Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

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

What Steps are Involved in My Injury Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 10, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Pursuing your injury case in court is a complex process with several stages, some of which may be very time-sensitive. Your attorney will guide you through the process and make sure your injury case stays on track, but the more you understand about the way your lawsuit will progress, the more comfortable you will be.

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Topics: injury compensation, discovery phase, injury case, answers to interrogatories, insurance company

Following Doctor's Orders and Keep Your Case On Track

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 08, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

After the initial treatment for any sort of injury, doctors will generally provide you with a set of specific instructions: what medications to take, what testing to go for, how long to stay out of work, what specialists to follow up with, who to call if your symptoms get worse, and so on. While these instructions are important for anyone who has suffered an injury, they take on an additional layer of necessity for the victims of accidents caused by the negligence of another. If there’s any chance that you may have a claim for compensation for the injuries you suffered, faithfully following your doctor’s orders is just as important to the success of your personal injury case as it is to your health and recovery.

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Topics: injury compensation, injury case, insurance company, settlement compensation

Why Some Injury Cases Take Time to Develop

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Oct 26, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

After a serious accident, what injury victims tend to crave most is for everything to get back to normal. They want to heal quickly, return to work, and go about their normal lives. A lengthy settlement negotiation or court case doesn’t fit into this ideal – and insurance companies know it. Often an insurance adjuster will reach out to the injured plaintiff and offer them a check right away, supposedly so they can resolve the matter quickly and simply. However, a quick settlement resolution usually doesn’t benefit anyone except the insurance company. There are important reasons why you should resist the temptation to wrap up your injury case quickly.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Cases, injury compensation, injury case

What to Expect When You First Contact a Lawyer About Your Injury Claim

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Oct 24, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Most people who suffer serious injuries in an accident have never had occasion to speak with a lawyer before. Dealing with the pain and upheaval caused by a severe injury is hardly the ideal circumstance for stressful new experiences, and many people feel anxious about approaching a personal injury attorney for the first time. In my practice, I make every effort possible to put prospective clients at ease, but I know that with so much at stake for an accident victim, some worry is unavoidable. Still, knowing what to expect when you first approach a lawyer about your injury case can make the process feel more manageable.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, NJ Personal Injury Case, injury case

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 13, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Q: What exactly does the term “slip and fall” mean, legally?

A: Although it sounds more like plain English than legal jargon, “slip and fall” is a legal term that refers to a particular scenario in tort law. ("Tort law" simply refers to civil justice and remedies provided, as compared to criminal justice.) Slip and fall lawsuits involve cases in which the injured plaintiff suffering an accident in which they slipped or tripped and fell on a property belonging to another person or entity (who would be the defendant(s) in the case). In these cases, the defendant may be held liable, or legally responsible, for the plaintiff's injuries if the defendant was negligent in a way that breached the duty of care he owed to the plaintiff.

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Topics: Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury case

What Insurers Don't Want Juries to Know

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 22, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

If a personal injury case resulting from a car crash or other accident goes to trial, the outcome of that case will likely be decided by a jury. As almost anyone who has ever received a jury duty notice in the mail knows, jurors are average citizens (the “peers” of those involved in the trial) who typically have little or no specialized knowledge of the law, outside of whatever they may have retained from a high school civics class. Jurors who are selected to decide a particular case must be briefed on the points of law relevant to the case in question, which they must consider in conjunction with the evidence and testimony presented by the attorneys during the trial proceedings.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, injury compensation, injury case, insurance company

How Can a Trial Attorney Help My Personal Injury Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Most personal injury claims never see the inside of a courtroom; it's much more common for the injured person and the insurance company responsible for the claim to agree to a settlement outside of court. Unfortunately, this also means that many injury lawyers also rarely see the inside of a courtroom. Trying a case before a jury can be expensive for a trial attorney, who often pays for expert testimony and other trial costs out of his own pocket (to be repaid out of the settlement or verdict) in the process of preparing your case – so some injury lawyers prefer to avoid going to trial whenever possible. Often, the lawyers who spend the most on advertising, especially direct mail advertising,  are not the ones who are most willing to fight the insurance company in a courtroom if the company does not offer proper compensation for your injuries.

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Topics: Personal Injury, injury compensation, injury case, trial attorney

Can a Lawyer Tell Me How Much My Injury Case is Worth?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jan 19, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

After a serious injury caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of someone else, you are faced with the decision to embark on a lengthy settlement negotiation process, and perhaps and even longer and more involved process if your case goes to trial. When weighing your options, one of the first questions you may want answered is how much your case is worth. Some lawyers will tell you that they can answer this question after a phone consultation, or by plugging your information into a “settlement calculator” or similar method. Unfortunately, the reality is that the worth of an accident injury is not so clear cut, and the promises that these lawyers offer you may not reflect the compensation that you actually receive by the time your case is resolved.

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Topics: Settlement Offer, injury compensation, injury case

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