Personal Injury Attorney in West Orange, New Jersey
We invite you to browse our website and explore the many various types of personal injury claims handled by Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. We are a full-service firm and handle all aspects of the case from the intake to settlement or verdict. My office obtains our clients the monetary compensation they deserve and makes sure they get proper and paid for medical treatment. We settle many cases without even the need for a lawsuit. We are affiliated with a large network of medical and chiropractic providers who will treat your injuries and make you feel better whether it is physical therapy, chiropractic, pain management, or surgery.
I wanted to alert prospective clients in this section about various ways they can help their case before or shortly after retaining my office. The number one way is in obtaining and preserving evidence.
Motor vehicle accidents -When you are in a motor vehicle accident involving personal injuries or property damage in excess of $500, the law in the States of New Jersey and New York is that the police must be called to the scene. If you are physically able, you or someone on your behalf should call the police.
Once police are at the scene, they will document the involved parties, take statements of parties, and witness and determine who was at fault for the accident. They can also call for ambulances and medical attention. Do not be swayed by the other at fault's driver attempt to persuade you not to call the police or by offering a small sum of money. This is both illegal and their only motive is to escape responsibility for the accident.
If you are physically able and especially where there is visible property damage, it would be very helpful if you used your cell phone and take photographs of the involved vehicles. This will help persuade an insurance company or a jury that you sustained significant compensable injuries in the accident. Lastly, when speaking to the police you should not admit to any fault and if possible solicit an admission of fault from the other drivers. An admission of fault on the police report goes a long way in determining liability for the accident.
Slips, Trips & Falls - Another common type of accident is the slip and/or trip fall. These commonly occur on a sidewalk, stairway, walkway, store, restaurant, supermarket, recreational facility, or parking lot. It is very important to document the location and photograph the defect. If weather is involved and you slipped on snow or ice, photograph it as soon as possible after it happened as the conditions are normally not permanent and are subject to fairly rapid change or clean up. My office can follow up and order a weather report to confirm precipitation around the day of the event. Please also photograph and note lighting conditions as poor visibility of the defect is often a factor in the defendant's liability.
If the fall is indoors because of a food item or the like or any other defect, photograph it and report it to the management so a report can be issued. This will make it difficult for them to deny responsibility. Please ask them to preserve any video and my office will make a prompt request for it after we are retained. If the food item is slippery but not visible, please touch it with your hands to determine its identity.
Although it is not mandatory, police can be called to the scene to issue a report, especially for an outdoor fall or injury. Their report could help document the claim but be careful to give them an accurate description.
Factors to Consider in all personal injury cases- In all cases, whether they be motor vehicle or a slip and trip or fall, please be mindful of a municipal defendant (ie. Town, village, county, city, state, or any subdivision thereof). Under the NJ tort claims act, a notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of the accident or the claim will be barred. In cases occurring within the State of New York with municipal defendants, the notice requirement is similar and in some cases involves a shorter time period (60-90 days) for the notice and filing suit. (1 year or 1 year and 90 days.) My office will assist in preparing and filing Notice of Claim forms but our prompt retention is required.
Lastly, it is important to document your visible physical injuries. Photographs of bruising, scarring, of you in a hospital bed, sutures, or casts to show what you are suffering with goes a long way to maximizing your monetary recovery.
Feel free to contact Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. with any questions.