What to expect in a personal injury trial in Florida.

Although most of us would prefer to avoid filing a lawsuit or going to court, it is sometimes necessary to pursue litigation to get full value for your claim. Lawsuits usually become necessary when there are disagreements with the other party's insurance company over who was at fault for an accident or how serious the injuries are. Be sure not to sign any documents, or make any statements, written or oral, without consulting and review of an attorney. It is important to attend all scheduled doctor appointments in order to document your injuries. Accurate records should be kept of time you missed from work, medical bills, and property damage repairs. You can document your damages with photographs of your injuries or photos of property damage.

After a lawsuit has been filed, both parties will conduct discovery. Pretrial discovery usually takes about a full year during which time both parties investigate all aspects of the claim. This may include taking oral depositions, obtaining pertinent records, propounding interrogatories, and hiring expert witnesses to obtain more evidence about the claim.

Settlement Process
During this period of discovery and as the trial date approaches, the parties will exchange settlement offers/demands. A large majority of personal injury claims settle before trial. If you agree to accept a settlement, you will be required to sign an agreement stating you absolve the other party of all further liability in this case.


Si el caso va a juicio, el juicio puede ser por estrados o por jurados. Un juicio por estrados es un juicio sin un jurado, y el juez decide el caso. Consta de un jurado de doce personas, y el abogado de cada parte formula preguntas a los potenciales miembros del jurado antes de que sean seleccionadas las doce personas. Esto se denomina voir dire. Después de seleccionar el jurado, cada parte comienza con una declaración de apertura del caso. A continuación, el demandante, o la parte demandada, presenta evidencias. El abogado del demandante siempre comienza y hace preguntas a los testigos que han  sido llamados. El abogado defensor hará entonces preguntas al mismo testigo, una vez que haya finalizado el abogado de la defensa, el abogado de los demandantes nuevamente podrá formular al testigo preguntas complementarias. Una vez hecho lo anterior, el abogado del demandante presentará sus testigos, la defensa tiene la oportunidad de llamar a sus propios testigos. Después de que ambas partes realizan la presentación de sus pruebas, ambas partes hacen declaraciones de clausura. Tras las declaraciones de clausura el jurado entra en una habitación separada para deliberar. Las deliberaciones del jurado pueden ser tan rápidas como unas pocas horas o largas como varios días. Cuando el jurado tome una decisión, los miembros del jurado regresan al Tribunal y leen el veredicto en voz alta.



The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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