People are injured every day, and while these accidental injuries may seem random, they usually are caused by an individual’s negligent action or inaction. You may be entitled to compensation under Florida law if you were injured because of someone else’s negligence.
Bodily harm and injury can impact your life both physically and emotionally. It can also impact your ability to work and enjoy life. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, you should strongly consider discussing your legal options with a personal injury lawyer. An injury lawyer will guide you through the complex legal process and fight on your behalf for any compensation you are entitled to receive. In Florida, most injury lawsuits follow the same general process.
If someone else’s negligence has injured you, you do not have to face the challenging legal system alone. Legal proceedings can be incredibly complex, but our team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers has the knowledge required to navigate the process.
I. What is a personal injury lawsuit?
“Personal injury” can refer to a variety of different legal actions. Injuries caused by someone else’s negligence occur in many different circumstances and can result in injuries to one or more people. No matter the circumstance, Florida law seeks to hold negligent actors accountable for the injuries they cause.
Some examples of injury claims include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Often, road accidents are caused by a negligent individual who fails to obey traffic laws or is distracted. Under Florida law, you can hold a negligent actor responsible for the damages caused in a vehicle collision. Automobile accidents and negligence actions accounted for 28.5% of all Florida Circuit Court civil cases during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Approximately 85% of all cases handled by the team here at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers involve a motor vehicle accident.
- Premises Liability: In Florida, injuries you suffer that are caused by slippery floors with no warning signs, cracked or uneven pavement, or broken or ill-repaired stairs can be the subject of a personal injury lawsuit. The law requires that property owners keep their premises free from hidden dangers that might cause you injury. When a property owner fails to repair or warn of these dangers, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffer due to the landowner’s negligence.
- Wrongful Death: Some cases involve incredibly tragic circumstances where the injuries caused by another’s negligence are so severe that they cause death. When a family member or loved one is killed because of another’s negligence, Florida law allows the surviving victims to recover for medical bills and expenses, funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering endured by the decedent, and the value of the life lost.
If you have questions about whether you might have a potential injury claim, you should meet with a lawyer specializing in injuries to discuss your legal rights and options. It is also important to contact an attorney before speaking with any insurance company or choosing a medical provider. You should avoid providing statements or documentation that may be adverse to your personal injury claim. Consult with an attorney who has been in business for decades or a law firm with a board-certified trial lawyer on staff. You can have all of the above with us at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers. With an experience of over 30 years and have a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer on our team, a designation only 1% of all Florida lawyers have achieved.
II. What is the process for an injury lawsuit?
When you meet with a lawyer to discuss your injury claim, you will quickly realize that a lawsuit progresses through multiple steps. Your lawyer will be able to explain the process and provide advice throughout the case. During the fiscal year 2020-2021, Florida Circuit Courts handled 173,630 civil lawsuits.
- Complaint and Summons: The first step in the process is to file a complaint and serve a summons. A complaint identifies the parties, the facts giving rise to the case, and the legal theories for compensating the injured party. Generally, your complaint will describe how the defendant or defendants have caused you harm and will identify how much money you may be entitled to receive.
Once your attorney has prepared the complaint, they will also ensure that the complaint is served on the responsible party or parties. Typically, your complaint will be served together with a summons. A summons orders the responsible party to admit or deny the allegations contained in your complaint.
- Defendant’s Answer: Once the responsible party receives a copy of the complaint and summons, they are required to respond to your allegations within a certain timeframe. The defendant responds to each individual allegation in the complaint by either admitting or denying the allegation. Alternatively, the defendant may seek to dismiss all or part of your lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss.
- Discovery: After the complaint and answer have been filed with the court, the lawsuit enters the discovery phase of the proceedings. In this stage, you and your attorney have the opportunity to investigate the defendant, request additional evidence, and conduct depositions of important witnesses. Your attorney can also ask written questions of the defendant, request the defendant to produce relevant documentation, and request that the defendant admit or deny specific allegations. The discovery stage of the legal action is designed to narrow the factual and legal issues before trial.
The defendant’s attorney may also ask you written questions or seek to depose you under oath. Your attorney will work with you to answer written questions and to defend you if you are deposed.
- Mediation: Many lawsuits can be resolved before a trial through a process called mediation. According to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, up to 98% of all civil cases reach a settlement before trial. At mediation, a neutral third party discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the case with both you and the defendant. The mediator may make recommendations or suggest ways to resolve the case. The mediator cannot force you to accept a certain outcome for your case. The mediator’s job is to attempt to resolve the case through an agreement between the parties.
Your attorney will work to ensure that the responsible party or their insurance company offers a fair amount of money for your injuries. The team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can often negotiate favorable settlements without ever taking your case to trial.
- Trial: If the parties to a lawsuit cannot settle, the case will proceed to trial. Some cases are tried before a jury. Bench trials are tried before a presiding judge without a jury. Trials are expensive and unpredictable. You should always consult with your attorney about potential outcomes before deciding to take your case through trial. If a trial is necessary, Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers have an attorney on staff who is a board-certified trial lawyer. Only 1% of all Florida lawyers have been board certified.
III. When to file a personal injury lawsuit?
You should seek the services of Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, as soon as possible after the accident. This allows us the best chances to help you pursue compensation when you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Usually, a lawsuit must be filed within a state’s statute of limitations. In Florida, a negligence case should be pursued within 4 years. But the longer it has been since the accident, the harder it is to make a successful case. Some cases may qualify for an exception to the statute of limitations. You should consult with Brian D. Guralnick and his team to learn more about the time constraints associated with injury lawsuits.
IV. Why hire a personal injury lawyer?
There are many advantages associated with hiring a lawyer to pursue an injury claim. You should consider:
- Advocacy: Trauma and bodily harm can also cause significant emotional and mental stress. Legal proceedings can add another layer of stress on an individual who is seeking compensation for their injuries. A lawyer fights and advocates on behalf of the injured person. Having an advocate to fight for your legal rights and just compensation allows you to focus on all the other important things in life.
- Negotiation: Responsible parties and their insurance companies often attempt to avoid paying you for injuries. Defense attorneys are skilled at arguing that you are entitled to lower compensation or nothing at all. You deserve an attorney who will combat these challenges on your behalf. The attorneys and staff at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers have a unique skill set to deal with large corporations and insurance companies to secure a just outcome.
- Maximized Recovery: There are a number of factors that impact the value of a particular case. If you are unfamiliar with the law or legal process, you may lack the ability to calculate your damages appropriately. A lawyer works hard to determine the compensation you deserve accurately.
The legal system can be daunting without a lawyer. You should seek out a lawyer who provides high-quality work, personal care, and attention to your case. If you were injured due to the negligence of someone else, you should consider hiring us at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers to get access to over 30 years of experience in Florida and the resources to take your case all the way to trial, if necessary.
Were you or a loved one injured in an accident?
The law offices of Brian D. Guralnick help Florida residents and tourists seek compensation and Demand More? for their injuries.