As the saying goes, accidents happen. In many situations, getting hurt in an accident is just a matter of our inattention – such as touching a hot pan or tripping on a sidewalk because we were looking at our phones instead of where we were walking. But if your injuries were caused by something that someone else did – or failed to do – then you may be able to file a claim with the help of a Cherry Hill personal injury lawyer against them and their insurance company.
Personal injury cases are brought whenever a person suffers harm because of another person’s careless, intentional, or reckless behavior. Through a personal injury claim, you can recover financial compensation for your property damage, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney will fight for your right to full compensation.
Based in Cherry Hill, Bross & Frankel advocates for injury victims throughout New Jersey. Our Cherry Hill injury lawyers offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out to our law firm today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with a member of our legal team.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a civil lawsuit against a person or entity that caused harm to another person. The accident victim (plaintiff) will seek to hold the at-fault party (defendant) financially responsible for their losses. The injuries involved in a personal injury case can include both physical as well as mental or emotional harm.
Most personal injury cases are based on a theory of negligence, which is a type of carelessness. A person is considered negligent if they fail to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. For example, if a reasonable person would look both ways before pulling out into traffic, a driver who causes a car accident by failing to do so would be considered negligent.
The plaintiff has the burden to prove negligence in a personal injury case. To do so, they will have to prove four things (known as elements):
- Duty: the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- Breach: the defendant violated that duty in some way;
- Causation: the defendant’s breach of the duty of care was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- Damages: the plaintiff suffered losses as a result.
In some cases, negligence can be presumed. This is known as negligence per se. Generally, if the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant violated a law – and that law was designed to protect the public – then the defendant’s negligence will be presumed. For example, if a person runs a red light and t-bones someone lawfully going through the intersection, then they will likely be considered negligent per se.
In some situations, a person isn’t just negligent – they may have acted intentionally or recklessly. They can still be held liable in a personal injury case for their action. Drunk driving accidents are an example of a personal injury action based on intentional or reckless conduct instead of negligence.
At Bross & Frankel, our Cherry Hill personal injury lawyers are experienced in a wide range of personal injury cases. We have represented clients in cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Dog bites
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls (premises liability)
- Truck accidents
- Dangerous and defective products (products liability)
- Bus accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Rideshare accidents
Our law offices have helped people with all types of injuries, ranging from minor strains and bruises to broken bones to catastrophic injuries. We also represent the loved ones of people who die in an accident in wrongful death actions. Reach out today to talk to a Cherry Hill personal injury lawyer about how we can help you.
Filing a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have been hurt in an accident, you may not know what to do or where to turn for help. You might feel a bit intimidated by the process or by adjusters for the insurance company that keeps calling or even showing up at your door. A personal injury attorney can help.
The first step is a free initial consultation, where your lawyer will listen to your story and advise you of your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim. If you decide to hire the firm, then they will get to work right away to build a claim. This starts with an investigation into the facts of the case, interviewing witnesses, reviewing medical records, and obtaining accident reports, photos and videos.
Next, your accident lawyers will send what is known as a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. A demand letter lays out the facts of the claim and the legal reason why the insured is liable. It then concludes with a demand for compensation (damages).
In a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages compensate an injury victim for their losses. Punitive damages punish someone who acted intentionally or recklessly.
Economic damages pay for direct financial losses. They are usually documented through things like medical bills, estimates, pay stubs, and invoices. Examples of economic damages include property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, future medical treatment, and reduced earning capacity.
Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses, or emotional harm that a person suffers because of an accident. It can include money for pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. These damages can be harder to prove but are no less important than economic damages.
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases involving intentional or reckless conduct, not negligence cases. The goal of these damages is not to compensate an accident victim but to punish a wrongdoer. In New Jersey, there is a cap on punitive damages – the greater of $350,000 or five times compensatory damages.
Your personal injury law firm will use its experience with similar cases and consult with experts to come up with a demand for compensation. The insurance company will typically counter with their estimation of the damages in your case – which is typically far lower. The parties will negotiate until they can reach a settlement.
In some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This does not mean that your case will go to trial. It is a way to protect your rights while continuing negotiations. If the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, then your Cherry Hill personal injury attorney may go to court and ask a jury to return a verdict in your favor.
How a Cherry Hill Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Bottom line: they have their own interests at heart, not yours. Even if the adjuster seems nice and tells you that they accept responsibility and want to make you whole, they are probably not being truthful.
Before you talk to an adjuster, give a statement, or sign any paperwork, you should always consult with a personal injury attorney. They will make sure that you don’t give up any important rights, and that you have a better understanding of the true value of your case. If you decide to hire the firm, they will fight to get you maximum compensation for your injuries.
Studies show that people with legal representation recover an average of 40% more than people who represent themselves in personal injury claims. If you want to get top dollar for your claim, then your best option is to retain legal counsel.
A lawyer won’t just help you get a fair settlement, however. They will also handle all of the communications and paperwork for you so that you can focus on your healing and recovery. They will also help you get some measure of justice, which is incredibly important for anyone who has suffered a serious injury.
Ultimately, the best way to get the money that you deserve for your injuries is by working with a Cherry Hill personal injury law firm. They will listen to you, help you explore all possible avenues for recovery, and make sure that the insurance company doesn’t take unfair advantage of you. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Hurt in an Accident? We Can Help.
Being in an accident can be far more challenging than many people realize. In addition to physical injuries, you may be left feeling traumatized and unsettled. While money won’t make you whole again, it can help to provide you with financial stability so that you can move forward with your life.
At Bross & Frankel, we understand how difficult it can be to recover after an accident. Our goal is to make the process as easy as possible for our clients – while zealously advocating for their right to full compensation. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Cherry Hill personal injury attorney, give us a call at 866-311-3796 or fill out our online contact form.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years. With some exceptions, this means that you must file a lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the accident. If you fail to do so, then your claim may be tossed out of court.
A New Jersey personal injury lawyer will ensure that your case is filed on time and that your rights are protected. In Cherry Hill, call Bross & Frankel to schedule a free consultation.
How Can I Afford to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing upfront, and only pay a fee if you recover money through a settlement or verdict at trial. The attorney’s fee will be a percentage of your total recovery.
Contingency fee agreements make it possible for anyone to hire a lawyer, even if you don’t have extra cash to pay an hourly fee. Reach out to Bross & Frankel to talk to a Cherry Hill personal injury lawyer about your case.