When Your Lawyer May Consider Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you were injured by someone else’s negligent actions, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. An important question to consider is whether filing a personal injury lawsuit is the best course of action for recovering compensation.
Below, we discuss when an attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit after an accident, and when New Jersey law allows a lawsuit to be filed.
If you have questions about the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit, or the process involved, call our New Jersey personal injury attorneys today to learn more about your legal options. The consultation is free and there are no fees while we work on your case.
DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FILE A LAWSUIT?
You always have the right to pursue compensation if you were injured by someone else’s negligent actions. However, the way you pursue that compensation may vary under New Jersey law.
New Jersey drivers may have a limited right to file a lawsuit depending on the type of motor vehicle insurance policy they purchased. Drivers who have a basic policy with a limited right to sue cannot seek pain and suffering in a lawsuit in cases of catastrophic injuries or death. If you bought a policy with an unlimited right to sue you can file a lawsuit to seek pain and suffering no matter the type of injury you suffered.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident or another type of accident, you generally have the right to sue no matter what type of injury you suffered. That said, many personal injury claims are resolved through insurance settlements, as the at-fault party often does not have the assets to pay for a victim’s damages.
HAVE YOU TRIED NEGOTIATING WITH THE LIABLE PARTY?
Typically, your attorney will try and negotiate with the liable insurance company before filing a lawsuit. Generally, negotiations begin the moment you send a demand letter asking for compensation for your damages. The insurance company then has the option to either pay your demands or make a counteroffer. Negotiations may go on for a while until both parties come to an agreement, and this is usually how injury cases are resolved.
However, there are times when negotiating a case does not work, either because the insurance company refuses to meet the injured party’s demands or delays negotiations. Whatever the reason, when negotiations break down your lawyer is likely going to consider filing a lawsuit.
DO YOU HAVE A STRONG ENOUGH CASE TO WIN?
One major factor to consider is whether your case is strong enough to convince a jury that you should be compensated by the liable party. The burden of proof is on the you to prove the negligence of the liable party directly resulted in your damages.
An experienced attorney is unlikely to recommend filing a lawsuit unless he or she thinks you have a strong case. That is why it is vital to meet with an attorney.
Our attorneys are prepared to discuss the strength of your claim to see what your options may be.
WILL YOU BE ABLE TO COLLECT DAMAGES IF YOU WIN?
In other words, does the at-fault party have the assets to pay for your damages?
Generally, when accident victims pursue compensation, they are doing so through a liability insurance company that should be able to pay. The only issue that arises is if there is not enough available insurance to cover the full cost of your damages.
For example, if you are claiming $100,000 in damages but the insurance policy only has $75,000, you may not be able to recover the remaining $25,000. You would need to seek compensation from additional insurance coverage.
The expenses with a lawsuit often add up, so it is very important to determine whether it will be financially worthwhile to sue.
DO YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO FILE A LAWSUIT?
Another important factor to consider before filing a lawsuit is if you are within the statute of limitations. Personal injury victims in New Jersey have up to two years to sue. If you try to file a lawsuit after the two years, the liable party could easily have the case dismissed by a judge.
While two years sounds like a long time after an accident, it is important to remember that investigating a claim and negotiating a settlement take time. The insurance company is going to try and delay the process as much as possible to run out the clock.
CALL AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY
Many injured victims delay calling an attorney because they fear they will need to file a lawsuit. However, suing may not always be the best option for recovering compensation. Our attorneys understand this and are prepared to discuss your claim to see what legal options may be best for you.
For decades our attorneys have recovered compensation on behalf of our clients both by filing lawsuits and negotiating settlements.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free consultation.