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Law Offices of John Morelli
A Personal Injury Firm Serving All Of South Jersey

Helping You Decide Whether To File A Claim

Each year, nearly 2 million Americans are injured in automobile accidents. Another 42,000 Americans are killed in accidents. Not every accident involving death, injury or property damage in New Jersey results in a claim or lawsuit. Not every accident should result in a claim. How do you know when to make a claim?

The answer depends on several factors. Probably the first consideration is the nature and extent of your injuries and losses. Obviously, minor injuries and losses may not be worth the heartache associated with bringing a formal claim as a result of the accident.

Factors In Deciding Whether To File A Claim

Frequently, poor treatment by the insurance adjuster will lead a client, who otherwise would not have filed a lawsuit, into proceeding in court. Many people simply want to be reimbursed for their out-of-pocket medical and other expenses. It is only after such minimal claims are denied or greatly reduced by the insurance adjuster that clients decide to hire an attorney.

Another factor commonly considered by clients when contemplating whether to bring a legal claim is the exposure of their private life and information. When a lawsuit is filed, there are few aspects of your life that a court will prevent the other side from discovering. Past criminal behavior, other lawsuits, divorces, income tax returns, former jobs and employers are all areas that are routinely discovered during a lawsuit.

Many defense lawyers will intentionally try to shame or embarrass the plaintiff in an attempt to shift a jury's attention away from the defendant's negligence. Most lawyers know that juries are less likely to award substantial sums of money to people they do not like. This is why many trials seem to be placing the life of the plaintiff on trial.

In automobile cases, when deciding whether to institute a claim, you must always consider which party was initially considered to be at fault by the investigating police officer. Moreover, there are certain legal presumptions that operate to place fault on one driver or the other depending on how the accident occurred. For instance, in a rear-end collision, there is generally a presumption that the driver who rear-ends another car is at fault, though there are instances where the opposite is true. However, the ability to prove fault is a key factor in deciding how to proceed.

Auto crash cases also should be evaluated by determining the type and availability of insurance coverage. Certain coverage applies regardless of the fault of the drivers involved. Other coverage extends only to the driver not determined to be at fault. Moreover, if the state in which the accident occurred requires little or only minimal insurance coverage, the amount of available insurance may very well be tendered by the insurance adjuster without the need to file a claim in court.

Unlike most other types of personal injury cases, automobile accident cases involving injuries are usually worth pursuing with an attorney. This is not because people are rushing out and filing frivolous claims that get paid. It is more a function of the insurance adjusters constantly attempting to lowball and mistreat accident victims. Much of the insurance company's money could be saved by adjusters who fairly compensate victims well before attorneys get involved. However, the sad reality is that most people will have to hire an attorney to be compensated fairly.

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Find out more by calling the Law Offices of John Morelli at 856-528-3205. You can also contact our Cherry Hill office by sending us an email.

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