Strategic Defense for Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Litigation

Injury-based lawsuits are among the most common types of litigation in Florida and elsewhere. These lawsuits often present substantial liability risks for individuals, companies, and insurers, and avoiding unnecessary liability requires an informed, proactive, and strategic defense. As a result, working with an experienced defense firm is critical, and you need to be able to rely on your defense firm to secure a favorable outcome on your (or your company’s) behalf.

At O’Connor, Haftel & Angell, PLLC, we have a century of experience in personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Our lineage dates back to the 1920s, and since then, we have successfully represented countless clients in cases involving substantial claims for damages. Civil defense is our bread and butter, and while we will focus on building the leverage needed to negotiate defense-friendly settlements when warranted, our primary focus is helping our clients avoid liability at trial altogether.

Comprehensive Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Representation

We handle all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of individuals, companies, and their insurers. Over the years, our lawyers have obtained numerous defense verdicts in cases involving:

  • Intentional torts (battery, shootings, etc.)
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, and commercial vehicle accidents)
  • Premises liability (slip and fall, negligent security, etc.)
  • Products liability (defective design, defective manufacture, and failure to warn)
  • Slander and defamation
  • Work-related injuries
  • Wrongful death and survivor claims
  • Vicarious liability and independent employer negligence claims

In many cases, plaintiffs’ lawyers file claims hoping to obtain a quick settlement from an insurer that would rather pay than go to trial. When representing insurance companies in personal injury and wrongful death cases, we make clear from the outset that we are fully prepared to take the plaintiff’s claims to court. This sets the tone for the ensuing litigation while preventing our clients from wrongfully acknowledging liability. Plaintiffs’ firms know which insurance companies and defense firms are more likely to settle, and they consider this when deciding which claims to pursue and how to pursue them.

We have represented many of our insurance clients for decades. As a result, we know these clients well, and we can use this knowledge to help them make informed decisions based on their unique risk tolerances, preferences, and long-term goals. When we take on new insurance clients, we prioritize getting to know their businesses as well, and we work closely with their executives and in-house lawyers to formulate effective and custom-tailored defense strategies.

Our Approach to Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Defense

While personal injury and wrongful death claims are common, they are far more complex than most people realize. These cases can involve various issues, and working through the issues to build and execute an effective defense strategy requires an intimate understanding of the relevant facts and the relevant law.

With this in mind, we take a sophisticated approach to personal injury and wrongful death defense. While each case calls for a custom-tailored approach, broadly speaking, our process in personal injury and wrongful death cases generally involves:


We thoroughly investigate plaintiffs’ claims to assess their validity. This includes conducting an on-scene investigation and engaging engineers and other experts to inspect any vehicles, products, premises, or other assets involved. When warranted, we hire private investigators to investigate individual plaintiffs; as insurance, fraud is a genuine concern in these cases.

Claim Analysis

Once we have a clear picture of the relevant facts, we thoroughly analyze the claim. This claim analysis is unbiased and intended to help our clients make informed decisions about moving forward. Does the plaintiff have a clear path forward to establish liability? If so, then considering a settlement may be warranted. If not, we will move forward swiftly with preparing the case for trial.

Pre-Litigation Strategy

Since plaintiffs’ lawyers often want to avoid trial, a pre-litigation strategy plays a major role in personal injury and wrongful death cases. By taking an aggressive approach to defending against plaintiffs’ claims at this stage, we can help our clients avoid liability and litigation in many cases.

Pre-Trial Practice

We make strategic use of all aspects of pre-trial practice. From pleadings and motions practice to discovery, our lawyers leverage all opportunities to narrow the issues, dismiss claims and call the validity of the plaintiff’s case into question. While we are trial lawyers first and foremost, we work to obtain favorable outcomes before trial for our clients whenever possible.


Unlike many other law firms, we savor the opportunity to defend against plaintiffs’ claims at trial. With hundreds of trials under our belts, we are no strangers to the courtroom. We rely on our experience to build and execute sophisticated trial strategies, and we have no problem taking plaintiffs’ personal injury and wrongful death claims to verdict.

We Also Handle Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Appeals

In addition to handling personal injury and wrongful death cases at the trial phase, we also handle these cases on appeal. We maintain a robust appellate practice, and our lawyers have handled dozens of appeals at the intermediate and highest levels. If you or your company has received an unfavorable trial verdict, or if a future trial doesn’t produce a just result, we can evaluate all possible grounds for appeal and fight for a warranted reversal.

Speak with a Civil Litigator at O’Connor, Haftel & Angell, PLLC

While personal injury and wrongful death claims can present substantial liability risks for individuals, companies, and their insurers, avoiding liability is often a matter of executing a timely and strategic defense. At O’Connor, Haftel & Angell, PLLC, we have the experience and insights required to handle these cases effectively, and we can get to work immediately if necessary. To speak with a civil litigator at our Orlando, FL, law offices in confidence, please inquire online today.