A personal injury case occurs when someone files a lawsuit when they believe an injury they sustained is due to the negligence of another party. Personal injury cases are commonly seen involving car accidents or workplace injuries. A severe injury can send life into a tailspin. Between hospital stays, medical bills, lost wages, and psychological issues, an injury can take a toll on every part of life.
The goal of a personal injury case is to prove that another party was negligent so that the plaintiff can receive damages to help with things like being unable to work or facing expensive medical bills. The key to a successful personal injury case is working with an experienced New Jersey attorney you can trust. As we will discuss briefly, New Jersey is a “no-fault” state, making it very difficult to sue for personal injury. There are exceptions, but a doctor must prove that injuries qualify as permanent damage.
Type of Personal Injury Cases – Car Accident Cases Are Most Common
Personal injuries can occur in all types of settings, but the most common is from a car accident.
The majority of personal injury cases stem from car accidents where an injured plaintiff wants to sue another driver based on negligence. While some accidents are truly accidents, others are caused by negligent acts such as texting, drinking while driving, or being distracted. Despite a driver’s negligence, in the state of New Jersey, there is a “no-fault” rule that makes it very difficult to sue over car accident injuries. Your attorney will help you understand the ins and outs of the “no-fault” rule and whether your case qualifies as an exception.
New Jersey is a No-Fault State
The “no-fault” rule in New Jersey refers to the fact that after a car accident, each driver’s insurance policy is responsible for their own medical bills. In other words, it doesn’t matter who caused the accident or who was negligent; each driver’s insurance will pay for all related medical expenses. The “no-fault” policy can be frustrating, especially when an accident is caused by a negligent driver. You may owe thousands of dollars in medical bills. However, due to the law, you are unable to sue for damages.
There are some exceptions to the “no-fault” law. If a jury can determine that the injuries fall into one of the following categories, then the defendant can be charged. They may have to pay damages to the plaintiff or plaintiff’s next of kin:
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Loss of fetus
- A permanent injury within reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
In order for the case to qualify under one of these categories, the plaintiff must be able to present medical documentation from a physician. According to the New Jersey Limitation on Lawsuit Option 5.33, “An injury shall be considered permanent when the body part or organ, or both, has not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment.” The category of disfigurement or scarring is a bit more objective. In this case, the jury must determine if the scarring causes the plaintiff’s appearance to be “unattractive, objectionable, or the subject of pity or scorn.” They look for things like the “appearance, coloration, existence, size, and shape” of the scar or disfigurement.
Discuss with your attorney whether or not they think it’s possible to sue for any of the above categories.
Other Types of Personal Injury Cases
As mentioned above, most personal injury cases occur after car accidents. However, there are other times when plaintiffs are entitled to a personal injury lawsuit. Other examples of personal injury cases include workplace injuries, medical malpractice, product liability lawsuits, and injuries on property. Fall at work due to employer negligence of maintaining equipment? Slip on ice on a neighbor’s unshoveled sidewalk? Sustain permanent injuries at the hands of your doctor after a routine surgery? All of these situations could lead to a personal injury lawsuit where you can receive payment to help cover lost wages and medical bills.
Working With a New Jersey Attorney You Trust for Your Personal Injury Case
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries due to the neglect of another party, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will discuss the details of your case with you. Additionally, they will determine whether or not you will go to court. Keep in mind, suing for personal injury damages after a car accident is very difficult to do in New Jersey. Your attorney will determine if you qualify under one of the exception categories.
Experiencing a personal injury is extremely difficult. Many times the injuries and medical issues that follow cause one to take time off work. This means losing wages and contributing to financial strain. On top of that comes the physical and emotional pain associated with injuries. Don’t stress about the possibility of a lawsuit; contact an experienced New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin to discuss your options. He has years of experience working on personal injury cases. Also, rest assured that 97% of personal injury cases settle before trial. This means there’s a significant chance you won’t have to go through the whole court and jury process.
For more information about personal injury cases and to learn if your situation qualifies, reach out to Leon Matchin. Contact Leon by phone at 732-887-2479, or email him at [email protected]. He will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case and go over your options.