Your Definitive Guide to Personal Injury Lawyer

No one plans to get into severe accidents or acquire acute injuries. However, some events in life are unprecedented, and one can enter into harmful situations through no fault of their own. These cases emerge in the news every day. For instance, a pedestrian on a zebra crossing may get hit by a gushing vehicle, or a patient can be left paralyzed due to the surgeon’s mistake. You may also have suffered a major or minor loss that you think resulted from someone else’s mistake.  If you live in New Jersey, the best course of action would be to hire a Pennington personal injury attorney

Professional personal injury lawyers can help you build a strong case and then fight it on your behalf. Once the courts find your claim valid, you can demand monetary damages from the person who wronged you. Though it won’t undo your pain, it will bear your medical expenses and enable means for a quick recovery. Unfortunately, the procedure of searching for the best law firm can be time-consuming and daunting, especially for injured people. So, to alleviate your worries, we conducted some research. If you are looking for reliable New Jersey lawyers with impressive success rates and years of experience, Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C would be suitable. Meanwhile, this article will equip you with the essential facts you need to know to win the claim.

What Constitutes as Personal Injury?

Personal injury is an umbrella term for multiple scenarios. Many people seem to have only a vague idea of the word. It is because the dictionary meanings do not necessarily comply with the legal definitions. So, if you hurt your thumb while hammering a nail into your bedroom wall, you may consider it a personal injury. However, the law is not likely to recognize it as such.

Legally, personal injury lawsuits come under tort law. These arise when a person believes that they suffered from someone else’s recklessness. This negligence on behalf of the other person does not necessarily have to be intentional. Suppose a local public park had a broken fence that they did not repair. Consequently, a young child tripped and fractured a bone. It would constitute a personal injury case because the child’s suffering resulted from authorities’ failure to be diligent and responsible.

Someone may suspect that their injury was intentional and preplanned by other parties out of malice or any other motive. In such cases, it will constitute a criminal suit rather than a civil suit (like that of personal injury).

Some Examples of Common Personal Injury Claims

By now, you may be wondering if your injury would be acknowledged as such, legally. So, given below are the most common personal injury cases that attorneys handle.

Auto Accident Injury

It refers to the injuries that result from road accidents. The specific details of the incidents can vary greatly, but all of these cases include automobiles. Resultantly, the driver, pedestrians, by-standers, or any other person present at that time can suffer harm. It can range from traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries to internal damage and fractures.

Slip and Fall Accidents

As the self-explanatory name suggests, it entails events when people trip or fall due to someone else’s action or failure to take action. Contrary to the common belief, slip and fall accidents can render severe and sometimes irreversible injuries. As per statistics, emergency wards in the US encounter more than a million patients of slip and fall accidents each year. Falls can cause restricted mobility, hip fractures, brain damage, and other personal injuries.

Medical Malpractice

These cases arise when patients or their family members believe that the medical practitioners did not treat the patient responsibly. Sometimes, healthcare practitioners can make unintentional mistakes that can have critical drawbacks for the patient. For instance, if your doctor misdiagnoses your disease and you end up receiving an unsuitable treatment that deteriorates your health, you can make a personal injury claim. In other occurrences, the doctors may prescribe inapt medication, make surgical errors, misread laboratory results, or disregard the patient’s medical history and triggers. In such events, medical malpractice can constitute grounds for personal injury cases.

Product Liability

Product liability cases include claims for people who suffered harm due to faulty products. These are among the most prevalent cases, and many believe that tort law owes its evolution to a product liability case (Donoghue v Stevenson 1932). In these kinds of issues, the manufacturers may prove irresponsible in their production, packaging, distribution, or any other stage. So, if someone gets food poisoning from eating at a restaurant or gets a skin rash from new clothing they bought, they can sue for personal injury.

Construction Injuries

Though most construction sites implement security measures, many people have to face construction injuries. It is because such regions typically store hazardous equipment. Some examples of the affected individuals can be children playing nearby, adults who trespassed the property, or the construction workers themselves. So, a construction injury can also be a workplace injury. You can seek help from this construction accident attorney in Houston if you need legal assistance.

Aside from these, personal injury claims can also include other scenarios. Sometimes, the injury may not even be physical. People may demand damages for their emotional distress or mental anguish. For example, if someone slips from the staircase at the workplace because the employers did not repair it, their grievances can snowball. They may develop spinal cord injury that renders them paralyzed, and they wouldn’t be capable of earning any more. Consequently, the accident’s distress and financial loss can cause emotional turmoil, like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In such situations, people can sue for mental alongside physical misery in their lawsuits.

What is Negligence in Personal Injury and How Do Lawyers prove it?

The success of most personal injury claims (or tort lawsuits, for that matter) depends on proving the defendant’s negligence. As a claimant (the person making a claim), your attorney will aim to verify that the defendant (the individual against whom the claimant lodges the lawsuit) was negligent in his conduct. Your lawyer’s course of action will include establishing the four elements of negligence, as explained below.

 

Duty of Care

 

In many scenarios in society, people owe each other a duty of care. It is essential to note that this duty is not the same as a moral responsibility. If you encounter someone drowning in a pool or bleeding on the road after an accident, you may consider it ethical to rescue them. However, you are under no legal responsibility to do so (unless you are a lifeguard). It follows that they cannot sue you for their injuries.

Many situations create a legal duty of care. To illustrate, drivers have to be responsible towards pedestrians, and employers have to ensure their workers don’t suffer injuries during their job. Your attorney will first seek to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care for your claim to succeed.

Breach of Duty

It is not sufficient to know that the duty existed; the claimant’s lawyer must establish that the defendant breached this duty. Some circumstances increase the likelihood of a breach. Suppose an employer asks his workers to do some repair work in the mines at night. He doesn’t provide them goggles, torches, helmets, or any other safety equipment. The worker may get hurt as a result. So, the judges will likely find that the employer violated his duty.

 

Causation

 

Causation means establishing a link between the breach of duty and the injury that claimant suffered. Their damage must have resulted from the breach for negligence to be proven. It comprises factual alongside legal causation. In the former, the attorney seeks to establish that the claimant would not be injured if not for duty violation. Suppose someone suffers an electric shock from a fence that was not supposed to be active at that time of the day. Their lawyer would reason that had it been inactive, the claimant wouldn’t have suffered a shock.

In legal causation, the test is called the reasonable foreseeability test. It means that the defendant would only be liable if a reasonable person in his place could have predicted the consequences of the breach. So, if the breach of duty has an unpredictable result (such as when your neighbor lighting a candle in his home ends up with your house burnt), the judges can decide that the damage was too remote.

 

Damage

 

It is the final element that lawyers prove in negligence. It means that the action of the defendant must have caused some harm. Alternatively, even if the defendant owed a duty of care and breached it, a lack of damage can disprove the claimant’s case. For instance, if a practitioner acts irresponsibly towards their patient but the patient suffers no actual harm, proving negligence would not be possible.

However, most personal injury cases only emerge when the claimant is confident that they suffered. So, attorneys find the final element easier to prove.

These are the vital elements that your attorney will establish for you. However, you may be the defendant in a personal injury claim when someone believes that your actions harmed them. In such cases, your defense attorney’s strategy will entail disproving one or more elements of negligence. They may argue that the damage the claimant suffered was not due to your behavior, or they may work to establish that you did not owe the claimant a duty of care in the first place.

If you are the claimant, these are also the common tactics that you can expect the defendant’s attorney to use in the courtroom.

Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Few people prefer to argue their cases themselves, and some others refrain from bringing a lawsuit when they suffer an injury due to negligence. Both of these choices can be anticlimactic. Hiring an experienced lawyer is considerably more high-yielding than arguing your case or letting the issue slide. It provides you professional help alongside legal representation at every stage of the case.

An attorney will facilitate the essential investigation that you require to win the claim. It can include surveillance footage of where the accident occurred, police reports, medical bills, and official government statements. On the contrary, you may not have the authorization to access these documents on your own. Your lawyer will also help you arrange witnesses and record their statements. They will prepare the witness for cross-examination through mock trials, so they are not clueless in the court.

In most instances, lawyers proceed to demand damages (financial compensation) from the defendant or his insurers. They do this after assessing the damage, considering the market value, and discussing the best amount with you. Often, insurance companies or the defendant’s side prefers to settle. It means that they make monetary offers and try to discard the case before it goes to court. Your attorney will skillfully negotiate on your behalf. Likewise, in the court, they will ensure that you secure the most damages. These can include compensation for emotional distress, economic loss, and property damage, besides a personal injury.

You may be worried about the legal fee. These can vary, but most personal injury attorneys in the US demand about 30% of the final compensation that the claimant receives. If you win the claim, you can also demand the defendant to cover your legal fees. In short, hiring experienced attorney results in a win-win situation for you.

Cooperating With your lawyer

You can help your attorney win your case by cooperating closely with them. One thing that can save you time and embarrassment is being honest with your lawyer. Being transparent about the details you know is vital. If you lie, there are high chances that your attorney will discover the facts during investigation and reports. They can even discern it on the spot due to their experience. So, fabricating a story isn’t something you want to consider.

Secondly, it is best to keep your lawyer in the loop. During your case, insurance companies, the defendant’s representatives, and the police may contact you for various purposes. Make sure that you inform everything to your attorney without leaving out any details.

You should also maintain an organized case file as a backup and for personal satisfaction. Besides, discussing the fees and asking them questions upfront would prove to be a sensible idea in the long run.