Time Frame of a Slip and Fall Case in NJ
According to the National Floor and Safety Institute, falls account for over 8 million emergency room visits per year. One million of these visits are the result of slips and falls. With the sheer number of slip and falls that occur in New Jersey and throughout the United States, it is not surprising that many of these incidents occur as a result a negligence. When a person is injured in a preventable slip and fall, he or she may choose to pursue legal action against the person or party responsible. Among the many questions you face when considering filing a slip and fall lawsuit, one of the most important is: How long does a slip and fall case take? Here, a knowledgeable New Jersey personal injury attorney on our team explains how long it takes to settle a slip and fall claim in New Jersey and factors that influence the duration of a lawsuit. If you have injuries from a slip and fall, please feel free to contact us anytime at (732) 303-7857 or request a free case evaluation online for the answers and assistance you need now.
How Long Does it Usually Take to Resolve a Slip and Fall Case in New Jersey?
After you retain an attorney, your slip and fall case may be settled in as little as a few months, or the process can last for several years before the case is ultimately resolved. The time it takes to resolve a slip and fall claim in New Jersey depends on numerous factors, including when you begin the legal process, the extent and duration of required medical treatment, settlement demands, and whether the case goes to trial.
Regardless of whether you settle or fully litigate the case, you must be mindful of the statute of limitations and contact an attorney immediately to avoid being forever barred from bringing a slip and fall lawsuit.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall Claim in NJ?
No matter who you are, every personal injury case starts on the date of the injury. The date of the injury will determine the date before which the victim must commence with a lawsuit. In most slip and fall cases in New Jersey, a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the injury. Should you fail to file a claim in the proscribed time frame, you will be prevented from obtaining financial recovery from the responsible party through legal action. Of course, there are exceptions to the general rule that shorten or lengthen the required time frame for notice of a claim or the lawsuit filing. However, the clock is always ticking from the moment you are injured, which is why you must seek legal guidance immediately to avoid forfeiting your right to pursue compensation. Your slip and fall case and financial recovery could be compromised by your failure to act, so consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is highly advisable.
Consulting an Attorney after a Slip and Fall Accident in New Jersey
At an initial appointment with an attorney, often referred to as a “consultation,” you will provide your attorney with the facts surrounding the accident, your medical records (if you have them), insurance information, and any documents you have pertaining to your case. You can also ask questions about the attorney’s experience with slip and fall cases, knowledge of the laws surrounding this subject, and other important information, such as whether they will be handling the claim personally or passing it off to another lawyer at the firm. After reviewing your case information, the attorney will make a determination as to your potential grounds for a lawsuit and will decide whether or not to take the case. If they choose to take on the case and you decide that they are the right attorney for you, the case will move forward. In the process, you must continue with medical treatment and provide proof of your injuries.
Our firm is committed to maintaining a hands-on approach with our clients’ cases and we maintain a small team of extremely experienced lawyers who develop the utmost understanding of your case and walk you through every step of the process. If you enlist our help with your slip and fall claim, we provide personalized guidance and assistance along the way and fight tirelessly for the best possible results.
Choosing to File a NJ Slip and Fall Lawsuit
As mentioned previously, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of a slip and fall injury under most circumstances. The terms lawsuit and complaint can be used interchangeably when discussing a personal injury action to recover compensation from another party based on alleged negligence resulting in injuries. Once a slip and fall lawsuit has been filed, the defendant (person at fault) has the right to answer the complaint or to file a cross complaint. After the complaints and answers have been filed, the discovery process begins. During discovery, both parties exchange information, depose the litigants and witnesses, and file motions. The discovery process is lengthy, which allows for adequate time to exchange all pertinent information.
Seeking a Settlement for Your Slip and Fall Injuries in NJ
After choosing to move forward with a slip and fall claim, your attorney may write a demand letter to the responsible party or parties and essentially “demand” a settlement. A demand letter and settlement could shorten the overall length of the case, for example, if you and the other party’s insurance company mutually agree to settle the case outside of court. Even if you do choose to settle your slip and fall case, you may also undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) through the Defendant’s insurance carrier before settling.
An Independent Medical Examination, or IME, is an examination by a medical professional hired by the insurance company to review your injuries and diagnosis. When an IME must be done, an appointment with the doctor is scheduled and you must attend. It is important to note that an insurance company may not settle without an IME. Medical exams and treatment can delay a settlement, but are generally necessary when seeking to resolve the claim and receive financial compensation.
Regardless of the results of an Independent Medical Exam and the potential settlement, you maintain the option of going to court for litigation if you ultimately decide against settling your slip and fall case.
Going to Court for a Slip and Fall Trial in New Jersey
At several points throughout the process, the respective attorneys may to try to resolve the case and reach a settlement between the parties involved. If the case cannot be resolved with a settlement, there will be a trial at a future date. The court will typically schedule the date of your trial months before the trial will actually begin. During the time preceding the trial, your lawyer will assemble all of the evidence that will be presented, fully formulate all arguments to be used on your behalf, summon any and all relevant witnesses, and generally prepare for court.
Once both sides have had the opportunity to present evidence, question witnesses, and cross-examine witnesses for the other side at trial, the jury will make a determination. Instead of getting a settlement, the jury will render a verdict in your case. If they decide in your favor, they will also award damages based a number of factors, such as the extent of your injuries, the necessity for long-term medical care, and the effects that your injury has had and will continue to have on your life.
I Have a Slip and Fall Case NJ, How Long To Get a Settlement?
While the thought of pursuing a slip and fall claim through settlement or litigation can be daunting, the danger of not getting the compensation you need can be even more devastating. If you have been injured due to a slip and fall in New Jersey, do not delay in speaking with our office. Contact us today at (732) 303-7857 for a cost-free, no obligation consultation. With convenient offices located in Monmouth County, we serve clients throughout New Jersey, including in Freehold, Toms River, New Brunswick, Morristown, Newark, and Paterson. To discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer who can help free of charge, call now.