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Elizabeth, NJ Personal Injury Lawyer

Injuries can strike anytime, anywhere. Victims of serious accidents might be left with extensive injuries, expensive medical bills, and interference with their ability to work. You should contact a personal injury lawyer for help to get these damages and others paid.

Our Elizabeth personal injury attorneys work to help victims and their families get the compensation they deserve. From collecting evidence to negotiating with insurance companies to taking your case to trial, our attorneys work to maximize the compensation you receive to help you move forward after a serious injury.

For a free case review, call our personal injury attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey today at (732) 838-9769.

Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Elizabeth, NJ

People can be compensated for all kinds of injuries, but they must first prove what happened and prove that someone else is at fault to win their case. In any personal injury case, you must show what the at-fault party – the “defendant” – did wrong before the court can order compensation. This means proving four major elements:

  1. The defendant owed you a legal duty.
  2. The defendant breached that duty, usually by failing to use the proper care or skill the situation required.
  3. The defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
  4. Your injuries involve damages the court can order compensated.

These elements have details and rules that change from case to case, so working with a personal injury lawyer is always important when pursuing any personal injury claim. For example, the legal duty owed in a car accident case may be simply defined by traffic laws in NJ, but the specific duty owed in a medical malpractice case involving a birth injury could be very specialized.

Sometimes, you even need the help of an expert witness to testify as to the standards that must be met and how the duty was breached in your case, especially in medical malpractice cases.

In many cases, causation is simple to prove because the injuries clearly resulted directly from the accident. However, cases involving a more tenuous relationship between the negligence and injury might be harder to prove, such as a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for tainted medication.

Additionally, some cases involve unavoidable accidents, and even if the defendant did nothing wrong, the victim still would have been injured. These kinds of fact patterns make these cases more challenging and further necessitate the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ

If you do not have a background in insurance or law, you may have difficulty understanding when you need a lawyer’s help and when you should first contact a lawyer.

When You Need a Lawyer

When it comes to understanding whether or not you need a lawyer, our Elizabeth personal injury attorneys offer free case reviews. After an accident, you can call us and tell us a bit about your case, and we can help you determine whether our services will be helpful or not.

In most cases where you suffered any sort of personal injury and you are not at fault, you should call a lawyer for help. Insurance companies will usually take steps to deny claims or minimize how much they pay out, and without a legal professional on your side, it can be difficult to know when they are out of line and when you are getting a fair deal.

When to Call an Attorney

As for when to call a lawyer, you should always contact an attorney as early in your case as you can. If you are seriously injured and are laid up in the hospital, it may be best to focus on your recovery. However, our attorneys can even take your case that early in the process so that we can begin collecting evidence, talking to witnesses before they forget what happened, and helping you track your medical care and recovery process. This can help secure evidence you might otherwise miss out on if you call an attorney later in the case.

Moreover, the later you call a lawyer, the longer it will take to get you the compensation you need. Our personal injury lawyers can begin work on your case right away and start getting it ready for filing. While the actual court processes and negotiation with the insurance companies could take some time, starting earlier typically means finishing earlier.

Plus, New Jersey law gives you only 2 years to file your case under N.J.S.A. § 2A:14-2(a). Waiting too long can mean losing out on your opportunity to file at all. However, these laws are often different for people injured while they are minors. Talk to an attorney for additional details about the time limits on filing your case.

Damages in Injury Cases in Elizabeth, NJ

The damages you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit vary from case to case. Damages are always based on the specific harms you face in the accident but usually involve medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, other specific expenses like child care while you are in the hospital, medical transportation, rehabilitation, therapy costs, and more can all be claimed as well.

It is important never to rely on the insurance company’s valuation of your case. Insurance companies have an incentive to keep payouts low so they can make more money. As such, insurance companies often make low-dollar offers that fail to cover your needs. Talk with our Elizabeth personal injury attorneys for help understanding what your case is really worth.

What Does an Injury Attorney Actually Do to Get You Compensated in Elizabeth, NJ

Injured victims might try to handle their car accident claims on their own. Sometimes, it is because they want to avoid legal fees. Other times, they underestimate how challenging a lawsuit can be. If you are interested in pursuing legal action after a car accident, it is important for you to hire a lawyer. Lawyers help you get compensation for your injuries in ways you might not be aware of.

Preparing Your Complaint

One way that attorneys help clients get compensated for injuries is by preparing a complaint. Filing a complaint might be the simple act of submitting paperwork. Preparing the complaint before filing is where the real work happens, and you need a lawyer.

The complaint is a long list of allegations against the defendant. It is not enough to simply state that the defendant caused an accident, and now you want compensation. You must break down every detail of the accident and explain how the defendant played a role. Details about the location of the accident, the time, how it happened, a step-by-step explanation of the defendant’s actions, and why you believe the defendant is liable. This is a lot of information, and if any is lacking, the court might reject your complaint.

You also need an accurate idea of your damages and what kind of compensation you want before you file the case. This means your attorney will need to assess things like injuries, medical bills, property damage, pain, suffering, and other damages you might have incurred before you ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is a crucial step because if any damages are overlooked, they might not be added later, and you could lose compensation.

You must also have evidence in the complaint. Exactly what kind of evidence you need varies and is discussed in more detail below. The real question, at least when preparing a complaint, is how much evidence you need. Your attorney must gather enough evidence to show that your claims have merit and that a trial is warranted. This does not mean you need enough evidence to prove your claims entirely. Deciding how much evidence to include in the complaint may be a point of strategy that your lawyer believes will help you get fair compensation.

Pretrial Motions

Your attorney’s efforts to get you compensation for your injuries extend far beyond the trial. In fact, they are working for your compensation before the trial even begins. Attorneys may file pretrial motions to try to steer the case in your favor by restricting inadmissible evidence and making sure the defendant follows legal procedure.

A pretrial motion is filed before your trial begins and is meant to resolve certain legal issues ahead of time so that the trial goes as smoothly as possible. While pretrial motions largely keep attorneys and evidence in check, they may be used strategically to increase your odds of success.

For example, suppose the defendant wants to introduce witness testimony as evidence that makes you look very bad, but that testimony is not based on the witness’ first-hand knowledge. Instead, the witness heard this information from a friend. Such testimony would violate the rule against hearsay, and your attorney can file a motion to keep that witness out of the courtroom.

The average person might not fully grasp complex evidentiary rules, and without an attorney, damaging and possibly illegal evidence might make it into court and be used against them. Having a lawyer can help you get the compensation you need by protecting your legal interest both in and out of the courtroom.

Legal Strategy and Arguments

Your lawyer may also help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve through legal strategy. A lawsuit is a complicated matter, and there might be various pieces of evidence, witnesses, injuries, claims, and counterclaims all vying for attention. There might be numerous ways in which you could approach the case. Your attorney can evaluate all these ways and determine which will most likely get you the compensation you need.

For example, suppose the defendant hit you with their car while they were under the influence of alcohol. In that case, your attorney might focus heavily on the presence of alcohol, chemical testing, and other details related to the defendant’s alcohol consumption. Other details might be less important.

However, even if the defendant was drunk, they might have refused chemical testing, or the police botched the test, and the results are inadmissible. In that case, your attorney can look for other possible strategies, such as focusing on the defendant’s speed, testimony from witnesses, and security camera footage.

Using Evidence in an Elizabeth, NJ Personal Injury Case

Evidence is what drives your case forward and helps you get compensation for your personal injuries. In a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. This means we must present enough evidence to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant is responsible for your accident and injuries. This is not as high as the more familiar criminal burden of proof, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evidence may include physical items you can show to a jury in person or through photos collected from the crash site. If possible, you should take photos and record videos immediately after the accident. People often do this for insurance purposes, but these photos and videos may also be used in court.

We should also find witnesses who can testify about the accident. Witnesses might have been present when the accident happened, and they might even have stopped to render aid. Other witnesses might not have been at the accident but have other personal knowledge relevant to the case.

Call Our Elizabeth, NJ Personal Injury Attorneys for Help Today

For a free case review on your injury case, contact the Elizabeth personal injury lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey today. Our phone number is (732) 838-9769.

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Jerry and his staff went above and beyong representing me in my accident. Made me feel like one of the family. I hope I'm never in an accident again but if I am I'm calling Jerry.


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