Most Florida car accident cases start by filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. With the help of an auto crash attorney, you fill out the necessary forms, provide information about your injuries, and request an amount as compensation for your losses. Often, the insurer will make a counteroffer for a lower amount. Through negotiations, it may be possible to reach a settlement.
However, an insurance company could respond by denying your claim or offering an unreasonably low amount to resolve it. Under the circumstances, you may need to take your claim to the next level: Filing a lawsuit in court. You can trust your auto collision lawyer to take the lead in litigation, but an overview of the process may be helpful.
Filing the Complaint
You initiate a lawsuit by filing a complaint in court, which contains all information relevant to the car accident. You include your version of what happened and the details on how the responsible driver was negligent in causing the collision. The complaint will also mention the nature and extent of your injuries, as well as how they have caused your losses.
Note that, under the Florida statute of limitations, you must file the complaint within four years after the date of the crash. If you wait too long, your claim is forever barred and you cannot recover compensation for your losses. There are some shorter and longer time periods that may apply so you should not delay in calling an attorney.
Motions and Court Hearings
After the initial pleadings, your case will move to the pre-trial phase. You, through your attorney, must appear in court for status hearings and conferences. Both parties will have the opportunity to file motions in support of their cases, which is essentially a request for the court to take certain actions.
During the pre-trial phase of a car accident case, both parties can engage in discovery to learn more about the relevant issues on each side of the matter. Options include requests for documents, requests to admit facts, and written interrogatories. Attorneys also conduct depositions, so you may be required to appear at an in-person question and answer interview. Your lawyer will be at your side through the process.
Though it may still be possible to reach a settlement, your case will proceed to trial if you cannot agree on an amount to resolve it. At the formal trial in court, both sides will present evidence and witnesses. You will have to take the stand to answer questions from your own lawyer, and the defense counsel will also get a chance to cross-examine. The trial process concludes when the judge or jury returns a verdict.
An Experienced Ocala, FL Car Accident Lawyer Will Help Get the Compensation You Deserve
For more information on how the trial process works in Marion County, FL, please contact Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law. Our lawyers have extensive experience negotiating settlements with insurance companies, but we are also well-practiced in litigation. You can reach our Ocala, FL office to schedule a no-cost consultation by calling 352-581-6174 or visiting us online.