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How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Jersey?

What Are The Steps To Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Jersey?

A personal injury lawsuit is an important legal action that may result in compensation for injuries suffered by people who were injured due to another person's negligence. If you believe that you have been wronged by another party, you should file a lawsuit against them. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit if you've been hurt in an accident caused by another person.

If you have never known someone who has sued another party for damages, it can be difficult to know how to begin to file a personal injury claim. From the outside looking in, the process may appear beyond comprehension and complicated. 

However, you do not need to be concerned if you are considering filing a personal injury case. The filing procedure can be simple and straightforward. In New Jersey, filing a personal injury lawsuit is a straightforward and painless process. Below our experienced personal injury attorneys have simplified the steps to filing a claim so that anyone can understand how it works while providing you with the knowledge you need to make filing a personal injury cases simple. 

Step 1: Report the accident and get medical attention

Get the name, address, phone number, license plate number, and auto insurance information of the person who caused the collision if an auto accident. If on a commercial property, report the incident to the manager. Inform your auto insurance company about the accident. 

Call the cops and make a formal report. Do not settle for an information exchange, as this could cause a liability determination to be delayed or insurance companies to debate your word against their clients. Even if the damage appears to be minimal, call the cops. There is no such thing as "too much evidence," and an accident report only adds to a case's credibility. 

Seek medical help straight away. You'll need a thorough understanding of your injuries, as some can take days to manifest symptoms. It may be too late by then, and you will be left dealing with a long-term problem. As quickly as possible, get the medical attention you deserve. Medical documentation and a history of prompt treatment also demonstrate to hesitant insurance adjusters that you were seriously injured.

Step 2: Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer

Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after you have been injured. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better chance you have of recovering compensation for your injuries. A lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

It will be beneficial to speak with a lawyer that specializes in the type of personal injury you have sustained.

Step 3: File a claim with the insurance company

After contacting a lawyer, file a claim with the insurance company within six months of the accident. This is called filing a "notice of intent to sue." Many times, the statute of limitations begins running immediately upon the occurrence of the incident that caused your injury. So it is important not to wait to file. 

Step 4: Prepare your case for trial

Prepare for trial by gathering evidence about the accident, such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, photographs, etc. This includes pictures of the accident, your injuries, and anything else that could prove negligence on the part of the defendant. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you collect all the evidence you need and put together a winning case. 

Step 5: Negotiate a financial settlement

Negotiating a settlement is one of the most effective ways to resolve a dispute without going through the hassle of a trial. If you're involved in a legal battle, you should consider negotiating a settlement before the case goes to court. A settlement agreement is an agreement between two parties to settle a dispute without going to court.

  • Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair and reasonable settlement.
  • In some cases, your lawyer may suggest taking part in mediation if you're unable to reach a settlement.
  • Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps both sides discuss the issues at hand.
  • This process allows each side to express their views and listen to those of the opposing party.
  • Once all parties agree on a settlement, the mediator writes up a contract that outlines the terms of the agreement.

Step 6: Take your case to court

Go to court if the insurance company refuses to settle. Court proceedings are expensive and take a lot of time. A lawyer can help you understand what is happening and what evidence you need to present in order to win your case.

Step 7: Get the compensation you deserve

Get paid after the case is over. The amount of money you receive depends on the outcome of the case. Compensation includes medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A lawyer will often have you keep notes of all the hours you've missed from work due to illness, doctor's appointments, and other reasons. Your lawyer will argue for you to get paid for your missed wages. Keep track of other accident-related costs, such as rideshares or rental automobiles if your car was totaled.

What Not To Do When Filing a Personal Injury Claim

  • If you don't have legal representation, don't provide an insurance company with a recorded statement. This comment was taped and can be used against you.
  • Do not tell the insurance company about your injuries or ongoing medical treatment. It's possible that the amount of your payment will be reduced.
  • Do not discuss your car accident on social media. Insurance firms can use your social media posts against you.
  • Do not send anything to the insurance company directly. Allow your attorney to take care of it. Remember that, no matter how pleasant they are, the insurance company is not always on your side.
  • Do not minimize your injuries or understate the severity of your pain. Remember that your doctors and attorneys want to know how the pain will affect your daily life.
  • Without legal representation looking it over, do not agree to a settlement or receive payments from any insurance company. It's possible that you'll be tossing out your entire argument. Regardless if an offer appears to be attractive, you could be missing out on tens of thousands of dollars.

What Is My Personal Injury Lawsuit Worth? 

The magnitude of a person's injuries, the costs associated with treating those injuries, and the amount of available coverage are all factors that influence the value of a personal injury claim. Personal injury lawyers with experience can examine the specifics of a client's claim and provide an estimate of the case's value, but each one varies.

When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you're basically asking the court to award you compensation for injuries you suffered due to another person's negligence. If you win your case, you could receive monetary damages to compensate you for any pain and suffering you experienced along with other expenses the injury may have caused.

Damages: Economic vs. Non-Economic

In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff's losses fall into one of two categories: economic damages, sometimes known as "special" damages, and non-economic damages, generally known as "general" damages.

Current and prospective financial losses are included in economic damages, also known as special damages. The majority of these charges are dependent on amounts that are documented in numbers along the way. As a result, calculating a dollar estimate for certain types of losses can be simpler when putting together a claim.

The following are examples of economic costs:

  • medical fees for treatment of the injuries
  • property damage or loss
  • lost pay for time off work
  • other out-of-pocket expenses

The following are examples of non-economic costs:

  • mental suffering
  • lack of pleasure
  • loss of companionship

Non-economic damages may be capped due to state or national laws. These caps, according to Wikipedia, are intended to limit the capacity of judges and juries in the few jurisdictions that still have juries in civil matters to award disproportionate or abnormally enormous damages for a subjective injury that is difficult to assess objectively. The purpose of such restrictions is to limit the impact of exorbitant damages on plaintiffs, particularly in cases where private people or companies are sued for carelessness resulting in physical harm or property damage.

What Are Some Common Personal Injuries:

Personal injuries happen every day. They range from minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries such as broken bones. Some injuries may require medical attention, while others do not. Each of these factors can play a part in the final settlement amount. Some of the most common personal injuries include:

  • Car Accidents - Injury rates vary depending on factors such as vehicle type, speed, weather conditions, driver experience, and seat belt use.
  • Slip and Falls - Most falls occur indoors, but they can happen on the sidewalks and inside commercial properties. Children are particularly vulnerable to falling due to their small size and lack of coordination.
  • Motorcycle Injuries - Motorcycles account for about 2 percent of all fatal traffic collisions. However, they are responsible for 15 percent of all nonfatal injuries.
  • Sports Injuries - The most common sports-related injuries include sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, and concussions. These injuries often result in missed days of school or work and may need long-term rehabilitation treatments.
  • Workplace Injuries - Workplace injuries can lead to lost wages, medical bills, and disability payments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries cost employers $177 billion annually.
  • Medical Malpractice - There were over 1 million reported cases of medical malpractice in 2016 alone. This means that one out of every ten patients was injured due to negligence by a doctor or hospital.

Can I Settle My Personal Injury Claim Out of Court?

Settlements are one of the most common types of legal agreements in personal injury claims. They are used to resolve disputes between parties. The purpose of settlements is to avoid litigation and save money. According to Britannica, a settlement is a compromise or agreement between plaintiffs to resolve their differences in order to dispose of and end their case. In many cases, the suit is withdrawn or dismissed as a result of the settlement, and no judgment is issued. In such circumstances, the settlement, as a legally enforceable agreement between the parties, prevents the litigation from being renewed. However, the parties can and frequently do include the terms of the settlement into a consent judgment, which is recorded by the court. A court judgment at the conclusion of a fully litigated case may provide the same protection against a reopening of the conflict in litigation as such a verdict.

However, there are many ways to settle a dispute without going to court. Below, we will discuss four different methods of settling a dispute.

  • Mediation - the process in which the parties meet with an independent and neutral third party who supports them in resolving their disagreements.
  • Arbitration - the practice of resolving a disagreement between two persons by assisting them in reaching a mutually agreeable solution. 
  • Collaborative Law - this process includes the parties meeting with a facilitator who helps the parties understand each other's positions and encourages them to compromise. Once the parties come to an agreement, they sign a written contract. 
  • Negotiation - When negotiating a settlement, the goal should be to obtain an amount equal to what the insurance company would pay if the case went to trial. If the case goes to trial, the jury decides the value of the case based on the evidence presented.

How Can I Get the Best Settlement For My Personal Injury Claim?

We've outlined five helpful recommendations below to assist you to get the greatest possible settlement offer from an insurance adjuster so you can get the cash you deserve for your injuries.

  1. Hire an experienced lawyer -

    Hire a lawyer who can assist you properly, explain your version of events, negotiate on your behalf, and advise you on the best course of action throughout the process to guarantee you receive a fair settlement offer from an insurance company. Hiring an attorney will also ensure that the adjuster pays attention to your claim.
  2. Provide the proper paperwork and evidence to your lawyer -

    The more evidence your attorney can give to the insurance adjuster about your injuries and the costs of treating them—including lost wages and pain and suffering damages—the more likely you are to receive a large settlement offer. Keep meticulous records of all hospital visits, medical expenses, and any other data that can point to a decreased quality of life.
  3. Seek help if you're experiencing emotional pain -

    You must have measurable proof of emotional anguish if you are seeking insurance settlement reimbursement for emotional distress. You should seek medical treatment for mental injuries in the same way that you would for physical ailments. Accidents can be traumatic, and you deserve to be treated as well as compensated for your mental anguish.
  4. Do not accept the first offer that comes your way -

    You should never accept the initial offer from the insurance adjuster unless you have been advised by your attorney that is relevant to your situation. The settlement determination is a negotiation, and no matter what the adjuster tells you, the adjuster will not come in at the greatest offer they are ready to make. Have a minimal figure in mind that you're willing to take, and don't settle for anything below.
  5. The accepted offer must be confirmed in writing -

    You and your attorney should confirm the facts and your acceptance of the insurance adjuster's offer in writing so that the insurance company cannot fraudulently claim that they made no such offer in the future and refuse to pay.

Get the Justice You Deserve For Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

You are entitled to maximum compensation if you have been hurt in a personal injury accident. Allowing an insurance provider to take advantage of you or settling for less than you deserve is just unethical. The experienced personal injury lawyers at NJ Injury Guys will fight to preserve your rights and best interests throughout the insurance settlement negotiating process. Give us a call right now if you have any questions; we offer free consultations for all victims of personal injuries.

 

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Gabriel A. DiLeonardo, Sr., Esq.
Date Published: February 21, 2022
Gabriel DiLeonardo, Esq. is a New Jersey licensed attorney-at-law. He helps people who suffer injuries get justice through personal injury lawsuits.
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This website is by DiLeonardo Law LLC d/b/a NJ Injury Guys. We have offices throughout the state of New Jersey with attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel for prosecuting cases. Results may vary from case to case depending on the specific circumstances of the case. This website has not been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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