Experienced Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyers serving Florida
If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s carelessness, there is a specific legal process that must be followed if you wish to seek compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and medical care. Injuries sustained from any of the following may be grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Boat accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Biking accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall cases (also known as premise liability)
- Nursing home abuse
How Personal Injury Claim Process Begins
A personal injury case begins once someone who has been injured meets with a Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney will review the facts and circumstances surrounding the injury to determine if a viable lawsuit should be filed.
Depending on the case, the lawyer will start by sending a demand letter to the defendant, as well as their insurance company. The defendant is the person responsible for causing the injuries. This letter will clearly state:
- What happened
- Why the defendant is responsible or legally liable
- What injuries were sustained
- The nature and cost of medical treatments
- Lost income related to the injury
- Other damages
Upon receipt of the demand letter, the defendant has the option of paying the amount suggested, counteroffering a different dollar amount, or refusing to pay the demand all together. If both the lawyer and client find the response unsatisfactory, they proceed to the next step in the process.
If the case is not resolved with the demand letter, or if the persona injury attorney believes a demand letter is not suitable for the case, a complaint is then filed. The word “complaint” simply refers to the legal document a lawyer files with the court, which lists the parties involved, legal claims, facts that support the claim, and a demand for judgement that details the amount of money. Zimmet & Zimmet is a personal injury law firm in Daytona Beach, Florida. We handle cases ranging from personal injury and nursing home abuse to medical malpractice and wrongful death. Call us today 386-255-6400 for a free consultation. Once the complaint is filed, the defendant must respond within a certain amount of time.
Discovery is when both parties exchange information about the case. There are specific rules that govern:
- How discovery is requested
- What must be disclosed in discovery
- When it must be disclosed
- How to handle disagreements between the lawyers
During discovery, evidence is reviewed, witnesses are interviewed, facts are investigated and people are deposed. A deposition refers to a process where the personal injury lawyer for one side questions a witness from the other side. This takes place with the witness under oath, and both attorneys present.
Once all of this information has been reviewed, both lawyers will enter into negotiations to try and settle the case. While lawyers are not required to settle cases short of trial, most do. There are several good reasons to consider settlement:
- Settlements provide certainty in the result for both parties
- Settlements are final, and unlike trials, are generally not appealable
- Witnesses are not required to testify
- Both parties save time and the financial outlay required to prepare for trial
When cases resolve in a negotiated settlement, our Daytona Beach personal injury lawyers discuss terms, which must ultimately be approved by their clients. Once a settlement offer has been made, it’s a lawyer’s legal responsibility to inform their client about the benefits and risks of settlement versus trial. At the end of the day, however, the client makes the final decision about whether to settle or go to trial.
When cases cannot be resolved, a trial takes place. Trials can take place in front of a judge directly, or to a jury. In the trial, each lawyer makes opening statements, witnesses are interviewed and subject to cross examination, evidence is introduced through testimony and exhibits, and the lawyers give closing arguments. The judge or jury then makes a decision about whether to award damages, and if so, in what amount. This decision is appealable by either side. Appealing a decision can extend the length of a case by months or even years.
Contact Our Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you have been injured, contact the personal injury lawyers at Zimmet & Zimmet (386) 255-6400. We always put our clients first, and would be happy to meet with you to discuss the specific surrounding your injury, as well as potential options.