If you’re bringing a personal injury claim for the first time, you may be unfamiliar with what to expect in filing a personal injury lawsuit. Continue reading to find out how a personal injury claim works and what you need to know before you go ahead and file.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit Protects You
The point of a personal injury lawsuit is to protect your rights from having to bear financial or personal burdens from injuries you’ve suffered that weren’t your fault. A lawsuit allows you to pursue financial compensation from those parties responsible for causing your injuries and losses.
Personal Injury Plaintiffs Represented by Counsel Tend to Recover More Compensation
People with personal injury claims who hire legal representation tend to secure compensation that is several times greater than compensation recovered by personal injury victims who try to handle their claim on their own. This is because experienced personal injury lawyers know what your case is worth and have the experience to negotiate with insurers and defense attorneys to recover maximum compensation in a settlement, or to argue your case at trial.
Hiring Legal Help As Soon As Possible Can Improve the Outcome of Your Case
Letting a personal injury lawyer handle your claim as early as possible in the process can protect you from making mistakes that may impair your legal rights and options. In addition, the sooner you bring in an attorney, the more time they will have to prepare a thorough and persuasive case for your compensation.
Personal Injury Lawyers (Usually) Cost Nothing Up Front
Although the idea of having to pay a lawyer may turn some people away from seeking representation, most personal injury attorneys and law firms actually handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that a client doesn’t pay anything up front to hire a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer only gets paid when they win compensation for the client, typically collecting an agreed-upon percentage of the total compensation recovered for the client.
Never Sign Anything Before Having It Reviewed by Your Attorney
Insurance companies unfortunately try to take advantage of injury victims’ inexperience with the law to get them to accept a settlement that pays far less than the victim’s claim is truly worth. Before you accept a settlement or sign anything from the insurance company, you should go over those documents with an attorney who can advise you as to whether signing a settlement or other documents is in your best interest.
You Can Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit Without Going to Trial
Even after you’ve filed a personal injury lawsuit, you can still recover compensation through a settlement. Many personal injury claims that are filed in court do end up settling before trial. Of course, you also still have the option of pursuing your claim all the way to trial if you cannot reach a fair settlement with the other side.
You Can Only Recover Compensation by Establishing the Other Party’s Negligence
To win your case, you’ll need to show that the other party’s negligence was responsible for causing your injuries. This means showing that the other party breached some duty of care they owed to you, or generally failed to exercise reasonable care in their actions.
Personal Injury Cases Can Take a Long Time to Resolve
Unfortunately, personal injury cases can often take months or even years to fully resolve, especially if a claim ends up in court and goes to trial. Often, it is in the insurance company’s interest to drag out a personal injury case as long as possible, hoping that your financial situation will force you to accept whatever settlement is on the table.
You Need Evidence to Value Your Claim
In addition to proving the other party’s negligence, you’ll need evidence of your damages and losses in order to recover compensation. This can include medical bills, paystubs or income statements, and testimony from yourself and friends and family about the impact your injuries have had on your life.
The Law Limits the Time You Have to File Your Lawsuit
Finally, you should keep in mind that you don’t have forever to file a personal injury lawsuit. Under New Jersey law, you generally have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file, you run the risk that the other side will ask the court to dismiss your case.
Contact a Edison Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. represent clients injured in Woodbridge, Old Bridge, New Brunswick, Piscataway, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 906-1500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as offices in Edison, Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.