So, you were involved in an auto accident. You hired an attorney and you have been going to the doctor. Your attorney has submitted a demand on your behalf to the insurance company and the offer that you received was well below what both you and your attorney thought was reasonable. Your attorney has now recommended that you consider filing a lawsuit. What does that mean? What happens in litigation? This blog is meant to provide you with information regarding the process of litigation.
What is the first step in a Florida litigation?
If you give your attorney authority to file a lawsuit on your behalf, the first thing they will do is draft a complaint and file it. A complaint is what starts a lawsuit. It is a document which is filed with the court and states your cause of action. This document gives factual details surrounding your accident and tells the court what you are seeking. This document is served on the other driver and their attorney and they have a certain amount of time to respond in what is called an answer.
What happens after the complaint and answers are filed?
After the complaint and answers are filed, the next stage is discovery. Discovery is done a few different ways and allows both sides to ask questions and request documents which will help prove or disprove the claims. Interrogatories are written questions which each party sends to each other asking written questions which need to be answered and returned. There are also documents called request to produce and request for admissions. Requests to produce ask the opposing side to send over any documentation that they have relating to the case. Requests for admissions ask the other side to admit to certain facts so that they do not become disputed down the road.
What is a deposition, and will I have to take part?
A deposition is an interview done with opposing counsel where a court reporter transcribes everything that is being said. It is an opportunity for opposing counsel to interview you in person and in addition to your answers, they get to see who you are as a person. These are a required part of the discovery process, but with the right preparation, are relatively easy. You will be asked questions about what happened, your history, your medical treatment and much more. There is no judge there, it is pretty informal. The only ones in the room will be you, your attorney, opposing counsel and the court reporter.
What is a mediation?
A mediation is completely different from a deposition. A mediation is an opportunity to get a case settled. Both sides will be there with their clients. A mediator, not a judge, will listen to both party’s description of what happened. After both sides have given their story, they will split up into separate rooms and the mediator will go from one room to the other talking in private about the case to see if he or she can help reach a settlement. Everything you relay to the mediator is confidential and will only be shared with opposing counsel if you allow it. Hopefully, after a little give and take, both sides can come to a number they agree on and the case resolves. But, if both sides are unable to come to an agreement, the case goes on and both parties begin to turn their attention to a possible trial.
What happens at a trial for my auto accident case?
Trial is where your case will reach its ultimate conclusion. If you were unable to resolve your case prior to this, rest assured you will have a result after the trial ends. It takes a while to get to this point, and trials can take years before they finally happen. There will be a jury present and your attorney will argue your case to them in hopes that they agree with your position and award you money. It can take a few days to reach a conclusion, trials are not usually quick, unless they settle right before trial, which sometimes happens.
Call the attorneys at the Lopez Law Group today!
The personal injury attorneys at the Lopez Law Group stand ready to assist you, even if that means taking your case to trial. We have the experience necessary to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today if you feel as though you have a personal injury case which you would like to discuss. We can be reached at 727-933-0015. As always, these sorts of cases are taken with a free consultation. We are ready to take your call, don’t wait!