Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Dealing With the Insurance Company

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 29, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When you pursue a personal injury claim of any kind, it's critical to understand your enemy: the insurance company. It may sound like an exaggeration to refer to the opposing party in any legal claim as “the enemy,” but this isn't hyperbole – it's in the insurance company's financial interest to pay you as little as possible, or nothing at all, if they can get away with it. The insurer's representative in your claim, the adjuster, is a trained negotiator whose job is to attack your claim ruthlessly. The fact that your case involves a seriously injured child is completely irrelevant to the insurance adjuster's task, except insofar as they have all the more reason to trick you into giving up your claim or accepting an unreasonably low settlement, because a jury might be more sympathetic to a child's suffering and award your family more money.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, injury compensation, insurance company

Can a Government Agency be Sued for Injuries to a Child?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 27, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Seeking appropriate compensation for a child's serious injuries stemming from an accident may be critical to ensuring that your child is able to get the medical treatment he or she needs to make as full a recovery as possible. But what happens when the party responsible for your child's injuries is a government body? Many people are uncertain about whether it's even possible to sue a government entity. In fact, it is possible to bring a lawsuit against government actors, but there are unique requirements and restrictions that apply to these suits – which is why it's even more important than usual to hire a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with these regulations and has experience with suing government agencies when your child is injured.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, negligence, NJ Title 59

Who is Responsible and Liable for My Child's Injuries?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 25, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When a child is injured in an accident caused by the negligence of others, filing an injury claim is often the best way to ensure that the child is able to receive all necessary medical treatment, get compensated for all losses such as pain and suffering, and the family's financial stability is not harmed by the associated expenses. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, one of the first things you should ask your personal injury lawyer to help you with is identifying all the parties who may bear some responsibility for your child's accident.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, injury compensation, negligence

What Does the Doctrine of Parental Immunity Mean?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 22, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When a child is seriously injured in an accident, one of the first things the parents and their attorney try to do is identify who is responsible for the accident that harmed their child. Of course, the insurance company representing the defendants in any resulting injury claim will try to to the same thing -- and often their investigation begins with the parents themselves. It's common for insurance companies to argue that a lack of appropriate parental supervision was a significant contributing factor in causing the accident. In some cases, frequently involving a child with separated or divorced parents, one parent may directly sue the other for injury damages or wrongful death of a child resulting from an accident that took place while the child was in that parent's care. Regardless of who is accusing a parent of negligence in an injury case involving their own child, such arguments have additional challenges due to the legal doctrine of "parental immunity".

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, parental immunity

Can the Insurance Company Claim Parental Negligence to Avoid Paying for My Child's Injuries?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 20, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Many insurance companies present a friendly, helpful, and concerned face in their advertising, but the success of these businesses involves finding ways to avoid paying out for claims, or to minimize the amount they have to pay as much as possible. One very common tactic insurance lawyers use to this end is the assertion of comparative negligence – the accusation that the injured victim was partly (or entirely) responsible for their own accident. In the case of child injury claims, especially those involving children who are too young to have the capacity for careful or negligent behavior, this often involves accusations of parental negligence. Parents who are seeking to have their child's medical bills and other expenses (or, in the most tragic cases, pursuing a wrongful death claim) after a serious traumatic accident are often discouraged or angered to be confronted with the suggestion that they were negligent and partly to blame for their child's injuries. Sadly, this is business as usual for insurance companies – but there is good news. Accusations of parental negligence have a harder time gaining traction than other comparative negligence defenses, due to the doctrine of parental immunity.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, comparative negligence, parental immunity

When are Children held Negligent in Injury Cases?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 18, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When you pursue a personal injury claim of any kind, the insurance company representing the negligent party responsible for your injuries will look for any possible defense against your claim that might reduce the amount they have to pay out in damages. One of the more common defenses insurance companies attempt is to suggest that the injured person was partly to blame for causing their own injuries. New Jersey is one of the many states that has adopted a comparative negligence law, under which the maximum value of the injury damages an injured plaintiff may collect is reduced in proportion to the degree to which that plaintiff is culpable for their own injuries. Demonstrating that an injured person shares the blame for their accident generally requires the insurance company to prove that the injured victim was negligent in some way. But when a child is the injured party, the issue of injury negligence becomes more complicated.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, comparative negligence

Do we Have a Claim for our Child's Injury?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 15, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When a child is seriously injured, obviously the first priority is to seek appropriate medical treatment for the child's injury, but it's then natural to consider whether you have grounds to file an injury claim. This is not, as some critics of litigation would assume, a cynical grab for money, but rather the act of a responsible and loving parent to ensure that their child's injuries receive the best care possible and that the family's financial stability is not damaged by providing that care. After all, it's the child who has the injury claim, and the parents or guardians simply pursue it on the child's behalf. Often any compensation remaining from a child's injury claim after medical bills and other expenses have been paid is placed in trust for the child until they are of age to claim it, providing for a fund for later- sometimes for college, or a down payment for a home.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, negligence

Protecting Children from Tragic Drowning Accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 13, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

It's natural for parents to seek out all reasonable measures to protect their children from dangerous accidents, but that can be difficult when many sources of danger are poorly understood. Swimming accidents are unfortunately both a common and a serious threat to children, but many people don't have an accurate understanding of water dangers and signs of distress. Without the ability to accurately recognize the contributing factors that cause swimming accidents, it's more difficult to protect your children from serious injury.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, drowning accidents

When Dogs Bite Children

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 11, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

There is plenty of truth to the maxim that a dog is “man's best friend,” but like any friendship, the relationship between people and dogs is not one that should be taken for granted – especially when children are involved. Estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) place the number of pet dogs in the United States at around 68 million, and while many of these are well-behaved dogs who will never have an incident of aggressive or dangerous behavior, the same cannot be said of all dogs. More than 1 million dog bite incidents are reported each year, and some estimates suggest that an equal number of incidents take place but are not reported. Alarmingly, about 3 out of 5 of reported dog bite incidents result in injury to a child. Both parents and dog owners benefit from learning about the factors that influence dog bite injuries to children and how to prevent them.

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Topics: Injuries, Dog Bites, Injuries to Children

Children and Bicycle Accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 04, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Bicycles are excellent tools for both transportation and exercise, so it's no surprise that more than 70 percent of American children between the ages of 5 to 14 ride bikes. Unfortunately, bicycles can also present a significant safety risk. Children in the 5-to-14 age group account for more than half of all bicycle-related injuries that require emergency room treatment, and more than one-fifth of bicycle-related fatalities. This is partly due to the fact that children of these ages spend more time on bikes than adults; while most adults have the option of driving from one place to another, a bicycle is the sole independent transportation tool available to many children. Kids aged 5 to 14 spend approximately 50 percent more time behind the handlebars than the average cyclist, giving them substantially more opportunity to be injured.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, Bicycle Accidents, Bicycle Safety

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