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What to Expect from Our Lawyers in Plainfield, NJ During a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Tort law is one of the highest pursuits in the legal landscape. By holding businesses and individuals accountable for unethical actions, it pushes the world into a brighter, more moral future. When you launch a personal injury lawsuit, you don’t just help yourself, but society as a whole. Still, with tort lawmaking up a meager 12% of all civil suits, few people ever consult lawyers in Plainfield, NJ for this purpose. That makes personal injury law one of the haziest in the legal landscape among plaintiffs—and that can intimidate many from ever filing a case. Let’s clear away the mist and look at what you can expect from our personal injury attorneys in Plainfield, NJ.
For over 25 years, Robert Lord has been providing his clients with personalized attention and aggressive legal representation. Proudly serving the Elizabeth NJ, Plainfield NJ, East Orange NJ and Newark NJ areas – the legal professionals with Lord, Kobrin, Alvarez & Fattell have secured over $200 million in settlement payments for their clients in Union County, Essex County and Middlesex County, NJ.
A personal injury attorney in Plainfield, NJ can review your case and provide advice to guide you through the legal process.
The personal injury and accident attorneys at Lord, Kobrin, Alvarez & Fattell have represented clients in Central New Jersey for more than two decades on matters of personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, workers compensation and other injuries. Whether you need a car accident attorney in Plainfield, NJ, workers comp or injury attorney, our injury law firm serves Plainfield, NJ clients with effective representation and personal attention.
What is Tort?
Tort is an action (or absence of action) that causes harm beyond the scope of a contract. All tort cases revolve around a hub of evidence. Without proof, there can be no case. Most cases entail negligence, but to prevail, the defendant must have breached a duty and, in doing so, caused harm.
The word “duty” is defined a little differently in personal injury law than it is in contract law. We all have societal duties, which we engage in every second of every day. As road users, we drive by the speed limit because we have a civil duty to not cause harm. As business owners, we use safe manufacturing standards because we have a duty not to hurt our staff or customers. As homeowners, we maintain our walls and peripheral architecture because we have a duty to all who pass our houses. The scope of duty varies depending on relationships, so our lawyers in Plainfield, NJ will use your initial meeting to assess your situation and ascertain whether you have a case. A negligent causative link is one of the keys to your case, as is the different kinds of harm you’ve suffered. Some examples of intentional torts are:
- Assault: An intentional act that causes harm
- Battery: An intentional assault
- Conversion: Intentionally possessing a plaintiff’s property
- Defamation: Making a false statement that causes reputational or other forms of harm. Remember that only false statements qualify as defamation. Your reputation might be damaged by a truthful claim, but that doesn’t make it tort.
- Infliction of emotional distress: In this instance, distress must be intentionally inflicted and cause distress that’s severe enough to fall outside day-to-day circumstances.
- False imprisonment: Holding a plaintiff captive without their consent by, for example, detaining a shoplifting suspect.
Most intentional torts are held to a statute of limitations of one year. This can vary from state to state or case to case, so check with our lawyers in Plainfield, NJ before writing off your opportunity to make a claim.
What Compensation Can You Expect For Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Our lawyers in Plainfield, NJ will calculate your compensatory damages according to the harm you’ve suffered. Harm can be financial, emotional, and physiological, and rectifying it requires as much scope. Compensation can take non-economic and economic forms, so don’t limit your thinking to a financial payout. Our personal injury attorneys in Plainfield can certainly claim for things like medical bills and income loss, but there are also punitive damages designed to hold the defendant accountable for their actions.
Compensatory damages try to restore your health and life to the condition it was in before you endured harm. Of course, in a literal sense, that’s well-nigh impossible, but it gives our personal injury attorneys in Plainfield a goal-oriented approach and helps to quantify what you’ve lost. Damages can include:
- Psychological distress
- Physical disfigurement
- Lifetime medical costs
- Lost wages, both in the past and future
- Long-term suffering
- Loss of quality of life, opportunity, and consortium.
Filing Your Personal Injury Case in Plainfield, NJ
Filing your complaint is the first official step our lawyers in Plainfield, NJ will take. It will clarify what kind of relief you’re asking for from the court and specify a number of damages you’re hoping for. You can also ask that an amount be determined by the court during your trial. Our plaintiff attorneys will file your summons at the same time. This document must be handled carefully because the defendant is within their rights to dismiss a lawsuit based on the insufficient process—a mistake that can be expensive.
Waiting for the Response
While every case and even court has a different deadline, the defendant’s legal defense team will be required to respond within about three weeks. Their answer will address the complaint, either denying the allegations or admitting to them. Only 3% of tort cases ever go to trial, so the odds of having to go through a lengthy court process are slim. Seventy-five percent of tort cases are resolved via dismissal or settlement. It’s often in the defendant’s interests to settle if they’ve admitted fault. Lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, and often trotted out through the media. That kind of publicity can be devastating for a brand, but it can also act as a trigger for reform, preventing harm to thousands of others in the future.
The defendant could assert a counterclaim against you or file their own case at this stage. This could be aimed at proving a breach on the part of the plaintiff. Filing an unjustified claim can be catastrophic, so your first few meetings with our lawyers in Plainfield, NJ are probably the most important moments of your case. Nuisance claims carry their own compensatory damages.
Discovery with Our Lawyers in Plainfield, NJ
Once our legal team has filed all the paperwork required and the first pleadings have been heard, the plaintiff and defendant must begin exchanging and collecting evidence. Both parties can request information through interrogatories or requests. Admissions can also be sought, and depositions held. The latter is a physical meeting where a deposed person answers questions under oath. Depositions are usually held at our law firm with a court reporter and representatives on both sides. There is no judge to rule on objections, but they can be handled when the testimony is produced in court.
The court might also authorize a physical or mental exam. Not all information is available to both parties. Protected information may include attorney-client privilege, trade secrets, medical and childhood criminal records.
Much of the discovery process requires a strategic approach. Interrogatories tend to ask open-ended questions that, if poorly answered, can affect your case. That is, after all, the entire point. This is one of many reasons you should always let our personal injury lawyers handle your case. Tort claims can become figurative chess games best left to the experts.
Pretrial negotiations will follow, hopefully with a settlement offer in hand. Our personal injury attorneys in Plainfield might also recommend mediation with a third party helping you to arrive at a mutually satisfactory offer. If that’s unsuccessful, you’ll move into a civil trial where witness testimony and arguments are heard.
Civil lawsuits can seem confusing, but our lawyers in Plainfield, NJ will guide you every step of the way. From the first meeting to the last appeal, you’ll have the best minds working to your benefit.
The attorneys at Lord, Kobrin, Alvarez & Fattell provide aggressive legal representation to injury and accident victims.
As your auto accident attorney in Plainfield NJ or hit and run lawyer in Plainfield, NJ, we will work to ensure maximum compensation. We understand that the legal system is complex, confusing, and can be frustrating. We provide personal attention and guide you through the process from the initial consultation until your case is resolved.
As your injury or accident attorney in Plainfield, NJ, we work to secure maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our attorneys have won more than $100 million in settlements for our clients, including several large settlements for serious injuries. We work to secure fair compensation for each client, so you won’t need to worry about medical bills or lost wages.