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What to expect from a personal injury claim

An accident takes only a moment, but the aftermath lasts much longer. You could slip and fall on an uneven sidewalk, get hurt by a defective product or find yourself injured due to a negligent driver. A dog might bite you, or you may get injured due to an unsafe work environment. If you find yourself in any of these situations, you have the right to seek compensation. New Jersey law requires you bring a case as soon as possible, so you will want to act immediately after the accident. Being proactive helps to recover full damages for your pain and suffering.

Common personal injury cases

Personal injury may be a result of dangerous premises, a defective product or an auto accident. It can happen to you anytime, anywhere, with life-changing affects. Damages you might experience include pain and suffering, current and future medical expenses, and lost wages. In any personal injury case, three things must be proven:

  • The time and place of the accident
  • The damages that resulted from the accident
  • The negligence of another party

The negligent party

You might decide to take your personal injury claim to court. The negligent party will usually have legal counsel of their own. Their goal will be to turn the blame on you, possibly claiming the accident was due to your own recklessness or inattentiveness. Do not let this discourage you: Your personal injury claim can hold up in court with experienced representation and proof.

How much can I recover in a personal injury claim?

A personal injury can turn your life upside down. An injury can result in many damages, both physical and emotional. You will need to be compensated so you can recover. Insurance companies are quick to offer a settlement, but it often will not be enough to fully cover the damages.

How much you can recover in a personal injury claim depends on the case itself and a few other factors:

  • The role of the plaintiff – How much you recover in a personal injury case impacted by the role you play in the accident. New Jersey law states that as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault in causing the accident, you can recover from a negligent defendant.
  • Medical expenses and treatments – The court takes into consideration your injury. If the negligence of another party results in you suffering a hard injury – like a broken bone or head injury – you will probably recover more to take care of high medical costs.
  • Permanent injury – An accident can result in a permanent injury, such as a scar or loss of mobility. The court considers long-term injuries also. Physical and emotional stress may require weeks, months or years of therapy.
  • Daily life disruptions – A personal injury is not just physical pain and suffering. It disrupts your daily life. You could miss work, family events, vacation, school and more.

Other legal and practical issues

Other factors negatively affect compensation, such as impatience, disorganization and lack of proof. Witnesses also give your case a boost. An organized personal injury case leads to higher compensation, especially if you share no fault for the accident. Fault is a significant factor in a personal injury case, but anyone suffering an injury as result of negligence deserves compensation.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
Fax: 973-292-9168
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