Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

What is court mandated arbitration?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 17, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

When seeking compensation for your injuries following a car crash or other accident resulting from the negligence of someone else, your case will generally get to settlement negotiations. During this process, you and your attorney will try to persuade the insurance company to agree to a fair settlement sum that will cover all your medical bills, lost wages, fair compensation for what you have experienced, and future problems you will have a result of your injuries. Though a majority of personal injury cases do end with a settlement, insurance companies can be stubborn when it comes to paying out any more money than they think is absolutely necessary, and they have numerous strategies at their disposal to use in an effort to get you to accept a lower settlement than you deserve. If the two sides cannot reach an acceptable settlement agreement, your only option is to sue. And I should say here that many companies - and adjusters inside those companies - just don't settle a case unless it's in suit and they are faced very soon with a trial.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, court mandated arbitration

Why is it Important to Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer in NJ after a Serious Car Crash?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Dec 15, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

If you have sustained injuries in a serious car crash, a number of things must be done as quickly as possible in order to protect your rights to secure appropriate compensation from the insurance companies involved. However, in the aftermath of a serious accident, you are likely to be dealing with numerous other issues – receiving medical treatment and dealing with the pain of your injuries, overcoming the shock and stress of the accident itself, contending with the damage to your vehicle and the resulting transportation problems, managing the financial issues that arise from time spent not working due to your injuries, and in the most tragic cases, grieving and making funeral arrangements. These other important concerns make it all the more difficult for the average person without legal experience to handle their personal injury claim in the most effective way.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance

Your Case is Coming Up For Trial-Should You Mediate?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Dec 12, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

When you pursue a personal injury case for damages relating to an injury you received as a result of someone else's negligence or recklessness, a lawsuit is actually the final option for recovering those damages, after other avenues fail. Before that point, your attorney works to negotiate an acceptable settlement with the insurance company involved. Going to court is expensive, regardless of the outcome of the case, and incredibly time-consuming. In a personal injury case, it could be years before you actually receive any money, assuming you win. While you might succeed at winning a substantially higher damage award at trial than you would get through settling, juries can be tremendously unpredictable – for the same case, one set of jurors might award the injured person millions of dollars, and another set might decide in favor of the insurance company and give the injured person nothing. You my win every battle in court, and a jury may think they are awarding you full compensation with what you consider a very inconsequential amount. Agreeing to a settlement might get you a bit less money, but it's certainly faster and gives you more control over the outcome of your case.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, Mediation

What is Mediation? NJ Personal Injury Attorney Smith Explains

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 10, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

The majority of personal injury claims do not go to trial. Some studies say that as high as 98% of all cases get settled. In a perfect world, the settlement is an amount of money acceptable to both parties that the insurance company will pay out to compensate you for the injuries you have suffered.

But reaching a settlement isn't easy; the insurance company always wants to pay you as little as they can get away with, or even nothing at all. They have an arsenal of tricks and tactics at their disposal, ready to use to try and get you to accept a lower settlement figure. Meanwhile, you and your attorney are seeking fair recognition of the injuries sustained, and the effects of those injuries in terms of pain, lost wages, medical bills, loss of function  and new limitations on your activities that can be the reality you live in your changed life after a serious injury.  Finding an acceptable middle ground is difficult, particularly when one or both sides uses the threat of taking the case to court to try to pressure the other party into accepting what they perceive to be an unfair settlement offer.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, Mediation

Three basic elements that affect personal injury cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Oct 10, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

When you find yourself in the position of needing to pursue legal action on a personal injury claim, it can be a very stressful and confusing time. The pain and disruption of your life caused by your injuries is often difficult enough to deal with on its own, and now you're navigating a complicated legal situation with an insurance company's defense lawyer opposing you. Having an experienced NJ personal injury lawyer on your side will make this process less difficult and confusing, because your attorney can explain to you the details of what your case needs and how to proceed. Every personal injury case is unique and presents its own challenges, but there are common threads that appear in each case. Understanding those basic elements and how they appear in your situation will make it easier for you to deal with the legal process.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Slip and Fall

7 Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Oct 08, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Most people know that, when they suffer an injury in an accident caused by someone else's irresponsible, negligent or reckless behavior, that they can seek financial damages (compensation) by pursuing a claim with the help of an experienced lawyer. But far fewer people know specifically what those “damages” entail – and understanding the different types of damages that can be sought in a personal injury case is key in making sure that you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries. The law's purpose in awarding financial damages is to repair, as much as is possible, the harm caused by your injuries – and as anyone who has experienced a serious injury from a motor vehicle accident, or a slip or tip and fall accident,  knows all too well, the harm often goes far beyond the stack of medical bills that result from your treatment. Therefore, the law recognizes seven different types of injury damages.

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Topics: Injuries, Car Accidents, Slip and Fall

Tracy Morgan Files NJ Lawsuit for Injuries from Truck Accident

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Aug 29, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

When one is fortunate enough never to have been the victim of a serious automotive accident, it's easy to think of car crashes as things that happen to other people. Unfortunately it's not always possible to maintain that illusion of safety; whether you suffer a car accident yourself, know a friend or family member who has been injured in a crash, or hear about a celebrity or public figure who was involved in a serious accident nearby, the reality of these dangers becomes all too apparent. Many people here in New Jersey experienced this realization last June, when actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was severely injured in an accident in which a commercial truck allegedly struck his vehicle from the rear. A friend of Morgan's, also a comedian, was killed in the accident, and the driver of the truck involved has been charged with vehicular homicide under New Jersey state law.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Truck Accidents

NJ Personal Injury Attorney Explains Life Care Plans

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 23, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

After suffering a serious injury as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of others, many accident victims understandably focus on the present: the pain and limitations caused by their injuries, the demands of their medical treatment, and the immediate financial concerns stemming from lost wages and medical bills. These pressing issues must be addressed in your personal injury claim. It is also important not to lose sight of the long-term repercussions of your injury.

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Topics: Injuries, Permanent Injury, Knee Injury, Dog Bites, Brain Injury, Spinal Injuries, Injuries to Children, Herniated Disc, Sports Injuries

Can My Doctor Prepare the Expert Report for My Serious Injury?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 20, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

During the "discovery" phase of any personal injury lawsuit, it is generally expected that the plaintiff, or claimant, will undergo a medical evaluation by an "independent" medical expert. This report is intended to serve as the basis for the claimant's settlement negotiations with the insurance company, and will be submitted as evidence and that doctor will be an expert witness should the case go all the way to trial. In an ideal world, these medical examinations would be conducted by an honest doctor with no agenda other than accurately determining the severity and scope of the plaintiff's injuries. Unfortunately, when dealing with medical experts hired by insurance companies, this ideal is rarely met, if ever. The insurance industry and their attorneys like to call such an exam an "IME"- independent medical exam- but I call it a "DME"- a defense medical exam, because it is anything but independent.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, Car Accidents, New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney, Motorcycle Accident, Medical-Legal Exams, Spinal Injuries

Use of Life Expectancy Tables in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jun 11, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Some personal injury cases are straightforward: another car crashes into yours and your leg is broken, requiring immediate treatment and several months of physical therapy in order to enable you to recover fully and resume your customary activities. But sometimes the injuries suffered by an accident victim are of a severity or a nature that he or she is left with a permanent disability, a lifelong condition, or an increased risk of future health problems. Joint damage may render a patient more likely to develop arthritis later in life and at an earlier age, and head trauma can leave a victim more vulnerable to sustaining serious damage from subsequent head injuries. So how are these permanent injuries and increased risks adjudicated when it's time to work out how much you deserve in fair compensation for your injuries?

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Trip and Fall, Motorcycle Accident, Permanent Injury, Dangerous Premises, Automobile Litigation, Dog Bites, Brain Injury, Construction Accidents, Herniated Disc, Bulging Disc, Evidence, Workplace Injury, Workplace Accidents, Sports Injuries, Truck Accidents

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