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Are Lutz, FL Personal Injury Settlements Public Record?

After being injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, some people may be hesitant to bring a personal injury claim if they think their Lutz personal injury settlement is public record.

The result of a personal injury case may or may not be public record.  If a person is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence an attempt is made to settle the personal injury case without filing a lawsuit.  This is typically referred to as a pre-suit or pre-litigation settlement.  In these pre-suit or pre-litigation settlements, there are no public records of any kind that would alert the general public as to the amount of the Lutz personal injury settlement or even that a personal injury claim was made.

If the personal injury case is unable to be resolved without filing a lawsuit, then a Complaint stating the legal theories of negligence against the at-fault party(ies) is filed.  The documents known as pleadings that are filed in the court file are public record and can be read by anyone.  When filing the Complaint, the trial courts are divided based upon the amount in controversy.  To be in the highest trial court of circuit, the amount in controversy is plead as an amount in controversy exceeding $30,000 exclusive of attorney fees and costs.

Once a lawsuit has been filed, there are many communications between the parties in the lawsuit that are not pleadings or filed in the court file as public record.  In a personal injury case in state court, demands and offers to settle a case are not filed within the court file.  Typically, the amount of a personal injury case is only found in the court file once the jury returns a verdict for a certain amount.  Afterwards, the judge converts the jury’s verdict in a final judgment.  Both the jury’s verdict and final judgment are pleadings within the court file that are available to the public.

Each case has its own specific circumstances, please contact our office as to whether your Lutz personal injury settlement is public record.

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