Taking Legal Action to Cover Your Losses After a Wreck
When you’re injured in a collision caused by someone else’s negligence, one of the first things you do is contact your insurance company. In New Jersey, one of the states that follow “no-fault” principles, you must start with your insurer. Sometimes, though, your insurance isn’t enough to cover all your losses. If you need to file a lawsuit to seek a full recovery, how does that work?
The Statute of Limitations
To initiate legal action, your lawyer files a legal document called a complaint. Specific court rules set forth where that complaint must be filed, when it must be filed, and who must receive a copy. One of the most important rules is the statute of limitations, which requires that you file your complaint within a certain period of time after the accident. The statute of limitations is intended to ensure that claims are decided before evidence is lost or the memories of witnesses fade. It also means that potential defendants don’t have to live in perpetual fear of being sued.
The Early Stages of a Lawsuit
Once you properly file your complaint, the alleged wrongdoer (the “defendant”) has a specific period of time to submit an “answer” admitting or denying the allegations in your complaint. The court then typically schedules its first conference with attorneys and parties in order to learn the basic facts of the case. You also should expect that during this conference, the judge will put pressure on you to settle the case, if possible.
Assuming you don’t settle, the court will set a timetable for “discovery,” a process in which both parties gather evidence. Once the discovery period is completed, the court will hold hearings to determine whether the evidence gathered is admissible and whether the case can be resolved without going to trial.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing, and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. We are currently available to talk with you by phone, text message, or online videoconference. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.