What Is the Personal Injury Claims Process in New Jersey?
If you get injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you could be eligible to pursue an injury claim against the at-fault party. It is the process through which you can seek compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered from the accident. Having a basic understanding of this process the personal injury claims process will reduce your anxiety about what to expect.
This article will help you understand the stages involved in the claims process. Talk to an expert Bayonne Personal Injury Attorney, if you have been injured in a negligence-caused accident.
Stage 1: Medical Treatment
Immediately after an accident, you should seek medical treatment by scheduling an appointment with your doctor, driving to the nearest hospital, or calling 911. It is one of the most crucial stages of the claims process because if you don’t seek treatment, the insurance company will take it to signify that your injuries are not severe.
Stage 2: Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered a severe injury that will likely affect your health and ability to work or lead to high medical bills, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. Choose an attorney with experience in your type of claim, which could be a:
- Slip-and-fall claim
- Car accident claim
- Rideshare accident claim
- Dog bite claim
- Medical malpractice claim
- Defective product claim
Stage 3: Investigation
Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, he/she will begin an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident. It includes:
- Talking to willing witnesses
- Reviewing photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Reviewing your medical records and related bills
- Consulting expert witnesses
- Reconstructing the accidents
All these efforts are aimed at determining and proving fault for the accident and calculating the value of your past and future damages.
Stage 4: Negotiations
Over 90 percent of personal injury claims are solved during this stage. This is when your attorney contacts the insurance company with a settlement demand, initiating negotiations. Typically, your attorney will only begin this process once you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) – where you are either fully recovered or no further treatment can improve your situation. It is only at this stage that they can determine the exact value of your losses.
Stage 5: Settlement/Filing a Lawsuit
If the negotiations are successful, you will receive a settlement from the insurance company. If the insurance company denies liability or offers to low a payment, your attorney may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in court. Thus begins the litigation phase.
Stage 6: Mediation, Trial, and Settlement
The court may order –or the parties may volunteer– mediation as a way to reach an agreement before trial. If mediation is successful, you will receive a settlement. If not, your claim will proceed to court, where each side will argue its case, and the judge will make a ruling.
Talk to a Bayonne Personal Injury Attorney
Attorney Anthony Carbone of the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been a Bayonne Personal Injury Attorney for over 30 years. He is conversant with the New Jersey personal injury claims process and can guide you through it to compensation. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, contact his office today online or at 201-829-3805 to discuss your case.