Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Settlement Process and Timeline for NJ Car Accidents Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 05, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

After a serious car accident, it can often feel as though your normal life has come to a screeching halt: you may spend time in the hospital having your injuries diagnosed and treated, and you may not be able to return to work right away even after you are discharged. Even worse, the pain of your injuries can make every moment stretch into weeks of agony, immobility or discomfort. However, there are several ways in which time continues to tick by persistently – bills don’t stop piling up while you’re unable to work, and the administrative deadlines for your injury claim draw closer. Having a clear understanding of the claim resolution process can help you avoid the feeling that the opportunity to be fairly compensated for your injuries is slipping through your fingers.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, settlement compensation, statute of limitations

How does the Claims Process Work in Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Sep 19, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

When an injured client comes to me after a pedestrian or bicycle accident, their first question is often, “Do I have a case worth pursuing?” Once we discuss their accident and determine that they have a strong enough case, the next question tends to be, “How does all this work, and how long will it take?” This is a question that can be both easy and difficult to answer: easy, in that the basic structure and sequence of events remains much the same for most injury cases – difficult, in that the details of every case are unique and may cause different steps to take more or less time than average.

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Topics: Pedestrian Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, settlement compensation

Overcoming fears and apprehension when filing insurance claims for bicycle and pedestrian accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jul 09, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

The purpose of a personal injury suit is to help a person who has been harmed through the negligence of another – to return a person as closely to their pre-accident state as possible, and to compensate for pain, inconvenience, and other losses. Why, then, are so many people hesitant to file an injury suit after they’ve been hurt in an accident? While the reasons for this apprehension are as varied and numerous as the injured cyclists and pedestrians who are hurt in automotive accidents, there are a few common threads in their reasoning.

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Topics: Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, insurance company, settlement compensation

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, settlement compensation, contingent fee

When Injured in a Truck Accident, Do You Need a Lawyer?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 18, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

When you first begin the process of seeking compensation for your injuries after a truck accident, the insurance adjuster representing the trucking company will most likely try to convince you that hiring a lawyer is unnecessary and expensive, or that your claim will be resolved more quickly and efficiently if you don’t “go to the trouble” of getting a lawyer. In reality, however, injured plaintiffs who work with an attorney receive more money on average in compensation for their injuries than accident victims who pursue their claims unrepresented, even after legal fees and costs are factored in. The insurance adjuster would much rather you go into the injury claim process unrepresented in the hope that your inexperience with the legal process and the stress of your injuries will render you overwhelmed and easier to take advantage of.

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Topics: Truck Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, settlement compensation

How Insurance Companies Value Truck Accident Claims

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Feb 09, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

The personal injury damages an accident victim receives as a result of an automotive accident are intended to help the injured person to be “made whole” to the greatest extent possible – that is, to be restored to their pre-accident state, or as close to it as financial compensation and medical technology permits. Though the dollar values of some accident damage awards and settlements can sound impressively high to a third-party observer, they are an imperfect form of recompense at best; given the choice, practically every injured plaintiff would rather the accident had never happened in the first place than to receive a settlement or injury damages. Ironically this is especially true in the case of semi truck accidents, despite the often impressive sums involved in resolving these claims. Because of the huge difference in size and weight between a passenger vehicle and an 18-wheeler, the injuries that result from crashes between the two are generally devastating, if not fatal.

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Topics: Truck Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, insurance company, settlement compensation

How You Can Help Your Lawyer Build Your Case

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jul 14, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

When you hire an attorney to help you with your personal injury claim, he will be able to take from you the majority of the burden of dealing with the insurance company and assembling the evidence for your case. However, there are a few important ways that you can help your attorney build your case to be as strong and persuasive as possible. Some of them should be done as soon after your accident as you can manage, but others happen over time as you work with your doctors to recover from your injuries. By taking these few simple steps, you will enable your lawyer to build a powerful case that will help you obtain the fair compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Case, settlement compensation, NJ Personal Injury Attorney

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

Can Health Insurance, Medicare or Medicaid Assert a Claim for My Settlement Funds?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 26, 2017

When you initiate a personal injury claim, many times the recovery you're seeking is intended, in part, to pay for your medical expenses, which may have to be reimbursed to a company health plan, Medicare or Medicaid. It can take months to resolve your claim with a settlement agreement, or even years if your case goes to court. In the meantime, your health insurance provider generally covers the cost of your medical treatment. (After an auto accident, however, your own auto insurance must pay your medical expenses subject to some limitations.) If you successfully obtain compensation for your injuries from the parties responsible for your accident, your health insurance company may demand to be repaid from your settlement for the cost of your treatment, if that health insurance is actually an ERISA- based self-funded health plan provided by an employer. If your medical benefits are provided through Medicare or Medicaid, reimbursement subject to some reduction is required by law, and this process can become somewhat complicated. Worse, until all claims and liens against your settlement are resolved, you will be unable to recover your entire net settlement. In New Jersey, there is a statute prohibiting straight medical insurance plans form imposing a lien on your personal injury recovery, or asserting reimbursement rights. It is up to your attorney to determine whether a health plan is really entitled to reimbursement. 

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Topics: settlement compensation, insurance company

Depositions in Personal Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 24, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

The early stages of any personal injury suit are dedicated to the gathering of information by both sides. Sometimes this involves doing research, collecting documents, and consulting experts, but the primary source of information for the insurance company is going to be you, the injured plaintiff. This is true both because you are the primary eyewitness to your own accident, and because you know best the pain you feel, the losses you have suffered, and the limitations on what you can do as a result of the injury. Initially the defense lawyers will seek information from you in the form of written interrogatories (questions),but you will almost certainly also be called upon to answer questions in person in a series of depositions.

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Topics: depositions, insurance company, answers to interrogatories, settlement compensation

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