When an accident happens that leaves you injured, it is important to work with an experienced injury attorney who has your best interest in mind. Lawsuits can get complicated quickly. Navigating the legal landscape on your own can lead to pitfalls that result in a reduction in the amount of money you could earn for your losses.
In New Jersey, a personal injury attorney can walk you through the legal process while you focus on what is most important –staying healthy by undergoing regular medical treatment.
Many plaintiffs have concerns about how to pay their bills while they are out of work, who to speak to about the claim, whether they should take a settlement, and how fast they can receive payment. If these sound like the types of questions you might have, contact a Cumberland County slip and fall lawyer today.
For those who are unfamiliar with the legal process, learning that most cases settle before being tried is somewhat unbelievable. At trial, anything can happen and plaintiffs could be sent home with nothing. Depending on the pre-trial discovery and investigation phases of litigation, the parties may prefer to hedge their risks and settle the case without a full blown trial.
That makes pre-trial investigations crucial to a plaintiff’s slip and fall lawsuit. This investigation can include the following:
- Collecting medical records and speaking with treating physicians
- Sending questions to the defendant (interrogatories)
- Researching whether there is any insurance involved
- Learning the limitations of the insurance policy
- Questioning witnesses under oath (depositions)
- Researching applicable statutes and case law
- Participating in hearings and conferences
- Filing motions to obtain information
- Stipulating to the production of certain pieces of evidence
- Requesting that certain admissions be made in reference to material facts
- Serving subpoenas
- Appearing for mental and physical examinations
- Investigating any police or accident reports
- Gathering physical evidence
- Researching the personal, educational, criminal, and professional backgrounds of witnesses
- Learning about what witnesses or parties saw, heard, or did in relation to the accident
- Uncovering any knowledge of pre-existing hazards or conditions
- Obtaining employment records, manuals, and personnel files (based upon the facts of the case)
While a case may proceed to trial, there are several other ways that a case can be resolved. An arbitration or mediation is a pre-trial hearing whereby parties agree to litigate the case before a neutral arbiter.
These hearings are cost-efficient because the standards of evidence are typically more relaxed and less cumbersome than in formal trials. Having a doctor appear to testify at trial could cost thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars.
Cases can also settle outright if the parties can agree to a value that adequately compensates the injured party. These settlements are usually negotiated by the terms of the insurance policy. Thus, the size of the settlement is influenced by the size of the underlying policy.
Talk to a Cumberland County Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you should speak with an attorney immediately. In New Jersey, state law §2A:14-2(a) generally requires any slip and fall lawsuit to be filed within two years from the date of the occurrence.
Filing a lawsuit after this period could result in the claim being dismissed upon motion by the defendant for failing to follow the state’s statute of limitations. If you would like more information about how you can pursue your legal options, contact a Cumberland County slip and fall lawyer for a consultation.