April 27, 2012
Evaluating serious personal injury claims in New Jersey
At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, we are commonly asked by our clients what is my case worth. However, it is very difficult to fully and fairly assess the value of the case without having an opportunity to examine and analyze the issues presented on the case.
It is essential in determining the value of your case to have specific details on both the issues of liability, ( who is at fault) and the nature and extent of the injuries. In New Jersey you can be seriously injured or lose a loved one in a fatal accident but not be able to recover for your injuries and damages if you are more than 50% at fault.
In car accident cases you must consider the statements of the motorists involved, witnesses, investigating police officers, and experts if hired to address liability. When liability is in dispute it is very helpful to visit the scene of the accident to get a better understanding of its layout, obstructed views if any, the signage, the curvature of the road, lighting if at night and other related factors. This analysis is also critical when handling a fall down case to better understand the property where you were injured and to better evaluate the nature and extent of the defect such as a hole that caused your fall.
We recommend that photographs be taken as soon as possible following an accident to document and preserve visual evidence of a particular defect or condition. After liability issues are analyzed then the nature and extent of your injuries needs to be evaluated.
There are numerous factors that effect the value of your personal injury claim. Your age, general health prior to the accident, occupation , wages, and marital status, the amount of insurance available are just a few of the background information that needs to considered. Additionally you must consider the severity of the injury such as whether or not there is a traumatic brain injury, amputation, burn, herniated disc, or other type of injury. In addition to the diagnosis, we must consider the length and duration of treatment, prognosis, outstanding medical bills, liens such as medicare liens, wage losses incurred past, present and future if applicable , future medical needs and other issues.
If you are still under active care it is essential to contact the treating doctor to find out his or her thoughts on your condition, whether or not its permanent, and if future care is required and if so the costs of same. If there is a wage loss ,an analysis has to be done to determine the exact net wage losses well as if there is a probability of either a reduction in future wages or a total loss of future earnings. Many times an economist must be hired to assist in this important part of the evaluation.
Once we have an opportunity to review all of the appropriate information we can advise you on a fair value of your case.
At our firm we have been analyzing and advising personal injury clients for over 25 years on all types of serious personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. We work closely with our clients and experts to determine the full nature and extent of the damages incurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. Please contact our New Jersey personal injury firm for a free consultation at (973) 920-7900 if you have been seriously injured or have a question on the value of your case.