The Role of a Litigation Lawyer in Handling Civil Lawsuits in Gainesville, FL

Most personal injury cases settle out of court. Sometimes personal injury victims negotiate, then file a lawsuit, and then settle out of court while litigation is pending. This is more common than most people think. A few cases will proceed all the way to trial. So, what exactly is a litigation lawyer? A litigation lawyer is an attorney who prepares a case for court and handles it once it reaches that point.

Filing a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Florida

Florida is one of about a dozen states that apply a no-fault system to most car accidents. Under the no-fault system, you cannot sue the other driver even if the accident was the other driver’s fault. All you can do is file a claim against your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. 

However, Florida courts suspend this no-litigation rule if your injuries are serious enough as defined by state statute or if your losses exceed your policy limits.

What Does a Litigator Do?

Following is a rundown of some of the main tasks that litigation lawyers commonly handle.

The Initial Investigation

Unless you are actually seeking a trial, which is unlikely, your lawyer is likely to begin pursuing your case with an eye toward settling out of court. To this end, and for the sake of preparing the initial pleadings, your lawyer will assemble as much evidence as they possibly can without filing a lawsuit. This evidence might include:

  • Things you tell your lawyer;
  • Photographs from the scene of the accident;
  •  A police report, if any;
  • Interviews with any witnesses;
  • Your medical records; and
  • Other relevant evidence.

All evidence must comply with the Florida Evidence Code before it can be used in court. Some evidence, such as a police report, is useful in settlement negotiations even though you can’t use it in court.

Preparing and Filing Initial Pleadings

The complaint is a written document filed by your lawyer that kicks off your lawsuit. The defendant must file an answer within 20 days of receiving formal notice of the lawsuit. The complaint must be carefully drafted because a badly drafted statement of claim could ruin your chances of victory. 

Finding and Preparing Expert Witnesses

An expert witness can offer particularly credible evidence within their field of expertise.

Of course, expert witnesses are paid, and they typically aren’t cheap. Many, if not most expert witnesses have retired from their original professions and serve as expert witnesses full-time. 

Nevertheless, courts often find expert witnesses credible, and their use in certain kinds of cases, such as medical malpractice and product liability, is routine. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer should have long-standing relationships with skilled and experienced expert witnesses. They can help you find an expert witness, and they can also help prepare the expert witness to deliver testimony, a written report, or both.

Managing the Pretrial Discovery Process

Pretrial discovery is a process by which each party demands evidence that is in the possession of the other side. The court can enforce cooperation through sanctions. Your lawyer’s involvement in the discovery process will include:

  • Cross-examining the other side’s witnesses out of court;
  • Preparing your witnesses for cross-examination;
  • Preparing written questions (interrogatories) that the opposing party must answer under oath;
  • Answering interrogatories sent by the opposing party;
  • Obtaining copies of documents from the opposing party;
  • Examining physical evidence that is in the possession of the opposing party; 
  • Requesting admissions of fact from the other party; and
  • Responding to the opposing party’s requests for admissions of fact.

The discovery process can take several months to complete.


At trial, your lawyer will perform the following actions:

  • Participating in the adversarial process of selecting the jury;
  • Delivering a persuasive opening statement;
  • Drafting and delivering pleadings to the judge (such as a Motion to Suppress Evidence).
  • Examining and cross-examining witnesses;
  • Presenting evidence to the court;
  • Objecting to behavior from the opposing party (an inappropriate question to a witness, for example); and
  • Presenting a persuasive closing statement.

If you win your case, your lawyer will be responsible for collecting the amount of the judgment and delivering it to you.


If you are dissatisfied with a courtroom judgment, you can file an appeal. Generally, you have 30 days to do so. You must have solid grounds of appeal to have any chance of winning. Most appeals fail because courts are reluctant to overturn the decision of another court. 

A Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyer Is a Near-Necessity for a Sizable Claim

If you have a personal injury claim in Gainesville, Florida, schedule a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Don’t worry about money; with most personal injury lawyers, you only pay if you get compensation. 

Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258