The Basics of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If a lawsuit becomes necessary, your First Coast personal injury attorney will explain in detail what you will have to do. The process is not all that complex, but will involve a number of steps. Summons and Complaint After final investigation and preparation, your First Coast personal injury lawyer will file a claim in court by preparing what is known as a Summons and Complaint. This is usually done in the lawyer’s office without your involvement. The Summons and Complaint are served upon the person, persons, or com¬pany who caused your injuries, and the responsible party is referred to as the defendant. You will be called the plaintiff. Answer to the Complaint After the defendant is served with the complaint, the insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend the lawsuit and that lawyer will file what is known as an Answer to the Complaint. The Answer usually denies responsi¬bility for the injuries, denies the extent of your injuries, and may possibly seek to bring in other parties who might have been involved in the incident which caused your injuries. Discovery A process is started called discovery in which both sides seek information from each other. You will be involved in this process. The process includes some or all of the following: 1. Questions, called “interrogatories,” which require written answers. 2. Oral testimony from you and other parties called “depositions.” Such testimony takes place in front of the lawyers with a court reporter who takes down the questions and answers in order to prepare a transcript. 3. “Requests for production of documents” in which the lawyers ask for medical reports, witness statements, medical bills, and other documents relating to the case. In most cases, your First Coast personal injury lawyer will have to send such documents to the other lawyer even if they have already been supplied to the insurance company. 4. “Requests for admissions” which is a process that requires the parties to narrow the issues by admitting certain facts that are not in dispute. 5. Pretrial procedures such as motions in court and other tactics that pro¬cess the case to trial. 6. Preparation for trial including possible video depositions of your doctors, meeting with witnesses, writing briefs, and appearances of your attorney before the trial judge. 7. The trial, finally, if your case does not settle before the trial date. Call us if you have been injured and are seeking a lawsuit to recover damages, call First Coast personal injury lawyer John Fagan for a review of your claim today at (904) 215-5555.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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