Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

Types of New Jersey Insurance Lawsuits


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Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation about what New Jersey insurance law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or write an email to Mr. DePetris at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

TYPES OF NEW JERSEY INSURANCE LAWSUITS

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY INSURANCE CONTRACT CASE?
There are two types of New Jersey civil cases in New Jersey – “tort” cases and “contract” cases. A New Jersey “tort” case is a category or type of case other than one based upon a New Jersey insurance contract or is outside a New Jersey insurance contract’s terms. A New Jersey declaratory judgment insurance case is a “contract” case when the New Jersey insurance case plaintiffs or New Jersey insurance case defendants involved in the New Jersey insurance declaratory judgment case have some type of contract with one another and when the dispute falls inside the New Jersey insurance contract’s terms.

CONTRACTUAL STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS CONTAINED IN NEW JERSEY INSURANCE POLICIES
New Jersey insurance policies may require that any lawsuit by a New Jersey insured against their New Jersey insurance company be filed within a specific time frame within the New Jersey insured’s experiencing a New Jersey insurance claim or New Jersey insurance loss or within notifying the New Jersey insurance company of a New Jersey insurance claim or New Jersey insurance loss. In one New Jersey insurance dispute, the New Jersey insurance policy had a 1 year limitations clause and the New Jersey court enforced it, thereby denying the New Jersey insured with insurance coverage under the New Jersey insurance policy.

WHAT IS THE NEW JERSEY DUTY OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING IN NEW JERSEY INSURANCE CONTRACTS?
In addition to the express terms of a New Jersey insurance contract, the law provides that every New Jersey insurance contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This means that, even though not specifically stated in the New Jersey insurance contract, it is implied or understood that the New Jersey insured and the New Jersey insurance company to the New Jersey insurance contract must act in good faith and deal fairly with the other party in performing or enforcing the terms of the New Jersey insurance contract.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE LAWSUIT (ALSO CALLED A NEW JERSEY HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE BAD FAITH LAWSUIT
A "first-plaintiff or New Jersey defendant" claim against a New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance Company is a New Jersey Homeowner lawsuit by a New Jersey Homeowner against the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance Company because of its failure to settle a New Jersey Homeowner’s claim, as opposed to a suit based on the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance Company’s failure to settle a third plaintiff or New Jersey defendant tort claim for a reasonable sum. A New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance Company owes a duty of good faith to its New Jersey Homeowner insured in processing a first-plaintiff or New Jersey defendant claim. Every New Jersey Homeowner Insurance Contract imposes on each plaintiff or New Jersey defendant the duty of good faith and fair dealing in its performance and its enforcement. In addition to the express terms of a New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance Contract, the law provides that every New Jersey Homeowner Insurance Contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This means that, even though not specifically stated in the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance contract, it is implied or understood that each plaintiff or New Jersey defendant to the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance contract must act in good faith and deal fairly with the other New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant in performing or enforcing the terms of the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance contract. To act in good faith and deal fairly, a plaintiff or New Jersey defendant must act in a way that is honest and faithful to the agreed purposes of the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance contract and consistent with the reasonable expectations of the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants. The New Jersey Homeowner Insurance Company commits bad faith, dishonestly, or with improper motive to destroy or injure the right of the other New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant to receive the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance benefits of the New Jersey Homeowner’s Insurance contract.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY FIRST PARTY BAD FAITH NEW JERSEY INSURANCE CLAIM?
• A "first party insurance" claim against a New Jersey insurance company is a New Jersey lawsuit by a New Jersey insured against his New Jersey insurance company because of its failure to settle the New Jersey insured’s claim, as opposed to a New Jersey lawsuit based on the New Jersey insurance company's failure to settle a third party tort claim for a reasonable sum.
• A New Jersey insurance company owes a duty of good faith to its insured in processing a first party insurance claim. We begin by noting that every contract imposes on each party the duty of good faith and fair dealing in its performance and its enforcement.
• In addition to the express terms of a New Jersey insurance contract, the law provides that every contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This means that, even though not specifically stated in the New Jersey insurance contract, it is implied or understood that each party to the New Jersey insurance contract must act in good faith and deal fairly with the other party in performing or enforcing the terms of the New Jersey insurance contract.
• To act in good faith and deal fairly, a New Jersey insurance company must act in a way that is honest and faithful to the agreed purposes of the New Jersey insurance contract and consistent with the reasonable expectations of the parties.
• A New Jersey insurance company must not act in bad faith, dishonestly, or with improper motive to destroy or injure the right of the other party to receive the New Jersey insurance benefits of the New Jersey insurance contract.
• First, the New Jersey plaintiff must prove that some type of contract existed between the parties.
• There can be no New Jersey breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing unless the parties have a New Jersey insurance contract.
• Second, the New Jersey plaintiff must prove that the New Jersey defendant acted in bad faith with the purpose of depriving the New Jersey plaintiff of rights or benefits under the New Jersey insurance contract.
• Third, the New Jersey plaintiff must prove that the New Jersey defendant’s conduct caused the New Jersey plaintiff to suffer injury, damage, loss or harm.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY THIRD PARTY BAD FAITH INSURANCE CLAIM?
• A New Jersey third party bad faith insurance claim is brought by a New Jersey insured against its New Jersey insurance company based on the New Jersey insurance company's failure to settle a New Jersey third party tort claim for a reasonable sum for the New Jersey insured.
• In a New Jersey third party bad faith insurance case, the New Jersey insurance company is not a party to the underlying litigation against the New Jersey insured, and only after an excess verdict does the New Jersey insurance claim ripen by exposing the personal assets of the New Jersey insured, thus necessitating a new lawsuit regarding the bad faith allegations.
• The relationship of the New Jersey insurance company to its New Jersey insured regarding settlement is one of inherent fiduciary obligation.
• The obligation assumed by the New Jersey insurance company with respect to settlement is to exercise good faith in dealing with offers of compromise, having both the New Jersey insurance company’s and the New Jersey insured's interests in mind.
• The New Jersey insurance company has a fiduciary duty to act on behalf of the New Jersey insured when deciding not to settle an insurance claim within New Jersey insurance policy limits. The New Jersey insured’s decision not to settle the New Jersey insurance claim must be an honest one. It must result from a weighing of probabilities in a fair manner. To be a good faith decision, it must be an honest and intelligent one in the light of the New Jersey insurance company's expertise in the field. Where reasonable and probable cause appears for rejecting a settlement offer and for defending the damage action, the good faith of the New Jersey insurance company will be vindicated.
• The purpose of New Jersey liability insurance is to protect the New Jersey insured from liability within the limits of New Jersey insurance policy and the New Jersey insurance company cannot frustrate that purpose by a selfish decision exposing the New Jersey insured to and which results in a New Jersey judgment beyond New Jersey insurance policy limits.
• An insurance New Jersey insurance company owes a positive duty to its New Jersey insured to initiate and aggressively pursue all available avenues to settle the New Jersey insurance claim within New Jersey insurance policy's coverage limit. The New Jersey insurance company’s duty requires the New Jersey insurance company to attempt to negotiate a settlement within New Jersey insurance policy coverage.
• While the New Jersey insurance company is not compelled to disregard the New Jersey insurance company’s interests in representing or defending a New Jersey insured, the New Jersey insured's interests must necessarily come first.
• The New Jersey insurance company has a duty to investigate, in a timely and thorough fashion, the facts surrounding the New Jersey insurance claim, in order to be in the best position to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the New Jersey insurance claimant's case.
• The New Jersey insurance company must thereby make a reasonably diligent effort to ascertain the facts upon which a good faith judgment as to settlement can be formulated.
• Armed with this information, the New Jersey insurance company must thereafter engage in good faith discussions with the New Jersey insurance claimant, with the goal of settling the New Jersey insurance claim within New Jersey insurance policy's coverage limits.
• The New Jersey insurance company’s decision not to settle must:
o Be a thoroughly honest, intelligent and objective one in the light of the New Jersey insurance company's expertise in the field.
o Be a realistic one when tested by the necessarily assumed expertise of the New Jersey insurance company.
o Result from a weighing of probabilities in a fair manner.
• In third party bad faith cases, a New Jersey third party would sue the New Jersey insured for an amount exceeding the limits of the New Jersey insured's coverage and offer to settle for an amount equal to or less than those policy limits. At this point, the New Jersey insurance company would have no financial motive to accept the offer. By rejecting the offer, the New Jersey insurance company risked nothing more than the New Jersey insurance policy limits. By accepting it, the New Jersey insurance company would sacrifice the chance of winning at trial and owing the third party nothing. The basis of third party bad faith cases involve such settlement tactics by insurance companies.

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY DECLARATORY JUDGMENT INSURANCE CASE?
A New Jersey declaratory judgment insurance case is a “contract” case brought by a New Jersey insurance case plaintiff or New Jersey insurance case defendant with a New Jersey insurance policy (an “insured”) claiming that their New Jersey insurance company failed to honor the terms of the New Jersey insurance case plaintiffs or New Jersey insurance case defendants’ New Jersey insurance contract and/or demanding that the New Jersey insurance company pay a New Jersey insurance claim brought, a case brought or judgment entered against a New Jersey insured or defend the New Jersey insured in a case. New Jersey declaratory judgment actions were unknown at common law. In New Jersey, the New Jersey Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act governs the right to declaratory relief.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEW JERSEY CASE?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS OR NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs or New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing New Jersey Court papers only to later learn that the New Jersey pro se plaintiffs or New Jersey pro se defendants made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their New Jersey case. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees. Most New Jersey Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
The New Jersey Court usually provides certain types of New Jersey Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on New Jersey Court forms provided by the New Jersey Court – the New Jersey Court forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey cases often are much more complex than they first appear to be. There is simply no substitute for a competent New Jersey attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey who has experience handling New Jersey cases. New Jersey Court forms don’t talk and New Jersey Court forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey case. Each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford a competent New Jersey attorney, it is best to have the New Jersey attorney prepare your New Jersey Court paperwork for you.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CASE MYSELF?
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs or New Jersey pro se defendants can and do successfully handle New Jersey cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a New Jersey Court judgment. However, many other New Jersey pro se plaintiffs or New Jersey pro se defendants also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey cases or that result in the entry of a New Jersey Court money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the New Jersey case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case:
• New Jersey Court fees often change
• New Jersey Court rules often change
• New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees
• New Jersey Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey pro se plaintiffs or New Jersey pro se defendants to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Court complaints that result in the New Jersey Court complaints or answers to New Jersey Court complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Court or being dismissed by the New Jersey Court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the New Jersey case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey plaintiffs or New Jersey defendants, such as by throwing their New Jersey case out of Court or limiting what they can present at the New Jersey Court trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the New Jersey Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the New Jersey Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs or New Jersey defendants stumble into New Jersey Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a New Jersey Court judge tell the New Jersey plaintiffs or New Jersey defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the New Jersey Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the New Jersey Court expecting the judge hearing your New Jersey case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your New Jersey case. The judge hearing your New Jersey case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have an attorney, you could lose your New Jersey case. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your New Jersey case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs or New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with New Jersey Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris. 
 

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