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Accident Cases

Frequently Asked Questions:

Automobile Accident Cases

Q:  Do I have to pay for my initial meeting with Belotta Law Firm regarding a personal injury matter?

A:  No! We never charge for client consultations regarding personal injury cases. If you feel you have a potential claim, please call our law firm at (973) 474-2192 to set up for FREE CONSULTATION and CASE EVALUATION at your home, work, or other convenient location.

Q:  Do I really need to hire a personal injury lawyer?

A:  This question can be answered by giving us a call and telling us what happened. Some cases may not need the services of a personal injury lawyer; however, it is in your best interest to give us a call for a free consultation so we can figure out if you have a case. If it is determined you have a legitimate injury claim, hiring a lawyer makes sense and could yield a larger settlement or verdict as opposed to handling the case yourself.

Q:  How long does the whole injury litigation process take?

A:  There is no single answer to this question. It really depends on your injury and how complicated the case is. Some lawsuits take a few weeks to resolve, while others can take longer; however, I can assure you I will leave no stone unturned to get the compensation you need and deserve.

Q:  I have very little money and am worried I can’t afford to hire an injury lawyer. What can I do?

A:  No worries. You do not have to pay anything up front. Our law firm handles accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This is where you agree to pay a percentage (typically 25% to 33%)  of the total recovery in the case. This is a good system for clients because we handle the expenses of initiating the injury litigtaion process. This means we do not earn a legal fee until we recover money for you. when we win your case.

Q:  Do you charge by the hour?

A:  No. We are pleased to handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you do not owe us attorneys' fees unless we recover for you.

Q:  What is my auto accident injury claim worth?

A:  This depends on the severity of your injury. Are you permanently disabled or unable to return to your job because of the injury? Did you lose a loved one in the car wreck? Every case is different, so every settlement/verdict is different. The best way to determine the value of your potential case is to give me a call.

Q:  Can I still pursue compensation if I was partially at fault for my injuries?

A:  In New Jersey, victims can still receive compensation if they were partially at fault for their injuries.

Q:  Will the information I share with you be confidential?

A:  Yes. Since your communications with us are privileged, it is important that you make full disclosure of all relevant facts of your personal injury claim (such as prior injuries or accidents), so that we can fully evaluate your case. The information you share with us is protected by the attorney-client privilege and will remain confidential. This protection applies even when our legal representation ends or if you do not retain our firm.

Q:  What is the difference between a settlement and a verdict?

A:  A settlement is a voluntary agreement between the injured plaintiff (i.e. you) and, usually, the insurance company for the defendant. The settlement will end the case in return for a lump sum payment of a certain amount of money. A verdict is a decision made by a jury. It is usually either a judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of X dollars or judgment for the defendant.

Q:  What are punitive and compensatory damages?

A:  Punitive and compensatory damages are usually combined to be the sum of a judgment. 

Punitive damages are a way to punish the defendant for a serious breach of contract or a particular law and deter them from similar action in the future. These damages are sometimes used to set examples for other companies or individuals who could potentially violate a similar law or contract; however, punitive damages are not always awarded and most judgments are made up of only compensatory damages.

Compensatory damages are meant to make-up for the plaintiff’s injuries. The amount can include compensation for medical bills, legal fees, pain and suffering, etc. where the goal is to properly compensate the plaintiff for the different aspects of their accident and injury.

Q:  I didn’t see a doctor until six months after the accident. The insurance company is saying there is a time limit to see a doctor and they won’t pay my expenses. Is there really a time limit to see a doctor?

A:  There is no legal time limit to see a doctor. The insurance company is basically saying that they do not believe your injury was caused by the accident since you waited six months after the accident to see a doctor.

Q:  Can I sue for something that could have happened?

A:  No. The law provides the pursuit of compensation for an injury that was due to the carelessness of another person, company or entity. There needs to be some type of direct connection between the carelessness and your injury. The fact that something “might” have happened doesn’t count.

Q:  Is it okay for me to participate in additional rehab that my doctor hasn’t recommended, but I think may help in the healing process?

A:  I strongly recommend avoiding this and all physical rehabilitative activities that are not directly recommended by your doctor. Why? Because insurance defense lawyers will try to use this against you during a deposition and could then use that deposition in court. They could try and argue that you’re capable of performing activity XYZ and this is inconsistent with someone suffering from your particular injury. The best advice to follow is that of your doctor.

For more information, contact Belotta Law Firm today at (973) 474-2192.