What to Expect in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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The topic of this video is what to expect any personal injury lawsuit. So a personal injury lawsuit occurs after we are not able to successfully negotiate a resolution during the claims process. So in other words, we were too far apart on settlement numbers or there might be a fundamental legal issue on causation. Something was prohibiting us from uh, reaching, uh, an agreed upon disposition with the insurance company for a particular injury will obviously advise our clients that we think it’s good for them to file a lawsuit and move forward in that regard. Once that happens, a couple of different things happen. First, we file what’s called a complaint. Once we filed the complaint, the complaint gets actually served on the defendant, whether that be a person or an entity like an underinsured motorist carrier such as Geico or Allstate. We serve that complaint or lawsuit on the defendant.

Once that occurs, that starts the clock. The defendant from that point in time has 20 days to respond to the complaint. Oftentimes, we also serve written discovery with the complaint. What this is, it’s evidence gathering, uh, that allows us to send written questions or interrogatories to the defendant for them to answer and requests for production, asking them to produce documents that could support their defenses or support my client’s case. Once we get through the written component of this evidence gathering stage called discovery, we then take the next step in the discovery process by taking depositions. Depositions are sworn statements under oath now with a court reporter, sometimes a videographer, but mostly a court reporter. Uh, the plaintiff will be deposed as well as any at-fault parties or any witnesses. Law enforcement witnesses will be deposed and this is continuing our evidence gathering mission to support our lawsuit.

After the depositions occur, then we set the case generally for mediation. Mediation’s an opportunity for the parties to come together with an independent third party called the mediator, uh, in hopes that the mediator can help facilitate negotiations and ultimately settlement of the case. If we are unable to reach a resolution at mediation, the cases generally push forward and a trial is set. Now, this does not mean the case will ultimately go to trial, but that is the way that the process works and we need to move the case along and move the ball down the court, uh, towards a jury trial if we are unable to resolve the case at mediation. Most cases in the state of Florida that get filed in court don’t go to jury trial. They are settled, but sometimes it takes the, the actual action of setting it for trial to get the right folks at the insurance company and take a look in the case. And so the kid, if the case gets set for jury trial, we get prepared for trial and hopefully resolve the case before trial. However, if we need to go to trial, we will, and we do on behalf of our clients. And that’s the ultimate end of a personal injury lawsuit is a jury trial. I hope this has been helpful.

*The above has been transcribed by a third party service and has not been checked for accuracy.

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5858 Central Ave suite a
St. Petersburg, FL 33707

St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas are committed to helping their clients achieve the best possible outcome. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate, contact us today at (727) 381-2300. We are open 24/7 and you will be speaking with an attorney.

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