Accidents can occur anywhere. This proved especially true for a Miramar, Florida man who hit his head at the bottom of the pool and stopped breathing, according to a WSVN 7 News report. Thankfully, a security guard who worked at the community complex administered CPR. When first responders arrived at the scene the man was in critical condition and in cardiac arrest. He was immediately transferred to a trauma center at a local hospital.
Most injuries resulting from accidents fall under the area of law known as personal injury. More often than not, state law governs these cases unless the accident involves parties from different states or countries. When this is the case, federal or even international law will govern. Otherwise, most personal injury cases fall within the jurisdiction of the court in the state in which the injury occurred.
There are several types of personal injury cases. Some include: work-related injuries; car, motorcycle or truck accidents; medical malpractice, products liability; premises liability (including landlord/tenant); among others. If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of another, contact a seasoned Tampa personal injury attorney right away to preserve your rights under the law.
What to Expect During Your Personal Injury Case
The likelihood of a person incurring a personal injury within his or her lifetime is high, as 31 million Americans visit the emergency rooms each year because of unintentional injuries. For this reason, it is important to understand the process involved in a personal injury case. Below is a basic list of what to expect if you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of another and is pursuing legal action.
- Initial case evaluation: all attorneys will ask several questions to evaluate your case before taking it on. This may include questions about your injuries, needed medical treatment, other parties involved in the accident, and any eye witness. Also during this conversation the subject of legal fees and anticipated costs will be discussed before formal representation.
- Filing the lawsuit: once an attorney is retained, he or she will file pleadings and serve them upon the defendant(s) who, in turn, will receive a summons from the court. This will trigger numerous motions filed with the court by the attorneys for all parties to the case.
- Discovery (aka fact-finding): discovery is the investigative stage of litigation. Accordingly attorneys on both sides will pursue information. This can be done by way of written discovery, document production and depositions. Not surprisingly, this is often the most argumentative part of the case.
- Pre-trial motions: the general public is likely not aware that there are several ways to end a case before it gets before a judge and/or jury, despite a lawsuit already being filed. This is known as “pre-trial” motions and include dismissals, summary judgment, and default judgment, among others.
- Settlement talks: it is often in the best interest of all parties to engage in settlement negotiations, specifically because if successful, it is quicker and less expensive for all parties. Indeed, the majority of lawsuits never make it to trial because they settle out of court.
- The trial: at trial, the plaintiff and defendant have the opportunity to present the best case and rebuttal before a judge and/or jury. After all sides have presented arguments, liability is decided.
- Post-judgment relief: once a decision is made, the court issues a judgment against the losing party. Unfortunately, it is the winner’s responsibility to go after the other party and collect damages owed.
- Appealing to a higher court: because most decisions by state and federal courts are subject to judicial review. The purpose behind this is to correct any errors of law. It is not uncommon for the losing party to seek appellate review of the unfavorable decision.
Contact a Brandon Personal Injury Attorney
Millions of Americans are involved in unintentional accidents every day. These personal injury cases can be complicated. Beyond the complexities of the law, liability is not always clear. For this reason, if you or someone you know has been injured in an accident because of the negligence of another, a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney should be contacted. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.