How Long Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Take in NJ?
February 8, 2022
It’s hard to say precisely how long it will take for your car accident lawsuit in New Jersey to be completed. This shouldn’t be surprising since every personal injury case is unique and presents its own challenges.
Some people might take a significant amount of time to fully recover from serious injuries before even deciding to file a lawsuit, but others will contact a lawyer in the immediate aftermath of the accident. It’s important to remember that personal injury lawsuits in New Jersey have a two-year statute of limitations, but many people can’t afford to wait that long before getting damages.
Auto Accident Questions Discussed: How Long Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Take in NJ?
Once you’ve decided to get money from the at-fault driver, you’ll need to take the following steps that can either lengthen or shorten the process depending on how you go about it. Of course, you should always start out by contacting a lawyer such as Hoyt & Hoyt to get advice and help speed up the process.
File Insurance Claims
After getting into an accident, it’s important to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Usually, the insurance company will take statements from all parties involved. They may send an investigator to look at the damage, evaluate repair estimates, and review medical records. Based on their investigation, an insurance company will either cover the entire cost of the damages, or they will issue a settlement offer to get you out of their hair.
File a Lawsuit if Insurance Doesn’t Cover It
If the settlement is inadequate (or the other driver doesn’t have insurance), you’ll need to file a lawsuit to hold them responsible in court. This usually involves hiring a lawyer such as Hoyt & Hoyt. From here, they’ll send notice and the basis of the impending lawsuit to the court and the insurance company or other driver.
After filing a lawsuit, time will be spent engaging in the pretrial discovery process. This might be short and involve reviewing police reports and some photos. However, it could likely be a lengthy and drawn-out process if there are extensive medical records, video and scientific evidence, many witnesses, and other discoveries that require time to analyze.
Negotiations or Trial
Once the discovery process is over, negotiations will typically begin between the two sides. Depending on what came out during discovery, the insurance company may now be willing to pay the full amount of the damages for fear of losing at trial. Either way, it usually takes time to negotiate settlements and for each side to decide on the best course of action.
If you can’t come to an agreement, the case will be set for trial. You’ll then spend time gathering the evidence from the discovery phase and putting together a case theory to present to the judge or jury. Trials can last anywhere from a day to weeks, depending on the complexity of the case.
New Jersey Car Accident Attorney
If you’re thinking about filing a car accident lawsuit in NJ but are worried about how long it will take, please reach out to Hoyt & Hoyt at (973) 490-4844. Based on your accident’s specifics, we can give you a better idea of the timeline for your case and will make every effort to get you the compensation and justice you deserve.