Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers
Fighting for Injured Victims in New Jersey and Nationwide
If you have been injured in an accident or other incident due to the negligence or carelessness of another party you may be entitled to financial compensation to help pay for medical treatment, lost wages and other expenses incurred from your injuries. The causes of these accidents and events can include car crashes, the use of unsafe or defective products, dangerous work sites, poorly maintained public areas and many other treacherous conditions caused by intentional harm, neglect or simple incompetence.
For many people, recovering physically, emotionally and financially from a serious injury can be one of the most challenging times of their life. For some, their life is forever changed in an instant.
For over fifteen years, Keefe Law Firm has fought for the rights of victims harmed by the actions of others. We have recovered over $100 million for people who were injured and for families who lost a loved one in motor vehicle, worksite, slip and fall accidents, as well as from the use of a bad medical implant, defective drug or dangerous product.
Our entire team of lawyers, paralegals and investigators understand how the victim, their family and friends’ lives are affected by these catastrophic events. We are not only dedicated to providing aggressive and relentless legal representation but also wrangle daily with insurance companies, Medicaid and other third parties to get victims the maximum restitution possible.
While many personal injury and accident cases are settled out of court, there are times when a case will have to go to trial. In this event, the best outcome is only attained when your case is handled by a tough, experienced litigator that knows the ins and outs of the court system. At Keefe Law Firm, litigation is our strong suit. Our New Jersey Certified Civil Attorneys are highly skilled and relentless when arguing for our clients in the courtroom. Fewer than two percent of lawyers achieved this distinction, which requires demonstration of significant experience, education, knowledge, and expertise in trial practice.
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Cases and Types of Accidents We Handle
- Motor Vehicle
- Slip & Fall
- Commercial Trucking
- Head Injury & Electrocution
- Workplace Injury
- Defective Products and Medical Devices
- Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
- Wrongful Death
- Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Personal Injury and Accident Lawsuit FAQs
Many people hesitate to contact a lawyer when they have been hurt in an accident because they think that it will be expensive, they don’t know where to start, an insurance company told them not to or they are not aware of their rights. Here are some common questions and answers to help you understand how personal injury claims work.
What is a personal injury lawsuit?
People file personal injury claims or lawsuits to protect their legal rights when they have been injured or have lost a loved one in an accident that resulted from the negligence of another party. The defendant in a personal injury matter can be a person or an entity such as a business, corporation or government agency. A personal injury case can be litigated and decided in civil court; however most personal injury disputes are settled out of court and the settlement terms are negotiated by the lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant.
How do I know if a lawyer is the right one to handle my case?
Always thoroughly investigate the qualifications, reputation and track record of any lawyer you are considering to represent you in a personal injury or accident lawsuit. In addition, the lawyer is not the only person that will handling your matter–their paralegal is very instrumental in managing your case. Here are a few tips to help you select the best personal injury lawyer for your specific case:
- Make careful note of how you were treated when you first contacted the prospective lawyer/law firm. Was your call answered promptly and politely? Was the person who took your call knowledgeable? Did he or she answer your questions thoroughly and patiently?
- Does the lawyer have a solid track record of successfully representing clients in personal injury and accident cases? He or she should be able to easily and quickly provide you with settlements and verdicts in cases similar to yours.
- When interacting with the lawyer and his/her team, do you get the sense that they will provide the appropriate level of attention to your case?
- Were details regarding the contingency fee arrangement spelled out clearly and provided in a retainer agreement?
- Make sure you check the attorney’s credentials. Your state bar association is an excellent place to start and will confirm that the attorney is in good standing. You can find out if an attorney has been disciplined via your state’s judicial website. In New Jersey, you can check for notices of discipline by the Disciplinary Review Board here.
- If you know any attorneys that practice in other areas, ask them about any lawyer you are considering for your personal injury matter. Good lawyers are an excellent source of information about other lawyers.
What a Personal Injury Lawsuit Costs
Many people perceive that legal fees are expensive. In some instances, this is true. However, personal injury law works on a contingency basis. This means that your lawyer or law firm pays all case expenses throughout the process. Then, when your case settles, the lawyer’s fee is taken from the awarded amount. So, personal injury plaintiffs do not have to pay for anything up front or during the legal proceedings. At Keefe Law Firm, we go over all financial arrangement details with all of our prospective clients. Everything is spelled out in plain English and in writing before we accept a case.
How much money is my lawsuit worth?
This is big question that very much depends on many factors, such as the extent of your injuries, damage to your property, financial damage from present and future lost wages and benefits, the extent of the defendant’s negligence, etc. This is why it is critical to work with an experienced injury attorney and litigator who has the skill and dedication to relentlessly pursue your matter and get the best possible outcome.
The Personal Injury Legal Process
When you decide to legally pursue a personal injury or accident claim, specific legal steps will be set in motion. Here is a synopsis:
1. Check the Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a legal rule defining the maximum amount of time allowed to bring legal proceedings from the date of an alleged accident, offense or event. This can vary from one jurisdiction to another.
Personal injury cases often have a two year statute of limitations; the clock starts ticking from the date the injury or incident occurred. If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit be sure to consult with an attorney to determine the statute of limitations in your jurisdiction.
2. Select the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
To find a great lawyer begin by asking colleagues, friends and family members if they have worked with or know of a good personal injury or accident attorney. If you know an excellent attorney in any other practice area, ask him/her to recommend a personal injury lawyer. Good attorneys typically know who prevails in different practice areas. Also, check your state bar association’s website for a list of the association’s leaders. These attorneys are often very highly regarded within the legal community and for good reason. Be sure to check for litigation and trial experience. Develop a short list of attorneys that meet your requirements and then begin by calling or emailing their firm. If you don’t receive a quick and professional response, keep moving down your list.
When you make phone contact, a paralegal will do an “intake”. This is a series of questions about your matter as well as general information about you. This conversation may take up to an hour. Be sure to have all of your information handy before you call.
The attorney then reviews this information. If he/she would like to proceed, a conflict check is done to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest. If everything checks out and the lawyer agrees to take your case, you will then sign a retainer agreement.
3. Information Gathering
You attorney will collect all of the information relevant to your case. This includes medical records and documentation of lost work, wages, etc. Your lawyer will also consult with experts such as physicians, investigators and traffic specialists who may also testify should your case go to trial.
4. Settlement Negotiation
In many—if not most situations, your attorney will negotiate a settlement amenable to both parties. The settlement amount should be based on the extent of your injuries, treatment, and length of recovery plus your monetary losses.
5. If a settlement cannot be reached, you may then, upon your attorney’s advice, file a lawsuit. Your personal injury lawyer will prepare you and the evidence to litigate the best case possible in front of a judge and jury. This is why it is critical that you hire a skilled litigation or trial attorney from the very beginning.
6. Discovery and Depositions
After your lawsuit is filed, the discovery process begins and depositions are taken. A deposition is simply a Q & A session in which the lawyers on both sides question any witnesses, who must answer under oath. Think of it as information gathering in preparation for the trial. Your lawyer will thoroughly prepare and rehearse with you before it is your turn to be deposed.
7. The Trial
The trial can last anywhere from two to five days; however it can take more than a year to get a trial date and obtain a decision and award. Be aware that the defendant may also appeal the decision, which can delay payment.
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At Keefe Law Firm, we stand for our injured clients to attain nothing less than the compensation they deserve. Talk to a lawyer today about your options.