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Steps for Filing a Personal Injury Case in Florida

Jeffrey R. Davis

All kinds of incidents and events can lead to personal injury claims: car crashes, slip-and-falls, dangerous conditions on property, dog bites, and even medical malpractice. If you’re considering making a claim for compensation, this article explains the steps for filing a personal injury case.

1. Get Medical Treatment

A prompt medical evaluation after an incident serves two important purposes. First, it protects your health, especially since some injuries are not obvious immediately. Second, it provides valuable evidence that the accident caused your medical condition and may trigger insurance benefits.

2. Collect Proof of Your Claim

You can start gathering evidence for personal injury claims almost immediately. Photograph or record the accident scene if you’re not too badly injured. Video and/or photographs of all sides of the crash vehicles are important. Get witness contact information. Always report a car crash or assault/attack to the police. Retain any medical bills, pharmacy receipts, or paystubs that show lost income as you recover.

3. Speak With an Attorney

A lawyer can evaluate your case and tell you how to proceed. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t pay legal fees unless your case is successful. The Florida Bar website provides more information on understanding personal injury lawyer fees.

4. Investigate the Case

Building a strong personal injury case requires skillful investigation. Your legal team will seek evidence to support your claim, including surveillance footage, medical records, company safety logs, and other key documentation. 

5. Determine Negligence

When filing a personal injury case, you must show your injury was due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence. Examples of negligent parties include business owners who neglect to maintain their property, medical professionals who fall below the standard of care, and drunk drivers who cause collisions.

6. Make a Formal Notification

After investigating your case and calculating losses, your lawyer will send an official notice (called a “notice letter”) to the insurance company or other party. This letter typically contains details of the accident, evidence that supports your claim, and a payment request plus a demand for preservation of evidence such as video and payment of medical coverage.

7. Begin Settlement Negotiations

Sometimes, the insurer or other party will accept the notice letter and start negotiating a personal injury settlement offer after reviewing a demand presentation. Your lawyer and the insurance adjuster or third-party administrator will negotiate, attempting to reach an out-of-court agreement. 

8. File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the two sides can’t agree, filing a personal injury lawsuit in court is your next option. Your lawyer will typically start by notifying the other parties of your intent to sue. Both sides then engage in “discovery,” which involves sharing evidence and disclosing witnesses.

9. Attempt Mediation

All cases filed in civil circuit court in Florida must go to mediation before trial. Settling a case at mediation avoids the expense, uncertainty, and time required for trial. During mediation, the two sides present their cases before a certified mediator to try to resolve the case out of court.

10. Proceed to Trial

If the plaintiff and defendant cannot agree, the case goes to trial. Attorneys for both sides present evidence, examine witnesses, and make arguments. A judge or jury then decides whether to award compensation and, if so, how much.

Need Help With a Miami Personal Injury Case? 

Now that you know the steps for filing a personal injury case, you may decide to seek legal assistance after an accident. Call Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A., at (305) 577-3777 to schedule a free consultation. 

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Mr Davis is the finest personal injury attorney in the state of Florida. His intensive medical knowledge alone and how it relates to Florida law puts you in the hands of this highly skilled lawyer. Injury cases today more than ever need a fighter on your side and the...

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Someone who truly cares! We had been dealing with a legal issue for over two years with another attorney, with no results. Jeff Davis stepped in, and has made more progress in a few months, than we had in over two years. He communicates absolutely everything with his...

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Jeffrey is a very knowledgeable and competent attorney. When I spoke with Jeffrey the first time on the phone, he was professional and answered any questions I had. So if you are ever in need of an awesome personal injury attorney who has excellent communication skills...

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