The personal injury attorneys at the Fort Lee, New Jersey Law Office of Maggiano, DiGirolamo, and Lizzi, PC/LLC represent those who have been injured and need experienced representation. A serious personal injury can put you out of work and leave you with overwhelming medical bills, lasting pain and even long term or permanent disability.
About Fort Lee, New Jersey
Fort Lee, New Jersey – a borough in Bergen County – is in the northeastern corner of the state. The Borough of Fort Lee is a small suburban community covering an area of 2.5-square miles and having a population of 6,235 according to the 2009 U.S. Census.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help!
Whether your personal injury is the result of a truck accident, auto accident, a workplace accident, or construction accident, we are firm in our tenacity in protecting the rights of the injured. Our Fort Lee, Bergen County office is a full service firm with personal injury lawyers that focus on the Northern New Jersey region. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases:
- wrongful death and fatal automobile accidents
- premises liability accidents
- serious and catastrophic injuries
- product liability
- defective products
- construction accidents
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We are ready to listen — and to act promptly to protect your rights after a serious accident. Our clients have suffered serious injuries such as head injury, spinal cord injury or broken bones. While they heal, we go to work:
- Reconstructing the accident if appropriate — including reviewing police reports and hiring any appropriate expert witnesses such as engineers
- Identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses
- Consulting with doctors about our clients’ short-term needs and long-range diagnoses of the injured person
- Consulting with economists, vocational experts and others who can help put a dollar figure on an injured person’s financial losses
- Preparing as if for trial compelling arguments for fair compensation for our clients
- Although most personal injury cases settle before trial, our attorneys go into each personal injury case as if it were heading for the courtroom.
- Diligent preparation maximizes compensation, in or out of court.
Learn how we can help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve after a serious personal injury. Call or e-mail the law offices to schedule a consultation.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Personal Injury Claims
What Compensation Can I Recover for a Personal Injury in Fort Lee?
Damages in a personal injury claim can be divided into two categories. The first is economic damages, which consist of the losses you have sustained with a quantifiable monetary value. Common examples of personal injury economic damages include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- The loss of earning capacity, if your injuries affect your ability to work
- Out-of-pocket expenses for medications, assistive devices, medical-related travel, etc.
- The cost of attendant care and household services
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are the second category of personal injury compensation. These losses are not quantifiable in nature, instead pertaining to the impact of the personal injury on your quality of life. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish and distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A third category of compensation, punitive damages, may also be awarded in exceptional circumstances. The New Jersey Punitive Damages Act (New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:15-5.12) states the following:
“Punitive damages may be awarded to the plaintiff only if the plaintiff proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the harm suffered was the result of the defendant’s acts or omissions, and such acts or omissions were actuated by actual malice or accompanied by a wanton and willful disregard of persons who foreseeably might be harmed by those acts or omissions.”
Punitive damages are capped under New Jersey law. New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:15-5.14(b) states that a punitive damages award is limited to whichever is the greater of the following amounts: (a) $350,000 or (b) “five times the liability of [the] defendant for compensatory damages.” Situations where the courts in New Jersey will recognize the right to punitive damages are rare. Nonetheless, it is important to consult a Fort Lee personal injury lawyer after any accident to understand your legal rights and the compensation you may be due. As a rule, personal injury claimants in New Jersey can pursue compensation for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) as well as economic losses stemming from the personal injury. New Jersey law imposes no cap on non-economic losses, so it is crucial to consult a personal injury lawyer who can help you accurately calculate how much you are entitled to for pain and suffering. The only limitation on the right to sue for pain and suffering in New Jersey applies when drivers (a) choose the basic auto insurance policy or (b) opt for the limited right to sue as part of the standard auto insurance policy. In both of these situations, motorists can only bring a claim against another driver for pain and suffering damages if they meet the serious injury threshold as defined by New Jersey no-fault law. Legally, the following are considered serious injuries in a New Jersey motor vehicle accident:
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- A “permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement” (see New Jersey Revised Statutes § 39:6A-8(a))
- Displaced bone fractures
- Loss of a fetus
- Wrongful death
If you have basic car insurance or chose the limited right to sue, you will be limited to compensation through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance unless you suffer one of the injuries discussed above. Pain and suffering damages are not covered by PIP. On the other hand, if you opted for the unlimited right to sue, you can bring a fault-based claim for pain and suffering and other damages against the other driver.
Why Is Having a Personal Injury Attorney Important?
Negligence is the basis for most personal injury claims. In other words, you need to establish that an error or wrongdoing on the part of the defendant(s) in your case caused you to suffer personal injury. The elements that need to be proved for your personal injury claim to succeed are:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. The defendant in your personal injury case may be the driver of a motor vehicle, a healthcare provider, the owner of a property, the manufacturer of a defective product, etc. Each of these defendants has a duty to avoid actions that can harm someone else (known as the duty of care).
- The duty of care was violated. Proving that a personal injury was caused by negligence requires you to establish what duty of care was owed to you by the defendant and how the defendant violated that duty.
- You were injured as a result of negligence. Direct causation must be shown between the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing and the injuries you have suffered.
- Your injuries resulted in damages. Finally, the evidence needs to establish the economic and non-economic losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.
Sometimes the elements of a personal injury claim are easy to satisfy, such as when the defendant was obviously reckless and the cause of your injuries is not in question. In other cases, however, one or more of these elements can be difficult to prove. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi has experience with a wide range of personal injury cases. Our Fort Lee personal injury lawyers focus a significant portion of their practice on complex claims involving:
These cases all involve complex issues of liability, causation, and damages. Clients and even fellow attorneys trust Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi with these and other complicated matters due to our extensive knowledge, resources, and results.
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How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case in NJ?
The time it takes to settle a personal injury claim is not set in stone. Ultimately, the duration of personal injury settlement negotiations could depend on several different factors:
- The complexity of your case. Some personal injury claims are fairly straightforward, such as cases involving car accidents and slip and falls. More complicated cases, such as a medical malpractice claim, will take longer to resolve.
- The availability of evidence. The easier the evidence is to obtain, the more likely your case will settle quickly. If in-depth investigation is necessary to collect crucial evidence, it will take longer to reach a settlement.
- The seriousness and permanence of your injuries. Complex injuries take time to heal. Often, it is necessary for the injuries to stabilize before we can get an accurate understanding of how serious your injuries are and the degree of any permanent disability or impairment. Trying to settle your personal injury case before your injuries become stable is a mistake, as the compensation you can recover depends in large part on the long-term effects of your injuries.
- Determining the extent of your personal injury damages. The economic and non-economic impact of a personal injury also takes time to become apparent. A personal injury lawyer will discuss your condition with your doctors, consult expert witnesses, and closely evaluate the evidence to determine how much your case is worth.
- The other side’s willingness to deal with you fairly. Defendants and insurance companies often try to drag out settlement negotiations in an effort to wear you down and get you to accept less than you deserve. Even if the insurer negotiates in good faith, it can take time to reach a fair settlement.
All told, it can take several months to more than a year to settle a personal injury case in New Jersey. This timeframe will be extended if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit and go to trial; it generally takes a year or more for plaintiffs in personal injury cases to have their day in court. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way to keep your case on track. A knowledgeable lawyer will not only build a strong claim on your behalf but communicate with the insurance companies for you and discuss your options for obtaining the full compensation you deserve (up to and including going to trial).
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in New Jersey?
The statute of limitations is the time limit within which a legal claim must be brought. Failure to commence legal action within the statute of limitations will generally result in your case being dismissed. According to New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:14-2, a personal injury claim must be initiated no more than 2 years after the event resulting in injury. Several exceptions exist for children who suffer birth-related injuries:
- An “action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth shall be commenced prior to the minor’s 13th birthday.” (see N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:124-2(a))
- “In the event that an action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth is not commenced by the minor’s parent or guardian prior to the minor’s 12th birthday, the minor or a person 18 years of age or older designated by the minor to act on the minor’s behalf may commence such an action.” (see N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:124-2(b))
You will lose your chance to recover compensation if you wait too long to bring a claim. It is in your best interest to contact a Fort Lee personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and start working on your case at once.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Fort Lee Personal Injury Lawyer?
The personal injury attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi handle cases on a contingency basis. Your initial consultation is FREE, and you only pay attorney fees if we achieve a favorable settlement or award at trial on your behalf. Personal injury victims often worry that hiring a lawyer is too expensive, especially in light of the financial challenges they are facing after the accident. In reality, people who have been seriously injured due to negligence can’t afford not to have a personal injury lawyer on their side.
Contact A Fort Lee, New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we only get paid if we win. This means you can seek experienced, knowledgeable legal guidance and support without having to be concerned about incurring additional costs. If we settle your case or prevail at trial, you pay a percentage of the recovery in attorneys’ fees. Our Fort Lee personal injury lawyers will discuss this percentage upfront so you know what to expect at the conclusion of your case.