Guiding You Through the Legal Process
At Spear Greenfield, we care about our clients, so our goal is offering clear and concise legal guidance without weighing the explanation down with unnecessary legal terms. In starting a navigation of the legal process, it is important to be familiar with some foundational elements, including the personal injury lawsuit process and important deadlines for filing an injury claim. Below is more information on the previously mentioned topics.
If you have any questions regarding the legal process, you are always welcome to call Spear Greenfield and speak with one of our legal team members for answers and/or clarification.
The Process of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every personal injury case is different, and individual cases will each have unique steps in the legal process. However, there is a general process common to most personal injury cases, which covers the progression of a personal injury lawsuit from beginning to end.
Consulting a Personal Injury Attorney
When an accident has occurred, you will discuss the specifics of your circumstances with a personal injury attorney. Some topics included in this discussion are:
- Whether there was negligence on someone else’s part involved
- Whether there is a defendant from whom to seek compensation
- The severity and extent of injuries you suffered
- Your medical expenses
- Your legal option
Filing Your Claim
If the consultation suggests injuries are caused due to negligence, filing a claim starts the injured individual’s pursuit of legal action in order to receive compensation. To assist you with the filing process and educate you on important deadlines, please click below to schedule a free appointment with one of our attorneys.
Investigating Your Case
Your attorney will review all relevant information surrounding your case including police reports, photographs, witness statements, medical records, expenses, employment information, and any other appropriate information. This step also includes the attorney consulting with experts to obtain their professional opinions. If there is relevant evidence such as photos or videos that shows your accident, your attorney may likely secure those assets at this time. Your attorney will also consider the possible defenses of the other party, or parties, and determine liability. If you’re questioning whether this process is worth it, click below to submit a form that will allow our legal team to provide you a rough estimate of your case’s value.
Demand for Settlement
During this step, your attorney will issue a demand for settlement to the defendant. It will outline your claim, including liability and damages you are seeking (injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and future medical expenses). The other side will review the demands, with the options of accepting, rejecting, or making a counteroffer. Negotiations will follow, and either a settlement will be reached, or your case may have to proceed further.
Filing Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
In the event that a settlement cannot be agreed upon, your attorney will file your personal injury lawsuit in the appropriate court.
Before trial, both sides are required to exercise discovery, sharing evidence with the opposing counsel. This exchange allows the plaintiff, defendant, and their attorneys the ability to evaluate the other side’s case.
Also prior to trial, mediation may be ordered for your case. A mediator is appointed (often a former or current judge) to oversee a dialogue between the two sides to once again try to negotiate an acceptable agreement so the case doesn’t have to go to trial.
If mediation fails to settle the case, the next step is the trial. In a trial, the decision-maker (sometimes a judge, sometimes a jury) will hear from both sides, be presented with the evidence, determine fault, and award damages.
The personal injury attorneys at Spear Greenfield are experienced trial lawyers with a passion and dedication to fighting for our clients in their greatest time of need to obtain their rightful compensation. Please do not navigate this legal process alone, allow our law firm, with 30 years of experience, to guide you through the process of examining your personal injury claim. For a step by step guide of considerations related to your specific case, please click on the link below.
Click the link below for a free conversation that carries no obligations or schedule a complimentary case evaluation at Spear Greenfield!
Deadline for Filing Your Claim
The first step towards recovering compensation after an accident is filing a personal injury claim. It is important to not delay in filing, because a statute of limitations is in place to give victims a deadline for filing a claim. If the deadline is missed, the injured party may relinquish their opportunity to pursue legal action altogether. The statute of limitations in the state of Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. Two years is also the New Jersey statute of limitations.
- Due to their position, the government in Pennsylvania is subject to certain immunity from lawsuits. However, The Sovereign Immunity Act is in place to release the state of this immunity in the event of liability in certain injury cases. Under this Act, individuals are able to hold the government accountable for their part in any accidents or injuries they cause due to negligence.
- It is important to know that, in these situations, there is a different process in place to pursue legal action. The injured party is required to file a Notice of Claim. This notice gives notification to the government that a lawsuit is being brought against them. The state of Pennsylvania allows six months from the date of the injury for an injured party to file a written Notice of Claim.
- Similarly to Pennsylvania, New Jersey is also protected from claims against the government under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. However, part of this Act allows for an exception in which those who are harmed by a public entity’s negligence can pursue a claim.
- In these situations, the injured party can file a Notice of Claim. This action notifies a municipality that a lawsuit is being brought against them. In the state of New Jersey, victims have 90 days from the date of the accident to file a Notice of Claim.
Our Spear Greenfield team welcomes questions, because we enjoy providing our clients answers and clarity; therefore, our clients can understand their legal options and make informed decisions. In a legal process, which can contain complexities, questions are completely normal and our attorneys provide clients answers daily. To view answers of some frequently asked questions, please click below to visit the Spear Greenfield FAQ page.