Many people have the wrong idea about personal injury as a practice area. For instance, they may assume that personal injury lawsuits involve ambulance-chasing lawyers who are in business for a quick buck. However, personal injury cases (and attorneys) are essential for helping individuals who have suffered harm due to the negligent or reckless actions of other parties.
After a car accident or serious medical mistake, a personal injury attorney can help the person who was injured or their family members recover compensation that helps pay for their damages (lost income, medical bills, etc). Without personal injury attorneys, victims of negligence would have little to no means of recovering compensation that is necessary to regain their quality of life.
If you are looking for more information about personal injury cases, then you have come to the right place. Continue reading our blog to discover answers to common questions about personal injury cases.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
Whether an attorney would take your case depends on the circumstances of what happened. For instance, personal injury attorneys will not take cases where plaintiffs did not suffer any actual damages, such as injuries or personal losses. What matters here is whether a person actually suffered a personal injury. Did the person suffer some type of harm to their body, mind or emotions? It matters.
Let’s say for example that a hospital patient received the wrong diagnosis from a physician. Although the patient was inconvenienced (by having to go in for a second appointment), they did not suffer any real harm as a result of the misdiagnosis. This is the type of situation where a personal injury attorney would be unlikely to take the case. Why? The patient did not suffer damages, such as extensive medical bills, loss of future earning capacity or loss of income.
A strong personal injury case also has credible evidence. Evidence makes it possible for an attorney to negotiate a settlement or take a case to trial. If you were harmed by the negligent actions of another party, then you should never wait to contact an attorney. Crucial evidence can quickly disappear after an accident.
How Should I Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer?
We have written extensively about which factors are important when selecting a personal injury lawyer. You should always narrow your search down to attorneys who have a proven record of success, integrity, and experience with taking cases to trial. On the latter point, some personal injury attorneys may be quick to settle with defendants, even when it is not advantageous for their clients. There are situations where it is necessary to take a case to trial.
You should make sure your attorney is an experienced litigator. For instance, you could choose a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, a designation achieved by only 2 percent of New Jersey attorneys. Certified Civil Trial Attorneys must meet strict criteria, such as demonstrating a substantial level of experience in civil trial law. Multiple attorneys at Keefe Law Firm are Certified Civil Trial Attorneys.
You should also make sure to select a personal injury attorney who has taken cases that are similar to your own. If you were injured in a truck accident, then you should look for an attorney who has extensive experience with truck accident cases. The same could be said for cases involving defective products, drunk drivers or medical malpractice.
Start your search by asking friends, colleagues, other lawyers, or check with the NJ State Bar Association. You can typically find more information about an attorney or law firm’s experience with cases by visiting their websites. Law firms and attorneys that are worth your time will generally have an entire page dedicated to summarizing their successful cases.
There are a couple of ways to find a law firm that is right for your case. Most people are going to use Google, although referrals, listings and social media are also used to find attorneys.
How Much Compensation Will I Get?
There is no easy answer to this question. Most cases have multiple variables that affect the eventual outcome of a settlement or verdict. In other words, every case is going to be different. However, there are some universal rules when it comes to personal injury compensation.
The more serious the injury, the greater the compensation. This is because individuals with catastrophic injuries (such as brain injuries or spinal cord injuries) suffer more damages than individuals with less serious injuries. For individuals with catastrophic injuries, there are typically costs that persist for months, years or permanently. Medical bills, lost income, loss of future earning potential, and pain and suffering could be considered. Remember, the nature of your injury and damages are taken into account.
You should also know that personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning they front the costs of investigating and litigating your case. If and only if a personal injury attorney is successful, they will take a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount. This is a standard practice among all personal injury attorneys
What Else Should I Know About Personal Injury Claims?
There are additional facts you should know about personal injury claims. First and most important, you should never wait to contact an attorney if you or a loved one suffered harm due to the negligent actions of another party.
Evidence can quickly disappear. For instance, in cases involving truck accidents, it is crucial to obtain the vehicle’s electronic control module (also called the black box) soon after the crash. Information on this device, which is attached to the engine, can uncover reasons why an accident happened (such as speeding or hard braking). However, information on black boxes may be destroyed by commercial carriers soon after the accident occurs. This is only one of many examples we could discuss. Evidence that is crucial for your case can be destroyed or altered if you do not act quickly.
There is also a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which stipulates how long you have to file a claim. In many cases, the statute of limitations will be two years from the date of the injury. If you wait beyond this point, chances are you will not be able to file a claim.
Contact Our New Jersey Personal Injury Law Firm for More Information
Our New Jersey personal injury law firm has extensive experience with many types of cases, including personal injury lawsuits. You can schedule a free consultation with one of our New Jersey personal injury lawyers by calling (732) 224-9400 or by completing our contact form.