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

10 Things You Should Know Before Filing A Claim

All potential clients should be aware of the following information about personal injury law before they file a claim.

Only Claim An Injury If It Is Related To Your Accident

When you file a claim, doctors will assess your body as a whole. In looking at your injuries, you can only claim those that were directly a result of the accident. If you had a pre-existing injury that was then reinjured, that is a viable claim. But, if you had a lifetime of back pain, visiting chiropractor after chiropractor before an accident that injured your arm, not affecting your back at all, you cannot claim the back injury as being a result of your accident.

Defense Attorneys Will Probe Your Medical History

Claiming an injury means that you are making an accusation against another party for permanently altering the function of your body. In doing so, you must establish how your body functioned previously, before you were injured. Doing so will allow your attorney to effectively demonstrate the ways that the injury adversely affected your life. But that also means that defense attorneys will have the right to look at your medical history as well.

Defense Attorneys Will Probe Your Employment History

Often when making a claim, a victim will have to miss work as a result of the injury. Or they may be unable to work at all as a result of the injury. When a wage loss claim is made, the attorney must establish the nature of the victim's employment prior to the incident and the ways that the injury affected it. But in doing so, the defense attorney will be able to examine past employment as well. In making a lost wage claim, topics such as past and current salaries are fair game for either side.

Your Case Shouldn't Be Settled Before You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement

When you make an injury claim, a major component of that claim is the medical costs incurred as a result of your injury. To fully evaluate the long-term effects and their related costs, it is important to wait until the point of maximum medical improvement. This is when you have come to the end of treatment for your injury, after any medical procedures have been completed and you have recovered to the fullest extent possible. Doing so will allow your attorney to fully demonstrate the overall effects of the injury in reaching a settlement agreement.

It Can Take Several Years To Settle Your Case

Because it's crucial to wait until the point of maximum medical improvement, personal injury cases usually last at least two years from the time of the accident. Depending on your injury, cases can be longer or shorter, but it is usually smart to plan for a fight that will last several years. The legal process can be arduous during this time, but you should focus on getting better. Let your attorney handle your legal issues.

Your Lawyer Will Request No Upfront Money And Will Be Paid On A Contingency Fee Basis

New Jersey law allows personal injury lawyers to handle cases on a contingency fee basis. Prior to your case settling, your attorney will request no upfront money in exchange for their services. Instead, when the case is settled, they will be entitled to a limited portion of the settlement, known as a contingency fee. During the case, your attorney will incur costs for things such as depositions and court fees. When your case is settled, your attorney will also have the right to claim these costs in addition to the contingency fee. If your claim is denied, your attorney will not get paid for the time spent on your case. That's why personal injury lawyers take on cases only when they truly believe a settlement is possible.

You May Be Called To Give A Deposition

Depositions carry the same weight as if you were in front of a judge and jury, but are usually done in a law office of one of the attorneys involved in the case. They may be taped by a videographer. In giving a deposition, you must be truthful in your answers. The defense attorney handling the case most likely ask you about the nature of your accident, your medical history and your injuries.

Credit Agencies Will Target You With Upfront Cash In Exchange For A Piece Of Your Settlement

Many credit agencies operate in the field of legal finance, but what this really means is that they are willing to give you a paltry bit of upfront cash in exchange for a disproportionate percentage of your settlement. It can be difficult being injured and waiting a long time for your case to settle, and these companies prey upon people in such situations. If you can, you should stay away from companies like this.

A Monetary Settlement Will Not Cure Your Injuries

A settlement is given to compensate the victim, but it will not do anything to ease your pain or suffering. Permanent injuries can be life-altering and traumatic. Receiving a monetary settlement may be helpful, but it will not magically bring you back to where you were before the injury. Many people still have issues after reaching maximum medical improvement, and while the legal system can offer monetary compensation, it will not solve your problems. While your care will have been paid for, the physical and emotional issues you have can last for life.

There Is Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Being hurt can be a confusing, frustrating experience. But, it's good to remember that there is an outlet built into the legal system for people like you. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help get your medical care paid for and make sure that insurance keeps you covered. If you've been injured, try calling an attorney to see what your legal options may be.

The Law Offices of John Morelli in Cherry Hill has handled personal injury claims for decades. For more answers to your questions or to speak with a lawyer, contact us at 856-528-3205.

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