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When Do I Have a Claim?

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When Do I Have a Claim?

Car Accident Claim Attorneys Morris County, NJ

Do I Have a New Jersey Car Accident Injury Claim?

While it may be clear to you that another driver is at fault for your auto accident, filing a personal injury claim with the courts requires specific documentation and procedure.  The terminology used by the courts, and the sheer amount of documentation needed to pursue a personal injury claim can often be overwhelming.  Additionally, a missed deadline or an inaccurately completed form can mean diminished compensation, or even loss of your case.

If you have been injured in a New Jersey auto accident, you deserve to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages and damages to your car. At the Morristown, NJ law offices of Smith and Doran, we have the experience and skill needed to secure successful claims in New Jersey auto accidents. We know how to fight for your future while at the same time always maintaining an open line of communication. Contact us online or by phone at 973-261-6254 today to schedule a cost-free consultation.

Parsippany Personal Injury Claim Lawyers Answer – Do I have a case?

In any personal injury case, three things must be proven:

  1. Accident – we must be able to show that an accident occurred when and where we say it did
  2. Damage – we must show that the accident caused an injury to you, rather than only your reputation or property.  Damages can include medical expenses both short and long term, lost wages and income if you are rendered unable to work, and pain and suffering caused by your injury(s).
  3. Negligence – finally we must be able to show that the cause of your accident was another individual’s or group’s negligence.

While the terms and steps are fairly straightforward, proving them in a court of law is not always easy.  The negligent party will often have legal counsel of their own, working to show that it was in fact your own recklessness or inattentiveness that caused the accident, not that of their client.  Having an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your interests from the onset of your accident will help ensure that your rights and best interests are always protected.

Comparative negligence in New Jersey

While it might seem obvious to you that the driver who darted out in front of your car caused the accident, the insurance company may see it differently. Because New Jersey is among the states that have adopted the principle of comparative negligence, the defense will try to prove that you were also negligent and in some way contributed to the accident. If, for example, you were speeding at the time of the collision, you may be partially to blame for the accident. In that case, the recovery of your damages would be reduced by the percentage of your fault. The existence of comparative negligence in New Jersey is one reason you should never admit fault — any degree of fault — at the scene of the accident or anywhere else, at any time, to anybody.

Morris County Insurance Policies and Rights to Sue

Every licensed New Jersey car owner is required to have at least a basic auto insurance policy to cover liability for bodily injury, property damage and personal injury protection (PIP). If you are uninsured, you cannot file a claim for damages.

However, a basic policy includes a Limited Right to Sue provision. (“Limited” is the key word here — it severely limits your right to sue for damages.) Drivers who have a standard policy have the option to choose or reject the Limited Right to Sue provision.

While the provision reduces your premiums, it greatly diminishes your legal recourse and the amount of compensation you can receive. Specifically, if you have the Limited Right to Sue provision in your policy, you cannot pursue pain and suffering damages except in certain extreme cases, including amputation, permanent injury and wrongful death.

Contact a Morristown Personal Injury Lawyer

Robert A. Smith of Smith & Doran is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney.  This means that he specializes in civil court cases, including accident and injury cases of any kind.  It is an accolade given by the New Jersey Supreme Court to only 2% of the active lawyers in the state. His fellow lawyers have also accorded him the highest possible Martindale Hubbel rating of AV® Preeminent in recognition of his excellent legal knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards. Bob Smith prides himself on providing personal but professional legal counsel, and he believes open and honest communication with his clients is the key to building a long-lasting partnership based on trust.

Smith & Doran, P.C. has been helping clients get the compensation they deserve since 1996. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, please contact us online or call our Morristown offices at 973-261-6254. Evening or weekend appointments and home or hospital visits can be arranged. All auto accident injury cases are taken on contingency.

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Verdicts and Settlements


Recovery for a six year old girl who suffered serious neurologic injury, as well as the loss of her parents and siblings, when the family's car was crushed by a garbage truck which had jumped a median strip partly as a result of a faulty braking system.


Settlement obtained for a sixty-seven year old man who fell down a flight of stairs as a result of an inadequate handrail, suffering quadriplegia.


Award obtained for a Sussex County man who suffered cervical injuries requiring two surgeries as a result of two separate car accidents.


The experienced lawyers you can trust. With over 130+ years combined experience, our firm focuses on success and gets results. Let us help you navigate your legal challenges. Call 973-261-6254 or send us an email. We're here for you and we're here when you need us.

Map and Directions

The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C.

Washington Street, Suite 302

Morristown, New Jersey 07960

Phone: 973-261-6254

Fax: 973-292-9168