Several factors may influence how long a personal injury case takes in New Jersey. Some victims are fortunate to reach a fair settlement early in the process– in as little as one or two months. On the other hand, some individuals may agree to a settlement later in the process after several months– or take their case to trial because the other side refuses to extend a fair offer. If your case goes to trial, it may only last days or weeks, but the process leading up to it can take more than a year.
When You Need to File a Lawsuit
The statute of limitations for personal injury accidents in New Jersey is two years– otherwise, you forfeit your right to legal recourse. In many cases, it may be wise to file a personal injury lawsuit long before the statute of limitations expires, as it may communicate to the other side that you and your legal team are willing to take this to court.
Variables Determining How Long Your Case Will Take
Some of the factors that help determine how long a personal injury case in Bergen County takes include:
- Whether or not liability is disputed or potentially shared. If it is clear that the defendant was 100 percent liable for your accident, then it may be more likely that your case will settle early. However, if the defendant insists that they were not liable or that you were partially liable, then more thorough discovery and the engagement of multiple expert witnesses may be necessary– further delaying the process.
- The complexity and severity of your injuries. If you broke your foot in a slip and fall accident and are expected to have a full recovery within months, then it will be relatively straightforward to determine the extent of your damages. On the other hand, if you are severely disabled– physically and emotionally– by a drunk driving accident, you may have suffered injuries that will take years to heal. Further, every aspect of your life may be impacted for decades to come. These cases tend to take longer to resolve.
- The defendant’s willingness to negotiate or their aversion to taking the case to trial. Some defendants will proactively seek to avoid going to trial for many reasons. These defendants will be more likely to extend a fair settlement offer to you earlier in the process. On the other hand, other defendants may refuse to negotiate and have no problem taking the case to trial. As you might expect, these cases will typically take much longer. Finally, some defendants may be more likely to change their mind and present a fair settlement offer– once they see that you have hired an experienced attorney.
Why Your Lawyer Matters
Not only can an attorney help you maximize your financial compensation, but they can also help minimize the amount of time your case takes. For example, defendants may be less likely to waste your time with lowball settlement offers once they discover that you have hired a lawyer from a reputable firm. We recommend that you consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible following your accident. This will ensure that you are taking the proper steps to maximize your financial recovery and minimize the length of your case.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have further questions about how long a personal injury case takes in New Jersey, call Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. today to book a cost-free case review. We do not collect any legal fees unless you win.