Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Getting Damages for Lost Income in Your Injury Settlement

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 05, 2017

  By Francis M. Smith

When you are pursuing a claim to seek compensation for injuries you suffered in an accident caused by someone else, it's important to make sure that you include in your claim all the economic losses that you suffered due to your injuries. The unpaid medical bills that have piled up from the treatment your injuries received may be extensive, but they still don't show the whole picture of how much your injuries have cost you financially. You have a right to seek compensation not only for the money your injuries forced you to spend, but also the money your injuries prevented you from earning. Lost income represents a category of injury damages that encompasses both earnings missed at your current employment because you were hurt too badly to work or needed to attend medical appointments, and potential earning opportunities that you were unable to pursue due to your injuries.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, settlement compensation, lost income

Valuing the Nature and Extent of Your Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jul 03, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

When seeking compensation for accident injuries, the key to ensuring that the settlement you're agreeing to is reasonable is to understand the value of your injuries. On the surface, this seems simple enough – the costs of your medical treatment can be added up easily enough from your doctor bills, and the value of the wages lost as a result of your injuries can be found with some simple bookkeeping. But there's no easy dollar value to assign to pain and trauma. There are formulas that insurance adjusters use to calculate compensation for pain and suffering; at the basic level, these methods involve applying a multiplier to the more tangible medical costs of your injury. In theory, the more painful and lasting the injury, the higher the multiplier. It has always been a very inexact science, if you can call it that, and many insurance companies now don't trust their adjusters enough to settle case, but make them feed information into a computer program that spits out a value range for the case being evaluated.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, injury case, lost income

How are Personal Injury Settlements Reached?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 10, 2017

A majority of personal injury claims are resolved with a mutually agreed-upon settlement between the parties involved, rather than a courtroom verdict. However, when faced with the legal team employed by an insurance company or powerful corporate defendant, it may not be immediately clear how reasonable personal injury settlements can be reached. Obviously, the first critical component to securing a fair settlement for your injuries is the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, but it’s important for you to understand the process – or rather, processes – that may be involved in reaching a settlement in your case.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, insurance company, negotiated personal injury settlement

The Settlement Offer: What Do I Need to Understand?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 07, 2017

Anyone who suffers an injury in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else has the right to seek compensation for their damages through a lawsuit, though in practice the great majority of these cases are resolved with a mutually agreed-upon settlement rather than a jury verdict. There are several advantages to reaching a settlement with the insurance company involved in your case, but it’s critical that you understand what’s involved with the settlement offer. Your attorney has extensive experience with personal injury suits, but ultimately he represents your interests and wishes – so you need to be able to make informed decisions about how to resolve your case.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, insurance company

Fractures to Lower Leg Caused by Slip on Ice Settles for $290,000

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Sun, Jan 29, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Frank Smith recently resolved a case in which he represented a gentleman who parked at a commercial parking lot on his way to work. The parking lot owner was aware that patrons would be coming in to the lot, knew that run off from a snowfall several days earlier would melt in the subsequent warmer weather and then freeze overnight, when temperatures went below freezing, and that in the morning, there would be ice on the blacktop where patrons would be walking.

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Topics: Injuries, Success Stories, Slip and Fall

Keeping Joggers, Walkers, Pedestrians Safe

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 04, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Winter is beginning in earnest, and reactions to the onslaught of winter weather vary depending on who you ask. Children delight in fluffy snowdrifts and the possibility of school closures, while commuters dread the prospect of slippery roads. Die-hard joggers defy the cold weather for the sake of their morning runs, and some cautious would-be motorists would prefer to walk short distances rather than risk driving in winter conditions. However, for these latter groups, winter holds particular risks for pedestrian auto accidents. It’s easy for joggers and other pedestrians to forget the ways in which this time of year increases the danger of motor vehicle accidents, and some motorists forget that anyone might be walking or jogging in the cold to begin with. For both groups, a reminder of the ways that winter increases the risk of pedestrian traffic accidents might be useful.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Distracted Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

How Does Pain and Suffering Factor in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Oct 19, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

A personal injury claim is meant to restore you, as much as is possible, to the life you enjoyed prior to the actions of the negligent party that caused your injury. With some kinds of damages, this restoration is accomplished fairly simply: you seek to be compensated for the cost of your medical expenses, and the wages that your injuries prevented you from earning. But other kinds of harm are a little more tricky to assign a dollar value. At the same time, the pain and suffering that you experience in connection with your injuries are very real forms of damages for which you are entitled to compensation.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, pain and suffering

Loss of Consortium Claims in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Oct 17, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

A serious injury often affects those who are close to the accident victim, as well as the injured person him- or herself. The aftermath of such an injury can be particularly hard on the spouse of the injury victim. For many couples, marriage is a partnership; spouses rely on one another for support in all aspects of their lives, from help with household maintenance and child rearing to emotional and intimate companionship. The loss of this aid, support, and company due to one spouse’s injury in an accident is known as loss of consortium, and is a form of harm for which the spouse who was not injured may have the right to seek compensation.

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Topics: Injuries

Common Medical Tests Used to Diagnose the Extent of Your Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Oct 12, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

After any serious injury, one of the most important first steps your doctors will take is to order diagnostic tests to evaluate the nature and extent of your injuries. These diagnostic tests are also highly useful as proof when you were injured in an accident caused by someone else and seek damages for your injuries. The results of these diagnostic scans and medical tests can be used as evidence during settlement negotiations or at trial to prove how severe your injuries were and how necessary the medical treatment you received was. This can help ensure that you are compensated fairly for the harm that you suffered as a result of your accident.

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Topics: Injuries, settlement compensation, negotiated personal injury settlement, Medical Tests

Drowsy Drivers are a Hazard to Roads

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Aug 31, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Thanks to efforts by transportation safety organizations and law enforcement, the public has become much more aware of the risks involved in engaging in certain behaviors while driving. For decades, public awareness and enforcement campaigns have been working to reduce the rate of drunk driving, with much success. Similar efforts have been implemented in recent years to pursue similar results in curbing distracted driving, which has dramatically risen as a roadway danger with the rise in smartphone ownership. However, there is another condition that can be as dangerous as intoxication or distraction when behind the wheel, and it has received much less public attention. Much like drunk or distracted driving, drowsy driving can kill.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, drowsy driving

Understanding Soft-tissue Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Aug 17, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

After an accident, the only battle you should have to face is the fight to recover from your injuries. Unfortunately, if your injuries were caused by the negligence of someone else and you're seeking compensation from their insurance company, the insurance adjuster is already preparing to go to war with you. His preferred mode of attack depends on a number of factors, including the circumstances of the accident and the nature of your injuries. In particular, "soft tissue injuries" give the insurance adjuster plenty of ammunition for attacking your claim – which is why you need an experienced professional fighting on your side to protect your rights.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, insurance company, soft-tissue injuries

Severe and Catastrophic Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Aug 12, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

With some accident injuries, the process of determining the value of the damages sustained by the victim as a result of the accident is a fairly straight-forward process – though the eventual sum will still be contested by the insurance company. However, accidents involving catastrophic injuries often require a much more complex process for determining the full expenses that your injury will impose on you. Most injury claims benefit from the help of a personal injury lawyer, but when a case involves injuries of this magnitude, the assistance of an experienced attorney is essential for the accident victim to recover the full value of the damages they deserve.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, insurance company

NJ Speed Deaths on Routes 80 and 287 Increase with 10 mph Speed Limit

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 20, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

The behavior of other drivers is one of the more unpredictable elements on the road, and potentially one of the more dangerous. In recent years, legislative and enforcement efforts across the state of New Jersey have successfully taken on several aspects of this threat, resulting in a downward trend in overall traffic deaths. These efforts have included a Graduated Driver License law that placed additional limitations on inexperienced teenage drivers, lowering the blood-alcohol threshold for drunk driving to 0.08, and legislation that penalized the use of hand-held mobile devices while behind the wheel. However, while all these efforts helped to curb the total number of highway deaths in the state, one type of automotive fatality has not experienced the same consistent, downward trend, and during some periods have seen significant upward spikes. The culprit? Speeding.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Speeding

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

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

How Payments from Your Own Medical Insurance or Workers Compensation Affect Your Settlement

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 23, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Becoming the victim of a serious accident, in addition to being physically and emotionally traumatic, is often very expensive. You may find yourself racking up substantial medical bills while being unable to work. Fortunately, our society has developed some methods of offsetting some of these expenses – chiefly in the form of health insurance. An employer-provided or private health insurance policy, workers' compensation, Medicaid or Medicare, or a similar source may cover some or all of your medical expenses after a serious injury. When this happens, it's important to understand how this coverage interacts with your efforts to secure injury compensation from the parties responsible for your accident.

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Topics: Injuries, Workplace Accidents, insurance company, settlement compensation

Emotional Distress Damages in a Personal Injury Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 21, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Becoming the victim of an accident that causes you serious injury often does more damage than an x-ray can reveal; in many cases, harm is suffered by your emotions and psyche as well as by the bones and tissues of your body. Though many people remain skeptical of claims about psychological harm, emotional distress is a genuine type of injury and is just as deserving of compensation as the physical pain and suffering you experience as a result of your accident.

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Topics: Injuries, settlement compensation, pain and suffering, emotional distress

Tragic death of 34 Year Old Single Mother and Model Katie May - Who is Accountable?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 11, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Katie May, successful model and social media sensation, died on February 4th after experiencing a stroke that left her in critical condition. After having to make the painful decision to disconnect life support, Ms. May's family – including her 7-year-old daughter – are left with more questions than answers. What caused Katie's stroke? Could any of the medical professionals she consulted prior to her stroke have prevented her death? Should anyone be held accountable for the events that resulted in her death? What went wrong?

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Topics: Injuries, negligence, neck injury

Who is Responsible for Your Injury?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 02, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When you've been in an accident and are considering a personal injury claim, there are many important issues you need to consider, but perhaps the most critical is the question of fault. If your attorney cannot establish and produce evidence to prove that another person or business is to blame for your accident and resultant injury, then there is no one for you to seek compensation from. It's also important to determine whether multiple parties might bear fault for your injuries, because parties with liability insurance (like most businesses) are more likely to be able to compensate you fairly for your injuries.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, insurance company, negligence

Will You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 29, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

After any accident in which you were injured because of another person's mistakes, one of the most important questions you need to consider is whether you should hire an attorney. Theoretically it's possible to pursue any injury claim without professional legal representation, but in many cases the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer can mean the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve and walking away with little or nothing for your pain and medical bills. That doesn't mean every injury case necessarily requires an attorney, but the question of whether to seek legal counsel is one that you should seriously consider before proceeding with your claim.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Personal Injury, injury compensation

Will Driverless Cars Reduce Car Collisions and Serious Injuries?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 26, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

The popular concept of what automotive technology will look like in the future tends to revolve around the notion of “flying cars.” While it's probably for the best that such vehicles currently remain within the realm of science fiction, some very real-world progress is being made by the industry in another form of next-generation motor vehicle technology: self-driving cars. Programmers and engineers at Google are at the forefront of efforts by several companies to develop technology that would allow specially-designed or modified cars to operate automatically without input from a driver, navigating roads through the use of precision sensors and detailed programming. Already, four states have passed laws allowing the testing and operation of self-driving cars on their roads, and many experts estimate that by 2020, driverless cars will become available to the general public.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney

Negotiating a Final Settlement With the Insurance Adjuster

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 24, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Reaching a personal injury settlement agreement with an insurance company involves a process of negotiation and at times can bear some similarity to bargaining over the price of a used car or haggling with a street vendor for a vacation souvenir. The dollar amounts are greater and the stakes are much higher in an injury claim, but the basic principles of negotiation can be present in all three cases.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, insurance company, negotiated personal injury settlement

Writing Your Personal Injury Demand Letter

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 22, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

If you are handling your own personal injury claim, just about every effort to seek injury compensation from an insurance company begins the same way: by drafting and sending a demand letter to the insurance company. This letter initiates the settlement negotiation process and sets the tone for your interaction with the insurance company. Your demand letter is also the first impression that the insurance adjuster gets of how much you understand about your rights and how organized and well-prepared you are in dealing with your case. As such, it's important to make sure that your demand letter is composed well, in order to set the best tone for the negotiations going forward.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, insurance company, negotiated personal injury settlement, personal injury demand letter

Tips for Getting the Best Injury Claim Settlement

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 19, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When you seek compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered due to an accident, you are entering into an extended negotiation process with the insurance company. Specifically, you'll find yourself bargaining with an insurance adjuster whose primary job description is to settle claims for as little cost to the insurance company as possible. When your health and financial well-being are on the line, you need every edge possible as you face a professional negotiator across the bargaining table. Here are a few important tips to help you ensure that the settlement you receive is fair.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, insurance company, pain and suffering

Shared Blame: Comparative and Contributory Fault for a Personal Injury

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 15, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

If you've sustained injuries in an accident, the first critical component of your claim for injury compensation is establishing liability – and that means proving that the other party involved in your accident was at fault. Sometimes issues of fault are simple and clear-cut, and the real challenges in the case lie in securing a fair sum in compensation for the plaintiff's injuries. However, one of the more common tactics used by insurance company lawyers is to argue that the injured person bringing the claim bears some of the fault for the accident. In some cases, this argument may even be true; it isn't only perfect drivers who are injured in auto accidents, for instance. Understanding how the legal concept of shared fault can affect your case and the value of the damages you may receive is important when pursuing any injury claim.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, comparative fault, contributory fault

Attorney Dispute With Independent Medical Exam Report

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 12, 2016

  By Francis M. Smith

When a victim of another's negligence brings forward a personal injury claim seeking compensation, the insurance company involved often insists on bringing in a doctor of their own choosing to perform an examination on the injured person. In theory, insurance companies do this to ensure that the diagnosis made by the patient's treating physician is correct and that any treatment the patient receives is medically indicated, so that they are not required to pay for unnecessary procedures. In practice, however, these so-called “independent” medical examinations are rarely so benign - and rarely independent. .

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Topics: Injuries, Independent Medical Exam, injury compensation, insurance company

The "Right" Medical Treatment Increases the Settlement Value of an Injury Claim

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 10, 2016

  By Francis M. Smith

When an insurance adjuster sets out to calculate the compensation you deserve when you've made a personal injury claim, determining the total cost of the medical treatment you received for your injuries (referred to in legal terms as the “medical special damages”) is an important first step. Not only is this figure likely to make up a large portion of the financial damages in your claim, but it is also the basis from which the value of your pain and suffering damages is derived. In many cases, figuring out the cost of your medical treatment is as simple as totaling up your medical bills – but not all medical treatment is equal in the eyes of an insurance company, and some types of care will be taken more seriously, and thus valued more highly when it comes time to decide on a damages multiplier for your pain and suffering, than others.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, insurance company, medical special damages

NJ's Most Dangerous Roads

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 08, 2016

 By Francis M. Smith

New Jersey's roads and highways see some of the heaviest traffic in the country, and unfortunately that heavy traffic is a major determining factor in the number of fatal auto wrecks that take place in the state. 2014 saw an increase in highway fatalities on New Jersey's highways relative to the previous year, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation. In that year, 229 deadly car crashes took place on the state's major roadways, compared to the 213 fatal collisions that took place in 2013.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Distracted Driving

Damage Caps and Other Limits on (non-economic) Personal Injury Compensation

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Thu, Feb 04, 2016

 By Francis M. Smith

It may seem counter to one's intuition for there to be limits on the damages an injured person can be awarded other than the jury's judgment of proper compensation for all the elements of an injury, but there is legislation that can, in some instances, place a cap on the amount that can be awarded as compensation for certain types of damages. Most of the time, these laws apply only to non-economic damages, as these are inherently more subjective and do not correspond directly to a financial loss on the part of the injured person.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, insurance company

Does the Insurance Company Use a Formula for Compensation?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 03, 2016

 By Francis M. Smith

The key to success in any negotiation lies in understanding the thought process of the opposing side, and this is certainly true when negotiating a personal injury settlement with an insurance adjuster. This is part of the reason why claims adjusters are generally evasive about the “formula” they use to calculate the value of your injury case. But as much as insurance companies might wish otherwise, the general formula they use for determining the rough value of injury claims is not a secret. Understanding how the insurance companies' compensation formula works enables you to negotiate more confidently and from a more advantageous position.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, insurance company

Calculate Your Personal Injury Settlement

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 01, 2016

 By Francis M. Smith

If you're about to enter into settlement negotiations with an insurance company for a personal injury claim, you will hold a much stronger negotiating position if you understand how the insurance adjuster arrives at his starting offer, and if you can determine in advance what a reasonable compensation figure for your injuries should be. You may have heard about “formulas” used for calculating damages in injury cases, but there's nothing secret or difficult to understand about the math involved. Most insurers use some variant on the same formula, which you can also employ to determine both your own starting figure for negotiations and the minimum offer that you would consider reasonable and adequate to your needs.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, settlement compensation, negotiated personal injury settlement

Factors that Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Settlement

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

 By Francis M. Smith

When trying to determine how much compensation you should receive as a result of your personal injury claim at the outset of settlement negotiations, referring to the “formula” that insurance companies use to estimate damages, if they use such a formula, is only a starting point. There are many factors that can influence the value of your injury claim, either positively or negatively. Understanding how these elements can impact your case allows you to form a clearer and more accurate estimate of how much compensation you can expect, and may enable you to work with your personal injury attorney to strengthen and make clear the less obvious points of your claim.

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Topics: Injuries, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, negligence, pain and suffering

Factors Affecting Your Pain and Suffering Claim

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

  By Francis M. Smith

When you seek compensation for an injury, most of the time the damages you're pursuing are not limited to the cost of doctor visits and hospital stays. You deserve to be compensated for the harm that the injury caused to your life and well-being, not just to your bank account. That's where pain and suffering damages come in. But unlike economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, and the like), there's no fixed monetary cost associated with being in pain, or losing the freedom to do what you could do prior to your injury. As such, the damages awarded by juries and the settlements negotiated with insurance adjusters for pain and suffering and loss of life style are necessarily subjective.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, settlement compensation, pain and suffering

How Does The Insurance Company Determine Pain and Suffering Damages?

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

  By Francis M. Smith

When you seek compensation for injuries resulting from an accident that someone else caused, you are asking to be reimbursed for the cost of your medical treatment and the lost earnings resulting from your injuries – but these tangible, economic losses are not the only way that you were harmed as a result of your accident. The experience of enduring the pain of your injuries didn't necessarily cost you any money, but it does constitute real harm for which you are entitled to compensation. Similarly, serious accidents and painful injuries often have ripple effects on a patient's emotional state, from anxiety and sleeplessness to depression and grief. All of these kinds of physical, emotional, and psychological harm generally fall under the category of “pain and suffering” damages.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, settlement compensation, lost income, pain and suffering

How Long-Term Injuries Affect the Value of Your Claim

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 06, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

 One of the more unsettling diagnoses that one can hear after being injured in an accident is that the injuries sustained will never completely heal, that some lasting effect will remain on one's body even after recovery is complete. Injuries with enduring physical consequences, termed “residual injuries” in the jargon of injury claims, are considered to have a greater significant impact on your life – even if they only cause you a fairly minor impairment – because they are permanent. As such, residual injuries tend to increase the overall sum of your injury damages, including those damages awarded for pain and suffering.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, residual injuries, long-term injuries

How a Negotiated Personal Injury Settlement Works

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 30, 2015

 When you've suffered injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, filing a lawsuit is rarely the first step on the road to seeking injury compensation. Lawsuits are lengthy and expensive processes, and it's generally better for everyone involved if an equitable settlement can be agreed upon outside of court. In fact, most personal injury claims (some say as many as 97%) are resolved through settlement negotiation without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. Still, sometimes the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, so it's important to maintain a willingness to go to trial in order to seek fair compensation for your injuries. In addition, your negotiation position is much stronger if the insurance adjuster knows you'll take your case to court if he won't offer an adequate settlement.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, negligence, negotiated personal injury settlement

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

Caution When Posting to Facebook When Pursuing an Accident Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 23, 2015

  By Francis M. Smith

In today's world, the internet has worked its way thoroughly into almost every aspect of our lives – including our social lives. People use social media to keep up with important events in the lives of friends and family, to share their daily thoughts and feelings, and to seek support in times of hardship. In the aftermath of an accident resulting in a serious injury, many people instinctively reach for their smart phone to update their Facebook or Twitter accounts, either to reassure loved ones or to connect with friends while their injuries prevent them from socializing. Unfortunately, following this impulse can be dangerous if you're seeking compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

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Topics: Injuries, Personal Injury, injury case, social media

Dangerous Trucks

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Dec 21, 2015

  By Francis M. Smith

Travel of any kind has its risks. For instance, some people refuse to fly because they're afraid of a plane crash. Airline crashes are tragedies, but part of the reason every crash stays in the headlines for so long is because they're rare. By contrast, road accidents involving heavy trucks are only becoming more frequent as the regulations governing commercial trucking are loosened, but these deadly accidents don't typically make the national headlines unless a famous figure is involved – such as the multiple-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in recent memory that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan, killed his friend and passenger James McNair, and hurt eight other people.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Truck Accidents

Another Harsh Winter Anticipated

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Dec 18, 2015

  By Francis M. Smith

As winter closes in on New Jersey again, many residents have begun to wonder whether another season of unusual and severe weather awaits us. Long-range forecasts are difficult to make with any certainty, but the old stand-by reference for many people across the country, the Old Farmer's Almanac, has weighed in definitively on the subject. According to the almanac, the winter of 2015-2016 promises to be another severe one, with particularly harsh temperature drops and plenty of snow. In particular, our part of the country is destined for some noteworthy cold snaps this year, according to the publication.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Slip and Fall, Pedestrian Accidents

NJ Truck Crash Kills 3, Hospitalizes 15, and Kills Several Cows

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 16, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

A tragic three-vehicle crash on Route 287 recently left three people dead and several more injured. The collision also killed several cows being transported in a cattle trailer attached to one of the vehicles involved in the accident. The incident occurred in Bernards Township, and one of the deceased was a New Jersey resident.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents

Holiday Travel Road/Driving Safety Tips

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Dec 14, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends, relax in a festive atmosphere, and celebrate the season. Unfortunately, the winter holidays also coincide with the onset of some of the most unpredictable and dangerous weather conditions of the year for driving. With the high volume of vehicles on the road during the holiday season, driving in suboptimal weather conditions becomes particularly hazardous. Though you can't control the behavior of other motorists or the weather, there are a few important precautions you can take to help you and your family reduce your risk of getting into a car accident during your holiday drive.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Distracted Driving, Holidays

When is a dog's owner liable for dog bite injuries?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Dec 11, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Dogs may be “man's best friend,” but many people are justifiably wary around dogs they don't know. Even well-treated dogs are often fiercely loyal and protective toward the people they consider part of their “pack,” and may respond with aggression to strangers. In the unfortunate cases when a dog has been poorly trained or mistreated, aggressive responses in dogs are often motivated by fear – either that they will be hurt or that their food will be taken away. Sometimes, changes to a dog's environment will cause the animal to become anxious or over-stimulated, causing it to snap in reaction. Whatever the cause, dog bites and attacks can cause severe injuries and serious psychological trauma in victims. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a dog bite incident, it's vital to understand the laws governing when a pet owner is liable for damages resulting from their dog's actions.

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Topics: Injuries, Dog Bites

Should Commercial Truck Drivers Work Longer Before Taking Mandated Breaks?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 09, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle should take precautions against the dangers of drowsy and distracted driving. However, commercial truck drivers – who spend long hours driving vehicles that are dozens of feet long and weigh tens of thousands of pounds – are at particular risk of driving without sufficient rest, and the potential consequences of a truck driver nodding off at the wheel are truly devastating. According to the Truck Safety Coalition, the average year sees 4,000 deaths and close to 100,000 injuries as a result of crashes involving large commercial trucks. 96 percent of the fatalities in accidents involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle come from the passenger car. Over the last four years, the number of fatalities and injuries from large truck accidents have risen appreciably. And yet, according to the Department of Transportation, the minimum insurance requirements for large commercial vehicles have not been raised in 30 years, even in the face of inflation, rising medical costs, and an increase in disability claims resulting from truck crashes.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Truck Accidents

Parents Not Held Liable for Accidents & Injuries that Occur in Customary Child Care

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Dec 04, 2015

 By Francis M. Smith

For many people, it can be difficult to imagine a circumstance under which a child would wish to sue his or her parents for negligence. The unfortunate reality, however, is that parents aren't perfect and accidents happen, so the courts have needed to decide if and when a parent may be held liable for their child's injuries in a lawsuit. The answer that our legal system has reached is a complicated one, and through the process of trying to reach a fair and reasonable solution, the doctrine of parental immunity was established.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, parental immunity

When Family Members Witness Serious Injuries to a Loved One

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 02, 2015

When a person is severely injured or killed in an accident resulting from negligence, very often it is not only the accident victim who suffers. The loved ones of a person harmed in such an accident endure substantial pain and grief when their family member, spouse, or intimate partner becomes the victim of a serious or fatal accident. Unfortunately, in most cases the pain and distress that the loved ones of an accident victim experience is not considered sufficient grounds for these family members to file their own injury claims; damage awards for emotional distress are generally linked to a physical injury of some kind that the plaintiff suffered.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, negligence

10 Tips to Maximize Your Recovery

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Nov 30, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Most people have no experience with the personal injury claim process until they are hurt in an accident. When that happens, you have a short time to learn how to handle the medical and legal issues to give yourself the best chance for recovery. Keep these ten simple but crucial tips in mind to help you avoid common pitfalls that can prevent you from getting fair compensation for your injuries.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, injury case

TOP 5 REASONS Why Motorcycle Accident Victims Should Quickly Hire a Lawyer

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Nov 27, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When you've had a motorcycle accident and are dealing with the pain of your injuries and their consequences for your work and private life, the last thing you want to think about is hiring a lawyer. But acting fast and getting a motorcycle accident lawyer involved with your case can save you a lot of trouble in the long term. There are several good reasons why acting sooner, rather than later, is important; here are the top five.

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Topics: Injuries, Motorcycle Accident, injury compensation

Every Motorcycle Rider is at Risk

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Nov 25, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

There are as many reasons to ride a motorcycle as there are bikers on the road. Some people enjoy the hands-on experience of maintaining and riding their own bike. Many motorcycles are less expensive and more fuel-efficient than cars and trucks. And, of course, there are plenty of bikers who ride simply because it's fun. The freedom of the open road and the power of the machine beneath you offer a thrill that every rider recognizes. But every experienced rider also understands that this liberation and excitement comes at a price. The danger of a motorcycle accident is undeniable, and there is no precaution you can take – short of never leaving the driveway – that can keep you completely safe from a motorcycle crash.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Motorcycle Accident

When a Child is Injured Consult an Attorney Immediately

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

By Francis M. Smith

The aftermath of an accident in which a child is seriously injured is a tremendously stressful and emotionally devastating time. Between caring for your child, going to doctors and specialists, and worrying over your child's recovery while trying to juggle the accumulating bills and other costs, you may feel that you have little time or energy to focus on anything else. In this situation, some parents find themselves putting off dealing with the legal aspects of their child's accident, either because they trust the insurance company to do right by them or because they just have too much on their plates.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, injury compensation

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

Children Twice as Likely to Be Hit by Cars on Halloween

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Oct 30, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Halloween is one of the most fun and exciting nights of the year, for adults and children alike. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most dangerous – especially for children. Though many of the horrors of Halloween are merely pretend, some risks are all too real, including the danger of being hit by a car. Over the years, multiple health and safety organizations have investigated accident statistics and reached a single conclusion: a child is substantially more likely to be fatally struck by a vehicle on Halloween night than on any other day of the year.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Injuries to Children, Pedestrian Accidents

Arrange Rides Home from Halloween Festivities Before Parties Start

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Oct 28, 2015

 By Francis M. Smith

Many people have fond childhood memories of dressing up in costume and going trick-or-treating around their neighborhood on Halloween, but the fun doesn't stop after you pass the age when it's acceptable to knock on strangers' doors and beg for candy. Every year, countless adults participate in Halloween revelry, giving out candy or attending costume parties. Many of these celebrations feature alcoholic beverages, which means it's important to plan ahead when you intend to go to one of these events – beyond what costume to wear. Unless you're hosting your own party or spending the night at the party location, you'll need a safe way to get home after the festivities are over. If you drink, that way home should not involve getting behind the wheel.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Drunk Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

Jessica's Law: Jail and Stiff Fines for Road Rage Accidents Resulting in Serious Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Oct 26, 2015

 By Francis M. Smith

A sixteen-year-old girl is riding in a car with her friends. Suddenly, another driver cuts them off, enraging the girl's friend, who is driving. He accelerates, weaving in and out of traffic and driving on the shoulder of the road in an attempt to pass the object of his outrage. He loses control of the vehicle, and it careens into a telephone pole. The young man driving the car walks away from the crash, but the girl doesn't – her injuries leave her paralyzed from the chest down.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents

When Fall Sports Injuries Occur

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Oct 23, 2015

 By Francis M. Smith

With schools back in session for the fall, students are returning to their sports teams or making the cut for the first time, full of competitive spirit. Sports are widely considered to be an excellent avenue for young people to learn teamwork, fair play, and social skills, as well as an opportunity to get valuable exercise. For some, sports participation represents the potential for college scholarships. There are many reasons for young people to participate in athletic extracurricular activities, including simply for enjoyment. But some parents quite reasonably worry about their children's risk of injury on the sports field. If a child plays for a sports team or expresses an interest in taking up a sport, it's wise for their parents to learn about the risks of sports injuries and what they should do if their child is hurt.

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Topics: Injuries, Sports Injuries, traumatic brain injury

Does Your Gym Require You to Sign a Waiver of Liability?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Oct 21, 2015

  By Francis M. Smith

While it's certainly true that almost any physical activity involves a certain level of injury risk, most people probably expect that exercising at a commercial gym or health club to be one of the safer ways of working out. After all, members of these gyms are paying for a service, and they should reasonably expect that the equipment their paid membership entitles them to use is being monitored and maintained by competent and careful professionals. Unfortunately, the reality is not always so clear-cut. Many exercise machines involve heavy components and many moving parts, and these are not always inspected and maintained in a way that renders them safe to use. Customers of these gyms can and do suffer injuries while exercising, sometimes due to the negligence of the gym staff. In these situations, you would expect that an injured member would be able to sue for damages, right?

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Topics: Injuries, negligence, waiver of liability, gross negligence

Who is Liable When Someone Falls on a Condominium Sidewalk?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Oct 16, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

As the weather turns colder, the changing season brings with it the return of yearly hazards to pedestrians – specifically in the form of slippery and unsafe sidewalks. Fallen autumn leaves, slick with rain, will soon give way to ice and snow in winter, and it's no surprise that New Jersey sees an increase in slip and fall injuries (and resulting injury claims) at this time of year. Unfortunately, the law surrounding liability for sidewalk injuries involves many conditions and exceptions, which can leave an injured plaintiff unsure of whether they have a case, and if so, against whom.

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Topics: Injuries, Trip and Fall, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, premises liability

Let Your Lawyer Guide You

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Sep 07, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

One of the most traumatic events a parent can experience is when their child sustains a serious injury. Accident injury claims are complicated at the best of times -- dealing with doctors, specialists, physical therapists, and health insurance providers is never easy, and navigating an injury claim that may go to trial exacerbates that difficulty. On top of that, there's the insurance adjuster and the company he works for, who will actively work against your efforts to secure fair compensation for your child's injuries. Even once that hurdle is cleared, injury claims involving children have the added complication of structured settlements, designed to keep your child's money safe until they come of age. For any even remotely serious injury, you're much better off working with an experienced child injury lawyer to make the claim process go smoothly and successfully for you and your family, while you focus on taking care of your child.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, settlement compensation, statute of limitations

Your Lawyer Doesn't Get Paid Unless You Do

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Sep 02, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Despite the clear benefits of working with a motorcycle accident lawyer when pursuing an injury case, some injured riders try to go it alone, and the most common reason for this choice is the fear of attorney's fees. When you're racking up medical bills right and left, and you can't go back to work until your injuries have healed, the prospect of another major expense can be very intimidating. In fact, that's something insurance companies often count on – the injured claimant's belief that hiring a lawyer will be too expensive, and thus going up against the insurance adjuster without any help.

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Topics: Injuries, Motorcycle Accident, contingent fee

Proper Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Aug 28, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Any motorcycle accident lawyer who has been working for at least a couple of years has stories about riders who weren't carrying enough motorcycle insurance, and found out after an accident the high cost of trying to save a few bucks on a cheaper policy. Because motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road, compared to drivers and passengers in larger vehicles, it's vital to carry adequate insurance protection in case something goes wrong.

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Topics: Injuries, Personal Injury Protection, NJ Auto Insurance, Uninsured Motorist Coverage, Motorcycle Accident, motorcycle laws

Protect Your Child's Recovery

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Aug 26, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When pursuing a personal injury claim on behalf of an injured child, many parents aren't sure of the best way to protect their child's money after they've won their case or accepted a fair settlement. If you have questions about the most reliable and advantageous way to handle your child's recovery, your child injury lawyer may suggest a structured settlement, especially if the amount you recovered from the insurance company is sizable.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, injury compensation, structured settlement

Motorcycle Laws in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Aug 24, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Because riding a motorcycle is inherently more hazardous than driving a car or truck and requires a different set of skills to operate safely on the road, most states have a distinct set of laws governing motorcycle licensing requirements. Proper gear is essential to the safety of any rider, so it's no surprise that most states also have laws requiring riders to have certain elements of gear and equipment. Since motorcycle laws vary from state to state, it's important to familiarize yourself with New Jersey's specific requirements before hitting the road. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer is well-versed in the state's motorcycle laws.

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Topics: Injuries, Motorcycle Accident, motorcycle laws

Dealing With the Loss of a Child

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Aug 21, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Claims involving the death of a child are among the most emotionally difficult cases a child injury lawyer handles, even though in legal terms they function in a way very similar to any personal injury claim. Like other injury claims involving negligence, there are four points fact the claimants' attorney must prove to the satisfaction of the jury: first, that the party responsible for the child's death had a duty of care toward the child – whether that means maintaining property or equipment in a safe way, or simply driving their vehicle in a manner that does not endanger others. Second, the child injury lawyer must prove that the defendant breached that duty of care by failing to behave appropriately. Third, the child's death must be shown to have resulted from that breach of the defendant's duty of care, and fourth, the attorney must show that the child's estate and the parties pursuing the injury claim were harmed as a result of the loss of the child.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, injury compensation

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Aug 19, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Any motorcycle accident lawyer can tell you, through experience with numerous clients over the years, how devastating the injuries resulting from a crash can be. If you've suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer may offer your best chance of receiving the fair compensation you need. But if you haven't been in an accident, I want to help you keep it that way! Many experienced riders will find most of these tips familiar, but an occasional refresher is valuable for everyone. You can also pass these tips along to friends and family who ride.

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Topics: Injuries, Motorcycle Accident, injury compensation

Accident Attorneys Know How to Navigate the Legal Process

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Aug 17, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Most people who suffer injuries in traffic accidents find themselves in the unfamiliar position of needing to seek compensation for an injury claim for the first time, and many have never seen the inside of a courtroom before. In all but the most clear-cut of cases, dealing with an accident injury claim is anything but simple. Evidence needs to be collected; expert witnesses must be deposed; paperwork from hospitals, doctors, physical therapists, and other health care providers must be gathered; and the insurance adjuster must be dealt with. During all this, you may still be trying to recover from your injuries and find ways to pay your bills while your injuries prevent you from working. Unless the injuries you sustained in your accident were very minor, it's almost always the better choice to hire an accident lawyer to handle your claim. Not only will your attorney take much of the burden of managing your case off your shoulders while you heal, but you're much more likely to receive fair and sufficient compensation for your injuries when you've got an experienced accident lawyer on your side.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, injury case, accident attorney

Devastating Accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Aug 14, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Nobody plans to be involved in a car collision. Every day, careful drivers who do everything right become the victim of collisions caused by other people's negligent or reckless driving. You could be on your way to work or driving to the store on a quick errand, and the next thing you know another vehicle slams into yours. This incident kicks off a snowballing sequence of physical pain, psychological stress, and financial hardship that can stretch out for months or even years. The injuries sustained in a serious car wreck can be devastating, especially if you suffer trauma to your head, back, neck, or spine. Of course, the bills don't stop coming when you're out of work healing from your injuries, and the resulting financial hardship can threaten your family's economic stability for years after you've recovered from your accident.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, injury compensation

Accident Case Standards

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jul 13, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

If you've suffered an injury in a car crash or other accident, it's likely that you have a lot of questions. Can you sue? Should you sue? What determines whether you have a case? Should you hire an accident lawyer? Unfortunately, not every injury will lead to a successful lawsuit, and the determining factor isn't necessarily how badly you were hurt. In order to win a lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries, you and your accident lawyer must be able to prove that the other party was negligent in a way that caused your injuries. Negligence is a complicated legal concept, but in its most basic form, it means that the person in question had a responsibility to behave in a particular way or perform particular actions in order to keep others from being harmed, and they failed in that duty in a way that resulted in someone being injured.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, negligence

How Does an Attorney Get Paid in a Personal Injury Case? The Contingent Fee Explained

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jul 10, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

For many people who suffer injuries in accidents that were the fault of someone else, there's one fear that makes them hesitate to hire an attorney to help with their claims: the cost. They're afraid they can't afford the services of an accident lawyer – and when the medical and other expenses resulting from their accident are piling up, and they may be out of work for an extended period of time until they're healed enough to resume their duties, money is a very reasonable fear. But many injury lawyers understand the financial bind that their clients are in, and have settled on a solution that helps both the accident victim and the lawyer. If you hire an attorney to help with your injury case, he won't get paid unless you do. (Although you may offer to hire an attorney at an hourly rate, many experienced trial attorneys would charge $500 an hour or more, so almost no one opts for this method of hiring an accident attorney.)

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation, contingent fee

Settling Your Child's Case: What is a "Friendly Judgment Hearing?"

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 08, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Pursuing an injury claim when a child has been hurt in an accident is a little different from seeking compensation for injuries you yourself sustained. Because a child is not considered to have the means or ability to file a lawsuit on their own behalf, the child's parents or legal guardians take the lead in handling the claim – but there are a few additional legal safeguards in place to ensure that the settlement process plays out according to the child's best interests.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, injury compensation, friendly judgment hearing

Important Steps to Help Your Child's Injury Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jul 06, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

If your child is seriously hurt in an accident, it's hard to think about anything besides caring for their injuries. By rights, finances should take a distant second – but a settlement from the insurance company might be essential to paying your child's medical bills. And compensation for pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life, can take on a new meaning when it's your child who is suffering and going through medical procedures. The insurance company won't offer you any more than they're forced to, so you need to know how to protect your family's right to fair compensation.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, injury compensation

11 TIPS to Make Sure You Get Fair Compensation After Your Motorcycle Accident

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jul 03, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

After a motorcycle crash, most accident victims are (quite rightly) focused primarily on their medical recovery. Motorcycle accident injuries can be debilitating, preventing you from working, engaging in recreational activities, or taking care of your family until your injuries heal, and all the while the bills from your medical treatment are piling up. While you follow your doctors' orders to pursue your physical recovery, you should also consider your financial recovery – the compensation you deserve when you're injured because another driver behaved negligently. Even after your physical injuries heal, the financial damage dealt by a serious motorcycle wreck may still be felt after several years. Use these ten tips as a starting point to give yourself the best chance at getting the full compensation you deserve.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Motorcycle Accident, injury compensation

Motorcycle Accident: Do You Have a Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 01, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

You've been hurt in a motorcycle accident, and you want to pursue a claim against the other driver. One of the first things your motorcycle accident lawyer will discuss with you at your initial consultation is, do you have a solid case that can win? Unfortunately, not everyone who is injured will necessarily be able to collect damages, or compensation, due to those injuries. The laws governing personal injury suits require you and your attorney to be able to prove certain points in order to win a lawsuit. It's true that most accident injury claims are settled out of court, but generally an insurance company will only agree to a settlement if they're afraid that the injured person would win a trial and the jury would award them even more money. One way or another, you need to have a strong case if you're going to seek compensation for your injuries. This is especially true in cases brought by motorcycle riders, since non-riders, most attorneys agree, have a prejudice against motorcycle riders. The prejudice is  that they have assumed a risk by riding a motorcycle. How can that excuse negligent conduct by the driver of a car or truck? This is where your attorney goes to work.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Motorcycle Accident, injury compensation

11 Tips for Motorcycle Riders

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 19, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Suffering injury in a motorcycle crash as a result of another driver's inattention can be stressful, frightening, and traumatic, and having to deal with the financial, medical, and legal business resulting from that collision can be downright overwhelming. When you're trying to heal from serious crash-related injuries, sparring with an insurance adjuster is the last thing on your mind. At the same time, you know that if things go badly with your claim, you may be stuck with a pile of unpaid medical bills, and no fair recognition of what you've been through. To help you cut through the worry and confusion, here is a list of ten simple tips to remember in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Motorcycle Accident, injury compensation

Kids are at Risk for Accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jun 17, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

For parents, the idea of their child being hurt or killed in an accident is the ultimate nightmare. Tragically, sometimes that nightmare comes true. Knowing about the risks and how to reduce them can give parents a greater ability to protect their children, and may provide answers and understanding when an accident happens despite the parents' best efforts. If disaster does strike through the fault of another, the advice and guidance of an experienced and compassionate child injury lawyer is an essential asset in helping the family find answers and recover stability in the aftermath of an accident.

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Topics: Injuries, Car Accidents, Dog Bites, Injuries to Children, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

Accidents Dos and Don'ts

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 08, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

After a serious accident, the stress, confusion, and pain can make it difficult to know what to do next. When the accident was caused by someone else's negligence, there are the additional considerations of possible legal action to make things even harder. In the days and weeks following an accident, many people who have never found themselves in the traumatic situation of suffering a serious injury make mistakes that can have serious consequences down the line for their medical recovery and financial stability. It's vital, when faced with a serious injury, to know what you should do – and what not to do.

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Topics: Injuries, injury compensation

When Bad Things Happen to Good Kids

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 05, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Every parent wants to keep their child safe from harm, to protect them the countless dangers a parent worries about every day. But even when you do everything right, take every reasonable precaution, sometimes accidents happen, and turn a family's life upside-down in the space of a single moment. Everyone who has a child in their life – whether they're a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, other relative or close friend – can imagine the heartbreak and devastation suffered by the family of a child who is seriously injured in an accident, or worse, killed.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children, injury compensation

Falls from Loading Docks

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 27, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Warehouses and other sites where cargo is loaded onto and received from trucks can be dangerous places, to workers and visitors alike. Though a loading dock is a seemingly indispensable part of the shipping and receiving process, loading docks offer many hazards for people who traverse them, whether during the course of their employment or for other legitimate purposes. Loading dock falls often result in severe injuries, due to the elevation of the raised loading dock platform from the ground below, and the hard, sharp surfaces and equipment typically found in and around these areas.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall, falls from loading docks

Falls Resulting from Inadequate Lighting - Indoors and Outdoors

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 25, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

There are a number of hazards that can result in a slip and fall accident inside a building or outdoors, but one of the greatest contributing factors to dangerous falls is often overlooked. Inadequate lighting can conceal dangers that a person walking through the space might otherwise notice, or turn even a well-maintained staircase into a hazard. It is the responsibility of anyone who owns, administers, or maintains a property to keep it in a state that is safe for all legitimate visitors (which includes all members of the public for most businesses or public buildings, and tenants and their visitors in residential rental units). This duty of care requires them not only to repair any defects in walking surfaces and clear away spills or debris, but to provide adequate lighting to allow the average visitor to see where they are walking without difficulty.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall, falls from inadequate lighting

Negligent Security: Preventable Criminal Attacks

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 22, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Business owners have a duty of care toward their visitors: they must take steps to remedy any dangerous conditions on their property that they know about, as well as any dangerous conditions that they should know about as a result of reasonably careful maintenance of the property. Sometimes, however, the dangers that threaten to injure visitors to the property are not just slippery floors or icy steps. Some of the more devastating injuries that can befall visitors are suffered at the hands of other people in acts of violent crime – and for premises liability purposes, reasonably foreseeable criminal activity committed by a third party may count as a dangerous condition that a property owner has a duty to rectify through implementing reasonable security measures.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, premises liability, negligent security

Common Defenses To A Slip and Fall Injury Accident

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 20, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When your slip and fall injury claim goes to court, you and your attorney will need to prove a number of things to the satisfaction of a jury: that you suffered an accident as a result of the negligence of the party you are suing, that the injuries you sustained were caused by that accident, and that the financial damages you are seeking stem from those injuries. As you are working to provide evidence in support of these points, the lawyer working for the insurance company will be doing his best to tear down your attorney's arguments. One of the more common points of attack for defense attorneys in slip and fall injury cases is the claim of negligence. If they can convince a jury that their client (the landowner or property manager you are suing) was diligent in fulfilling his duty of care and that your accident took place despite the client's reasonable efforts, you won't be able to collect injury damages regardless of how seriously you were injured.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury compensation, comparative fault

The Three Ingredients to a Slip and Fall - Injury: Shoes, Floor and Person

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 18, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

In any slip and fall injury case, there are three components in play that may contribute to an accident. These components are the accident victim him- or herself, the footwear the victim was wearing when the accident took place, and the flooring or other surface across which the injury victim was walking when the accident occurred. When you are injured in a slip or trip and fall accident, it's important for you and your attorney to examine all three factors thoroughly, in order to rule them out as a possible cause of the accident (and produce evidence to support ruling them out), or to demonstrate that a particular factor was at fault and gather evidence in support of this conclusion.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall

Slips and Falls Caused by How the Store Does Business? The Wollerman Rule and the Mode of Operation Explained

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 15, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

In some slip and fall injury claims, the cause of the accident is readily apparent: a staircase hand rail wasn't securely attached to the wall and gave way when the injured plaintiff grasped it, or the plaintiff slipped on a spilled puddle of laundry detergent, which left a soapy residue on her shoes. Unfortunately, there are many other cases in which it's clear that something caused the injured person to slip and fall, but the specific hazard that precipitated the fall is difficult to identify or prove. Sometimes the hazard that caused the accident is discovered, but it is unknown how the hazard came to be on the floor, or whether it had been there long enough for an employee of the business to discover it. In the past, this has resulted in the cases of many injured plaintiffs being dismissed on the grounds that they lacked evidence to prove negligence. A New Jersey Supreme Court decision established the Wollerman rule, making it simpler for some slip and fall victims to argue their cases by shifting the burden of proof to the defendant under some circumstances.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall

When to Hire an Experienced NJ Slip & Fall Lawyer

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 11, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

After reading through so many pages of detailed description of various aspects of slip and fall injury cases, there are two likely conclusions you may have reached:

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Slip and Fall, injury compensation

When Negligent Security Harms

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 08, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When you sustain injuries on a premises owned or controlled by someone else, there are specific circumstances under which that person or organization may be held liable for the costs of your injuries. The duty of care that property managers owe to invitees who are on their property for legitimate purposes is high: if the property manager knows about, or should reasonably know about, a hazardous condition or situation on their property, they are obligated to take steps to reduce or eliminate the danger. If they fail to do this, they could be found negligent and forced to pay damages to a visitor who trusted the property manager to keep the premises safe and was injured as a result. The archetypal example of negligence involves a slip and fall accident due to a section of cracked pavement or a spill that was not cleaned up in a timely manner, but these are not the only dangers that a visitor to a property might face.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury compensation, premises liability, negligent security

Slip & Falls on NJ Residential, Commercial & Government Property.

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 06, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When pursuing a personal injury claim resulting from a slip and fall accident, one of the major factors that dictate how the case must proceed and what you and your attorney must be able to prove is the kind of property where the accident took place. A slip and fall on commercial property is one of the most common cases of premises liability claims, and it looks very different in practice from a case involving a similar fall on residential property or on government land. There are some commonalities among these three kinds of claims, of course: in each case the injured person must prove that they were injured as a result of the fall, and that the financial damages they are seeking stem from those injuries. The standards of determining liability and, in some cases, the procedure that the claim must follow, are the main factors that differ as a result of the kind of property where the accident occurred.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury compensation

Navigating Fault: Why Are Slip & Falls Hard to Prove, Who Is to Blame, & What to Do When You Fall

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 04, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Though they are among the more common personal injury cases, slip and falls can be surprisingly difficult to pursue. In any negligence claim, there are three basic points that must be proven to the satisfaction of a jury if the case makes it to court. First, you must prove that you suffered losses (in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of living, and other costs that result from being injured). Second, you must prove that these losses were the result of the accident in question – that your injuries were the consequence of this particular fall, and not some other incident or condition. Third, you must prove that the accident is the fault of the individuals or organizations you are suing. This is the point where many insurance lawyers will attack your case the most fervently, because fault can be tricky to prove in slip and fall cases.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury compensation

Expectations with a Slip and Fall Accident Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 01, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Most people who suffer injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident and need to seek compensation for their injuries have had little contact with the legal system – and fulfilling one's jury duty obligation or making out a will with an attorney doesn't prepare a person for the lengthy and stressful process that pursuing a personal injury claim can become. Working with an experienced injury attorney can make the process somewhat less of an ordeal, but it's still important to be prepared for what to expect at each stage.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall, Mediation, injury compensation

Falls in Amusement Parks

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 29, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

New Jersey is fortunate to be home to many amusement parks, from a variety of local theme parks to one of the largest amusement park and safari chains in the country. Theme parks cultivate a sense of adventure, playfulness, and safety within their borders – which is why it seems all the more jarring when something goes wrong and someone is hurt. The idea of an accident at an amusement park conjures up images of roller-coaster disasters, but as a fraction of all personal injury claims at theme parks, these catastrophes are thankfully rare. Much more commonly, the sort of accidents that result in an injury claim and a potential lawsuit are rather mundane: the same sort of slip and fall accident that can happen in a supermarket or a restaurant.

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Topics: Injuries, Trip and Fall, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury compensation, falls in amusement parks

After an Accident, How to Handle Your Insurance Company

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 20, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Insurance companies advertise themselves as reliable sources of help when disaster strikes; they paint themselves as friends, neighbors, people who are on your side or in your corner, ready to help you. We've all seen the "Good Hands" commercials on TV. These are all great marketing slogans, but the reality is that insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and they make their bottom line by taking in as much money in payments and premiums as they can, and paying out as little for claims as they can get away with. When you suffer a car crash or other accident and need to file an injury claim, you're likely to find the helpful and neighborly spirit of your insurance company vanishing in the face of your claim. Unlike actual friends, your insurer has no motivation to care whether your medical bills are paid in full, or whether you receive compensation for the lost wages and suffering you endured as a result of your injuries. In order to make sure you get the money you deserve, you need to know how to handle your insurance company. If you have retained the services of a personal injury attorney, he or she will do this for you. If you have not, read on.

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Topics: Injuries, Personal Injury, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, injury compensation, insurance company

Falls on Public or Government Property

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 10, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Seeking compensation for injuries resulting from a fall can be complicated regardless of who the owner or manager of the property is, but when you experience a fall on public property, many additional complications can arise. If you are injured on property owned or controlled by a government entity, whether that entity is a federal, state, or municipal body, the rules governing your premises liability claim are different and more stringent than if the party you intended to sue was a private individual or business.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall, injury compensation, premises liability

NJ Personal Injury Attorney Warns: Motorcycle Accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 01, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

There are as many reasons to own and ride a motorcycle as there are riders on the road; motorcycles are fuel-efficient, maneuverable, and fun to ride. They are also inherently more dangerous than cars, simply because a motorcyclist does not have an enclosed passenger cabin to protect him from impact. Cars are designed to absorb the shock of a collision and reduce the amount of force transferred to the people inside, thanks to built-in crumple zones, air bags, and other safety equipment. The only protection a motorcyclist has is the gear he wears and his own skill in avoiding or minimizing the impact of a crash. If you're heading out on the road, it's vital to be as prepared as possible to reduce your risk of a serious accident; even if you can't avoid an accident entirely, remembering a few vital tips may mean the difference between walking away from a crash and becoming a statistic.

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Topics: Injuries, Motorcycle Accident

NJ Personal Injury Attorney Warning: Second Impact Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 30, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

With many types of injury, the severity of the damage sustained by the body is self-evident, as are the limitations to the accident victim resulting from their injury. No reasonable person would expect someone to “walk off” a torn ACL, or think a person with a broken wrist could return to a job requiring heavy lifting after a weekend to recuperate. But all too often, concussion injuries are not treated with the seriousness that they require. Whether it's because there's no visible wound to be wrapped in a cast or brace, or because the symptoms of concussion are largely self-reported issues like headache, nausea, confusion, and dizziness, personality changes, irritability, and light and sound sensitivity, many lay people expect an accident victim to recover from a blow to the head quickly and without complication. Unfortunately, there are serious dangers for a person with a concussion who tries to return to regular activity before they have fully recovered.

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Topics: Injuries, Brain Injury, concussion

Falls Caused by Excessive Weather Conditions - Ice and Snow

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 27, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Every year, it seems that winter grows longer, more severe, and more unpredictable. One thing that remains constant, however, is the increased risk of slipping and falling that comes with winter weather. Anyone who has spent a winter in New Jersey knows the perils that come with snow and ice accumulation. When the temperature climbs above freezing for part of the day the danger can actually increase, as packed snow begins to melt and turns to slippery slush, then re-freezes as temperatures drop during the night. Additionally, previously cleared sidewalks can become icy when adjacent snow shoveled off the sidewalk melts, the water flows onto the sidewalk, and freezes. Most people take pains to move carefully across outdoor surfaces when snow and ice cover the ground, but black ice and hidden slick spots under snow cover are difficult to spot.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Premises, Premises Liabiiity, Slip and Fall

Falls on Escalators & Elevators

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 25, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

While there is no place on most properties that is completely free of the dangers of slip and fall accidents, some areas present both a greater risk of a fall and the potential for more serious injury than other parts of the same property. Many multi-story buildings such as shopping malls and office complexes offer visitors the convenience of using elevators and escalators to travel between floors, and every day thousands of people use these devices without a second thought. But the traffic of those thousands puts a great deal of stress on the machinery and surfaces of escalators and elevators, and without careful and regular maintenance, these can wear down and create hazards that put the lives and bodies of riders at serious risk.

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Topics: Injuries, Trip and Fall, Slip and Fall

Falls on Stairs

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

By Francis M. Smith

Most of us walk up and down several flights of stairs every day without giving them a second thought. Sometimes these stairs are as short as the two or three front steps into a building, and other times the stairwell spans several stories. In either case, and all those in between, we trust that the stairs have been properly built and well maintained – and most of the time, our confidence is justified. But on those occasions when it is not, serious injury can result. A fall on stairs is often worse than a similar fall on a level floor surface, for the obvious reason that if you are unable to catch yourself, your fall might continue to the bottom of the staircase or landing. In addition, the hard edges of the stairs present a series of painful obstacles to strike against during a fall. In a serious fall on stairs, broken bones, injured knees, ankles and shoulders, traumatic brain injury, spinal trauma, and neck and back injuries are among the potential injuries that an accident victim can suffer.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall, falls on stairs

Indoor Floors

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

By Francis M. Smith

Because we see the number of slip and fall injuries change with the seasons due to weather conditions, it's easy to make the mistake of thinking of falling injuries resulting in premises liability cases as primarily or exclusively an outdoor danger. After all, one doesn't generally find rain-slicked autumn leaves, ice or snow accumulation, or cracked pavement forced apart by freezing and thawing, inside buildings. However, slipping and tripping hazards resulting from poor indoor floors are present throughout the year, and can cause serious injuries.

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Topics: Injuries, Premises Liabiiity, Slip and Fall

Falls from Flooring Conditions

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 18, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Falls can be caused by any number of hazards placed in your path, but sometimes the greatest danger is a defect in the path itself. Poor floors are often a sign of inadequate maintenance of the property, and can result in serious slipping or tripping injuries. Injury cases caused by a fall on a damaged or poorly maintained flooring surface require different arguments from both the accident victim's attorney and the insurance company, and pose unique challenges to an injured plaintiff seeking to recover compensation for injuries.

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Topics: Injuries, Premises Liabiiity, Slip and Fall

Elevated Falls

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Any accident on another person's or business's property that results in a fall can have serious consequences for the injured person, but not all falls are created equal. There are many ways to categorize falling accidents, but one of the more important factors is the kind of terrain on which the injured person fell: was it a relatively flat surface, or was there an elevation difference involved? Most falling injuries are caused by accidents that take place on a fairly level area, such as an uneven sidewalk, a lawn with a gopher hole, or a slippery supermarket floor. However, elevated falls – accidents that involve falling from any height – often mean much more serious injuries for the accident victim.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, elevated falls

Ladder Falls

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 11, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Among the most dangerous types of elevated falls are ladder falls. The primary purpose of a ladder is to allow the user to climb to some height off the ground – whether that's only a couple of feet on a stepladder to change a light bulb, or a dozen yards on an extension ladder to work on a construction project – and being off the ground poses the inherent risk of falling. That's why everyone involved in the activity, from the person doing the climbing to other people working around them to the manufacturer that designed and sold the ladder itself, has a responsibility to reduce that risk as much as possible. Ladder falls can result in serious damage to the neck, back, and spine, broken bones, severe head trauma, or even death.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall, Workplace Accidents, injury compensation, ladder falls

Fall Accidents from Vehicles and Equipment

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 09, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When a person sustains a personal injury in an accident involving a motorized vehicle, one might be forgiven for assuming that the injuries were sustained in an automotive crash or collision, rather than a fall. The truth, however, is that falls from vehicles, tractors, and other power equipment are among the more dangerous – even deadly – injury-causing falls. Sometimes these fall accidents are due to improper usage of the equipment, but even when an operator is using the vehicle in the way it was intended, a lack of careful maintenance or poor conditions can create hazards that can result in a fall even when the vehicle is parked.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Slip and Fall, falls from vehicles, falls from equipment

Liability for Dangerous Premises in New Jersey

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 13, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When you set out to seek compensation for injuries you sustained from an accident on another person's or business's property, there are a number of things you and your attorney must be able to prove. The first few are obvious: you must prove that the accident took place, that you were injured as a result of it, and that the injuries and money damages you are seeking stem from those injuries. In addition to this, you must also prove that the individuals or business entities that control the property (whether they own it, rent it, or have been charged with its management) bear liability for the injuries you suffered. Proving liability is often more challenging in slip and fall accidents than it is in, for instance, car crashes, for a number of reasons. Often, the injured person in a slip and fall accident is also the only person to have witnessed the accident take place. In a car accident, certain types of accidents (like a rear-end collision) carry a clear indication of fault, whereas premises liability law can be complex, can vary based upon the location of the fall, and, in some cases, can be very subjective. Having the help of an experienced premises liability attorney is essential when pursuing an injury case like this, as your attorney can help you understand the details of the laws governing liability.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Premises, injury compensation, premises liability

Slip and Fall Accidents Resulting from Unsafe Floors and Conditions

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 11, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Though a slip and fall accident may occur at any time of the year, the winter months generally see an increase in accident injuries associated with falls resulting from unsafe floor conditions. When most people think of slip and fall accidents connected with winter weather, they might imagine poorly shoveled sidewalks or icy front steps – and outdoor hazards are certainly a major issue at this time of year. But the danger of inclement winter weather can follow you inside as well, creating additional slip and fall dangers inside buildings. In addition, there are many indoor slipping hazards that remain constant all year round. If you run afoul of any of these dangerous conditions, the injuries you sustain can be serious, requiring costly medical treatment and keeping you out of work for extended periods of time.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall, injury compensation

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 Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer after a Serious NJ 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

What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in NJ?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 23, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

There Is A Time Limit!

During an accident, everything seems to happen at once – whether it's a car crash, a fall, or other accidental injury, things are moving so quickly that it can be hard to keep track of what's going on or know how to react. The aftermath of an accident is very similar in that regard, so many things need to happen right away, when you're already facing a great deal of stress and pressure from any accident injuries you suffered, and it can feel overwhelming. You may need to see a series of doctors and specialists, arrange to take time off from work while you recover or care for injured family members, figure out how to cope with the financial strains of medical bills and lost wages, and think about seeking legal representation for your injury claim. It's natural to look at all these tasks and try to prioritize, considering which items must be dealt with immediately and which can be set on the back burner for a while until you have more time. However, when you're making that decision, it's important to keep in mind that there is a limited amount of time that you're given in which you can file a personal injury suit before the opportunity is lost.

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Topics: Injuries, Wrongful Death, Automobile Litigation

Why Contact a Lawyer Soon After a Car Accident?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 19, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Under the very best of circumstances, being in a car accident is a scary experience. Because motor vehicles are big, heavy, and fast, they have the potential to do a lot of damage to bodies and property if something goes wrong. In the first moments following the accident, your reactions might include shocked surprise – especially if the other driver came out of nowhere or did something unexpected to cause the accident – fear, anger, and worry. Is anyone hurt? Are you hurt? Is it safe to stay in the car? Is it safe to get out? People who are fortunate enough never to have been in the situation previously are often confused and uncertain of how to proceed when another driver strikes them. This can be a problem, since there are important things people should do to protect themselves when they've been in a car accident, and many of them should be begun as soon after the crash as is practical.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, Car Accidents

Why Your Insurance Company Won't Pay: A Common Problem After a Motor Vehicle Accident

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 30, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Too often when a person becomes the victim of a car or motorcycle accident, they find themselves in the position of needing to fight the insurance company in order to get their medical bills paid. Some injuries, such as broken bones resulting from the impact, have a fairly indisputable cause and there is little the insurer can do to argue against paying for them. Unfortunately, many injuries are not so self-evident, and insurance companies hire lawyers who will search for any justification to avoid compensating for the damage sustained as a result of those injuries. In automotive accidents, neck and back injuries are very common, and can have serious, permanent consequences for the collision victim's quality of life. It's important to have an experienced spine injury attorney on your side after you've sustained such an injury in a vehicle crash, to help you win the causation fight against the insurance company and ensure that the treatment you need is paid for.

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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

Brain Injuries: When Auto Accident Symptoms Do Not Improve

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 28, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

When most people think about the kinds of serious injuries that can result from an automobile accident, it's the visually obvious physical damage that first comes to mind: wounds, broken bones, and torn muscles and ligaments. These kinds of injury are relatively easy to identify, and the difference between "injured" and "recovered" is fairly obvious. But there is a type of injury that very frequently results from car accidents that is much harder to recognize and understand. In fact, the medical profession is still learning about these injuries.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, NJ Auto Insurance, NJ Car Insurance, Car Accidents, Brain Injury

Do Bike and Sports Helmets Really Protect Against Head Injuries?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 17, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

You can’t replace your brain.

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Topics: Injuries, Permanent Injury, Brain Injury, Sports Injuries, Bicycle Safety

4 Tips to Prevent Dog Bites That Lead to Lawsuit

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Thu, Feb 06, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Here in New Jersey we have a strict liability statute that says the owner is liable for damages if his or her dog bites you (under most circumstances). That means medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering compensation, and damages based on enduring scars the rest of the victim's life. Even a landlord can be held accountable if he or she knows of the dog's vicious propensities.

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Topics: Injuries, NJ Personal Injury Case, Dog Bites

Detection and Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 03, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

With so many veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) there has been a lot of focus on this type of injury. If anything good has come from the pain these veterans face every day, it is the increased awareness of how common brain injuries actually are and how dangerous they are if not correctly diagnosed and properly treated.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Brain Injury, Slip and Fall, Injuries to Children, Sports Injuries

Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck: Use Your Personal Injury Attorney to Your Advantage

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jan 31, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Medical-Legal Exams

NJ High School Football Player Death $2.8 Million Lawsuit Settlement

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Sep 27, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

Most parents are well aware that students who play high school sports run the risk of sustaining a serious injury, but in many people's minds, these injuries generally consist of broken bones and torn ligaments. The reality, however, is that the most dangerous, even potentially fatal, injuries show much less obvious signs. A concussion doesn't show the same unmistakable signs of physical trauma that many other injuries do, making it far too easy for a young athlete to be sent back onto the field. These students may still suffer the effects of a concussion or minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and are at risk of sustaining a second head injury before fully recovering from the first. The effects of such an injury can be devastating; death or permanent, severe disability are many times the outcome of what is referred to as "second impact syndrome." Even a minor impact that would not seriously threaten an uninjured person can be fatal to a young athlete with unresolved concussion symptoms.

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Topics: Injuries, Brain Injury

1.3 Million Yearly Children’s Sports Injuries End in Emergency Rooms

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Sep 25, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

Participating in sports offers numerous benefits for children and young adults: they're an excellent opportunity for exercise and for learning to work with others as part of a team. They give young people a way to socialize and build self-confidence, and participation in a sport can enhance a student's college application or may even lead to scholarship opportunities. However, playing a sport carries risk – every year in the United States, there are 1.35 million sports injuries severe enough that the child is brought to an emergency room, an average of one sports-related ER visit every 25 seconds.

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Topics: Injuries, Brain Injury, Sports Injuries

Avoiding Injuries to Our Children: Getting To and From School Safely

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Sep 23, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

With the end of summer fast approaching, many parents are starting to think about school safety and protecting their children in learning environments. One important element of school safety that's easier to overlook than most is the route between home and school. Though some of the dangers change as a child gets older, making sure they arrive at school safely and ready to learn is a priority for parents and educators alike. The best ways to safeguard a child en route to school and home again depend largely on the method of transportation being used to make the trip.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Injuries to Children, Pedestrian Accidents, Bicycle Safety

Brain Injury Claims Resolved by NFL with $765 Million Fund

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Sep 11, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

Most football players, from the high school level all the way up to the pros, are aware of the possibility that they may be seriously injured on the field. Torn knee ligaments, broken bones, and other damage to the body can force players out of the game for months, or even spell the end of a professional career. However, one type of injury has been regarded too lightly for a long time, and is only beginning to receive the attention and understanding that its seriousness warrants. Concussion and brain trauma can result in severe long-term health effects, which are compounded after multiple such injuries. The severity of concussion symptoms are often more severe in sufferers who have sustained previous concussions, even if those earlier injuries are months or years in the past, and multiple concussions dramatically increase the risk of certain psychiatric and degenerative disorders.

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Topics: Injuries, Brain Injury

What You Need to Know About Concussion Injury Law in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Aug 28, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

Patients who sustain a concussion are more susceptible to another, particularly when the symptoms of the first injury have not yet been fully resolved when the subsequent injury occurs. Multiple such head injuries can render a person more vulnerable to them, with less severe blows causing the same severity of effect as earlier, larger impacts. Repeated concussions over time can contribute to a variety of serious health problems later in life, including Parkinson's disease, depression, and dementia. The dangers of multiple concussions from recurring brain trauma are a major motivating factor in New Jersey legislation regulating policies for schools regarding student athletes; sports injuries are a common cause of concussions.

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Topics: Injuries, Brain Injury, Injuries to Children, Sports Injuries

Who Really Benefits from the Insurance Company Medical Exam? Hint: It’s Not You!

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Aug 19, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

In a personal injury case (as well as a worker's compensation case), it is common practice for the insurance company to send the injured claimant to a third party doctor to evaluate the extent of the injuries sustained, to determine:

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Medical-Legal Exams, Independent Medical Exam, Evidence

Insurance Company & Defense Medical Exams: Anything But “Independent”

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Aug 09, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

When you are pursuing a personal injury suit or other legal claim regarding a disability or injury that you sustained, it is likely that you will be asked by the insurance company to submit to an independent medical examination, or IME, to determine the extent of your injuries. When you hear the words, "independent medical exam," what most likely comes to mind is a thorough examination by a physician or specialist who has no interest in the case and no connection with either the plaintiff or the defendant, and whose sole concern or motivation is to truthfully and accurately establish the medical condition of the patient. That is, unfortunately, an almost absurdly naïve description of medical-legal exams.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Medical-Legal Exams, Independent Medical Exam, Evidence

Keeping Children Safe on Stairs Tips by NJ Personal Injury Attorney

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jul 26, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

When a household is expecting a new baby, the family generally tries to think of every way possible to "baby-proof" their home, covering electrical outlets and installing locks on cabinets where cleaning products are stored. However, one of the parts of the home that poses the greatest danger to infants and young children may surprise you. Stairs are a major cause of injury among young children, and represent the leading cause of injury among children one year old and younger in the United States.

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Topics: Injuries, Brain Injury, Injuries to Children

Button-Size Battery Danger Warns NJ Personal Injury Attorney

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 24, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

As any parent knows, young children will try to put just about anything in their mouths. This can place a child in danger due to the number of common household items that create a poison risk or choking hazard. Parents spend hours baby proofing their homes to keep cleaning fluids and prescription drugs out of reach of questing little hands, but it can be hard to anticipate everything that can threaten your child. You may not even realize that certain things are dangerous in the first place. One such surprising hazard includes button- or coin-sized lithium batteries that power various electronic devices throughout the average home.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children

Child Injury Prevention Alliance Wants Stories Childhood Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jul 19, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

If a child in your life has experienced a serious injury resulting from an auto accident, a fall, or any other type of accident or injury, your emotions have likely run the gamut of reactions. Even if the child only had a near miss with an accident, in which they narrowly escaped serious injury, the incident likely put a great deal of emotional strain on the parents and other people most closely involved in his or her life. One of the more common emotional reactions that parents have after a car accident, trip and fall injury, or other incident, is to replay the events in their minds to find ways they might have been prevented, and desire to share that information with others. The truth is, many accidents are not caused by behavior that seems unreasonable at the time, and only with the benefit of hindsight are the mistakes and choices that allowed the incident to occur made truly clear.

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Topics: Injuries, Injuries to Children

NJ Court Dismisses Chiropractic Chronic Pain Treatment Reimbursement

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 10, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

In June 2013, a New Jersey federal District Judge made the decision to dismiss a class action suit over Cigna Corp.'s insurance coverage prohibitions for certain procedures that it deems medically unnecessary or experimental, including "manipulation under anesthesia". In his decision to dismiss the case, U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler referred to a ruling made by a Third Circuit court in a similar case brought against UnitedHealth Group Inc. Though the decision in the Third Circuit case did not establish a legal precedent, Judge Chesler determined that its conclusions were a "persuasive authority" with regard to the Cigna case.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, Knee Injury, NJ Personal Injury Law

Top Three Requirements for Proving Fault in Premises Liability Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 03, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
If you've suffered an injury due to negligence on property maintained by someone else, you want to make sure that your medical bills are paid for and get on with the business of recovering from your injuries. Unfortunately, for those who have fallen victim to such injuries, the claim of responsibility alone is not enough to prove premises liability in court, and gathering evidence and presenting your case can be a lengthy and involved process. After the injury itself, there is little more disheartening to the victim of a negligence-related injury than failing to win damages because of an inability to prove liability. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you avoid that outcome by understanding exactly what is needed to prove liability in court and how to assemble the evidence you need.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, Slip and Fall, NJ Personal Injury Law

Overexertion Third Leading Cause of Unintentional Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 21, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Many people think that back pain is simply an inevitable part of getting older or working at a physically demanding job, but pain is a signal from the body that something is wrong, and overexertion injuries are incredibly common, in both the workplace and at home.

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Topics: Injuries, Workplace Injury, Workplace Accidents

Who is accountable when hurt on a sidewalk?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jun 12, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
When you suffer an injury by slipping or tripping on a poorly maintained sidewalk, it can be difficult to understand who, exactly, is responsible (and therefore legally liable) for the injury you have suffered, and the damages that may be due as a result. Who controls a sidewalk depends on the property it is associated with, but sidewalk liability laws vary significantly based on what kind of property it is, and to what kind of use it is being put. The complex laws surrounding sidewalk liability can make it hard for the injured party to understand who they should pursue legal action against, or if they even have a case. The different categories of sidewalk liability can be broken down into four general property types: residential, commercial, charitable, and public.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Trip and Fall, Dangerous Premises, Premises Liabiiity, Slip and Fall

Serious Injury Cases: What Is A Herniated Disc?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 03, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
You may have heard of a "herniated disc" or "ruptured disc" occurring to someone after an accident. You may have wondered what it was and how serious a herniated disc could be.

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Topics: Injuries, Herniated Disc

Slip and Fall Injury Cases: Grocery Stores

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 31, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
You're walking through the supermarket as you have done many times before in your life. The shelves are stocked high and full with colorful products and bright signage and you're looking hard at each of them, focusing in order to find the item that you're looking for. You grab one thing off the shelf and another and move down the aisles, looking at all the lengthy shelving. Like the first aisle, each of these aisles is full of product and signage that is designed to get your attention. Posters blare out amazing deals and box-covers boldly proclaim the quality of their contents and your eyes run over each.

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall

Construction Site Accidents and Serious Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 29, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Construction sites are fraught with hazards that many people never think about. While it is not uncommon for workers to be injured at a work site, pedestrians and non-workers may also be injured. Inevitably, these accidents can result in very serious injuries.

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Topics: Injuries, Construction Accidents

When Your Insurer Won't Pay in Serious Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Sun, May 19, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
You may think that a personal injury attorney can only help you if you have suffered an injury and you are planning to sue a third party for those injuries. However, this is only part of the story and is also somewhat misleading.

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Topics: Injuries, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit

Serious Injury Cases: Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 17, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Unfortunately, there are a number of types of accidents that can result in traumatic head injuries. Car accidents, playground accidents and workplace accidents can all result in traumatic brain injury, paralysis and permanent disability.

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Topics: Injuries, Brain Injury

What to do for Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 15, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
A slip and fall injury can happen anywhere—the grocery store, the mall, the park, your neighbor’s house—and the medical expenses can be atrocious to pay for. When dealing with Slip and Fall Injury Cases, it is important to know what to do in order to ensure your chances of being compensated for your medical bills, time away from work, and any expenses that incur from the injury.

Take Care of Your Injuries

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Topics: Injuries, Slip and Fall

Measure of Proof in Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 13, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Sometimes when people are injured in a slip and fall accident, there is no option to seek remuneration from a third party. In large part, the ability to prove liability in slip and fall injury cases can hinge on a number of factors. Proving liability means determining a third party is responsible for the conditions that caused the slip and fall accident.

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Topics: Injuries, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, Injuries to Children, NJ Personal Injury Law

Consumers and Employees: Beware of Forced Arbitration Contracts

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 06, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
There are numerous laws and government regulations on the books to protect consumers and employees from injury or harm caused by corporations. Your employer cannot discriminate against you for belonging to a federally-protected class, or take punitive action against you for taking various types of leave to which you are legally entitled (like family medical leave), or for blowing the whistle on your employer's illegal activities. If you use a company's product or service, they can be held legally liable for defective products, scams, or negligent behavior resulting in injury. However, these protections can only help you if you are able to bring your case before a court of law to be heard by a jury of your peers, as stated in the Constitution. Many corporations have found a way to escape the consequences of their actions and deprive their customers and employees of their rights through a loophole created through forced arbitration.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, Evidence, Forced Arbitration

Tracking Information in Serious Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 03, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Being involved in any kind of accident is traumatic. The more serious your injuries, the more important it is for you to keep track of what is happening. While you may think once you have received medical attention and called an attorney, your work is done, this is simply not correct. It is important to document several things that will help your attorney successfully prepare your case.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit, NJ Personal Injury Cases

Serious Injuries: Protecting Your Children from Attractive Nuisance

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 01, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Children get hurt. As parents, we come to expect scraped knees and stubbed toes. Kids are curious. They love to explore holes, climb trees, and linger too long near the deep end of the swimming pool. So many arenas where adults see danger, children see only adventure. Protecting our children from serious injury, or worse, while all the world appears to be their playground is one of the most important and difficult jobs facing a parent. It is also a job made tougher by the approach of warm weather and the attractive nuisance.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, Injuries to Children

Many Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Cases Require an Attorney

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 22, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Across the state of New Jersey there were more than 290,000 accidents during 2011. For most drivers who were injured during this time, the statute of limitations is either expired or getting very close to expiring. When you have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident, you have only two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. The only exception to this is if the injured victim is under the age of 18.

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Topics: Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney

Do you have a Slip and Fall Injury Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 15, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
Around every corner is a new danger. One can never know what is coming their way. There is a commercial on television that is filmed in the main characters dining room. Several people are explaining all the bad luck that is going to happen to this person throughout the day. If our mornings started out like that then we would all be a lot better off, but that just isn't the case.

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Topics: Injuries, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, NJ Personal Injury Cases

Direct and Circumstantial Evidence in Negligence Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 10, 2013

By Francis M. Smith
 
As is the case in any personal injury lawsuit, it is the task of the plaintiff in negligence cases to demonstrate for the court (and jury) that the defendant is at fault for the injury and thus liable for damages resulting from it. Negligence cases assert that the defendant failed to act in a way that would have prevented the injury, despite knowing of foreseeable danger to the plaintiff (you) - or having ample opportunity to discover the situation that created the danger and take the appropriate action. Typically, two possible types of evidence may be presented in order to prove this claim direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. It is possible to use either type of evidence alone, or a combination of both, to support your argument in negligence cases.

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Topics: Injuries, Permanent Injury, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit, Slip and Fall, Construction Accidents, Evidence

How to Help Your Injury Lawsuit

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 01, 2013

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Topics: Injuries, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit, NJ Personal Injury Case, Evidence

NJ Law Journal Reports $563,501 Settlement for Dog Bites

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Sep 17, 2012

By Francis M. Smith
 
Personal Injury Attorney Frank Smith's NJ dog bite settlement was reported in the September 17, 2012 issue of the New Jersey Law Journal.

The New Jersey Law Journal reported the settlement for the case which involved a vicious dog attack. A security guard mauled by dogs while on duty accepted $563,501 in his Union County suit on Aug. 24.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Success Stories, Dog Bites

Renter Accepts $1.9 Million for Back Injury from NJ Ice Slip and Fall

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 14, 2012

By Francis M. Smith
 
NJ personal injury lawyer Frank Smith was able to settle for $1.9 Million when a renter fell on a patch of ice and snow on steps and fractured a spinal rod, which was implanted to correct scoliosis when she was a child.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Success Stories, Slip and Fall

$800,000 for Slip and Fall Condo Association Settlement

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 14, 2012

By Francis M. Smith
 
Fall on icy sidewalk exacerbated a dormant disc herniation for which Francis M. Smith, Esq. was able to reach an $800,000 settlement.

Judith slipped at the Society Hill at Kilmer Woods I condominium in Mahwah, NJ, hitting her head and passing out. As a result of the fall she suffered a serious concussion and experiences post-traumatic stress disorder, vertigo, and dizziness when she sees a lot of movement. She required spinal fusion surgery to remediate an exacerbated dormant disc herniation.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Success Stories, Slip and Fall

$467,000 Settlement for NJ Chronic Pain Injury from Movie Theater

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 14, 2012

By Francis M. Smith
 
NJ Personal Injury Attorney Frank Smith successfully represented a woman who developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy injury resulting in chronic pain. The injury occurred when a chair in front of her collapsed on her instep while she was watching “You’ve Got Mail” at a movie theater in Brick, NJ.

Following the accident, Mary's primary care doctor sent her to a podiatrist, who referred her to an orthopedist. The orthopedist tried tarsal tunnel relief, but the treatment did not resolve the pain. An anesthesiologis injected nerve blocks, which also failed to stop the pain. A neurologist determined byat Mary suffered from reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) -- a permanent pain disorder.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries, Success Stories

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