Timeline of a Personal Injury Case According To a Freehold Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you can seek financial recovery for your losses. Accidents frequently lead to high medical expenses, lost pay, property damage, and other costs. For those injured in an accident, the financial hardships on top of the physical hardships can be devastating. Through a personal injury claim, victims have a legal right to financial compensation for their damages

A personal injury case in New Jersey aims to restore an accident victim financially, even if they might suffer long-term physical damage. An experienced Freehold personal injury attorney can help you fight for your legal rights after a serious accident. 

What is the timeline for a personal injury case in New Jersey? That answer depends on the facts involved and the issues associated with your case. A personal injury case can be challenging and complex, but a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can guide you throughout the process. 

Steps Involved In a New Jersey Personal Injury Case 

The timeline of a personal injury case usually follows several different steps. From start to finish, a personal injury case can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, depending on the situation. 

The following steps are usually involved: 

  1. The incident happens, and the accident victim is injured; 
  2. Law enforcement responds to the accident scene;
  3. The victim gets medical help;
  4. The victim gets legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer; 
  5. The attorney investigates the case and locates evidence to support the claim;  
  6. The attorney contacts the insurance company with a settlement demand; 
  7. If the insurance claim is not satisfactory to their client, the attorney then files a personal injury lawsuit; 
  8. Discovery – when evidence and documents are exchanged – happens as the lawsuit moves forward;
  9. Both sides negotiate toward a potential settlement; 
  10. If the personal injury case does not settle, it goes to trial. 

It is important to know the steps involved in more detail to better understand the timeline of a personal injury case. 

The Accident Occurs

While we are aware there is a risk of an accident almost anywhere we go, nobody expects to become an accident victim. When an accident does happen to us, the experience can be painful and overwhelming. Afterward, you will need medical treatment and could also experience emotional anguish in addition to physical pain.  

Getting Medical Attention and a Police Report 

If police respond to the accident, speak with them if you can and give them as much detail as possible regarding the incident. What you saw and experienced will be put into their report and can be a useful part of your personal injury case. 

Next, you want to make sure you get medical attention – even if you think you are fine and don’t need help. If your healthcare provider recommends follow-up appointments or prescription medication, make sure to go to your follow-up appointments and get your prescriptions filled. If you don’t follow up on your treatment, your personal injury claim will suffer. 

You might not think you need a lawyer, or you might be worried about the cost of a personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers will work on contingency, meaning you would not pay upfront. This helps when you face mounting medical bills, and costs are a concern. Getting legal help early in the process helps ensure you are getting the best advice to advance your personal injury claim. 

Collecting Evidence 

Evidence in a personal injury case can include any of the following, if not more: 

  • Photos and video footage
  • Police reports 
  • Witness identities and contact information
  • Physical evidence from the scene
  • Medical records and bills 
  • Surveillance footage 
  • Information about the responsible party
  • Expert witnesses will prepare reports and testify at trial

An experienced personal injury lawyer will know what to do in your case and use all available evidence to strengthen your claim. 

Handling the Insurance Claims Process 

Many personal injury cases can be settled before a lawsuit is filed. This happens through the insurance claims process. New Jersey is a “no fault” state for car insurance purposes, meaning you will need to go through your own insurance company first. If your policy coverage is insufficient to meet your needs, you could potentially collect from the at-fault party’s insurance as well. 

Filing the Lawsuit 

Your lawyer will first try to negotiate a fair settlement from the insurance companies. If you and your attorney are not satisfied with the outcome, a personal injury lawsuit is the next step. 

What is the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey? Personal injury claimants have two years from the date of the accident to file a complaint in New Jersey. With this in mind, your attorney will make sure the deadline is met, and your lawsuit is filed as soon as it is ready. 

The Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Case

During a personal injury case, both sides will exchange “discovery”. This includes documents, photos, videos, expert reports, and other information to help both sides understand the claim better. One key benefit of discovery is that it helps the defendant’s attorney and their insurer understand the merits of your claim and what a fair compensation package looks like. 

Settlement and Mediation

In nearly all personal injury cases, both plaintiff and defendant will engage in settlement negotiations and mediation. Mediation is handled by a neutral party that can evaluate both sides’ positions. The goal of mediation is to reach a fair settlement. 

Even without formal mediation, attorneys on both sides will usually try to discuss a fair settlement before going to trial. Studies show almost 95% of personal injury cases settle before trial, and your case could be one of them. 


The case will proceed to a jury trial if a settlement is not reached. In a personal injury trial, your lawyer will use evidence, witness testimony, and sometimes expert witnesses to explain why you deserve the financial compensation you seek and why the other party should pay it. The jury will then have the responsibility of making these decisions based on the evidence. 

Contact a Freehold Personal Injury Lawyer to Start Your Personal Injury Case 

If you were hurt due to another person’s negligence, you should not have to bear the financial burden of the accident. The Freehold personal injury lawyers at Noonan & McMahon, LLC have helped many others in your situation get what they deserve and will discuss your potential case with you. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation at (732) 303 7857.