Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate if you sustain injuries in an automobile or workplace accident. While many plaintiffs manage to collect compensation from liable parties before a jury trial is necessary, the negotiation process can be lengthy.
So, how long do personal injury cases take to settle in New Jersey?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. Below, an experienced personal injury attorney from Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., in Watchung, NJ, discusses factors that impact the length of a lawsuit. Consider the following information, then schedule a consultation at a reputable law firm.
When To Seek Litigation
It is essential to seek restitution for your damages if you experience long-term pain from a physical condition that requires extensive medical treatments. Still, you’ll need to complete a few steps before you can even start filing a lawsuit against responsible parties.
First, you must report your accident to relevant insurance companies or employers.
Suppose you sustained injuries in a car crash. New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning you don’t need to prove responsibility to qualify for compensation. However, some insurance providers may not pay out the total amount you seek if they suspect you were partly responsible for the accident.
Communications between you and your insurance company could take several days or weeks to conclude. Insurance agents may also need more time to complete an investigation.
If you still have hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost wages, medical bills, or other related expenses after your insurance company makes an offer, it may be time to start the litigation process.
Deadlines for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In New Jersey, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible person/persons. However, many people save time by calculating losses and collecting evidence immediately after an accident.
Factors That Contribute to Settlement Length
If you decide to pursue legal action against liable parties, you will meet with their lawyer to discuss settlement terms. Sometimes, a settlement could take just a couple of weeks to reach. Other times, it might take months or even years.
Several factors contribute to the length of the settlement process:
- The quantity and quality of evidence you collect
- The amount of money you seek
- The number of parties involved
- The quality of your personal injury lawyer
Reaching an Early Settlement
How long do personal injury cases take to settle if you have significant evidence?
If you collect convincing evidence that proves the opposing party caused your accident, you might reach an early settlement agreement within a couple of weeks.
Often, these cases involve smaller demands for compensation (i.e., medical bills for injuries that do not require long-term treatment). Still, some severe accident cases are so cut and dry that you may be able to reach an agreement for a larger restitution quickly.
Although negotiations may end within a couple of weeks, filing Release of Liability forms and collecting compensation could take an additional one or two months.
Prolonged negotiations occur for several reasons.
Sometimes, an accident victim collects evidence that the defending party can challenge. For example, the other party might dispute the victim’s interpretation of photos that led up to the accident.
Settlements may also go on for months if the defending party challenges the amount of money the victim seeks. If an injured person presents medical bills or reports that show losses, a defending party may argue that some of the expenses are not relevant to the accident.
Long settlements can take more than a year to conclude, depending on the type of accident and monetary demands. If negotiations break down, a personal injury attorney may recommend a trial.
In this situation, the process could take longer and require more resources. Still, legal scholars suggest that over 90% of personal injury cases end in favor of the party that initiated the trial.
Hiring a Lawyer Speeds Up the Process
Hiring a lawyer helps you streamline your personal injury claim, settlement negotiations, and other essential responsibilities for your lawsuit. It’s wise to partner with a reputable attorney before approaching liable parties. This will make you more confident about your legal strategy.
Speak to an Attorney Today
At Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., we represent hundreds of clients in personal injury lawsuits. See how hiring our team can help you understand personal injury settlement payouts and more.
If you’re wondering how long personal injury cases take to settle, call us at (908) 561-5577 for a free attorney consultation. Our firm is proud to represent clients in and around Watchung, NJ.