Personal injury cases are those where a person has suffered harm or injury due to the negligent actions of another person or entity.
These cases can be quite complex and time-consuming to resolve, leaving the injured party unsure how long the process will take. Personal injury cases in Florida can take significant time to settle, as they often involve several legal procedures, including negotiations, mediation, and court hearings.
Here, you can learn more about settling a personal injury case and the legal process that must be followed. If you need help with your situation, contact Zimmet & Zimmet today.
The Legal Process for Personal Injury Cases in Florida
The legal process for personal injury cases in Florida can be divided into three main stages: pre-litigation, litigation, and post-litigation.
Pre-litigation involves the initial investigation and negotiation phase, while litigation involves filing a lawsuit and going through the court process. Post-litigation involves the appeals process and the collection of any damages awarded.
In the pre-litigation stage, the injured party and their lawyer will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and to gather evidence to support their case. They will also negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to try and reach a settlement without having to file a lawsuit.
The length of time it takes to settle a case in pre-litigation can vary widely depending on the case’s complexity and the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate.
The injured party may file a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached in pre-litigation. This begins the litigation stage, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
The first step in the litigation process is the discovery phase, where both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case. This can include documents, depositions, and interrogatories.
After discovery, the case will proceed to trial. The length of time it takes to go to trial can vary depending on the court’s schedule and the case’s complexity.
Once the trial begins, the injured party will present their case to a judge or jury, deciding whether the at-fault party is liable and how much compensation they should pay.
After a judgment is made, either party may appeal the decision. The appeals process can be lengthy and involve a higher level of court. If there is no appeal, the injured party can begin collecting the damages awarded.
Laws Governing Personal Injury Cases in Florida
Florida law outlines the procedures and regulations surrounding personal injury cases. The most important of these laws include the following:
Statute of Limitations
Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases is four years from the accident date. This means that the injured party has four years from the accident date to file a lawsuit.
If they do not file within this time, they may be unable to recover damages.
Florida follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that if the injured party is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced.
For example, if the injured party is found to be 25% at fault, their damages may be reduced by 25%.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning that in most cases, injured parties must first seek compensation from their insurance company rather than file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
However, in cases where the injured party suffers serious or permanent injuries, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Statistical Data on Personal Injury Cases in Florida
Based on information from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were over 400,000 car accidents
in Florida in 2020, resulting in over 200,000 injuries and over 3,000 deaths. This means that many personal injury cases in Florida are related to car accidents. However, personal injury cases can also result from slip and falls, medical malpractice, and other types of accidents.
The Florida Justice Association studied the average time it takes to settle a personal injury case in Florida. According to their findings, the average time to settle a case is around 12-18 months, although some cases can take much longer.
The length of time it takes to settle a case can depend on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate, and the court’s schedule.
Factors That Can Affect the Length of Time to Settle a Personal Injury Case
As mentioned above, several factors can affect the time it takes to settle a personal injury case in Florida. These include:
The Severity of the Injuries
Cases involving more serious injuries may take longer to settle, as the injured party may require more medical treatment, and the damages awarded may be higher.
The Willingness of the Insurance Company to Negotiate
If the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate a settlement, the case may have to go to trial, which can significantly increase the time it takes to settle the case.
The Complexity of the Case
Cases involving multiple parties, complex legal issues, or a high amount of damages may take longer to settle than simpler cases.
The Court’s Schedule
The time it takes to go to trial can depend on the court’s schedule and the availability of judges and courtrooms.
Contact Zimmet & Zimmet for Help with Your Personal Injury Case
Personal injury cases in Florida can take significant time to settle. The legal process involves pre-litigation negotiations, litigation, and post-litigation procedures.
The length of time it takes to settle a case can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the injuries, the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate, the complexity of the case, and the court’s schedule. However, according to statistical data and studies, the average time it takes to settle a personal injury case in Florida is around 12-18 months.
Injured parties must consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to navigate the legal process and ensure they receive fair compensation for their injuries.
Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation if you need legal representation.