Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

How Insurance Companies Fight to Avoid Taking Responsibility for Your Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 12, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

When faced with a personal injury claim, insurance companies are much less interested in the reality of the situation than they are in protecting their financial bottom line. Insurance providers want to make money by taking in more in insurance premiums than they pay out for claims, so there is a strong incentive to reduce the amount they pay accident victims as much as possible, or avoid paying them entirely. To that end, insurance adjusters will pursue any plausible-sounding argument (and some really implausible ones as well!) that would stand a chance of convincing a jury that you aren’t entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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Topics: injury compensation, comparative negligence, insurance company

The Defense's Answer to the Personal Injury Complaint

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 20, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Once your attorney has submitted your personal injury complaint letter to the court in order to initiate your lawsuit proceedings, it’s the insurance company’s turn to respond. If they have not already done so, the insurance company will assign one of their adjusters to your case. It’s his job to resolve your claim out of court if possible, or otherwise lay the groundwork for a strong defense against your lawsuit. Either way, his primary goal is to reduce the amount of money that the insurance company is required to pay you to as small a sum as he can. The insurance company will also assign one of their own lawyers to your case, or hire an outside attorney to represent them. It is this lawyer who will prepare the insurance provider’s response to your personal injury complaint.

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Topics: discovery phase, comparative negligence, answer to personal injury complaint, personal injury complaint

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

NJ Personal Injury Attorney Explains NJ Shared Fault Laws

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Dec 28, 2015

  By Francis M. Smith

If you are involved in an accident and need to seek injury compensation, the total sum that you are able to collect in damages is generally derived from the admissible costs associated with your injuries, with non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, factored in. To succeed in an injury suit or claim, you must be able to prove that the defendant in your case was negligent in some way that caused the accident that injured you. The other side's lawyers, meanwhile, will be looking for ways to defend against your claim of negligence, in an effort to reduce the amount of damages they have to pay out.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, comparative negligence, shared fault laws

Your Child is Injured - Do You Have a Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Nov 20, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

There is no amount of money that can ever truly make up for the death of a child in an accident, or for the pain and trauma of a child who is seriously injured. Winning a lawsuit or a substantial settlement cannot undo the harm that your family has suffered, but those funds can buffer your family during their time of hardship, when the medical bills from your child's accident are piling up and you need to take time out of work to care for your family. The insurance industry has worked hard to sell the narrative of the “frivolous lawsuit” to our popular culture, to shame people who file legitimate claims of negligence resulting in a serious injury. You should never have to feel ashamed of protecting your family and their best interests.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, injury compensation, comparative negligence

What is Comparative Fault in a Slip and Fall Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 23, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When you sustain an injury in a slip and fall accident on someone else's property, a major component of pursuing your injury claim will involve proving that the incident that caused your injuries was the fault of the possessor of the property (or those charged with maintaining the property). This may mean demonstrating that the property owner or manager actively created the hazard that caused your injury, or showing that they negligently allowed the hazard to persist. While your attorney is gathering proofs and constructing these arguments, however, the lawyer for the opposing side won't be sitting idle; it's his job to defend the property owner (and the insurance company who will have to pay damages if you prevail), and one of the defense strategies in their arsenal is to argue that the accident that injured you was at least partly your own fault. This defense argument is called comparative negligence or comparative fault, and if the insurance company's lawyer argues it persuasively enough, it could reduce the amount of money you are able to collect in injury damages, or mean that you can receive no compensation at all.

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Topics: Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, comparative negligence, comparative fault

What is Comparative Negligence?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 14, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When a personal injury case is taken to trial, an insurance company often finds itself facing the prospect of paying the injured person a substantial sum of money in damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs. Though the damages sought by injured plaintiffs are generally quite reasonable given the expenses and suffering they have endured, insurance companies are highly motivated to reduce the amount of money they are forced to pay out. They will use any legal defenses available to them to bring down the total damages for which they are liable. Their lawyers might try to challenge the facts of your injuries and the costs arising from them, claiming you aren't as badly hurt as you say – or they might try to prove that you were partly at fault for the accident in which you were injured, and that therefore the insurance company shouldn't be responsible for paying the entirety of the resulting damages. This latter strategy is a comparative negligence defense.

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Topics: injury compensation, comparative negligence

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