Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

The Process of Filing a Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

By Steve Charpentier on November 16, 2014

A gavel and a law bookAt the Charpentier Law Firm, P.A., we have helped countless accident victims in and around Cocoa, Melbourne, and Titusville. Our team of personal injury lawyers will fight diligently for you, helping seek just compensation for medical bills and other losses. Many people do not know where to start when it comes to the process of filing a lawsuit. We'd like to go over this process in basic terms so you understand that it is not extremely difficult.

Finding Proof of Negligence That Led to Your Injury

Although each case is unique and needs to be handled accordingly, there are a number of common steps in filing a personal injury lawsuit. Before filing your personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need sufficient proof that the injury you are claiming actually happened.

Once you’ve gathered this proof, if you have determined the damages of your injury exceed about $5,000, you should seek the counsel of an attorney. This needs to be take place within the statute of limitations, a set timeframe in which to file the lawsuit.

A Legal Consultation with an Attorney

Typically, a personal injury attorney will do a free consultation to determine whether or not your case is worth pursuing. If your attorney finds sufficient evidence that the defendant is liable and has sufficient assets to cover damages, he or she will offer you a fee agreement and become your attorney once you accept. However, even if one personal injury lawyer does not accept your case, he or she may refer you to another attorney who would be better suited to handle your case.

Your Defendant Is Served

Once your attorney has all of the information he or she needs to move forward with your case, he or she will officially file a personal injury complaint. This complaint is a very broad outline of what you, as the plaintiff, are claiming the defendant did to cause your injury.

After this initial complaint is filed, your attorney has one month to locate the defendant and “serve” him or her paperwork on the complaint you have filed. Doing this in person and not digitally ensures that the defendant will not be able to claim that he or she was unaware of the lawsuit, as well as providing information about required dates in court.

Your Defendant’s Next Steps

After being served, the defendant in your case will seek out counsel from a defense attorney. In the likely case that he or she has an insurance policy to handle cases such as these, the defendant will also be required to notify his or her insurance company. If the defendant has not already done so, the insurance company will appoint a lawyer and pay for services rendered.

Before You Go to Trial

In the early stages of your personal injury lawsuit, both sides of the case will enter what is referred to as a “discovery stage,” in which each will provide information and evidence that may support the case. While in this discovery stage, both attorneys will meet to discuss their progress and determine whether or not to proceed with a court date.

However, in many personal injury lawsuits, a settlement is reached before ever going to trial. The plaintiff, wanting to avoid a lengthy trial, will often send the first settlement proposal even before filing an official complaint.

Speak with Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you live in the greater Central Florida area and would like to learn more about filing a lawsuit against a negligent person or party, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The team at the Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. looks forward to meeting you in person and providing expect legal counsel.

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