What questions will a New Jersey personal injury lawyer ask?
When you call a New Jersey personal injury lawyer for your first consultation, they are likely going to ask you questions to better understand your case. They may inquire about your insurance coverage, the events leading up to your accident or injury, and the relevant events that occurred following the injury. It is a good idea to carefully write out all the details you can remember before you call a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey.
Questions Concerning Your Car Insurance
If you were in a car accident, your New Jersey personal injury lawyer will ask you questions about your auto insurance as New Jersey is a “choice” no-fault car insurance state. Your choice of insurance coverage, with either the limited right to sue or the unlimited right to sue, will likely have a bearing on your options depending on the circumstances of the accident. If you do not have the right to sue, your own insurance may cover your damages up to its limits.
Questions to Determine Fault
If you have the right to sue, your New Jersey personal injury lawyer may ask you to revisit the site of the accident or injury and take photographs that can indicate how the accident or injury occurred. You may also need to take photos of any equipment or vehicle involved in the accident, and of the accident site itself. Depending on the specifics of the injury or accident, there may be skid marks on the road that are relevant; there may be road hazards that you will want to document; or bruises on your body that you will want to capture before they fade. The sooner you take the relevant photographs, the better.
Additionally, you will want to share with your attorney any statements made by witnesses who were present at the scene. While an attorney will guide you through the process, it would be a good idea to outline your experience of the accident or injury in detail, including any interactions with potential witnesses involved. Your attorney will listen for indications of negligence and wrongdoing on the defendant’s part. A New Jersey personal injury lawyer representing the defendant will want to disprove any claims of negligence directed at their client, and redirect those claims at you, so it is very important to recount all the facts of your accident or injury as accurately as possible.
Questions to Determine What Your Claim May Be Worth
Compensation for accidents and injuries is determined by a complex formula. Generally, financial compensation is calculated based on a variety of factors. While some states have begun to institute caps on punitive and noneconomic damages in recent years, New Jersey is not one of them.
Claims are split into economic damages, non-economic damages, and in some cases, punitive damages.
Economic damages: Your personal injury lawyer in New Jersey will work with you to collect information concerning your economic damages. These can include lost wages, medical costs, costs of services that you can no longer do on your own, costs associated with flying in family members to care for you, etc. These are typically relatively easy to calculate.
Non-economic damages: More difficult to determine are the non-economic damages, or pain-and-suffering damages. Insurance companies use proprietary software to determine an amount for these damages, and it is based on a formula that considers many variables. When negotiating with insurance companies, attorneys will typically calculate a total using their own methods.
Punitive damages: Your attorney will also ask you questions to determine if you are eligible for punitive damages. This is rare, but it is a way to send a message to the public or industry that the egregious behavior for which you are a victim, will not be tolerated.
Your New Jersey Personal Injury lawyer is here to be your advocate, so if you are the victim of a personal injury, do not hesitate to call Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. at (908) 353-0800.