Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Sussex County NJ Fatal Car Crashes Increased in 2018

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 08, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

While there has been an overall downward trend in automotive accident fatalities nationwide, New Jersey stands out with one of the lowest rates of car accident fatalities, with 6.7 fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2017. Only Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and the District of Columbia reported lower fatality rates that year. In even better news for New Jersey residents, the number of fatal accidents last year decreased from the 2017 figures, with 624 automotive-related fatalities in 2017 and 566 fatalities in 2018. However, that reduction in automotive deaths was not evenly distributed; Sussex County saw an increase in fatalities from 2017 to 2018.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, injury compensation

Communication between Attorney and Client – the Bedrock of a Strong Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jul 16, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

Few people seeking an attorney’s help for the first time know what to expect. They might have some vague ideas based on friends’ experiences or media depictions, but when you’re recovering from a serious accident and need help to secure the compensation you deserve, you don’t want to stress over wondering about what to expect from your relationship with your attorney. That’s why I make it clear on my website exactly the kind of personal attention and communication you can expect if you choose to work with me.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Case, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

How Do You Pay A Lawyer To Take Your Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 09, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

When you initiate the process of pursuing a truck injury claim, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will almost certainly try to convince you not to hire a lawyer. One of the most common arguments insurance adjusters present to injured claimants against seeking legal representation is that “hiring a lawyer is expensive.” The reality is that it’s expensive for the insurance company when a claimant hires an attorney, because injured plaintiffs with a lawyer on their side tend recover substantially more money in compensation for their injuries on average than accident victims who go it alone (even after deducting attorney's fees and expenses). But this does raise a very important concern in the minds of individuals just beginning their injury compensation process: how will they pay for the legal representation they need when going up against an insurance company?

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, contingent fee, settlement compensation

Do You Really Need to Tell Your Lawyer Everything About Your Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 27, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

After an accident, the process of initiating your personal injury case can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’ve never needed to hire a lawyer before. You may find yourself concerned about what to say, how much to share, especially if there’s anything about your case or circumstances or past that you feel may be embarrassing or damaging. If you feel tempted to hold back certain details from your attorney because you don’t want them being brought up in your case, it’s vital for you to fight that urge. Your lawyer isn’t there to judge you, but rather to help you. He can only do that effectively if he knows the whole story, and can prepare for any snags that may result from the reveal of uncomfortable or damaging facts.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Case, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, injury compensation

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

NJ Personal Injury Attorney Gives Back to the Community

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 13, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

In our fast-paced, technologically-focused society, we don't always have the same sort of connection to our neighbors as we might have in decades past. With that conceptual distance between us and the people around us, it's all the more important to remember that being part of a community is more than just about where you live – it's what you do. Finding ways to contribute to our community through volunteering not only benefits the people around us, it also helps us become more invested in our local corner of the world. Even though I've practiced law in the area of personal injury for over 35 years, I try to help my community of Westfield in a whole different way. For many years I have volunteered my time to serve on the Westfield Town Planning Board, and before that, the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Mayor's Land Use Task Force.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Featured Charity, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

What is Causation in a Car Accident Injury Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Nov 14, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

When you suffer injuries in a car accident and seek to pursue an injury claim against the insurance company of the driver responsible, there are three things your attorney must be able to prove. The first thing (as you might expect) is that the other driver was at fault for the accident – and a lot of injury cases spend a great deal of time on this point, arguing over the timing of the traffic light and the details of right-of-way laws. The second thing you must prove is that you were injured; this point might seem fairly obvious, but insurance companies often hire so-called “independent” medical consultants to evaluate accident victims with an eye to claiming that the victim wasn't hurt as badly as they say, if at all.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, New Jersey Personal Injury

What Happens After Deposition in a Motor Vehicle Accident Case in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Nov 07, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Pursuing an injury claim into the courtroom may be the only way to receive just compensation for your motor vehicle accident injuries, if the insurance company refuses to agree to compensate you fairly with a reasonable settlement. Still, the legal process of bringing your case to court can often feel confusing and intimidating for an injured person. For all the excitement of television courtroom dramas, TV doesn't really offer a clear idea of what goes on during the various stages of a personal injury case. (Of course, a TV show has to get the trial completed in half an hour.) For the most specific picture of what you can expect from your case, don't be afraid to ask your attorney any questions you might have, as he will be familiar with the details of your particular situation. However, for a general sense of how a motor vehicle injury case will proceed, let's follow the fictional case of Sarah Brown, whose car was struck on the passenger side by a pickup truck in the middle of an intersection.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, New Jersey Personal Injury

What Happens After Deposition in a Slip and Fall Accident Case in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Nov 05, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Though your attorney will do everything possible to make the process as simple and easy to understand as possible, dealing with a personal injury claim after you've been hurt in a slip and fall accident can be complicated and sometimes stressful. In a perfect world, the insurance company involved would offer reasonable compensation that would cover the costs of your injuries straight away, but insurance companies make their money by paying out as little as they can, so it's possible that your case might go to trial. Despite the popularity of courtroom dramas, most people don't have the opportunity to learn what really goes on in a civil court case such as a personal injury suit – until they themselves are injured. It can be much easier to deal with the stresses of the process if you know what to expect going in.

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Slip and Fall, New Jersey Personal Injury

What are Affirmative Defenses in a NJ Personal Injury Case?

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

By Francis M. Smith

When you file a lawsuit to recover damages following a personal injury, the defense has many legal tools in its arsenal to bring against your case in an effort to reduce or eliminate their liability for your injuries, even if it cannot dispute the facts of your claim as such. It's important to be familiar with these defense options if your personal injury case might go to trial, so that you and your attorney can prepare to respond to these arguments accordingly.

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, New Jersey Personal Injury

Gay Slurs Have No Place in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Sep 29, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

In many personal injury cases, the stakes are high – not only can large sums of an insurance company's money on the line, but that money represents the ability of a client to pay their medical bills, and recover lost wages without drowning in debt. The plaintiff needs to argue that the defendant was reckless or negligent, and the defense often responds by accusing the plaintiff of exaggerating their injuries or being negligent in a way that contributed to their own accident. But even with so much on the line and accusations flying, professional courtesy (some say civility) must remain the order of the day during events like depositions, at the settlement negotiation table, and in the courtroom. Treating the opposition with civility is not only a necessary element of respectful and professional behavior in personal injury cases, but it is more likely to coax a more favorable settlement out of the opposition. (To me, this comes under my Mom's old adage that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.)

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

Did You Know? Some Bicycle Accident Injuries are Covered by Your Car Insurance in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 28, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

As thousands of New Jersey cyclists realize, a bicycle is an excellent way to get around, whether you bike recreationally or as part of your daily commute. Riding a bicycle can save you money in this age of high gas prices, it reduces your carbon footprint, and it helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Still, as with any form of transportation, accidents happen – and it's important to understand how things work if you're a cyclist who is struck by a motor vehicle. When bikes and cars collide, serious bicycle injuries often result, and who pays those medical bills? It's not who you probably think.

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Topics: Automobile Insurance, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Bicycle Accidents, Bicycle Safety

NJ Accident Lawyer Warns of High Risk of Texting While Driving

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 05, 2014

What could be so important that it would cause you to take your hands away from the steering wheel and make you look away from the road while you're driving? For more than one-fifth of motorists, the answer is text messaging. It's one of the more dangerous forms of distracted driving, maybe the most dangerous,  but also surprisingly persistent even among drivers who claim to understand the risks. As a NJ personal injury lawyer representing injured drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcycle drivers every day, I see far too many cases of serious, preventable injury caused by texting while driving.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

NJ Slip and Fall Attorney Discusses Life Changing Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 14, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

Although "slip and fall" and "trip and fall" injuries are mistakenly associated with older individuals over the age of 65, individuals of all ages are capable of experiencing slip or trip and fall events. A fall injury can happen at any time- at home or in public- and such events can at times result in severe injury. The Centers for Disease Control has identified slip and fall injuries as the most common cause of injury to individuals over the age of 65, and spinal cord injuries- possibly the most serious of all possible resulting injuries- caused by slip and fall events have been on the rise in recent years among the elderly according to the Journal of Neurotrama.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Trip and Fall, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Slip and Fall, NJ Personal Attorney

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

What To Expect in a NJ Car Accident Deposition

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 29, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

If you are injured in a car accident, the last thing on your mind is how and if you will be treated fairly in the New Jersey legal system. You are possibly suffering from medical injuries and loss of wages as well as damage to your car, and fair compensation is your entitlement. This is why an experienced personal injury attorney is indispensable.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Trial Procedures

How To Find a Personal Injury Lawyer: Ask Questions and Get Answers

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jan 06, 2014

By Francis M. Smith

If you've been injured in a car crash or some other kind of accident resulting from another person's negligence or recklessness, you may find yourself seeking legal counsel for the first time. Finding the right NJ personal injury lawyer to handle your case can be a daunting prospect – especially since choosing an attorney isn't as easy as picking a plumber or a mechanic out of the phone book. Even in those cases, most people will advise you to seek out recommendations from trusted friends when you need someone to work on your sink or your car. Since the stakes are so much higher when you need an attorney to help you understand your rights and obtain proper compensation for what has happened, it's vital that you find a lawyer you can trust, and a lawyer who communicates well with you.

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

Important Questions to Ask When Hiring a NJ Personal Injury Attorney

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

By Francis M. Smith

If you've suffered an injury resulting from any sort of accident or negligence at the hands of another party and believe you may be entitled to compensation, you will most likely require a personal injury attorney – and have no shortage of options available to you. Friends may offer you recommendations of their lawyer acquaintances or attorneys they've used in the past and you might receive letters and brochures from injury lawyers who read about your accident in the newspaper's police blotter. There are no shortage of attorney listings in the phone book and online. The hardest part of choosing a lawyer can be narrowing down your options to a single selection. Most attorneys will offer an initial consultation free of charge (though you should clarify whether any fees are associated with this preliminary meeting before making an appointment). Consider this consultation to be a job interview, with you as the employer. There are some important questions you should ask any prospective attorney when trying to find the right person to represent your case.

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

Which Witnesses Will Go First at a Personal Injury Trial?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Dec 13, 2013

By Francis M. Smith

Clients pursuing injury cases are often anxious about how their claim will proceed when it goes to trial, because the average person has little knowledge of the way events unfold in a civil court case. TV shows and other media provide a general idea of the way a lawsuit takes place, but many important details can get lost in translation (and dramatization!). That's why it's so important to talk with your NJ accident lawyer. It's his or her job to help you understand what to expect in order to be prepared for court. When you know what to expect at your civil trial based on the injury you suffered in an auto accident, slip and fall accident, due dangerous premises, or whatever cause of action you are presenting through your attorney, you will be more able to appear calm and confident, and the jury will respond to your demeanor.

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

Purpose of Your Lawyer Consult: NJ Accident Lawyer Explains

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

By Francis M. Smith

In most cases when you contact a professional about a problem you have in their field, you have already made a decision about retaining their services (or at least someone's). At most, when you call a plumber, mechanic, or construction contractor that you found on the internet or found through a friend's recommendation, you want to know a few details about their experience, their charges and guarantees before you commit to hiring them on. When you're looking for a NJ accident lawyer, however, it works a bit differently. Because of the close working relationship a client and attorney must forge to pursue an injury case and the financial stakes involved for both parties, it's important that you and your NJ accident lawyer feel right about the case and each other before you make a firm choice. That's what your first phone call, and the subsequent in-person consultation, are all about. They give you and the attorney an opportunity to sound one another out and see if your case is a good fit, and if your expectations can probably be met by the attorney.

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

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

Attorney Frank Smith Settles NJ Wrongful Death Case for $2 Million

Posted by Frank Smith on Thu, Jan 17, 2013

NJ Personal Injury Attorney Frank Smith resolved a wrongful death case for family members for $2 Million. Albert's death occurred as a result of brain injury caused by a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk in front of the Newton, NJ Post Office. 

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Topics: Wrongful Death, Permanent Injury, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Success Stories, Brain Injury, Slip and Fall, NJ Personal Injury Cases, NJ Personal Injury Law

Stair-Injured Client Praises NJ Personal Injury Lawyer Frank Smith

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Sat, Dec 29, 2012

By Francis M. Smith
 
The following is a transcript created for Frank Smith's video from his series on NJ Personal Injury Law, available on YouTube at: Francis M. Smith, NJ Personal Attorney – House Calls

Client Elizabeth Libby: In my case, it was a fall down the steps. My injuries were worse than I imagined – which I didn’t realize until much later. Frank helped me navigate through the legal system, the insurance system, and was just a general support through the whole process.

 

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Injury, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit, NJ Personal Injury Case, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Success Stories, Slip and Fall, NJ Personal Injury Cases, NJ Personal Injury Law, NJ Personal Attorney, Client Recommendations

Frank Smith Settles NJ Bus Collision Accident Personal Injury Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 26, 2012

By Francis M. Smith
 
Francis M. Smith was able to successfully reach a $742,500 settlement of a New Jersey Superior Court suit brought on behalf of a Sussex County woman for spinal and other injuries resulting from a collision with a school bus. 


The mother of four was driving to a business meeting on Route 10 in Randolph on Oct. 10, 2007, when the bus driver changed lanes, driving the left front corner of the bus into her SUV's right rear corner, causing it to turn 90 degrees and hit a utility pole.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Success Stories

Brain Injured Client Endorses NJ Personal Injury Attorney Frank Smith

Posted by Frank Smith on Thu, Dec 20, 2012

The following is a transcript created for Frank Smith's video from his series on NJ Personal Injury Law, available on YouTube at: Francis M. Smith, NJ Personal Attorney – Accessibility

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Injury, New Jersey Personal Injury Law, NJ Personal Injury Lawsuit, NJ Personal Injury Case, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Slip and Fall, NJ Personal Injury Cases, NJ Personal Injury Law, NJ Personal Attorney

NJ Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Your Rights in Plain English

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Tue, Dec 18, 2012

The following is a transcript created for Frank Smith's video from his series on NJ Personal Injury Law, available on YouTube at: Francis M. Smith, NJ Personal Attorney – Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Attorney Frank Smith: I’m Frank Smith and I represent plaintiffs in personal injury cases. Usually people call me when they don’t know what to do after an accident. They don’t know whether they have a case. They don’t know whether they should be interacting with insurance companies. They don’t know whether they should be talking to anybody at all.

Giving me a call costs nothing. You will learn your righ

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, Personal Injury, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Product Liability Cases, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Slip and Fall

Injured on Stairs Recommends NJ Personal Injury Attorney Frank Smith

Posted by Frank Smith on Mon, Dec 10, 2012

The following is a transcript created for Frank Smith's video from his series on NJ Personal Injury Law, available on YouTube at: Francis M. Smith, NJ Personal Attorney - Plain English

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Topics: New Jersey Personal Injury Law, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, NJ Personal Injury Cases

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