Many people often underestimate the complexity of Florida personal injury lawsuits. Even the most straightforward civil lawsuits require plaintiffs to abide by strict procedural and substantive laws. The failure to meet the demanding standards may result in a dismissal and waiver of recovery. As such, injury victims should contact a skilled attorney to preserve their rights and fully understand their potential remedies.
Some of the most critical procedural requirements occur before or at the onset of a civil trial. The first step to a Florida personal injury lawsuit is the pleadings stage. Pleadings are filings that assert the plaintiff’s allegations, causes of actions, and the defendant’s responses to the allegations. This stage includes the complaint, answer, responsive motions, counterclaims, cross claims and third-party claims, and amendments. The term “pleadings” is more technical and narrow than it may appear. The scope is particularly relevant during certain litigation stages, such as the motions to dismiss. During this stage, the parties may not present, and the court cannot consider, evidence outside of the pleadings.
After pleadings, courts will often move to pretrial conference scheduling. This stage aims to simplify the trial by scheduling case management conferences between the parties to discuss experts, amendments, and other litigation issues. Discovery, discovery methods, protective orders, and sanctions occur at this stage.