Many people involved in accidents need information promptly. Here are some common questions we are asked and our responses. If your question is not listed here, please call us for more information.
What should I do if I am involved in an accident?
Seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries, then contact Siegel & Siegel. If you can, while you are at the scene of the accident, note the important details surrounding the incident, including information regarding any witnesses, if it’s an automobile accident, where each vehicle came to rest and which way it was facing and road conditions. If you are involved in an auto accident, locate your automobile policy declarations which come with your bill. We will want to see this document to advise you of your rights. If a fall is involved, note the substance or condition that caused you to fall, the names and phone numbers of anyone who may have provided help to you. the hospital, treating doctor, and your medical expenses.s.
If I am injured in an accident, how do I know if I have a case?
The best way to know if you have a case is to speak with an attorney at Siegel & Siegel. The initial consultation with our firm is free. The meeting will be informative, without pressure. Our attorney will conduct a thorough interview to determine the facts, whether there were any witnesses, whether a private investigator or a photographer needs to be engaged. We will review what insurance coverage is available to provide benefits to you. These may include auto insurance, health insurance or workers compensation. After this interview is completed, our attorneys will advise you whether you have a case worth pursuing and the best way to go about pursuing it.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
Generally, in cases involving personal injuries in automobile, motor vehicle, slip and fall, construction accidents, workers compensation, product liability and medical malpractice, a lawsuit must be filed within two 2 years of the date of the event. If a lawsuit is not filed, you will be barred from recovery. This is called the “Statute of Limitations.”
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Two factors must be considered to answer this question. If your case can be settled without the need to file a complaint in Superior Court, a case can sometimes be settled within several months of when you conclude your medical treatment and the medical documents provided to your attorneys. If a lawsuit has to be filed in Superior Court, it may take about two years to bring it to a conclusion, by settlement or trial. This time period varies from county to county, and is also dependent upon the unique facts of your case.
If you file a lawsuit in my case, what is involved?
A lawsuit begins with the filing of a “Complaint.” The Complaint is served on the defendants. Where the Defendant is insured, the insurance company will hire an attorney to file an “Answer” to the Complaint. Once the Answer is filed, the Court Rules grant the lawyers about 360 days to prepare the case for trial. Sometimes that time period is extended either by your attorney or the defendant’s attorney. This is referred to as the “Discovery” period.
During “discovery” all of the parties to the lawsuit have to answer written questions called “interrogatories.” We will help you answer your “interrogatories.” All parties may have to provide certain documents to the other side. We will help you with this also. You will also have to give a “deposition” which is a personal interview with the other attorneys in the case. We will prepare you in advance for this meeting and we will be there with you when it takes place. You may also have to attend a medical examination by a doctor who we select and a doctor which the defendant selects. We will explain this process to you.
About 90 days after “discovery” is over, the case is listed for “Mandatory Non-Binding Arbitration” in Superior Court. You will be required to attend. A lawyer appointed by the Court, in a mini-hearing meets with you, your attorney and the opposing attorneys, reviews your medical records, hears limited testimony and makes a recommendation for a settlement. If everybody agrees to the award, the case is settled for that amount. If any party disagrees, the award must be formally rejected and the matter is listed for an initial trial date about 120 days later.
How much is my case worth?
It is the rare case where an attorney can provide you with a financial evaluation of a case on the initial interview. In a case which can be resolved without a lawsuit, your attorney should be able to give you an evaluation after he or she receives medical records and report concerning your injuries. If a case requires the filing of a lawsuit, your attorney must usually go through the legal discovery process before providing you with a concrete evaluation.
The information and material included on this web site is for informational purposes only and is not offered as legal advice on any particular matter or in any particular jurisdiction. Because the results of any legal matter may vary depending upon the specific law and facts applicable to the case, the viewer should not act based upon any material contained on this web site without seeking professional advice as to the particular facts and law involved. No information on this web site should be construed as a prediction of future results. Transmission and receipt of information from this web site does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Siegel & Siegel, P.C. Siegel & Siegel is not responsible for any third party content which is accessible through this site.