When Do I Have A 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 Smith & Gaynor, LLC, 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 973-532-2661 today to schedule a free consultation.

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 damage to 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/injuries.
  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.

What Does Comparative Negligence Mean For Your Case?

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 Our Seasoned Personal Injury Lawyers

Robert A. Smith is a certified civil trial attorney, meaning he specializes in civil cases, including injury and accident cases of any kind. This certification is given to only 2% of active lawyers in New Jersey.

Smith & Gaynor, LLC, 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 973-532-2661. Evening or weekend appointments and home or hospital visits can be arranged. All auto accident injury cases are taken on contingency basis.

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