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Protecting Your Legal Rights after an Accident

The Steps to Take to Safeguard Your Personal Injury Claim

Protecting Your Legal Rights after an AccidentIn the aftermath of an accident, when emotions are running high and adrenalin is coursing through your veins, making rational decisions can be a challenge. The steps you take in the minutes, days and weeks after a personal injury can make a significant difference, though, in how quickly you recover compensation for your losses, and whether you get full and fair compensation for all your injuries.

Step #1—Get All the Medical Care You Need

Your primary concern, after any type of accident, must be your physical well-being. If you don’t believe that you can get up and move about under your own power, don’t try. If you’ve had an injury to your back, neck, or head, stay where you are until emergency responders arrive. They’ll know what to do and how to get you safely to the hospital, if necessary.

Even if your injuries seem minor, and you can walk away from the accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Take yourself to the hospital emergency room, visit an urgent care facility, or make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be apparent to the naked eye and may not even show any outward symptoms. A medical professional can typically diagnose those conditions and prescribe appropriate treatment. The sooner you seek medical care, the more options you’ll typically have for a full recovery.

In addition, seeking immediate medical treatment will protect your legal rights. The more time you allow before getting medical attention, the greater the risk that defense attorneys will argue that your injuries were either not that serious or were caused by some intervening event.

Gather All Necessary Information and Evidence

Whether for an insurer or for use in court, you’ll want to collect as much evidence as possible, and get contact information for anyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. If possible, take pictures of anything related to the accident or the circumstances at the time of the accident. The camera on your phone is sufficient. Take pictures of your injuries, any damage to vehicles, the scene of the accident, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, and anything else that seems relevant to the accident of your injuries.

Hire an Experienced Attorney

This should be one of the first things you do. If you retain legal counsel before you contact your insurer, your lawyer can act as your advocate with adjusters, helping you maximize your recovery. Your attorney will also ensure that you don’t do anything that jeopardizes your rights to full and fair compensation.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

What Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

What Are the Different Types of Damages?

What Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?When you have suffered injury and/or loss in an accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages–full and fair compensation all your losses. What does that include? What types of damages are available in a personal injury claim?

The Different Types of Damages

At the highest level, the damages awarded by a jury typically fall into one of two categories: compensatory damages or punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to come as closely as possible to returning you to the condition you were in before the accident. They customarily involve payments by the at-fault party to “compensate” you for your losses.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to “punish” the defendant for wrongful behavior, and to send a message to others who might engage in similar acts.

The Different Types of Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are generally categorized as either economic/monetary damages, or as non-economic/non-monetary damages.

Economic or monetary damages are those that are typically tangible and easy to calculate. They include losses that can be documented, such as lost wages or income, unpaid medical expenses, or the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.

Non-economic damages, conversely, are those types of losses that are exclusively or primarily non-tangible, and therefore much more difficult to calculate. They include things like:

  • Physical or mental pain and suffering
  • The loss of enjoyment of life—the inability to engage in the simple functions of daily life, or to do things that brought you joy or pleasure before the accident
  • Loss of companionship or consortium—loss of the guidance, company, direction, influence, affection or intimate relationship with family members or others

Economic or monetary damages are usually calculated using wage or income statements, medical bills or invoices/bills for damage repair and replacement. Juries take a number of different approaches when determining non-economic damages:

  • Some courts will instruct jurors to identify a “reasonable” amount of compensation
  • Some courts apply a multiplier (anywhere from 1 to 10), first determining the economic losses and then multiplying that amount by the pre-determined factor

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Wishing You And Yours A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

We are sending holiday cheer to you in the hopes that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.

As we look forward to 2022 we humbly pray that the new year brings a new sense of peace and joy as we enter the new year ready for a return to normalcy and prosperity.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Gathering Evidence in a New Jersey Personal Injury Case

The Tools Your Lawyer Will Use to Put Together Your Lawsuit

Gathering Evidence in a New Jersey Personal Injury CaseWhen you have been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness or wrongful act, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses in a court of law. To successfully recover damages, you must prove your claims before a judge and jury. How does your attorney find the best evidence to convince jurors of the merits of your case?

The Tools of Discovery

In legal language, the process of gathering evidence is known as “discovery.” In the American civil justice system, the principle of “open discovery” applies at all times. That means that both parties have a right to all evidence relevant to the case (whether it’s admissible in court or not).

A common way that most attorneys will gather evidence is through the use of a private detective. The private detective will typically interview witnesses, and other parties, if possible. It’s important to understand, though, that a person cannot be compelled to speak to or answer questions from a private investigator.

Another tool for gathering evidence is the use of an expert witness. Your attorney may bring an accident reconstruction specialist to the scene of a motor vehicle accident, or may have a safety expert look at a dangerous or defective product.

Perhaps the most common method of gathering evidence is through a deposition. With a deposition, your attorney can ask the court to subpoena a witness (or another party) for questioning. Because of the legal force of a subpoena, the witness must appear. A court reporter will typically be present at the deposition, so that all questions and answers will be documented. The deposition may also be videotaped.

At the deposition, attorneys for all parties to the lawsuit may ask questions. Because there is no judge and no jury present, the rules of evidence that apply in the courtroom do not prohibit a witness from answering a question that would be objectionable in court. If there are disputes about the admissibility of certain questions and answers, they will be resolved by the court before the trial starts.

A second form of discovery frequently used is a request for production. This may involve documents or other types of physical evidence. This allows opposing counsel to examine relevant physical evidence in preparation for trial.

Finally, attorneys for either side may submit written questions to a party, a process known as “interrogatories.” The court will typically set limitations on the number of interrogatories, so that the process cannot be used solely or primarily as a delaying tactic or to cause the opposing party to incur unnecessary expense.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Jersey?

Who Has the Right to Seek Damages after an Accidental Death?

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Jersey?When a friend or family member dies unexpectedly, often as the result of someone else’s carelessness, it can be devastating for those who were close to the deceased. No amount of money can bring a loved one back, but the wrongdoer should still be held accountable. But what are the legal limits regarding who may recover compensation after the wrongful death of a loved one?

Qualifying to File a New Jersey Wrongful Death Lawsuit

As a general rule, in a personal injury lawsuit (which is what a wrongful death claim is), a person must be considered a “real party in interest” to be eligible to recover compensation for a loss. Generally, that means that you must have a substantive right, as well as a legal right to enforce it. In New Jersey, for the purposes of filing a wrongful death claim, those persons who are considered to be real parties in interests are defined by statute. The New Jersey wrongful death laws allow the following persons standing, or status, as plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim:

  • A surviving spouse
  • A child or grandchild of the decedent
  • A surviving parent of the decedent
  • Any surviving siblings, nephews or nieces of the decedent
  • Anyone who can prove in court that they had “actual dependence” on the decedent at the time of death

It’s important to understand, though, that all such persons may not bring a wrongful death claim simultaneously. The surviving spouse and children always have the right to pursue damages, and may do so together or separately. However, a surviving parent may only seek and obtain compensation if there is no surviving spouse and no surviving children. Likewise, other relatives may only recover damages if there is no surviving spouse, no surviving child, and no surviving parent. Unrelated persons who were dependent on the deceased may only have standing in a wrongful death action when there are no surviving family members.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

On this Thanksgiving Day, we take time to express our daily gratitude for the simple pleasures of life—good friends, family, people we hold dear. As we gather together, help us be grateful and let us share our bounty with our brothers and sisters.

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New Jersey

What Are Your Rights When an Accident is Caused by a Product Defect?

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New JerseyAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), millions of motor vehicles are recalled every year because of product defects. While some of those problems are minor, others may pose serious risk of injury. What are your options when you have been hurt in an automobile accident caused by a dangerous or defective vehicle or part?

Product Liability and Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are a number of ways that you may recover compensation after a car accident involving a dangerous and defective vehicle or part. As a general rule, such personal injury claims are based on allegations of negligence. You must show that the party from whom you seek compensation had a duty to exercise reasonable care and failed to meet that standard, causing an accident that led you to suffer losses.

With a product liability claim, you can seek damages from anyone within the chain of distribution of a product, including the designer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer. The different legal theories that a product liability claim can be based on include:

  • Negligent or careless design—This alleges that the designer failed to reasonably consider potential risk of injury. An example would be designing a motor vehicle with such a high center of gravity that it was unreasonably susceptible to rollovers.
  • Negligent or defective manufacturing—This alleges that the manufacturer used substandard materials, careless assembled the product, or failed to properly oversee it’s construction, assembly or fabrication. An example would be tires made with substandard rubber.
  • Negligent marketing—You may be able to recover damages if a party in the chain of distribution knew of a potential danger and failed to reasonably warn you or provide notice with the product.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New Jersey

How to Reduce the Risk of a Winter Weather Automobile Wreck

Motor Vehicle Accidents in New JerseyIt’s November, and in New Jersey, that means that snow or ice may be in the forecast any time for the next 4-5 months. The winter weather can make driving treacherous, limiting visibility, as well as your ability to stop or negotiate a turn. There are, however, some simple strategies you can employ to minimize the risk that you’ll be hurt in a motor vehicle accident this winter.

Be Prepared for Winter Driving before You Get on the Road

Whether you’re headed to the grocery store or visiting family upstate for a few days, take the time before you pull out of the driveway to be as safe as you can be:

  • Warm up the car before you leave, so that you won’t have condensation, frost or fog on the inside of the windows
  • Take the time to clean all snow and ice off of your car, including the hood, windows, front and back lights, and roof of the vehicle
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread
  • Make certain that all turn signals, headlights and brake lights function properly

Use Reasonable Caution When on the Road

Assume that you’ll need a little more time and distance to come to a complete stop, so pay close attention to posted speeds and stay below them. Reasonable caution does not necessarily mean driving at a crawl—that can pose a risk of collisions with other motorists as well.

Make certain that you allow enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Under normal conditions, you should allow on car length for every 10 miles per hour at which you are traveling. In snowy or icy conditions, consider bumping that up to two car lengths, so that you have ample room to stop.

Try not to put yourself in situations where you slam on the brakes—feathering your brakes will give you greater control. Anticipate turns and make them more gradual, if possible, so that you don’t fishtail around a corner.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Common Accidents in the Fall

Dangers to Watch for When the Leaves Start to Turn Color

Common Accidents in the FallIt’s October—officially fall—when the temperature starts to drop and the world comes ablaze in color. Some of the unique attributes of autumn can lead to an increase in certain types of accidents.

Slips and Falls

As the trees start to shed, fallen leaves can pose a serious risk of injury, accumulating on sidewalks, steps, ramps, and other public thoroughfares. Often, they’ll accumulate for days or weeks, getting wet and slippery with every rain. A pile of leaves on a driveway or sidewalk can mask a potentially dangerous situation. If possible, when you’re walking in fall weather, avoid uneven piles of leaves. If you need to climb stairs that are covered with leaves, take the time to clear a clean path first.

The lower temperatures at night can also leave dew on steps or stairs in the early morning, making ascending or descending treacherous.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

The days can still be pretty warm, with the nights cooling off significantly. Those conditions are ideal for fog, particularly at dawn or dusk. If you have to drive in foggy or misty weather, make certain you turn your headlights on so others can see you better. Lower your speed and take time to look both ways at any intersection.

Unfortunately, the natural beauty that comes with the changing colors in the fall can also be a distraction, causing drivers to take their eyes off the road.

Furthermore, many forest creatures are more active in the fall, which is not only hunting season but also mating season. Studies show increased movement among deer populations between October and the end of December and, consequently, more deer-car accidents.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an email today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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