Learn The Basics of a Personal Injury Law Firm in NJRequest a Free Consultation
20 personal injury FAQs answered!
What is a personal injury law firm?
A: A personal injury law firm is a type of legal practice that specializes in representing clients who have been injured physically, emotionally, or psychologically due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of others. Personal injury
What kinds of cases do personal injury firms handle?
A: As a general statement, personal injury firms handle a wide range of cases from car accidents to medical malpractice. More specifically, Grungo Colarulo’s South Jersey personal injury lawyers handle car, bike, motorcycle, pedestrian, bus, and truck accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death suits, premises liability, nursing home abuse, construction accidents, workers’ compensation, employment matters (including but not limited to wrongful termination and discrimination), dog bites, class action lawsuits, burn injuries, and sexual assault.
How do I know if I need a personal injury lawyer?
A: You should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer if you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, and you are seeking compensation for your injuries. Having a personal injury lawyer is very beneficial for navigating the process of insurance claims and dealing with adjusters. Attorneys have the expertise to negotiate for higher insurance settlements on your behalf, say in the case of a car accident. South Jersey car accident attorneys can take various avenues to help you get the most out of your claim and eliminate some serious stress. Attorneys are there to work for you.
What can a personal injury lawyer help me with, what is their role?
A: Personal injury attorneys can help clients recover compensation for their losses, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. They represent you, ensuring that your legal rights are protected in a personal injury case and fight to win you the fairest, highest paying settlement.
What should I look for in a personal injury law firm?
A: When determining a personal injury firm suitable for your needs, you should look for experience, expertise, and a track record of successful outcomes. Ensure that the firm is reputable by asking for recommendations from friends, family, coworkers, searching online, and checking the New Jersey State Bar Association. Titles like “NJ Super Lawyers” and “New Jersey Rising Stars” are awarded to prestigious attorneys as recognition of their work in the NJ Super Lawyers Magazine. A resource like that will help in your search. Law firms with a social media or online presence can be beneficial for you to get a look into their culture, values, and help you evaluate their credibility and trustworthiness. Here is a list of additional things you can do to find the right law firm and attorney:
- Referrals from other attorneys you may have worked with in the past.
- Online directories, such as Avvo, Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell. *
- Local bar association referral services.
- Local business directories, such as Yelp and Google My Business.
- Legal aid organizations that provide referrals to low-income individuals.
- Social media groups and communities dedicated to personal injury law in NJ. *
- Ask for recommendations from your doctor and other medical professionals. *
- Attend community events and meetings where personal injury lawyers may be speaking or present. *
- Online reviews and testimonials from past clients.
- Public records of court cases and verdicts in your area.
What is the contractual duty of a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey?
A: Contractually, the lawyer has a duty to represent their clients with skill, care, and diligence. This means that the lawyer must provide competent legal representation, keep their clients informed about the progress of their case, and maintain their clients’ confidentiality. The lawyer also has a duty to provide an honest assessment of the case and communicate any potential risks or drawbacks of pursuing legal action?
What ethical duties must personal injury lawyers abide by in New Jersey?
A: Personal Injury lawyers have a duty to abide by the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct. Established by the NJ Supreme Court, these rules require lawyers to act with honesty, fairness, and integrity in all dealings with their clients and other parties involved in the case. Specifically, the lawyer must avoid all conflicts of interests, protect their clients’ confidences, and maintain their clients’ trust and confidence. Additionally, the lawyer must not engage in any conduct that would harm their client’s case or reputation.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in New Jersey?
A: In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury. There are some special circumstances that increase that time frame.
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?
A: Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. The fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or verdict, and usually ranges from 33% and 40%. New Jersey state law places a cap on contingency fees for personal injury cases, and the NJ Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.5(a) states that an attorney’s fee must be reasonable and not excessive. The fee must not exceed 33.33% of the first $500,000 recovered by the client, 30% of the next $500,000, 25% of the next $500,000, and 20% of any amount over $1,500,000.
Please note that the contingency fee is only paid if the attorney successfully recovers compensation for the client. If the case is unsuccessful, the attorney does not receive a fee. The client may still be responsible for other expenses related to the case, such as court fees and expert witness fees if the case is unsuccessful. Make sure you understand the terms and agreements of your fee agreement with your personal injury attorney.
How will a personal injury lawyer communicate with me about my case?
A: Your lawyer and their paralegals will communicate with you regularly about your case through phone calls, emails, text messages, and in-person meetings.
Will I have to go to court for my personal injury case?
A: Not necessarily, as many personal injury cases are settled out of court. Should you need to go to court, your lawyer will represent you.
Can I still pursue a personal injury case if I was partially at fault?
A: Yes, you can still pursue a case, but your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
How much compensation can I expect to receive for my case?
A: The amount of compensation you can expect to receive depends on the specifics of your case, including the severity of your injuries and the extent of your financial losses.
How long does a personal injury case take?
A: The length of a personal injury case depends on the complexity of the case, but it generally takes several months to a few years to solve. To give you an idea, some of the things that impact how long it takes to settle a case include gathering information from insurance companies, liens, the length of time needed for medical treatment, negotiating with insurance companies and or other attorneys, and many other factors depending on what kind of personal injury case you have.
What should I bring to my initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer?
A: You should bring any documentation related to your case, like medical bills, police reports, insurance card, driver’s license, health insurance if applicable, and or a claim number. Feel free to ask the attorney or the intake team specifically what forms will be needed.
What should I expect at my initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer?
A: Here is what you can expect during you first meeting:
- Discussion of the accident: Your lawyer will want to know the details of the accident that caused your injury, including where and when it occurred, who was involved, and how it happened. The more information you can provide, the better,
- Review of medical records: Your lawyer will ask for copies of your medical records related to the injury, including doctor’s notes, diagnostic tests, and any bills or receipts related to your treatment.
- Evaluation of potential damages: Based on the information you provide, your lawyer will evaluate your potential damages, which may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to the injury.
- Discussion of legal options: Your lawyer will explain the legal options available to you, which may include filing a lawsuit, including the steps involved, the timeline, and what you can expect along ‘’’the way.
The initial consultation is an opportunity for you to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer to get a better understanding of your legal options, a chance for you to ask question, and make an informed decision about whether to move forward with legal action.
Can I switch lawyers if I am not satisfied?
A: Yes, you have the right to switch personal injury lawyers, for you are the client and have the ultimate say in who represents you. Here are some steps to consider when switching lawyers:
- Research new lawyers:
- Contact the new lawyer:
- Notify your current lawyer:
- Retrieve your case file:
- Work with your new lawyer:
Switching lawyers can have an impact on your case, including potential delays and added expenses. Therefore, it is crucial to weigh the benefits and risks of switching lawyers before making a final decision.
What are some questions I can ask to make sure an attorney is right for my personal injury case?
A: A list of some important questions you can ask an attorney before hiring them is as follows:
- Have you litigated a case like mine before?
- What is your assessment of my case?
- In what areas of law do you specialize?
- What is your contingency fee?
- What level of participation will I have in the case?
- Do I have to pay advanced costs if we lose?
- Will my case go to trial?
- Which attorney or staff member in the firm will be handling my case?
- How long do you think resolution will take?
- How will I be updated on the progress of my case?
- What is your strategy for my case?
- What factors could impact the outcome of my case?
- What kind of support staff do you have in your office?
- What are the potential risks of pursuing legal action?
- What is your approach on going to trial?
What is the difference between a settlement and a verdict in a personal injury case?
A: A settlement is an agreement reached between the injured party and the at-fault party or their insurance company. This agreement is typically reached before a trial takes place and involves a payment from the at-fault party, or their insurance company, to the injured party in exchange for the injured party agreeing to drop their legal claims.
A verdict, on the other hand, is a decision reached by a judge or jury in a trial after hearing all the evidence presented by both parties. If a case goes to trial, the jury or judge will decide who is at fault for the injuries and how much compensation the injured party is entitled to receive.
The main difference is that a settlement is reached through negotiation between the parties, while a verdict is determined by a judge or jury after a trial. Settlements are often preferred because they can save time and money compared to a trial, which can be lengthy and costly. However, some cases may not be able to be resolved through settlement.
What is the difference between mediation and arbitration?
A: Mediation and arbitration are two forms of alternative dispute resolution that can be used in a personal injury case to resolve a legal dispute outside of court. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third-party mediator helps the parties involved in a dispute to negotiate a settlement. The mediator listens to both sides of the case and helps them to communicate effectively to work towards a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator does not have the authority to make decisions or impose a settlement on the parties, but rather facilitates communication between the parties.
Arbitration is a process in which a neutral third-party arbitrator hears evidence and arguments from both sides, and then decides on the matter. The decision of the arbitrator is final and binding, and the parties must accept the outcome of the arbitration. Mediation and arbitration can be useful, as they are often less expensive and time-consuming than a trial. They allow the parties to have more control over the outcome of the case.