If an insurance company denies a personal injury claim or makes an unreasonably low settlement offer, a lawsuit may need to be filed to resolve the dispute in court. Under the Florida law, a personal injury lawsuit against a private party must be filed within 4 years of the accident and against a government entity (city, county, state department) within 3 years.
The lawsuit is commenced by filing a civil complaint with an appropriate filing fee with the court. The complaint is then served on the defendant (sued party), and the defendant has to respond to the allegations contained in the complaint (usually by denying them). If no answer is filed, a default judgment may be obtained against the defendant.
After the complaint and answer are filed, the parties generally begin a fairly lengthy process called “discovery.” Discovery is a formal process of exchanging information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence through depositions, interrogatories, requests to produce, requests for admissions, and medical examinations. Typically, once discovery is complete, parties may schedule mediation (a settlement conference) to attempt to resolve the case. Most cases settle at mediation. However, if the parties reach an impasse, the case will proceed to trial.
In a personal injury trial, the judge or the jurors (usually) determine liability and decide what compensation, if any, will be awarded to plaintiff.
At Anna Handy Law Firm, P.A. we handle personal injury claims through jury trials and appeals to obtain you the financial compensation you deserve. Please give us a call for a free non-obligation consultation. (386) 248-3000.