Common Personal Injury Cases
Personal injuries can include injuries resulting from many different circumstances. In general, if another individual or organization’s negligent, careless, or intentional actions caused the injury, a personal injury occurred. For example, if a business owner doesn’t clear the ice from their sidewalks and someone slips and suffers a broken leg, the business can be liable for their damages.
If a company markets and sells a product without proper warnings and instructions and a user experiences a severe burn, you can hold the company liable. If a driver drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causes an accident, they are also liable for any injuries and damages they cause.
Other circumstances that can cause a personal injury include:
- Dog bites or attacks at dog-friendly parks or dog runs in New Jersey
- Boating accidents on the Hackensack River
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Intentional acts of violence, such as domestic abuse
- Medical malpractice at Hackensack University Medical Center
- Wrongful death
- Pedestrian accidents at dangerous intersections, such as South Prospect and Essex in Hackensack
- Bicycle or scooter accidents
- Premises liability, including slips and falls at ShopRite
Considering the countless ways serious personal injuries might happen, it’s no surprise that the many possible emotions experienced by victims are also varied. Fear, sadness, hopelessness, frustration, or even outright anger are common. However, the reactions and emotions of those hurt by the negligence of others should never be allowed to stop those individuals from taking swift action to protect their legal interests.
This is just one reason to hire a New Jersey personal injury attorney to handle your claim. You can focus on your emotions and recovery while your attorney focuses on pursuing justice on your behalf.
Personal Injury Case Deadlines
Even though personal injury law allows victims to seek appropriate compensation for their various losses, New Jersey, sets a two-year deadline to do so.
If you or an attorney don’t file your personal injury claim before this crucial deadline, you will lose your right to seek compensation through the civil court system. You can still file suit; however, the liable party or their attorney on their behalf will ask the judge to dismiss it based on the expired statute of limitations. No matter how convincing your case might be or how much your damages are worth, the judge will have no choice but to grant them their request.
You can avoid missing this deadline by contacting a New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. In fact, doing so has additional benefits besides ensuring that you don’t miss the deadline for filing a case.
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Help Collecting Evidence
Personal injury claims require evidence to prove that the at-fault party caused your injuries and that you deserve compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may not even know what evidence to collect. If you don’t preserve it as soon as possible, it can become lost or damaged.
When you hire a New Jersey personal injury lawyer shortly after sustaining an injury, you have an evidence expert on your side who knows what evidence will be necessary to prove your claim and how and when to collect it. The sooner you have them working for you, the better.
Protection from the Insurance Company
If you file a claim directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you may hear from them within a few days. However, the insurance company isn’t in business to pay you fair compensation for your injuries. They are in business to make money, which often conflicts with paying claimants a full and fair recovery for their damages.
As such, talking with them can be detrimental to your claim. For example, the insurance adjuster might attempt to get you to settle for an amount far below what your claim is really worth. They bank on you not having met with a New Jersey personal injury attorney and that you will be happy with or desperate enough for any small amount of money they offer.
Alternatively, they may ask you for a recorded statement. You have the right to refuse to give one, even if they tell you otherwise. Even if you don’t agree with such a statement, they might try to twist your words and can use anything you say against you to decrease the value of your claim or deny it entirely.
By contacting and hiring an attorney as soon as possible after your injuries, you can help avoid being taken advantage of by the liable party’s insurance company.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?
If you or a family member recently sustained an injury, you might be wondering if you have a valid personal injury claim. Anytime you sustain a serious injury, and another person or party can be responsible for creating the conditions that caused it, you should speak to a New Jersey personal injury lawyer. It’s best to present the circumstances of your accident and injuries to an experienced attorney who can determine if you have a valid personal injury claim. If you decide on your own that your injury claim isn’t likely valid, you can be walking away from the money you need and deserve to pay for your injuries.
Generally, when a New Jersey personal injury attorney evaluates a potential personal injury claim, they are looking to see if it includes the following four elements of negligence:
Element #1: Duty of Care/Standard of Care
Your case must establish that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care. A duty of care means a responsibility to act with a certain degree of reasonable good sense and caution. This element is usually the most obvious to prove since laws already reveal a duty of care under many circumstances.
For instance, all motorists must exercise adequate care toward others they share the road with, including other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Every driver is responsible for obeying traffic laws and driving in a manner that’s not dangerous or reckless.
Element #2: Violation of Duty
Once you’ve established that the other party owed you a legal duty of care, you must show that they violated or breached that duty by not using reasonable care. For example, if someone runs a red light, they breach their duty to obey traffic laws and avoid putting others on or near the road at risk.
To establish liability, you must prove these first two elements. If so, you’ve shown that the other party is legally responsible for the results of their actions. In some cases, the at-fault party might even admit their violation of a duty of care and accept liability. However, even if they accept liability, they or their lawyer will still likely dispute the following two elements of negligence.
Element #3: Causation
Next, you’ll need to prove that the negligent party’s reckless actions caused your injuries or harm. This link between their actions and your injuries is known as the element of causation. However, not every type of causation is the same under the law. Their negligent acts can’t just have loose links to the cause of your injuries. Rather, the relationship needs to be what’s known as proximate cause, or a pretty direct cause.
For instance, if an intoxicated or distracted driver hits your car and injures you, it’s a direct cause.
Your New Jersey personal injury attorney may also need to hire expert witnesses, such as physicians who can testify that your injuries arose from the at-fault party’s actions and not something else.
For example, suppose a driver ignores a red light, resulting in an accident that leaves a victim with severe injuries, including a fractured pelvis and cracked ribs. They need emergency surgery and several months of follow-up medical treatments, costing tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost income. Doctors testify that the victim was in good health before the accident and wouldn’t have needed treatment for their injuries if the accident hadn’t occurred.
Element #4: Damages
After you establish that the at-fault party’s negligent actions led to your injuries, you’ll need to prove that their actions harmed you and then quantify that harm with a dollar amount, called damages. Damages are the final, crucial element. If you or your New Jersey personal injury lawyer can’t prove that your injuries resulted in harm that deserves monetary compensation, you won’t have a case.
Hiring an experienced attorney is the key to proving all of these imperative elements in your case.
What Are Damages?
Damages are the financial representation of the harm, inconveniences, and pain you have suffered due to your personal injury. They can arise from something monetary or non-monetary; both types are equally as important, and you deserve compensation for them after a personal injury.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, include expenses or financial setbacks such as:
- Lost income and wages for time off work to recover from your injuries or attend medical appointments
- Medical expenses, including emergency care, hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, prescriptions, medical devices or equipment, rehabilitation, and physical therapy
- Travel and parking expenses for medical appointments
Non-economic damages, or general damages, are those that don’t come with a price tag or an inherent value.
They might include:
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of a body part or bodily function
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You might also receive punitive damages. However, you must request these from the court, and courts only grant them under special circumstances.
Economic and non-economic damages are compensatory damages, as they pay injury victims for their losses.
On the other hand, punitive damages punish the wrongdoer for severely careless, reckless, or wanton actions. Judges can only award punitive damages in these cases.
In addition, many states limit punitive damages. For example, New Jersey caps them at five times your compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.
Contact a Seasoned New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you suffered a personal injury, it’s crucial to contact a seasoned New Jersey personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Reinartz Law Firm today at (201) 778-HURT for a no-obligation case consultation and learn more about how we can help you pursue compensation for your damages.
Representation of multiple claimants in class settlement of COVID-related nursing home claims against State of NJ
Represented client in multi-party consolidated action resulting in confidential class settlement
slip and fall in a residential apartment building
motor vehicle accident
Motor Vehicle Accident
motor vehicle accident
The following are some of the recent case results achieved by the firm. Please note that prior case results do not guarantee the same or similar results in other matters.
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