Personal Injury Cases -
The Legal Process in New Jersey
Filing a lawsuit
you have decided to file a lawsuit, a summons and
complaint are prepared and filed in the Superior Court
of the State of New Jersey. A summons and complaint
state you were involved in an accident caused by another
person’s negligence or other grounds alleging fault by
another person or entity.
Waiting for an Answer
the summons and compliant are filed, Defendant has 35
days to file an answer. At times extensions are
Once an Answer is Filed
the complaint is answered, the discovery process begins.
During this process information is shared between
attorneys regarding parties and dispute. The process
takes time due to parties requesting information they
are not entitled to, or taking their time in answering a
request. When this occurs we are required to go before
the Judge to fight on your behalf.
During the discovery process, you may have to attend a
medical evaluation. This is where attorneys request you
see a doctor for an evaluation of your condition.
Defendant is often entitled to request such an
evaluation and you must attend.
Depositions are part of the discovery process where
under oath with a transcript made of the testimony for
later use in court. During a deposition each attorney
asks questions of you relating to the accident and
injuries sustained. Other parties and witnesses will be
subject to this process as well.
Going to Trial
the discovery process is complete, the Judge of the
Superior Court of New Jersey assigned to your case will
set a trial date. This means that all depositions and
the discovery process is complete including any medical
cases are jury trials where each side presents evidence
in order for the jury to determine the outcome of the
case. Testimony at trial can come in the form of
experts, doctors, plaintiffs, defendants and other fact
witnesses. Trials may last from a day to a few weeks
depending on the complexity of the case and issues
Outcome of the Case
jury’s decision is final, yet an appeal may occur in few
Don’t Want to Go to Trial?
are often resolved before going to trial. Some methods
attorney’s use to resolve cases are arbitration and
mediation. Arbitration is where an impartial panel
hears the case and makes a decision that can be final
and binding. At times, the parties can agree in advance
to a high and low value of the case prior to
arbitration. Mediation is where all parties consent to
work towards a resolution with the assistance of a
mediator who is usually chosen by the parties by mutual
agreement. The mediator serves as a facilitator to
negotiate the dispute that can be made binding.