What do the following scenarios have in common?
- You’re at a store when you trip over a janitor’s mop handle in the aisle and fall.
- The neighbor’s dog bites your child.
- A car fails to yield at a posted sign and hits yours. You are injured in the accident.
- A barroom brawl breaks out, you are hit and your jaw gets broken.
These are just a few examples within the broad category known as personal injury law and can be either intentionally caused or a matter of negligence. Medical malpractice and defamation (statements that aren’t true about you) are other examples. In all instances, some type of harm has been caused, whether physical, emotional or financial.
Steps to Filing a Lawsuit
Sometimes with personal injury incidents, as with the barroom brawl, criminal charges are filed. More often, you might be contacted by the other party’s insurance carrier with a settlement offer. Either way, it would be beneficial to speak with an attorney experienced in personal injury law licensed in the state where the injury occurred. Here’s what you can expect.
- Consultation: The first meeting with a personal injury lawyer should be both free and confidential. It’s an opportunity for you to tell your story, as well as learn more about the legal process and the attorney’s fee structure. The lawyer will give an opinion on whether you have a viable personal injury claim.
- Case investigation: Your attorney will dig deeper into the facts of your case to assess how significantly you were affected physically, emotionally and financially.
- Demand package: After that assessment, negotiations can begin in earnest. Your attorney will present a settlement demand to the other party and negotiate the best outcome on your behalf. It is not unusual to go back-and-forth on offers with the other side several times.
- When a settlement is not reached: If negotiation talks break down, your attorney will file a lawsuit. This begins a discovery phase, or an exchange of information, that can include sworn testimony, documents, and video footage, between both parties.
- Mediation or Trial?: A neutral third party, or court mediator, can be brought in at any time to help reach a settlement. This can be preferable to a trial, which can be lengthy and costly. Once all other possible avenues are exhausted, your case would be tried in court before a jury.
NJ and NY Attorneys Working Hard for You
Kreizer Law attorneys are experienced in obtaining personal injury settlements and court decisions that are in the best interest of their NY and NJ clients. Call 1‑(800)-4-JUSTICE® –1-(800)-458-7842 or contact us online to discuss your case with a Kreizer Law attorney today.