The process of bringing a case to Court is an extremely complex and difficult process, especially if you are not familiar with the legal processes in Florida. Furthermore, it can be difficult to determine whether a case should actually be brought at all.
How to Decide if You Should Bring a Case to Court?
There are a few different factors to consider in deciding whether or not to bring a case to Court. First, you should analyze the number of damages that you have in your case. It is important to know that while personal injury attorneys take a percentage of the damages, court costs do exist. It is important not to have so little damages that these court costs become overwhelming. Furthermore, if your damages are very low, you will want to consider whether the stress of a lawsuit is really worth it. There are times where the money just is not worth it. With that being said, if your damages are real and high, a lawsuit is generally a good step to consider.
You will also want to analyze the facts of your case. Most important is the complexity, and the liability issues. If the accident was your fault, or there is a serious question of liability, bringing the case to court becomes a serious question.
The best evaluator of your case will be an experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys will be able to evaluate your issues and give you an accurate recommendation for what your next steps will be.
What Are The Steps to Bring a Case to Court?
Bringing a case to court is a complicated process. There are a few steps that have to occur before a lawyer will file a claim, and a few steps through the process that must be completed as well.
Step 1: Evaluation
Before anything is done on the case, a lawyer must evaluate the facts of the case to determine whether a real chance for success really exists. This process will consist of the collection and evaluation of facts, as well as the filing of an insurance claim if such a claim was not already filed. Assuming the insurance claim was unsatisfactory or not accepted, then the attorney will move to step 2.
Step 2: Demand Letter
A lawyer will likely file a demand letter before filing a suit. The demand letter is a thorough explanation of all the damages in the case. It generally includes evidence of all applicable damages. At this point, if the demand letter is not accepted, or not accepted with satisfaction, the attorney will move to step 3.
Step 3: Filing a Complaint
A lawyer will likely file a complaint, noting what the case is about, and the general damages in question. The other side will file an answer and other documents will be exchanged. At this point, more important settlement talks will occur. In theory, if the other side does not respond to the complaint, you may file a default, and automatically win your case.
Step 4: Discovery
At this point the lawyers will exchange evidence. Both sides are entitled to certain pieces of evidence so that they can evaluate their respective cases. Settlement talks will continue, as more evidence is evaluated and discovered. You will likely be asked to testify at a deposition. Under the threat of perjury, you will be asked to explain what happened in your case and will also be questioned by the other side’s lawyer.
Step 5: Mediation and Arbitration
In most circumstances a mediation and an arbitration will take place. Mediation is a negotiation meeting that is moderated by a neutral party, usually a lawyer. Arbitration is a mini trial. Generally, both parties give a simple explanation of their case to a neutral party, usually a lawyer or retired judge. That neutral party makes a determination to liability and damages. If acceptable to both sides, this decision can be enforced. This allows the lawyers to see what a neutral party thinks of their case.
Step 6: Going to Trial
The last part of a case is actually going to trial. Most cases will not go to trial, as such an endeavor is complicated, long and stressful. The fate of your case will be put in the hand of a neutral fact finder, generally a jury. At the end of the trial, the case will be resolved one way or another.
Step 7: Appeal
In rare cases the trial will be appealed, and issues will be decided by a panel of judges. Sometimes a case will be sent back to be retried, but this is rare.
Step 8: Collection
Assuming you won, you will now collect your damages. In most cases this will not be substantially complicated, especially if you are suing an insurance company.
How Does a Lawyer Help With Bringing a Case to Court?
Bringing a case to court is extremely complicated. The above list is substantially simplified. In reality, bringing a case requires hours upon hours of work, and a thorough investigation of complicated facts and legal issues.
Doing this on your own is virtually impossible. Lawyers not only have experience with these types of issues, but they also do this type of work for a living and have more hours to spend on your case. Without a lawyer, winning a case is dangerously difficult.
It’s important to know when you should take a case to court, and it is always important to pull in a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can help you not only understand the legal process and get you the justice you deserve.
Bulluck Law Group has years of experience in personal injury cases, and knows exactly how to take a case from evaluation to trial. Contact us for a free consultation today.