In case of an out of court settlement, the case doesn’t need to be filed in court.
In New Jersey for an adult we have two years to file that case in court with the complaint. So if the person’s injury is treated within the first few months and the patient, or the client, is done with medical care, they may still have problems, but the doctor has essentially said that we’ve done what we can for you and you will improve only with the passage of time.
In this case, an attorney is able to get a medical report from the doctor, fully explaining their care, and offering an opinion on what the future will hold. The attorney can send that along with the medical bills and proof of what you may have lost in wages to the insurance carrier for the owner, and negotiate that case.
That case in that situation can be resolved in a year or a year and a half, approximately. But in situations where the medical treatment that’s needed is more extensive, where the case is more complicated, there may be a reason to filing the case in court earlier. You don’t wait till the last moment.
However, the problem is once you’ve filed your complaint in court and the insurance company is compelled to hire lawyers to defend the owner, the case will ordinarily be in court for close to two years before it’s resolved.
So if you’ve taken six months or a year to see where the client goes in treatment, add all those things together. You may be two or three years out from when the accident actually occurred towards resolution. And unfortunately the more complex the case, the longer it can take.
When the attorneys understand the injury and the treatment is completed in a few months, they can generally turn that case around in one to one and a half years, on an average, for resolution out of court, before they file the suit, and that saves the client a lot of time and some money. The costs of being in litigation are not needed. So there are advantages there. The biggest advantage is speed.
And it really shouldn’t take long, not if the attorney is doing his job or her job, and the medical care is well-defined, and completes in a time period that you can work with.
The attorneys who don’t exclusively practice this or don’t handle a lot of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents don’t have automatic responses to certain things. When we hear from a client right after an accident, a slip and fall, a trip and fall, we know it’s going to be important to document what happens and get everything we can to prove what happened in a slip and fall.
That includes understanding what the weather was, pictures of the condition, identifying witnesses, taking witnesses’ statements, getting everything nailed down as to how the accident occurred right away. That’s crucial.
Same goes with a trip and fall, and recognizing the need to perhaps hire an engineer and get out there and figure out what’s wrong with the property and why did this accident happen, and short of that, simply, sending out for a full set of photos with accurate measurements of everything so that this material could be presented to an engineer later; either of these things, depending upon the nature of the injury.
This is not something that is automatic or innate in an attorney who does a little bit of everything. They’re just not geared to do it. We know what needs to be done right away. We know how to guide our client in seeking the appropriate medical care. Our knowledge of medicine over the years, though we are not doctors, is quite good, and we are more than happy to do our own medical research.
We do a lot of medical malpractice as well, and that means we have to learn medicine thoroughly in a given circumstance or instance. Same with the medical on what may occur with a fall; you have to be willing to understand the medicine. You have to know, for example, that if the client needs an MRI of the cervical spine, the neck, that they would be well served to be seen by a neuro-radiologist who reads MRIs, who uses not only better machines, but machines which are set to the highest settings to get the best, most thorough result.
These are the things that an attorney who handles a little bit of everything, doesn’t know. They just don’t know: Does my client need a neurologist? Do they need nerve conduction studies to determine if there’s a problem? Why my client is getting those burning sensations running down their arms or legs? Are they willing to do the research to understand the differences and assist the client in choosing what type of surgery might be appropriate?
For example, they go to a doctor who wants to do a complicated and extensive back surgery, who will carve out the disc, pack it with bone from a cadaver or their hip and plate it and screw it like they’ve just come out of a hardware store. Or, do they want to see a doctor who’s well trained in what’s called micro-discectomy and get in there just with a little scope and clip off the area that’s pressing on the nerve so that this awful burning sensation which runs down their arm goes away?
This among countless other things is why someone who’s specialized in this area is so valuable. Just understanding from the proofs that you need to prove the defendant is responsible to you right through obtaining the best medical care to get the best medical outcome is important.
We want our clients to obtain that best recovery if they can. We’ve sent our clients to Sloan Kettering and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, and Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. We make sure that our clients get the very best doctors that they can, especially for a second opinion.
We are more than willing to work with any doctor our client wishes us to, but once in a while they need a second opinion before they dive into an exotic surgery that someone is recommending. Our attorney does all his work by himself. He doesn’t rely upon legions of associates. He has staff that’s been with him in all cases for more than a quarter century. It’s his passion and understanding of what’s needed from the beginning to the end.
In general we represent the injured parties only. We have represented perhaps 7,000 injured clients over all these years.
Our attorney David Maran has been exclusively handling slip and fall, trip and fall cases for 30 years.
If you are looking for a Personal Injury Attorney To Represent You In A Slip & Fall Case, call the office of Attorney David Maran for a free initial consultation at (973) 622-5303 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.