Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Discovery & Settlement in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 08, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Once you have decided to pursue compensation for injuries you sustained as a result of another party's negligent actions, your attorney will send the insurance provider of the other party a letter containing your demand for damages. This begins your case; should the insurance company choose not to offer you a check for the full amount of your compensation demand (which essentially never happens), both sides will begin preparing for the lawsuit.

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Topics: discovery phase, settlement compensation, insurance company

Discovery in Personal Injury Cases - The Who, What, Where, Why and When of a Lawsuit

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 01, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

After a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the initial stage in moving toward resolution (by settlement or trial) is the discovery phase. During this time, the two opposing parties in the case exchange relevant information and conduct research into all aspects of the events in question and the people involved. The information obtained during discovery will be used by each side to build their arguments, which will be presented at a later stage of the injury case process.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Cases, discovery phase, answers to interrogatories, depositions

Requests for Production in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 24, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

The early stages of a personal injury lawsuit are primarily devoted to collecting information about the case and assembling the facts that will be necessary for each side to construct their arguments. Part of this discovery phase includes requests for production, in which the legal team representing one of the parties involved in the lawsuit asks for copies of documents relevant to some aspect of the claim. These requests are often made at the same time as other information requests such as interrogatories, but may be submitted throughout the discovery stage.

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Topics: requests for production, discovery phase, insurance company, NJ Personal Injury Case

Requests for Admissions in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 22, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

During the preliminary discovery phase of your personal injury lawsuit, numerous documents and requests for information will be exchanged between the two sides – yours and the insurance company’s. Some of these inquiries are intended to probe deeper into the background of the parties involved in your accident, while others seek to establish which basic facts are beyond dispute so that neither party needs to waste time or energy in asserting and proving those facts to the court. Requests for Admissions fall into this latter category. This document generally includes a list of factual statements that one side of a lawsuit submits to the other, requesting the opposition to admit or deny each point. Any of these statements that the responding side agrees with are treated as true by the court for the purpose of the lawsuit; neither side has to argue their veracity or is able to challenge their accuracy.

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Topics: requests for admissions, discovery phase, insurance company, NJ Personal Injury Case

The Defense's Answer to the Personal Injury Complaint

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 20, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Once your attorney has submitted your personal injury complaint letter to the court in order to initiate your lawsuit proceedings, it’s the insurance company’s turn to respond. If they have not already done so, the insurance company will assign one of their adjusters to your case. It’s his job to resolve your claim out of court if possible, or otherwise lay the groundwork for a strong defense against your lawsuit. Either way, his primary goal is to reduce the amount of money that the insurance company is required to pay you to as small a sum as he can. The insurance company will also assign one of their own lawyers to your case, or hire an outside attorney to represent them. It is this lawyer who will prepare the insurance provider’s response to your personal injury complaint.

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Topics: personal injury complaint, comparative negligence, discovery phase, answer to personal injury complaint

"Interrogatories" (a/k/a Written Questions) in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

The initial stage of your personal injury lawsuit is the discovery phase, in which both sides exchange information and research the issues surrounding your accident in order to build their cases. An important part of this information-gathering stage is the exchange and completion of interrogatories, a series of written questions submitted by one party in a lawsuit, to be answered by the opposing party. In New Jersey, we have court-mandated "form interrogatories" - questions every litigant must answer, and an attorney may ask 10 additional questions as well.

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Topics: answers to interrogatories, discovery phase, NJ Personal Injury Case, insurance company

What Steps are Involved in My Injury Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 10, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Pursuing your injury case in court is a complex process with several stages, some of which may be very time-sensitive. Your attorney will guide you through the process and make sure your injury case stays on track, but the more you understand about the way your lawsuit will progress, the more comfortable you will be.

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Topics: injury case, injury compensation, insurance company, discovery phase, answers to interrogatories

What are Answers to Interrogatories

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 21, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When you are unable to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company in your personal injury case and you decide to take your case to court, it may still be a while before your attorney argues your position before a jury. Before any courtroom arguments can be made, both sides of the case need time to gather evidence to support their claims, and to "discover" the other side's evidence. . This is accomplished during the "discovery" phase of the trial; this is essentially an opportunity for your attorney and the insurance company's lawyer to do their research, to determine what evidence will be relied upon and what witnesses will be produced, and to hear what the parties and the witnesses will say if the case is tried. Unfortunately, as the injury victim and the plaintiff pursuing the case, you are going to be the subject of much of the other side's attention. The first way this is obvious is the interrogatory process.

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Topics: discovery phase, answers to interrogatories

What is the Notice to Produce Documents?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jan 12, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement for injuries you received in an accident resulting from another person's negligence, your attorney may need place your personal injury claim into suit, which if not settled, will lead to trial. Before any arguments are made in front of a jury, there is a stage of the trial process called the discovery phase, during which both sides have an opportunity to research the facts of the case and gather the evidence they will use to support their arguments. While each side does their own legwork to discover much of the evidence they will need, they do have the right to demand certain information and documents from their opposition in the case. This means that, during the pre-trial discovery phase, you and your attorney will almost certainly receive a notice to produce documents from the insurance company's lawyer. It's important to understand exactly what this means, and what you can and cannot be compelled to produce.

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Topics: notice to produce documents, discovery phase

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