Understanding The Elements Of The Small Claims Lawsuit:

The claims process begins the day a lawsuit is filed. It ends with the verdict. The basics of a lawsuit in the U.S. remain similar in all areas of the country. Certain procedures, though, state-by-state, are different. When initiating a lawsuit, the requirements of the County Court require review.

Different states refer to their Small Claims Court systems differently. Names include “Municipal Courts”, and “Justice of the Peace Courts”. The name goes along with the state and the type of case. The correct Small Claims Court is located by way of the County Clerk’s Office. The state, county or city website lists the name of the court, too.

The plaintiff files a “Complaint” or “Petition.” The defendant receives notice of the suit. Necessary documentation is gathered. The trial follows the preceding actions. Each side attempts to convince a Judge or Jury that their respective position is correct. The verdict concludes the suit.

There are five basic parts of the lawsuit:

1-Determination of which parties to sue;

2-Filing the lawsuit;

3-Subpoena of the witnesses and evidence;

4-Conducting the trial; and

5-Reaching a verdict.

The lawsuit begins once it is determined who is the guilty party. The claims adjuster or insurance company of the guilty party are neither suable. The insured or guilty party becomes the defendant. He or she is accountable for injuries. The insurance company can defend the claim for their client. The insured is accountable for his or her negligent action. The courtroom removes the insurance company from the list of legal parties to the suit. The only reason the claims adjuster becomes involved in the courtroom setting is when he or she acted in bad faith. When the claims adjuster acts in bad faith, the services of an attorney are required. Another time is when the claim is very complicated–which is the case when it comes to many accident lawsuits.

The Plaintiff files suit in the county where injury occurred or in the county where the Defendant takes up residence.

The “Complaint” or “Action” requires a small filing fee. The filing fee is approximately $100. The Plaintiff winning a suit generally asks the court to include the filing fee as part of the verdict.

The Plaintiff completes a brief form including reason for the lawsuit. It is important that the Plaintiff not go into extensive detail. Providing too much, in the way of detail, gives the Defendant an advantage. The Defendant knows precisely what to argue about when details are given. The Defendant prepares a defense to counter all the details. In order to win, the Plaintiff must provide brief and honest answers on the form. Sentences providing description of the logical reason of the lawsuit are good enough.

The plaintiff, then, waits a few weeks for the Defendant to receive notification of the suit. The defendant receives notice of the lawsuit by Certified Mail or by the Sheriff. The notice includes the date of the trial. The Plaintiff receives a notice—similar, in the form of a form letter or postcard from the Small Claims clerk.

Small Claims Courts generally permit parties to subpoena witnesses and documentation. Subpoenas are free of charge. The Plaintiff asks the small claims clerk for one or more subpoena forms. The Plaintiff places the case number and other necessary information on the form. Witnesses agreeing to testify on behalf of the Plaintiff require a copy of the subpoena in order to take the day off from work.

The small claims trial is a legal argument between the Plaintiff and Defendant. The referee is the Judge, unless a jury is involved. The Judge wishes to hear the case as quickly as possible. He or she does not wish it held up by strict rules of procedure. The Plaintiff merely focuses on the factual elements of the case. The judge allows both sides some flexibility in way of out of court statements—made by third parties. It is best to play it safe, though. The best approach is to have all witnesses ready to testify on the day of the hearing. It is easier to convince the judge of the credibility of the statements.

The Plaintiff organizes and prepares for the case prior to entering the courtroom. The dress, in the courtroom, must remain conservative. The Plaintiff wears a nice jacket and tie, if a man. The woman wears a nice suit or dress. The Judge values the respect paid to the Court and him or her in way of the Plaintiff’s dress.

Primary or significant points are noted. The Judge has a full schedule so the case moves quickly. Most small claims judges hear each case for a total time of ten minutes to sixty minutes. It is important, too, that witnesses are properly prepared. The witnesses may wait in the hall while the trial is going on. The Plaintiff makes certain that the testimonies of the witnesses remain consistent. Each gives similar versions of the truth.

The Plaintiff presents his or her case. When an attorney is used, with regard to accident lawsuits; in a trial, the attorney presents the case on behalf of his or her client.

In all lawsuits, whether heard in lower courts or in way of a larger court venue, as it pertains to accident lawsuits, end with a verdict. A judge or jury renders a decision.

The plaintiff who loses his or her case can appeal. In order to appeal to a higher court, the services of an attorney, knowledgeable in way of accident lawsuits are required. The higher court is not the venue for a novice. The judge requires strict rules of evidence

Florida Slip And Falls Require A Competent Personal Injury Attorney

It can be frustrating and devastating to be involved in a slip and fall accident. Regardless of how much at fault the harmed individual is, the law is on the side of the injured person. For this reason, it is important to understand your rights under the law when you experience Florida slip and falls.

Slip and Fall Law in Florida

In 2010, Florida amended the law in respect to slip and fall accidents. They raised the standard of proof for the victim. Now, it is necessary for the victim to prove that the owner of the establishment at which the accident occurred, had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition, and that he or she should have taken action to remedy it.

The plaintiff must be able to show one or both of the following:

1) That the establishment should have known of the condition, due to the fact that the dangerous condition was in place for a certain length of time.
2) The condition occurred on a regular basis, and as a result, should have been foreseeable by the establishment.

Safety in Mind

Whether or not there was an issue of safety varies by the case. In general, it can be a lengthy process for a personal injury lawyer Tampa to prove if the property was or was not in a safe condition, with experts and witnesses being called in to attest to the condition. The circumstances of the Florida slip and falls and the nature of the business will determine if the owner maintained safe conditions.

Seek Legal Assistance

You may be eligible for compensation after a slip and fall accident. The best way to determine if this is the case, is to contact a reputable personal injury attorney. Though it can be a complicated process, you are sure have a greater chance of success with a personal injury lawyer on your side.

Information And Tips About Personal Injury Law

Personal injuries are legal disputes that come about when a person suffers harm from an accident or injury; where someone else may be legally responsible for that harm. In addition, personal injury law is when a person is allowed to get compensation when someone else is negligent or causes an intentional act upon their person. There are a variety of times and places when this kind of injury can occur such as a car accident.

Often, when a car accident happens, it is because someone is not driving carefully or is not following the rules of the road. Keep in mind; a careless driver can be accountable financially and be responsible for injuries that come as a result of a car accident. Medical malpractice is another example of a personal injury. Slip and fall cases are another example of an injury case. One example would be a property owner who does not keep his premises safe and free of hazards. Of course, a landowners’ legal duty in this area depends on the situation and the law in place in the state where the injury occurs.

There are several tips that will help you find a good injury lawyer such as choosing one who only takes care of personal injury law, one who has a proven history of high verdicts and settlements, one who is an active member of state and national trial lawyer groups and a lawyer who will allow you to talk with his past clients. Talking with a lawyer’s past clients can give you a keener insight as to who might best represent you.

To conclude, personal injuries are legal disputes that come about when a person suffers harm from an accident or injury; where someone else may be legally responsible for that harm. Talk with a Tampa Florida personal injury lawyer, today!

Information Regarding Car Accidents Involving Alcohol

The print, mass and social media is full of reports on the death statistics caused by accidents arising from alcohol intoxication. However, many people are clueless on what to do if they are involved in accidents where the other driver was drunk.

Drunk drivers can face serious charges, jail time and also penalties. The case is take up by police officers in may cases. However, if you are a victim or your loved one is then make a point of filing a suit. The perpetrator will have to civil liability charges to answer.

Criminal proceedings vs a civil case in car accidents involving alcohol

Civil suits due to drunk driving are not the same as criminal proceeding relating to the same. Criminal proceedings protect the public against any harm in the future resulting from drunk drivers. It also ensures the culprit undergoes punishment from being reckless. Even when no accident has occurred, intoxicated drivers can still face criminal prosecution.

A civil case against the drunk driver can only happen if a victim sues the driver. You do not have to have been physically involved in the accident to do this. If one of your family members is injured or dies as a result of recklessness of an intoxicated driver then you have the right to go ahead with the suit.

The civil case is meant to help you recover economic damages, damaged property, lost wages and also medical treatment costs. Depending on the outlined laws in your region, you may also get a chance to get compensation on damages which are not economic in nature.

No-fault laws in civil suits

No-fault laws directly affect your ability to file civil case against the intoxicated driver. If such laws exist in your area, there is a high probability that there is a threshold which dictates which kind of damages warrant a civil suit. The laws are hotly debated in many regions because many drunkards can go free through exploiting the set threshold. It means that some cases of negligence are thrown out of court when the culprit was clearly at fault.


It is important to seek help from professionals in the legal field when dealing with accidents in which the culprit was drunk. Unless you are a legal professional, the chances of your case being thrown out are high. Following the right channel is mandatory even though it is clear you are the victim.

The Essential Florida Automobile Accidents Laws That Will Affect Your Compensation

As a driver in Florida, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws that govern Florida automobile accidents as you do not know when you can be involved in an accident. Knowing the laws that might affect your case will help you pursue your rights as the victim or as the offender without the fear or worry of putting yourself in a difficult position. Some of the critical parts of the Florida accident law that you should always remember include:

Deadlines for filing Injury lawsuit

In Florida, the deadline for filing a lawsuit in a civil court against the business or individual that might be legally at fault is limited to four years from the the accident date. If you file a lawsuit after the expiry of four years window, the courts will likely refuse to listen to it at all. However, on rare occasions, the court may extend the period if you fail to discover that you suffered injury from the accident during the period. The time limit for filing injury claims against the state government, county or city is set at three years. It is also important to note that filing a wrongful death claim against the driver at fault should happen within two years from the time of death if it is the same as that of the accident.

The no-fault car laws

Florida has a unique no-fault accident system that requires the car owner’s insurance company to pay for medical expenses and lost income when an accident occurs irrespective of who is at fault unless the serious injury threshold is met. This means that you will not hold the other driver liable for minor accidents unless the injury can be described as serious. You should seek the assistance of an attorney to help you determine whether your case can step outside of the no-fault system. Some of the conditions that are considered serious include disfigurement, permanent or significant scarring and permanent injury.

The comparative negligence law

In Florida, there is a negligence law that allows the liable driver and the victim to share liability on a comparative basis. For example, if you played part in making your injury worse, the compensation you are entitled to can be reduced by an amount that is equal to your fault percentage.

Conclusion
In Florida, there is no definite amount of money that is offered to compensate the harm caused by negligence or wrongdoing in the accidents. The driver is tasked with determining the damages of the accident.