What You Need To Know About Personal Injury Matters in New Jersey & New York
At any moment in America, millions of people are driving, walking, shopping, traveling, and working. It is no wonder that accidents and injuries have become an inevitable part of life. But the fact that mishaps are fairly common does not detract from the pain and confusion that they cause. If you have been injured in an accident, and negligence played a role, you may have legal options available for you moving forward. A skilled legal team can help answer questions you may have and fight to get you justice.
Some of the most common questions victims having following their involvement in an accident include:
- What is a personal injury case?
- Proving fault: What is negligence?
- Where are personal injury lawsuits filed?
- Where are the laws that govern personal injury cases?
Our lawyers at Metro Law can help guide you through the legal process and determine the best options available for you.
If you decide to take steps toward protecting your legal rights after an injury in New Jersey or New York, you may have a number of questions. For additional information, continue reading below or get in touch with us by phone at 973-721-9984 or through our online form.
What Is A Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury cases arise when someone suffers harm from an accident and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. A personal injury case can be formalized through civil court proceedings and seek to find others legally at fault. More commonly, though, such disputes are resolved through informal settlement before any lawsuit is filed.
What Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Our team at Metro Law has extensive experience fighting to protect the legal rights of victims in New York and New Jersey who have been injured in accidents. Our team provides responsive and effective representation to ensure victims get justice. We handle an array of personal injury cases for our clients. Some of the most common types of personal injury claims we handle include:
- Car Accidents
- Train and Light Rail Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Boat Accidents
- Aviation Accidents
- School Bus Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Rideshare Accidents
- Premises Liability Cases
- Work Accidents
- Defective Product Cases
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Negligence
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact our New Jersey personal injury law firm to discuss legal options available for you.
Proving Fault in New Jersey: What Is Negligence?
In most claims — from car accidents to slip-and-fall cases — the basis for holding a person or company responsible for your injuries comes from a theory called “negligence.”
Generally speaking, when someone acts in a careless way and causes injury to another person, under the legal principle of “negligence,” the careless person will be legally liable for any resulting harm. This basis for determining fault is used in most disputes, during informal settlement talks, and up through a trial in a New Jersey personal injury lawsuit.
Specifically, in negligence claims, the plaintiff (the person injured) tries to show that the defendant (the person supposedly at fault):
- Owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff under the circumstances
- Failed to fulfill (“breached”) that legal duty through conduct or action (this can include a failure to act)
- Caused an accident or injury involving the plaintiff
- Harmed or injured the plaintiff as a result
To illustrate how these four elements work, take a hypothetical New Jersey personal injury case: Don speeds through an intersection against a red light and hits a vehicle driven by Pat, who had the green light and the right of way. In a personal injury dispute based on negligence, plaintiff Pat will need to show that:
- As the operator of a car on public streets, defendant Don owed all other drivers (including plaintiff Pat) a legal duty to drive with reasonable caution under the circumstances.
- By speeding through the intersection and running the red light, the defendant Don failed to fulfill (“breached”) that legal duty.
- In failing to fulfill his legal duty to drive with reasonable care under the circumstances, defendant Don caused his vehicle to collide with Pat’s car.
- Due to his collision with Don’s car, Pat suffered an injury (property damage and physical injury)
We will go to the scene of the accident and gather evidence in support of your claim. This evidence and various other pieces of information will aid our mission in proving the defendant is at fault. We will fight to get you the justice you truly deserve so you are able to get medical care, tend to your financial burdens, and move forward in the best way imaginable. Do not wait to get started on your case. Contact Metro Law’s personal injury attorneys in New Jersey to see how we can help you.
Resolution Before Trial: Settlement
The majority of legal claims arising from accidents or injuries do not reach a civil court trial — most are resolved earlier through a negotiated settlement among the parties. An informal settlement can even take place before any lawsuit is filed. Through the settlement, the plaintiff agrees to give up the right to pursue further legal action in connection with the accident or injury, in exchange for the payment of an agreed-upon sum of money from the defendant or an insurance company. In rare cases, instead of paying money, the defendant will agree to perform (or cease performing) a certain action.
If you are considering settling a legal claim in New York after an accident or injury, or if you have received a settlement offer, you should talk to your attorney for a thorough assessment of the case and the prospects for settlement. Consider the following points:
- The amount he or she thinks the case is worth in a range of dollar amounts
- Verdicts and settlements in similar cases
- Chances of winning at trial
- Unfavorable publicity for either side (civil court trials are open to the public and media)
- Amount of personal information that could be revealed
- Possible disclosure of business information or trade secrets
- The defendant’s monetary resources
- What you’re willing to concede to settle the case
Our New York personal injury lawyers will review the circumstances surrounding your accident, identify all liable parties, and fight to get you justice. We stop at nothing to ensure our clients are able to protect their legal rights and hold negligent parties accountable. We will use various pieces of evidence gathered on your behalf to aggressively negotiate full and timely compensation to cover your damages.
Where Are Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed in New Jersey & New York?
Personal injury lawsuits usually fall under the authority (or “jurisdiction”) of state courts in the county where the injury occurred, or where those involved (the “parties”) in the incident are located.
An exception to the rule of state court jurisdiction arises when parties in a personal injury case live in different states. Such a personal injury case may be filed under federal jurisdiction in the federal trial courts (called U.S. District Courts), or the case may be moved there if it was originally filed in a state court. Issues of jurisdiction can be tricky for those unfamiliar with the legal process, but an experienced lawyer can sort through any problems that may arise in deciding where to file a lawsuit.
Where Are The Laws That Govern Personal Injury Cases in New York?
Unlike other areas of the law that find their rules in statutes (such as penal codes in criminal cases), the development of personal injury law has taken place mostly through court decisions and in treatises written by legal scholars. Many states have summarized the development of personal injury law in statutes, but for practical purposes, court decisions remain the main source of the law. (Note: In some types of injury cases, statutes can be used to help establish fault.)
To understand how pre-existing case law might be used to strengthen an injury case, suppose that you are involved in an accident or are injured, and decide to hire an attorney to protect your legal rights. During settlement negotiations, your attorney makes reference to prior cases in which the courts in your state decided on issues like fault or damages, in ways that are favorable to your position.
For example, suppose you have been injured in a slip-and-fall on an uneven sidewalk outside your apartment building. In seeking to prove that the owner of your building is at fault, your attorney might cite a case in which your state’s Supreme Court held that owners of residential buildings have a legal duty to ensure that the premises surrounding the building are properly maintained.
Recoverable Damages for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When victims are hurt in accidents, they can file personal injury lawsuits against at-fault parties. When defendants are found liable for the accidents, they are often forced to pay the claimant compensation. The amount of compensation victims can receive to cover the economic and non-economic damages they face varies depending on a variety of circumstances. Courts will take into consideration the circumstances of the accident, the severity of injuries, and the insurance policy limits of at-fault parties. These and other factors will help to determine how much compensation you are able to obtain.
Victims who are harmed in accidents in New York and New Jersey are generally able to recover compensation for various damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Long-term care costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earnings
- The loss of work benefits
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Property damages
- And more
When victims are harmed in accidents due to the gross negligence of defendants, our team will fight to help them recover punitive damages as well. We are committed to helping each person we work with by providing them with individualized representation. We understand that no two cases are alike, which is why we strive to meet and exceed the needs of each individual client so they are in the best position possible to move forward.
Our team will gather evidence to create the strongest case possible for you to ensure you are able to hold the defendant accountable and maximize your recoveries. Do not wait to get started on your claim. If you have been injured in an accident, contact our personal injury lawyers in New Jersey to see how we can help you.
Metro Law Will Fight For You
Whether you have been injured in a car accident, at work, or at another person’s home or place of business, it is important to know what legal options are available for you. Working with a trusted personal injury lawyer in Newark can help you move forward from your accident in the best way possible.
We understand the overwhelming challenges victims face following personal injury accidents. Our New Jersey personal injury law firm has over four decades of experience fighting to help injured parties get justice. We strive to provide the most responsive and aggressive representation for our clients to ensure they are able to maximize their recoveries. Not only will our team work to protect your legal rights, but we will advocate on your behalf to ensure your best interests are reflected every step of the way. If you have been injured in an accident, contact our New Jersey personal injury law firm at (973) 721-9984. Our team will meet with you at your earliest convenience to review your case and help you get justice.
Visit our Personal Injury Law Practices in Clifton, Jersey City, Newark, Elizabeth, and Paterson