In this article, you will learn…
- The steps to filing an accident personal injury claim,
- The statute of limitations to file a lawsuit, and
- The benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney.
If I Was Injured In A Car Accident, What Steps Do I Need To Take If I Plan To File A Car Accident Personal Injury Claim In New Jersey Or Pennsylvania?
The process to file a car accident personal injury claim is similar in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The steps will typically look like this:
- Seek medical treatment;
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney;
- Report the claim to your insurance company;
- Obtain the police report;
- Follow up on any medical concerns with a physician, pain management specialist, and/or chiropractor;
It’s always preferable that you call an attorney as soon as possible, but if you were injured in any way, you should seek medical treatment first and foremost. Even if your injuries seem negligible at the time of the accident, many injuries become more prevalent in the following days. Seeking medical attention and then following up as necessary is crucial to the outcome of your case.
Your attorney will need a copy of the police report and any medical records pertaining to the accident in order to build your case. You should also always consult with your attorney before speaking to any insurance carriers. It’s essential that your statements don’t deviate from your initial story. For instance, if you tell your insurance carrier that you’re not sure what happened on the initial call, you will have a hard time later giving them a detailed explanation of how the accident took place to argue that it wasn’t your fault.
There are some common sense things to keep in mind, but a personal injury attorney can certainly help walk you through the entire process and ensure that you’re going to get the best possible outcome.
How Long After My Car Wreck In Either Pennsylvania Or New Jersey Do I Have To File For A Car Accident Personal Injury Claim?
You can submit a bodily injury claim arising from a car accident with your insurance carrier at any time, but if you can’t resolve that claim, you have to bring a lawsuit within two years of the accident. If you wait longer than two years to file a lawsuit in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you’ll be barred by the statute of limitations applicable to either state.
Do I Have Any Chance Of Recovering Financially For My Injuries In A Personal Injury Claim In Both States?
You do have a chance of recovering financially for your injuries in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but it’s really dependent on your insurance policy.
If you have a full tort, you can pay for or you can recover for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. A full tort is more expensive, though, and most people don’t select that option with their insurance policy.
If you have a limited tort option, you have to show either serious injury in Pennsylvania or permanent injury in New Jersey. It’s two different terms for what is essentially the same thing. You have to be able to show that the injury to the body part or organ has not healed or functioned normally since the accident. If you’re not able to prove that, you aren’t able to recover from injuries such as spraining strains and contusions under the limited tort option.
If It Is Clear That The Other Driver Was At Fault, Do I Still Need To Hire A Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyer In Either States?
While you don’t have to hire a car accident personal injury lawyer when it’s clear the other driver was at fault, it is certainly still recommended. You can absolutely try to negotiate the claim on your own, though. The most common issue that you might encounter when negotiating your own claim, however, is in getting the insurance to offer you the settlement you deserve.
An experienced personal injury attorney is able to determine the value of your case and what an appropriate settlement would look like before the insurance company offers you a low settlement amount. Once the insurance company has made a low offer, it is harder to get them to budge on that offer. It is very rare, if not entirely unheard of, for an insurance company to offer you the settlement your case is worth when you do not have representation on your side.
So, while it is a money thing, it’s also about getting proper medical treatment. A lot of clients are dealing with injuries to their neck, back, shoulders, knees and whatever else for the very first time, having no pre-existing conditions. This is all brand new to them and they need guidance on who can treat them. They want a doctor or medical provider who isn’t only good at treating them but is also familiar with the potential for litigation and who can serve as an expert at some point, if required.
If a lawsuit is filed and the claim isn’t able to be resolved, ultimately that case is going to trial. You want to have set the groundwork, in the beginning, to ensure that you not only received excellent care but that your treating physician is going to serve as a potential expert witness in the event of litigation.
For more information on Filing A Personal Injury Claim In NJ Or PA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (609) 356-0862 today.