If an accident does not occur during the course of employment, you may still be entitled to receive compensation if the accident was caused by the negligence of another person. Examples of such negligence claims include: motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, injuries caused by a dangerous product, negligent security resulting in a criminal assault, and negligent supervision. Such claims may be filed either in the State(s) where the respective parties reside, or where the accident occurred. If you are contacted by the other party’s insurance carrier following an accident, and that carrier wishes to negotiate a settlement for personal injuries, you should call an attorney prior to signing any Release Agreement. With regard to motor vehicle accidents, you should immediately report the accident to your own insurance carrier, in order to obtain coverage for your medical bills and any damage to your vehicle.
If the accident did occur at the workplace, you may have two possible claims — a negligence claim in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. In general, an employee cannot file a claim for negligence against his employer. However, if you are injured during the course of your employment, and the accident was caused by a third party unrelated to you employer, you may sue that third party for negligence, in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation carrier will have a “lien” on your third party claim, for any benefits it paid out to you. If negligence was clearly committed, the compensation available in a third party claim is generally more generous than the benefits allowed through the workers’ compensation system. Accordingly, both claims should be pursued if possible.
- What Is A Personal Injury Claim? How Do I Know If I Should File One?
- How Do I Initiate An Auto Injury Claim In New Jersey?
- What Are Some Severe Injuries Sustained In Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
- How Do Motorcycle Wrecks Differ From Passenger Vehicle Accidents?
- Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Case?
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you have been injured by someone’s negligence, we don’t believe you should hire an attorney simply because they offer a “free consultation” or “no fee if no recovery”. All personal injury lawyers do that! We believe the most important thing we can do to help you is to educate you. That’s why I wrote my book “Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your New Jersey Accident Case”. You can order a free copy here.
Essentials of NJ Personal Injury Cases
In any personal injury or wrongful death case in New Jersey the injured person, or plaintiff, must prove that the carelessness or negligence of another caused injury. In New Jersey negligence on the part of the plaintiff greater than 50% will bar any recovery under the legal doctrine of comparative negligence.
Expert testimony may be necessary to prove some parts of your claim. Expert medical testimony is generally needed to prove the extent of your physical injury and the relationship of any medical bills to the defendant’s negligence. Expert testimony is also necessary to prove any other issues that are beyond the general knowledge of jurors, such as the extent your ability to earn a living has been impaired.
Entering The Battlefield
The day you were injured you entered a war zone. Insurance companies have declared war on injured people and their attorneys. Some of them write letters to claimants to discourage them from seeking legal representation. They have waged the war in the media and their propaganda has had a tremendous effect on juries and their verdicts. As a result of the success that the insurance companies have had in tainting the minds of jurors, often they will not offer a fair settlement until you prove to them that you are ready, willing and able to go to trial.
In most cases today, attempting to negotiate with the insurance company before filing suit is not a worthwhile endeavor.
Insurance companies use pre-suit negotiation to attempt to find out as much about you, your lawyer and your doctor as they can. It often turns out that precious time has been wasted attempting to negotiate with the insurance company before filing suit. If we accept your accident case it is because we believe it is meritorious. We will usually file your lawsuit early in the negotiation process so that if negotiations break down we will already have a trial date in place to head towards.
In New Jersey there is a two year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means that your lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of your accident or you cannot recovery any compensation for your injuries. We believe that it is a dangerous practice to wait until the statute of limitations is almost expired to file suit. We have seen other attorneys do this only to find that the defendant they sued is either not the correct defendant or is now blaming someone else. While there are legitimate reasons for delaying filing suit, there is no excuse for the practice that we sometimes see whereby some attorneys routinely wait until the last moment to see if the insurance company will settle your case.
Once the lawsuit is filed, both sides engage in the legal process called discovery. Each party is allowed to investigate what it is the other side is going to say at trial. The defendant will be permitted access to your medical and work history, including your income records. You must give a deposition under oath and you may be required to submit to a medical examination by a physician of the defendant’s choosing.
The defendant is also subject to discovery. He or she will answer written and oral questions about his own background and he will have to give sworn testimony about the incident at issue.
Types Of Accident Cases We Handle:
Car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, slip and fall/trip and fall accidents, construction accidents, swimming pool accidents, injuries to children, dog bite/animal attack cases, and wrongful death.
Types Of Injury Cases We Handle:
All types of traumatic orthopedic, neurological, and other catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, as well as injuries to the spinal cord (neck & back), shoulders, arms, legs, hands, and feet.
We have helped our clients obtain compensation for injuries requiring brain surgery, lumbar and cervical laminectomies; lumbar and cervical fusions; arthroscopic and open shoulder surgery for rotator cuff tears, impingement syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis; leg/knee injuries, including tears of the medial meniscus, lateral meniscus, ACL, collateral ligaments, fractured tibia, fractured fibula, requiring open reduction / internal fixation; arm/elbow injuries, including fractured ulna and radial head, torn ligaments and tendons; hand injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures, torn ligaments and tendons; foot injuries, including ankle fractures, torn ligaments and tendons, and tarsal tunnel syndrome.
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