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What Is A “Bifurcated Trial” In Florida, And Why Would You Want One?


The legal world is filled with all kinds of confusing terminology, and these “legalese” phrases can make it very difficult for average Americans to figure out what’s going on. This can be especially challenging for injury victims who are simply trying to pursue justice for legitimate damages. One of the most confusing concepts in the legal world is a “bifurcated” trial. But what exactly is a bifurcated trial, and why on Earth would you need one?

Bifurcated Trials Explained 

Although the word “bifurcation” sounds complex, the concept is actually quite simple. A bifurcated trial is simply a trial that has been divided into two separate parts. In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, the first stage of the trial usually determines guilt or liability. For example, the first stage of a trial might determine who should shoulder liability in a pile-up at a traffic intersection. Which vehicle caused the accident? What kind of negligence were they guilty of? Were they distracted? Were they intoxicated? Were they speeding? These are questions that might be answered in the first stage of a bifurcated personal injury trial.

The second stage of a bifurcated personal injury trial would likely involve damages and penalties. For example, this second stage of the trial might go over the various injuries you have suffered and the medical expenses that you have been forced to incur. This might involve a close look at your medical records, receipts for medical expenses, medical images (such as X-rays) and doctors’ notes. You might also examine evidence of missed wages, such as income statements and pay stubs. Finally, you would need to determine the financial value of non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, PTSD, and depression. Bifurcated trials are also known as “two-stage” trials.

Why Would You Want to Bifurcate Your Trial? 

Bifurcated trials are useful if liability is questionable. Plaintiffs may be unsure about committing to a full trial if they’re not confident that they can prove the liability of defendants. Instead, they may want to take this legal process in steps. When you first answer the question of liability before moving on to damages, you can avoid spending too much time and effort on a trial that isn’t even winnable. Remember, a personal injury trial is an incredibly time-consuming experience, and it may be psychologically draining for many plaintiffs.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in Orlando? 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Orlando personal injury attorney, look no further than Payer Law. While many legal phrases can be confusing, the truth is that you can sit back and let your lawyers handle these concepts while you focus on healing from your injuries. Book a consultation with us, and we can explain anything that you might find confusing about the legal world. Once you feel confident about these concepts, we can guide you towards a fair settlement for your damages. Reach out today to get started.


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