Avoid these Mistakes to Increase Your Chances of Winning Your Personal Injury Claim
The most common types of personal injury claims in New Jersey are motor vehicle collisions, slips and falls, and medical malpractice. However, any situation in which someone is injured due to the negligence of another can give rise to a personal injury lawsuit in which you have grounds for receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
However, people can lose personal injury claims for a variety of reasons, including failing to prove that the other party was at fault, failing to prove that they suffered damages, or having their damages offset by their own contributory negligence. If you have been injured in any type of accident in Princeton, West Windsor, Titusville, Hamilton, and Mercer County towns, contact our legal team’s office in Trenton to discuss your rights and how to go about making the right decisions to best assert them through the complex civil system. A seasoned New Jersey personal injury lawyer at Cohen & Riechelson will help you navigate the legal process and fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.
Lack of Evidence: One of the Leading Causes
One of the most common reasons individuals lose personal injury cases is because they do not have sufficient evidence to prove each element of a negligence claim by a preponderance of the evidence or, in other words, they cannot prove that each element of the claim is more likely true than not. Without sufficient evidence, it’s challenging to demonstrate that someone else is at fault for your injuries. If you were injured in an accident, take plenty of pictures, and collect and organize critical documentation and any related healthcare paperwork. If there were witnesses at the accident scene, try to request witness statements that can help support your claim. A personal injury lawyer can help gather such evidence and identify which evidence is the backbone of your claim.
Waiting Too Long to Meet the Statute of Limitations
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims for adults is typically two years from the date of the accident. Personal injury victims are required to file their lawsuits within two years of the date they are injured in a car crash or a slip and fall accident.
However, the case is different for minors. The statute only takes effect once a legal adult is signified by turning 18. In other words, the child’s 18th birthday marks the beginning of the statute of limitations. A claim for personal injury must generally be filed within two years of this date.
Note: The two-year statute of limitations does not apply to injuries relating to medical malpractice sustained by a minor at birth.
In instances of medical malpractice, adults have two years from when the individual discovered or should have known the wrongdoing.
Exceeding the Threshold of Comparative Liability
New Jersey is a comparative negligence state, which means that if found to be even partially at fault for an accident, you may have your damages reduced or, in other instances, be barred from recovering anything. Plaintiffs in New Jersey must stay below a certain threshold of liability, usually 50%. A person cannot recover damages if they exceed that level of responsibility. A personal injury lawyer can help you prove that the other party was at fault for the accident or that the degree of liability attributed to you is low (below 50%).
Extensive Pre-Existing Conditions
If you have a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by an accident, it can be challenging to prove that the accident was the cause of your injuries. Make sure to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident and get all of your medical records to support your claim. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather medical records and expert testimony to prove that your current injuries were due to the accident’s impact and trauma.
Failure to Mitigate Damages
If you do not take steps to minimize your damages after an accident, such as getting necessary medical treatment or repairing damaged property, you may be unable to recover those damages from the at-fault party. Keeping up with doctor appointments can seem like a hassle, especially when you start to feel better and want to get on with your life. However, amid a personal injury case, it is crucial to observe the doctor’s orders, go to your physical therapist, and keep up with visits to physician’s offices and specialists as recommended.
Minimizing Concerns and Issues to Avoid Conflict
Under NJ law, victims are entitled to pursue the fair compensation they deserve. Thus, minimizing injuries and symptoms can reduce your compensation amount. Moreover, individuals may try to speed up the resolution of their claim by avoiding any disagreement or conflict, but this often lessens the impact of the accident and the effect the injury has had on the victim’s life and well-being. A skilled personal injury attorney will go the extra mile to obtain compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings, and other damages related to your injury.
If you have unrealistic expectations for your case, such as expecting to receive an overinflated or exaggerated settlement without having any severe injuries, you will likely be dissatisfied with the outcome. Be realistic about what you can expect to recover and consult with an experienced attorney to better understand what is reasonable in your case.
Revealing Too Much on Your Socials
Social media is a part of most individuals’ lives, from college students to grandparents. It’s nice to share the ups and downs with our friends and family, particularly when we need support from loved ones. However, oversharing or sharing anything about your personal injury case, including the accident and injury details, can be detrimental to your claim. Prying eyes may disclose information that could jeopardize the integrity of your claim or try to skew something you posted to their advantage. As an example, a photo posted on social media showing a victim picking apples with their family on a New Jersey farm can be taken out of context so that it appears the victim is not suffering and is able to do adventurous outdoor activities, such as carrying around a heavy bag of apples and walking miles through orchards. In the meantime, the victim didn’t want to miss out on a big family gathering. In reality, the victim merely posed for a group snapshot and spent the rest of the afternoon seated, resting, and trying to manage their pain while their family explored the orchards and farm.
Improperly Filing a Lawsuit
If you do not file your lawsuit in the proper court or do not serve the correct parties with the lawsuit, your case may be dismissed entirely. Make sure to consult with an attorney before filing any legal documents to ensure everything is completed accurately and appropriately.
Lack of a Knowledgeable Attorney
The most critical factor in whether you win your personal injury case is having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side. An attorney can help guide you through the legal process, ensure that all deadlines are met, and help build a strong case on your behalf.
Don’t Let This Happen to You. Speak to a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an accident due to someone else’s negligence and suffered an injury or are considering filing a personal injury suit, contact our experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson for a free and confidential consultation. Accident victims and their families count on our firm for guidance and a knowledgeable advocate in the legal system when injuries have left them physically, mentally, and financially damaged in Monroe, Carteret, Lawrence, Ewing, Dunellen, and throughout Mercer County, and Middlesex County. Call (609) 528-2596 or get in touch with us online today to learn more about how properly file your personal injury claim and increase the chances of success.