How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Experienced Florida attorneys guide accident victims through the process

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured because of another person’s negligence, you have a right to full and fair compensation for your losses. Unfortunately, obtaining that compensation is often difficult, time-consuming and complex. At Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L., we’ve been helping people just like you since 1975. Our dedicated attorneys have more than 150 years of experience in personal injury litigation. If you have a case for damages against a negligent party, here is what you can expect.

Filing your personal injury lawsuit in Florida

Florida requires that you file your personal injury lawsuit in the county where the injury event occurred or where one of the defendants resides. Your complaint will allege that:

  • The defendant named in the complaint had a duty to behave with reasonable care
  • The defendant breached that duty by acting negligently, reckless or deliberately
  • In breaching that duty, the defendant caused you harm
  • The harm you suffered is of the type the laws says entitles you to compensation

Your complaint concludes with a prayer for relief, where you set the amount of compensation you are seeking. After filing, you must arrange for the defendant to be served with a copy of the complaint and a summons.

Meeting the Florida statute of limitations for personal injury

It takes a bit of time to put together the information you need for a solid complaint, especially if you have the type of injury where the full extent of damage is difficult to quantify. But you must be sure to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations for personal injury. In Florida, the time limits for legal actions include:

  • Four years for actions based on negligence, such as an auto accident
  • Three years for assault, battery, false arrest, malicious prosecution, malicious interference, false imprisonment, or any other intentional tort
  • Two years for medical malpractice or wrongful death

If you miss the deadline to file suit, you lose your right to sue forever.

Always consult with a qualified attorney before initiating legal action

It is your prerogative to represent yourself, but be aware that what you don’t know about the law and legal procedures can hurt you. Do you know how much compensation to demand and can you make a persuasive argument to support that number? Defects in your complaint may prevent your case from moving forward, and don’t bode well for the future, when you’ll have to square off against a trained litigator from a large insurance company. It’s always best to consult an attorney who has tried personal injury cases in the court where you’re going to file. If you’re nervous about how much a lawyer costs, you should know that our firm charges no upfront attorney fees for cases in Port St. Lucie, Stuart or anywhere else in Florida.

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