Month: August 2019

If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of a shooting incident in Miami you may have considered the possibility of bringing a lawsuit. While you may be vaguely familiar with how a lawsuit works, you will likely not be familiar with the intricacies of a shooting lawsuit. If you’re considering bringing a shooting lawsuit, you should know that the lawsuit will be broken up into these parts:

Filing the shooting lawsuit

The first step in the lawsuit process will be to file the actual shooting lawsuit. A lawsuit is just a piece of paper that sets out the allegations in the case. In a shooting lawsuit, the paperwork will allege that the defendant failed to meet its standard of care, resulting in your injuries. The specifics of the allegations will depend on what the Defendant knew or should have known at the time, and the ways in which the Defendant failed to act to keep you safe. Once this paper is filed in court and served on the Defendant the lawsuit has officially started.

Discovery

After the shooting lawsuit is filed, the discovery process begins. Discovery is what lawyers call the process used to gather information about the lawsuit that may be in the possession of the parties or other entities. In Florida this process includes requests for production, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and depositions. This process is governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. It is during this process that the lawyers can information that may otherwise not been available before the shooting lawsuit was filed. Things that are commonly obtained during this process include: surveillance video of the incident, internal policies and procedures of the Defendant, and admissions of fact regarding the incident.

Mediation

Mediation is a step of the process where the parties agree to meet and see if they can resolve the issues in the lawsuit without the need for a trial. A mediator will usually be chosen by all the parties in order to facilitate this process. A mediator is simply a neutral person who is trained in negotiation whose job is to facilitate the negotiations among the parties to see if a resolution can be reached. Mediation is strictly confidential, and nothing that is said during the mediation can be used at trial.

Trial

Trial is the culmination of the shooting lawsuit. If the parties cannot come to an agreement before trial as to who is at fault and how much money should be given to the person bringing the shooting lawsuit, the parties will take the case to trial. Trial in Florida is almost always done before a jury. The jury is a pool of people from the community chosen by the parties to decide issues such as who is at fault, and if the Defendant is at fault how much money should be awarded to the victim of the shooting. Most shooting lawsuits resolve before getting to this point.

Appeal

Regardless of who wins at trial there will usually be an appeal. An appeal is a way for the losing side to take the case up to a higher court and try to get a new trial. Unless someone made a serious mistake during the trial, appeals typically fail. But an appeal can take a year or more to resolve, and in the meantime you will not see any compensation if you won at trial.

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If you’ve been shot in Miami you will find yourself in a roller-coaster of police, medical providers, pain, suffering, and medical bills.  Most people who are shot in Miami know that there will be a criminal investigation, and hopefully the person who shot them will be held accountable in the criminal justice system. Other than that, most people do not know what other remedies are available to them if they are shot in Miami.

Here are some things that you should know if you’re shot in Miami.

The police and prosecution can only help you as far as the criminal justice system goes

The prosecutors and the police will do what they can to help you get justice in the criminal justice system. In laymen terms that means that they will prosecute the person who shot you and try to put them in jail for what they did to you. While that is definitely a helpful measure of justice, that will do nothing to help you regain your mobility, pay your medical bills, and compensate you for the pain and suffering that you went through and may continue to go through. This is because the criminal justice system isn’t set up to make you whole, it is set up to punish the person who injured you. In the best of cases in the criminal system you can expect that the person who shot you will be punished to some extent, and nothing more than that. Your medical bills, your loss of employment, your lack of mobility, and every other aspect of your injury will be something that you would have to deal with, without any help from the police or prosecutors. The system is just not built for that.

If you were shot in Miami on private property, the property owner may have to compensate you for what happened to you

All is not lost, however. If you were shot in Miami while on private property, like for example, a Walmart or McDonald’s, or even a housing complex, the property owner may have to pay you for your losses. This is because Florida law requires that property owners take reasonable measures to keep these kinds of incidents from happening on their property. If you’ve ever been somewhere and you’ve seen security guards, prominently displayed cameras, lighting, etc., you have witnessed the kind of reasonable measures that property owners are expected to take. The most common example is that of a night-club or bar where you have one or more bouncers to ensure the safety of the customers.

Unlike the criminal system, the civil justice system is perfectly equipped to hold the property owner accountable for his/her failure to provide adequate security. Under the civil system you are entitled to receive money for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. This means that if the property owner’s failure to establish reasonable security measures contributed to you being shot, you should receive money from the property owner to make you whole.

Your shooting was likely preventable and avoidable, if the property owner had done the right thing

Unfortunately, the great majority of shootings in Miami could have been avoided or prevented had the property had the property owner put on reasonable security measures. There are way too many shootings happening on or around the same properties. If these property owners spend some of their business profits to add security guards, cameras, and proper lighting, a lot of these shootings would never take place in their property.

Most property owners do not do the right thing when it comes to protecting their patrons and tenants

Most property owners, however, do not do the right thing when it comes to protecting their patrons and tenants. This is because additional security measures affect their bottom line. If they have to pay a security guard, that is money that has to come out of the business profit margin. More money for security means less money in the pocket of the property owners. It is sad that we live in a world where people and companies are willing to risk people’s life and limb in order to save a couple of bucks, but that is the world we live in. This profits-over-people mentality leads to countless deaths and shooting injuries.  

While the prosecution and police are there to hold the shooter criminally accountable, there is no government body that is set up to help you hold the property owner civilly accountable

If you’ve been shot in Miami, you know that the police and prosecutors are available to help. In fact, those two bodies are designed for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting crimes. But you’d be surprised to learn that there is no government body that is set up to help you hold the property owners accountable if you are shot in Miami. There are no government civil prosecutors or police for that. You’re literally on your own.

But that’s not entirely accurate. While there are no government bodies that are set up to help you get the money that you deserve for your loss, there are civil lawyers who sue on behalf of people who are injured in shootings. We at Cornish Hernandez Gonzalez handle these kinds of injury cases and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being shot while on private property, we can help. Do not hesitate to give us a call or fill out the form.

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