When an individual has been involved in an accident for the first time and is receiving medical treatment, an experienced lawyer will file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company. An experienced Boca Raton car accident attorney will monitor the client to see how they fair in treatment, gather the final impairment rating, and try to negotiate a settlement for their car accident case.
Moving Toward Litigation
Many times, clients will believe that filing a claim means they are suing somebody, however, that is not the case. It is simply a claim prior to filing a lawsuit. At some point in the future, if the case cannot be settled and it is determined that a lawsuit must be filed, a complainant is filed in the circuit court. The case will then proceed into litigation.
The case changes from a claim against the insurance company to the client’s lawyer representing them in court. The attorney will combat the prosecution representing the insurance company and the at-fault driver. At this stage, the lawyer is adjudicating out of court and preparing for an eventual trial if necessary.
Filing a claim is the process of putting an insurance company on notice that there is an active claim, and that there is an allegation that their insured client caused another individual to suffer an injury. If the case is not settled at that phase, then the case will proceed toward litigation.
Courts to File Claims
Boca Raton car accident attorneys prefer to file cases in state court because they have a little more control over them. The District Court is Federal Court—the Federal District Court Southern District of Florida Central, Middle district of Florida, and North district of Florida. The procedures in Federal Court are much more strict and place a lot of pressure on the plaintiff’s attorney. It tends to be quicker and not necessarily is flexible. A lot of it is done in writing, so a person loses the ability to be in front of the judge a lot.
Circuit Court is their State Trial Court for cases with damages and excess of $15,000. If a case is under $15,000, then it would be County Court but Circuit Court is where all negligence cases are tried. It tends to be fairer to the party, it is just an easier form to work in. But sometimes there are cases that are removed to the Federal Court.
Filing a Suit
The process involved in filing a lawsuit in a Boca Raton car accident case is a complaint. A document notice to complaint is filed with the circuit court, and the complaint is the legal pleading that initiates the lawsuit. This lawsuit will help to determine what happened, when it happened, how it happened, and determine whether the client was sufficiently injured. At this point, the client is in a jurisdiction called a notice jurisdiction. Not everything is specific and is tended to in the complaint, but just enough so the individual sued knows what the Boca Raton car accident suit is about.
An initial suit in a Boca Raton car accident case just lays out the basic allegations of why the defendant would be liable to the plaintiff for causing injuries. No dollar amount is set forth, and no dollar amount is claimed in the complaint. The dollar amount is asked for at trial. Instead of defining an exact amount, a suit will say that they are filing in excess of $15,000, for example.
In personal injury cases, it is up to the jury to determine what the amount of compensation is as opposed to a contract case where someone owes a person a specific amount of money. It is up to the jury to decide how much pain and suffering is worth, therefore, the person cannot ask for an amount in the Boca Raton car accident lawsuit.