Who Are the Plaintiffs and Defendants in St. Petersburg Personal Injury Cases?
April 28, 2023 | Winters & Yonker, P.A. | Personal Injury
In a St. Petersburg personal injury case, there are usually two parties: the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff is the person who filed the lawsuit. The defendant is the person who is being sued.
Most personal injury cases have only two parties. However, sometimes there are multiple plaintiffs and defendants. This can become confusing, and it’s helpful to talk to a lawyer to keep it straight. In the meantime, read on for valuable insight into the topic.
Personal Injury Plaintiffs
A personal injury plaintiff is a person who is asserting a legal right to damages. Usually, their personal injury lawyer is asserting it on their behalf. The plaintiff has taken the steps to file a lawsuit and begin proceedings and is the party that will receive damages if the lawsuit is successful.
In most cases, the plaintiff in a personal injury case is the person who was injured in an accident. They have personally been hurt and are experiencing financial and emotional losses because of the injury.
This may be a car accident victim, a doctor’s patient in a medical malpractice case, or even a consumer in a product liability case.
Sometimes, a personal representative can file a lawsuit on behalf of an injured or deceased person. This is the law that applies in wrongful death cases.
A personal representative is usually an executor of the will or sometimes another named individual. The representative is responsible for filing the lawsuit, but the damages go to the surviving family members. The damages can also go to other beneficiaries.
Personal Injury Defendants
The defendant in a personal injury case is the allegedly negligent person or party. They are the ones being sued. In practice, the defendant can be an individual, a company, or even the government. The defendant is blamed for causing or contributing to the accident.
Sometimes there are multiple defendants in a personal injury case. In those cases, each defendant could be forced to pay the portion of the damages that correspond to their percentage of responsibility.
What Does the Plaintiff Do in a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Case?
The plaintiff in a personal injury case has the burden of proving the defendant is liable by a preponderance of the evidence. That means that the plaintiff must provide evidence supporting their case during trial. While a defendant may also choose to present evidence, they do not need to.
To meet this burden, the plaintiff and their personal injury lawyer will do several things. This includes taking depositions and interrogatories of witnesses to learn more about their testimony.
The plaintiff may also consult with expert witnesses and further investigate the case beyond the discovery that is provided. They will also produce an amount and evidence of the damages that they are requesting.
During the actual trial, the plaintiff’s lawyer will question their own witnesses. They will also cross-examine defense witnesses. In the end, they will make an argument to the jury on their client’s behalf.
What Is the Defendant’s Role in a Personal Injury Case in St. Petersburg?
In a personal injury case, the defendant does not technically need to do much beyond arguing that the plaintiff hasn’t met their burden. However, the defendant may assert any affirmative defenses, such as assumption of risk. The defendant also must respond to the complaint by either affirming or denying the allegations.
Furthermore, most defendants will do the same tasks as plaintiffs. This includes:
- Investigating the case
- Tasking dispositions
- Preparing interrogatories
- Collecting evidence
While the defendant does not need to put any evidence on during the trial, many choose to call witnesses, cross-examine, and make an argument to the jury as well.
An Attorney Can Help You Navigate the Legal Process in St. Petersburg, Florida
Regardless of if you are the plaintiff or the defendant, it is helpful to have an experienced lawyer on your side to undertake the legal process. This can mean the difference between winning and losing a case.
Contact the St. Petersburg Personal Injury Law Firm of Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in St. Petersburg today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
We proudly serve Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and its surrounding areas:
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805