In many insurance policies in New Jersey, there’s a dispute resolution clause that says, essentially, that you can choose to file a complaint in Superior Court, or you can choose to have your dispute resolved by Forthright, the administrative agency set up to settle disputes regarding PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, benefits.
Many defense attorneys prefer to have PIP claims handled by the Superior Court, as they have certain subpoena powers available to them, as well as the civil rules governing New Jersey practice, neither of which are available in a Forthright proceeding. Defense attorney can require, under certain New Jersey Civil Practice rules, that plaintiffs (injured parties) comply with certain requests, such as an independent medical examination. In a Forthright proceeding, the same request would most likely have to be accompanied by an Order to Show Cause.
On the flip side, it will almost always be more expensive and more time-consuming to litigate the matter in Superior Court. You’ll need to respond to the complaint, conduct discovery, engage in motion practice and ultimately take the matter to trial. If the matter is transferred to Forthright, it will almost always be resolved sooner and at less cost. According to statistics, nearly all Forthright claims are heard within nine months of the Demand for Arbitration. A comparable case in Superior Court can be expected to take between one and three years to make its way through trial.
Contact Mallon & Tranger
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone in New Jersey who faces a personal injury matter. For a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-780-0230 for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.