Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

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

By Francis M. Smith

Dealing with the injury claim resulting from an accident in which your child was seriously hurt could be one of  the most important legal situations your family has ever faced. Unfortunately, it's also a situation in which the forces opposing your family are powerful, experienced, and highly motivated. The insurance adjuster assigned to your child's case is a legal professional who has likely handled hundreds of cases like yours. He may not be a bad person, but he's paid to save his insurance company money – which means offering your family as little as possible, or nothing at all if he can manage it. Trying to pursue your child's case alone only makes his job easier; most insurance adjusters don't take claimants without legal representation seriously. (One study showed that a represented injury victim will get on average three times what an unrepresented victim receives.) When you're fighting for your child's medical treatment and your family's financial stability, you deserve the advantage of having an experienced professional on your side.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Injuries to Children, injury compensation, insurance company, contingent fee

The Settlement Process for a Child's Injury Claim

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Oct 14, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Once you and your family’s attorney convince the insurance company involved in your child’s accident to settle for an appropriate amount of compensation for your child’s injuries, the worst part of the battle is over – but you’re not finished with the court system yet. Because the accident victim is a child, the settlement money belongs to them, and the government takes an interest in ensuring that the child’s interests are protected with regard to those funds. Though most children’s settlement money would be perfectly safe in the custodianship of their parents, the state has no way of making certain which families would resist the call of temptation or hardship, and so it protects the financial future of all children who receive injury settlements.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, injury compensation, settlement compensation

Prognosis for Children Diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Oct 10, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI),commonly referred to as concussions, can have a significant impact on any accident victim, though when a child is injured, the prognosis may be very different than for an adult suffering the same injury. The medical profession had once believed that a child’s still-developing brain was malleable enough to recover more readily from a concussion injury than an adult’s; sadly, science has since discovered that the opposite is true. Damage to a child’s brain can have lasting repercussions, some of which may not be fully revealed until years after the initial brain trauma.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, concussion, traumatic brain injury

Resources Available to Injured Children

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Sep 07, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

An accident that seriously injures a child is an intense trauma for the entire family, and parents dealing with the aftermath of such an accident often don't know where to turn for the help their child and their family need. If your child's accident was caused by the negligence of someone else, right after proper initial medical care is under way, one of the first places you should turn for help is to an experienced child injury attorney. Finding a lawyer with extensive experience in handling cases involving injured children gives you access to his resources and connections, including specialists who can help you and your attorney build a strong case against the negligent party's insurance company. But this is likely only the beginning of the help your family will need during this time of crisis.

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

NHTSA: Back to School Safety Month. Walk, Bike, and Ride to School Safely!

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Sep 02, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

The new school year is fast approaching (undoubtedly much faster than most school-aged children would prefer), and with it comes the rush of back-to-school preparations. But in the scramble to buy notebooks, #2 pencils, and the perfect pair of sneakers, it's worth taking a moment to consider your child's route to school and back again every weekday. Kids travel between home and school in a variety of ways: some are driven by parents, while others take the school bus, walk, or ride a bike. There are benefits to each of these, depending on a family's situation, but each method comes with its own hazards as well. Considering these possible dangers carefully can help you plan the safest commute possible for your child.

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

Signing a Pre-Injury Release Document on Behalf of a Child

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 13, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

For many children, sports and other physical activities are an excellent way to stay active, bond with friends, learn teamwork and sportsmanship, and simply have fun. Of course, it can't be overlooked that most of these recreational activities carry a certain element of risk as well. The gymnasiums, sports leagues, and other organizations that offer these activities are certainly aware that those dangers exist, and many require parents to sign a liability waiver on their child's behalf in order for the child to be allowed to participate. As a parent, it's vital to understand what exactly you're agreeing to when you sign these release forms, and what kind of legal weight and enforceability they carry in the state of New Jersey.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, waiver of liability

Determining the Value of a Child's Injury Claim

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 10, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

As you begin legal action in your child's injury claim, the natural and obvious first question to ask is, “how much money can I expect to recover on my child's behalf?” Unfortunately, there's no simple and definite answer to that question. You may have heard about an “injury compensation formula” that insurance companies use to calculate the value of claims, but this is not a precise mathematical model that delivers a precise dollar value for a child's injuries based on the cost of their medical bills. Some insurance companies, instead of trusting their claims personnel to accurately evaluate claims, use a computer program into which information is added- like medical bills, days of treatment, days out of school or work, etc. When allowed to do so, insurance adjusters use a large array of variables – including the outcomes of similar recent cases in the same jurisdiction, the child's age, and the amount of successful trial experience the family's personal injury lawyer has – to estimate a value range for the amount a hypothetical jury would likely award the injured child. You can use a similar process to approximate how much your child's claim is worth, but the number and variety of factors that can affect the value of a child's injury claim make it tremendously difficult to estimate accurately without the help of an experienced professional.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, injury compensation, insurance company

Children and Dog Bites

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jun 08, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

For many children, the family dog is a loyal friend and protector. Sadly, numerous other children develop a justifiable fear of dogs at an early age, often due to the traumatic experience of a dog bite attack or close call. Seeking to protect their kids from this kind of awful experience, it's not uncommon for parents to hesitate before bringing a new family pet into the home, or regard friends' and relatives' dogs with wariness.

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Topics: Dog Bites, Injuries to Children

The Wrongful Death of a Child

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 06, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

At times in my practice as a personal injury attorney, parents come to me for help after the unthinkable has happened – unthinkable, because what loving parent doesn't flinch away from contemplating the loss of their child in an accident? No amount of money can ever make up for the wrongful death of a child or erase their parents' grief. However, New Jersey law acknowledges the financial burdens imposed on a family by a fatal accident, and the liability borne by the negligent parties who contributed to the child's death. New Jersey's Wrongful Death Act provides an avenue for bereaved parents to seek compensation for these burdens from those responsible for their child's death.

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Topics: Wrongful Death, Injuries to Children, lost income

The Legal Process for Child Injury Claims

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 30, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Understanding the legal process ahead of you is crucial to pursuing any personal injury claim. This is doubly true in the case of child injury claims, as there are several important differences between claims involving children and those only affecting adults. Many of these differences in procedure exist to protect the rights and well-being of the injured child, who has unique needs due to their age and cannot act on their own behalf in the way that an adult can.

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

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