Personal Injury Attorneys Litigating for clients in Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Pennington, East Brunswick and across Mercer and Middlesex County, NJ
The term litigation refers to the process of a lawsuit. In personal injury cases, people contemplating a lawsuit often ask how the litigation process works. Litigation involves filing a complaint, obtaining and exchanging discovery, and eventually ends in a trial.
Gathering information about your potential suit
Initially, when you are injured, medical treatment is sought and you follow the doctor’s recommended plan of care. At some point thereafter, you may begin to think about who was at fault in causing your injuries and, as a result, you seek the advice of an attorney.
The attorney you choose to have an initial consultation with should have experience in personal injury matters. KCR has extensive experience in personal injury cases and will guide you through the appointment. We ask questions and gather information. For example, if you have been in a car accident, we request that you bring the police/accident report, medical records, and car insurance information and findings. Additionally, we inquire about your lifestyle, work, disabilities, wages, and overall social-emotional health.
At the end of the appointment, you may be left with the decision to file suit against the responsible person to collect any damages sustained as a result of his or her negligence.
Filing a lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit is something that our office does on your behalf. You, as the injured party seeking recovery, are known as the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff files the complaint against the person he believes is responsible (referred to as the Defendant). The complaint sets forth the facts that lead to the injury and how the Defendant is alleged to be responsible for the injuries. More importantly, the complaint requests damages for your losses.
Discovery Process and Interrogatories
The complaint is then served on the Defendant. The attorney representing the Defendant files an answer to the complaint, denies the allegations and can file a cross-complaint as well. After the complaints and answers are filed with the court, a discovery schedule is set forth. The discovery period allows both parties to request and gather more information pertaining to the case.
Discovery is generally anything, whether written or oral, that pertains to the case. For instance, attorneys will request answers to interrogatories and ask that supporting documentation be provided. The interrogatories are a series of questions relating to insurance, the injuries, medical records, financial losses, treatment, and the accident. Additionally, the attorneys will schedule depositions during which they can ask questions of any person they subpoena. After all of the information is exchanged, and all motions are litigated, the parties may negotiate with or without mediation or, schedule a trial for a future date.
Often, before a trial takes place, the parties agree to go to mediation or arbitration. A mediator is a neutral party that attempts to resolve the dispute between the Plaintiff and the Defendant. Often, a settlement can be reached during mediation and the case does not go to trial. Settling means that you agree to forego a trial and accept the payment offered by the Defendant and his insurance company. While a large majority of cases settle, there are some cases that must be fully litigated and end in a trial.
If the case does not settle, a trial will be conducted in which jurors make the determination as to who is at fault and what damages may be due. During the trial, your attorney will present witnesses, cross-examine defense witnesses, and attempt to prove that the defendant is responsible for your injuries. Moreover, the attorney will put forth information and proof as to your actual damages and request for financial recovery. If successful, the jury will award damages payable to you. Of course, prior to a trial, you will choose the attorney that is right for you.
Retaining an Attorney
Most personal injury attorneys are paid for by contingency. This means that they recoup their fees based upon a percentage of your award. For example, if your attorney provides a retainer agreement that says that his fee is 33%, he will deduct that amount from your overall award. Essentially, with our firm, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation as it costs nothing. On the other hand, doing nothing and ignoring your injuries can cost you a lot. You can protect yourself by scheduling an appointment with us today.
Contact a Personal Injury attorney at KCR to help walk you through the intricacies of the litigation process
The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson has proven experience handling all issues related to litigation processes.
You can fill out the online contact form to schedule a meeting at our offices in Trenton or East Brunswick, New Jersey or contact our Mercer or Middlesex County offices today at (215) 337-4915 to learn more about how our experienced Personal Injury team can assist you.