Frequently Asked Questions
Get Answers from Our New Jersey Injury Attorneys
Do you have questions about your case? Wondering what steps you should take next? Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is here to provide answers. We know that this can be a very confusing and overwhelming time. That is why we have created this FAQ page to serve as a helpful resource. If you have additional questions or don't see the answers you are looking for, we encourage you to call our firm today at (732) 440-3089 to discuss your case.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
A personal injury is an injury to you—and they can happen in a hundred different ways. A personal injury lawyer will help explain what your rights are and help you to handle lost wages, medical bills and, of course, the claim against the person who caused your injury. Call us directly at one of our eight convenient neighborhood offices or make an appointment for a free consultation. We are here to help you however we can.
How Do I Find Out If I Have a Case?
All you have to do is call us at one of our eight neighborhood offices and speak with one of our personal injury attorneys. If you would rather come to the office, just call and make an appointment. Of course, the consultation is free. If you would rather not speak to an attorney initially, you have the option of filling out a form for a free consultation. It is always best to contact us as soon as you can so we can start an investigation.
CAN YOU TELL ME HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
Since all personal injury cases are different, telling you the exact worth of your case is nearly impossible. You should be very wary if a legal professional guarantees you any specific amount of compensation prior to accepting your case. At our firm, we look at a number of different factors to provide you with an idea of the potential value of your case. These include the amount of medical expenses caused by the defendant's actions, pain and suffering, lost wages and earning potential, the cost of any future medical or related expenses, loss of consortium, and even punitive damages in some extreme cases. While we cannot give you a specific dollar amount, we can give you an estimate of what your case could possibly be worth if it were to go to trial or be settled out of court. At the end of the day, the final amount will have to be decided by a jury or through a settlement.
How Do I Decide Which Lawyer I Should Hire?
Personal injury litigation is complicated. You should look for a personal injury lawyer who has been certified by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. Levinson Axelrod, P.A. is fortunate to have a Certified Civil Trial Attorney at each of our eight neighborhood offices.
How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Charge?
The Supreme Court of New Jersey has set a fee schedule for attorneys who represent clients with personal injury cases. The fee is contingent upon winning the case through settlement or jury verdict. Therefore, if the case is unsuccessful, there is no fee. If the case is successful, the attorney will charge a 33% fee after deducting litigation expenses from the settlement amount. Fees for infants and incompetents are generally 25%, not 33%.
CAN I SUE MY EMPLOYER FOR A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT?
Workplace injuries are typically covered under what is called workers' compensation. In a workers' compensation claim, it doesn't matter whether or not the accident was caused by another person's negligence (such as your employer / coworker) or your own fault (so long as your actions were reasonable). While workers' compensation will typically cover a majority of the financial losses incurred due to your work-related injury, this is not always the case. Under the law, you cannot sue your employer outside of workers' compensation for an injury claim. You can, however, bring a case against a third-party that may have been involved in your accident. This may include a product manufacturer, second driver, contractor, or any other negligent party. You will need to have your case carefully reviewed to determine if you have a valid third-party case to bring forward.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is a law that requires an injured person to file a lawsuit in court within a specific period of time—typically, two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file in time of the Statue of Limitations, you may be barred from making a claim.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
Yes. Infants (under age 18) or incompetent individuals get an extension to file a lawsuit. Once an infant turns 18 years old, they get a two-year extension, but must file before their 20th year birthday. Of course, parents or guardians may file a lawsuit on behalf of the infant at any time before the infant’s 18th birthday. You should know that the statute of limitations is extremely complicated in medical malpractice cases, product liability cases, prescription drug cases, and other specialty claims. For example, a birth defect case may have either a 2-year statute of limitations or a 13-year statute of limitations to file a claim depending on the specific circumstances. There are many additional exceptions, especially when the injury is not discovered until a later time. This is a complex issue and you should call us in one of our eight neighborhood offices with detailed information so we can explain the options to you.
Are There Other Limitations That May Hinder a Claim?
Yes, there are too many to mention. All governmental entities, federal government, state government, counties, municipalities, public schools, Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike, Port Authority, amusement parks, and on and on, require notification of claims within a short period of time—usually 90 days. This Notice of Claim must be in writing or the claim may be barred. These types of cases are complicated and once again, you should call one of our attorneys at your local neighborhood office.
What Should I Do After I Have Been Injured?
While every personal injury case is unique, there are certain factors that remain consistent. For example, you should always make sure to see a medical professional (preferably a different one in cases of medical negligence) to get the care and treatment you need. After that, make sure you record and document everything as best as possible. Were you hurt in a car accident? Take pictures of the scene of the collision and get the contact information of witnesses. Was your loved one neglected in a nursing home? Request the reports regarding their care so that you can keep a record of them. Were you hurt on the job? Report it to your employer as soon as possible to protect the validity of your claim. Keeping track of important information related to your case and making sure you see a doctor can all be crucial in ensuring you can bring a valid claim forward in the future. Most importantly, you should discuss your case with an attorney if you think your injuries were caused by negligence or malicious actions.
What Is Considered Negligence?
As arguably the most important factor to your case, negligence is any violation of the defendant's "duty of care" to you as the plaintiff that caused you significant injuries and damages. When you can prove that another's negligence (i.e. texting while driving) led to your injuries (spinal cord damage in a car accident), you can have a valid case for compensation. From negligent medical care to lack of property maintenance, negligence can manifest itself in a number of different ways depending on the specifics of your case.