Personal Injury FAQ
A lawyer dedicated to making a difference by getting results
You’ve been hurt in a personal injury accident that was somebody else’s fault. Now you’re not sure what to do. All you have are questions. Who is going to pay my medical bills? What if the insurance company tries to pay me less? Should I call a lawyer? If you’ve been hurt in Millburn or anywhere in Essex or Union counties, attorney David Leigh can help.
At The Leigh Law Firm, P.C., we understand the different ways an injury can impact your life. There are medical expenses and you may have to miss time from work. This can lead to financial stress. All you want is to be treated fairly, but all the insurance company wants is to pay you as little as possible.
Here are some common questions people have about personal injury claims:
- What qualifies as a personal injury?
- Do I need a lawyer for a personal injury claim?
- How can I prove that someone’s negligence caused my injury?
- How much compensation can I get in a personal injury lawsuit?
- Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
- Can I file a lawsuit?
- Do I have to talk to the insurance company?
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Attorney Leigh builds strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously. If you’ve been hurt in a personal injury accident, it’s important to know where you stand. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Leigh can go over your legal options for recovering compensation and answer all of your questions.
What qualifies as a personal injury?
For an injury to be recognized as a personal injury that is eligible for financial compensation under the law, four elements must be established. There must have been a duty of care – the person or business had a responsibility to provide a safe environment or product. There must have been a breach of that duty. The at-fault party’s action, or lack of action, must have caused your injury. And your injury must have led to a direct financial loss. An attorney can help you prove your claim and move your case forward.
Do I need a lawyer for a personal injury claim?
You are not required to have a lawyer. But it is in your best interests to have one. Insurance companies handle injury claims every day and they have the advantage. There are many different tactics they will use to try to pay you less – or nothing at all. A personal injury attorney can investigate your accident to prove the other party was negligent. An attorney can also fight back against insurance company attempts to minimize your injuries to help you recover the compensation you deserve – either through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
How can I prove that someone’s negligence caused my injury?
An attorney will have the resources to investigate your accident. This involves gathering evidence, such as any photos or video, as well as any relevant business records. A lawyer can carefully review any police reports and other documentation, and interview witnesses. If needed, experts can be consulted to determine how the accident happened. Your lawyer can then build a strong case that proves negligence led to your injury and demand appropriate compensation.
How much compensation can I get?
That depends on many factors – including the type and severity of your injuries, whether or not you suffered any permanent damage, the strength of the case, and insurance policy limits. An attorney can determine the total amount of damages that you suffered in the accident and give you a better idea of how much compensation you can reasonably expect to receive.
Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?
It’s common for insurance companies to offer a settlement. Many times, this will happen not long after the accident. They may promise quick payment. It can be tempting to accept their offer, especially as medical bills start to come in and financial worries mount. But don’t forget, the insurance company is always looking for ways to save money. Their offer will fall far short of covering the damages you suffered. That’s why we encourage you to get legal advice before accepting any offer from the insurance company.
Yes. You have the right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for damages you suffered in a personal injury accident. But it’s important to follow the process for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey. An experienced attorney can discuss your legal options and file all the necessary paperwork for filing your lawsuit. A lawyer can also guide you through the process every step of the way and keep you updated on the progress of your case.
Will I have to talk to the insurance company?
You may be contacted by an adjuster for the insurance company representing the at-fault party in your accident. They may simply want to ask you a few questions. Or they will ask you to make a recorded statement describing what happened. It sounds harmless. But they are actually trying to get you to say something that can be used against you. If you are contacted by the other party’s insurance company, politely decline to answer questions or give a statement. Explain that you would like to get legal advice first. Then contact a lawyer.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations (time limit for taking legal action) is generally two years from the date of your injury, although other deadlines can apply in some circumstances. That sounds like you have plenty of time to think about whether or not to sue. But waiting too long can make it more difficult to prove your case. Over time, evidence can be lost or destroyed. Witnesses may forget details about what happened. It’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible so you will at least know your options.