work on what is called a Letter of  Protection. This Letter of Protection is an agreement that the attorney will pay the medical  facility after a settlement or judgment is paid in your case. This relieves the crash victim  of having to worry about the financial pressure of how to pay for the necessary medical  care. Many attorneys will negotiate with the lien creditors upon settlement to reduce the  amount you owe.  

Speak with a Accident Lawyers in Miami Today!  

At Suarez and Montero, we have all the answers to your legal questions. We can also  assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries after a car accident if you were a  passenger in the accident. At Suarez & Montero, our team of car accident attorneys in  Miami will work with you every step of the way, offering the expert legal guidance you  need to win your lawsuit. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you have  the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against any responsible parties. Depending on  the situation, the driver, owner, or manufacturer could be liable. Our legal team of Miami  car accident lawyers have decades of experience handling car accident cases. With an  extensive understanding of the laws involved, we can make sure you’re fully  compensated for any medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages you may have  experienced. Unlike other firms that handle cases in other areas of law in addition to their  personal injury section, our firm is 100% dedicated to helping victims in personal injury  cases and has been doing so for over 20 years. If you or someone you love has been  involved in an accident, contact us today for a free consultation.  

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead,  Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.  

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston;  and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.