New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Quality Trumps Convenience

New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Quality Trumps Convenience

Every New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer is aware that new clients are naturally inclined to find a local lawyer for the sake of convenience.  This is why some lawyers have offices in more than one location.  For example, I have offices in Mahwah, Hackensack, Hamilton, and Piscataway, with another to open in Belmar very soon.

New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer-Quality Desk Photo

That said, if you’ve been seriously injured in some kind of accident, or on account of medical malpractice, your search for a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer should begin and end with a search for quality, not convenience.  If you can find someone who offers both, so much the better, but when in doubt, choose quality.  Here’s why. 

First of all, in today’s high tech world, you can count on one hand the number of times you’ll need to travel to your attorney’s office over the 6 to 36 month average life span of a typical New Jersey personal injury or medical malpractice case.  In fact, it’s not unusual for a dedicated New Jersey personal injury lawyer to travel to his new client’s home for the first meeting, since that client is often seriously injured and unable to travel without aid.

In addition, experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers don’t lend much weight to convenience when choosing where to file their client’s cases.  Instead, the location which offers a particular case its best chance for success (for lots of different reasons) should always be the one where the lawsuit is filed, no matter how far away it might be from a client’s home or a lawyer’s office.  For example, I was recently retained by a Monmouth County resident who suffered a serious permanent injury due to medical malpractice at a Monmouth County hospital.  But I filed the suit in Camden County, where the negligent doctor resides, because that is where my client is more likely to face a favorable jury, and where cases generally move more quickly on the Court’s calendar.  How do I know this?  Part experience, part consultation with other experienced colleagues who are fellow members of the New Jersey Association for Justice.

Most importantly, however, the success of your case depends on having a well-credentialed and experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer to handle it every step of the way.  Is your lawyer Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney?  Is he or she an active member of the New Jersey Association for Justice?  Has your lawyer received high marks from Martindale-Hubbell, the oldest and most respected attorney rating institution in the nation?  What is your lawyer’s rating on Avvo, the largest interactive attorney-client information exchange in the country? 

These are the questions you should be asking in your search for qualified counsel.  For more information, call New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Patrick X. Amoresano for a free consultation at (201) 704-2280.

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Personal Injury Lawyer NJ Mall at Short Hills-Short on Security

Personal Injury Lawyer NJ Mall at Short Hills Short on Security

Personal Injury Lawyer NJ-Mall at Short Hills: Shooting Victim Photo

A few years ago, the Short Hills Mall apparently stopped paying off-duty Essex County Sheriff’s officers to patrol its parking lots, presumably to cut its operating expenses and increase its profits. Meanwhile, State statistics were allegedly showing a significant spike in Essex County carjackings.  

If so, this recipe for disaster dealt a devastating blow to a young Hoboken couple three months ago, when carjackers shot thirty year old Dustin Friedland in the head and left him for dead while his wife Jaime watched in horror.

The four carjackers have since been arrested to face felony murder charges, a small consolation for Mrs. Friedland.  She’s forever lost her beloved husband, a successful patent attorney and project engineer for a family-owned enterprise called Epic Mechanical.

Mrs. Friedland recently filed suit  in the Superior Court of New Jersey against the Short Hills Mall and their protection services company for allegedly failing to provide adequate security, as well as for allegedly failing to appreciate the fact that the large box-shaped vehicles typically used by first aid personnel would not be able to pass beneath the low-hanging parking deck in the parking garage and reach the area where Friedland and his wife had been accosted.

When interviewed about the case by the Newark Star-Ledger, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, whose officers had been dismissed from off-duty service at the mall, was caustic in his criticisms:

“I think that if there had been a highly visible, well-trained police officer there being vigilant, …it prevents a lot of stuff.  It doesn’t allow for murderous thugs to sit and lie in wait and to case the place for days.” 

Also included as a defendant in Friedland’s lawsuit is the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad, which allegedly took an excessive period of time to respond to Mrs. Friedland’s 911 pleas for help.

Personal Injury Lawyer NJ Mall

 

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Malpractice Lawyers NJ-Banned Doc Pays Bigtime

Malpractice Lawyers NJ-Banned Doc Pays Bigtime

Malpractice Lawyers NJ-Banned Doc Pays Bigtime: Surgery Photo

Patricia Maze of Hopatcong New Jersey once suffered from back pain.  It was bad enough to prompt her to see a doctor, but not so bad that she couldn’t function.  So she went to a local anesthesiologist named Dr. Richard Kaul, who held himself out to the public as a specialist in “pain management.”

What Ms. Maze didn’t know was that Dr. Kaul had recently come to New Jersey from Great Britain, where he’d been convicted of negligent manslaughter for over-sedating and killing a dental patient. This incident apparently failed to humble Dr. Kaul, however, who figured his license to practice anesthesiology here in the United States entitled him to do spinal surgery as well.

So, in November of 2008, Patricia Maze submitted herself to spinal fusion surgery by Dr. Kaul at the Bergen Passaic Ambulatory Surgery Center in Clifton New Jersey, and emerged from the procedure unable to walk and bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.  From 5’4″ and fully functional, to 4’7″ and unable to speak or breath without difficulty due to the compression of her organs, Ms. Maze now suffers in a “living hell”, according to the evidence assembled in her civil suit recently settled in the Superior Court of New Jersey.

A trial had been scheduled, but the case was settled soon after Ms. Maze came into the courtroom during jury selection.  The exact terms of the settlement could not be disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement signed by both sides.

The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners has revoked Dr. Kaul’s license for performing surgeries without sufficient training and misrepresenting himself as “board-certified” in minimally invasive spinal surgery when in fact his only certification was in anesthesiology.

At this writing, Dr. Kaul faces several additional medical malpractice lawsuits in New Jersey, but despite it all, is said to remain defiant, promising to return to medical practice and expand his reach into other countries.  Heaven help us.

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Personal Injury Lawyer NJ 166 Million Dollar Record Verdict Reduced

Personal Injury Lawyer NJ 166 Million Dollar Record Verdict Reduced

Courtroom Image for Personal Injury Lawyer NJ 166 million dollar Record Verdict Reduced

Three months ago on December 13, 2013, a jury in Essex County New Jersey returned a record personal injury verdict in the total amount of more than one hundred sixty six million ($166,000,000) dollars in favor of a four year old boy who had been badly beaten by his criminally abuse father because New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) had failed to act on repeated pleas and warnings from the boy’s maternal grandmother, Neomi Escobar.

The beatings rendered the poor little boy blind, unable to talk or walk, subject to constant seizures, and dependent on a feeding tube and round-the-clock care to give him the nutrition he needs and to keep him from suffocating.  Post-trial interviews put jurors in tears as they tried to grapple with the terribly emotional tragedy while performing their sworn legal function to render justice.  They had returned verdicts in the amount of one hundred five million ($105,000,000) dollars for the boy’s future medical expenses, fifty eight million ($58,000,000) dollars for his pain and suffering, about two million ($2,000,000) dollars  for caretaker services, and one point four million ($1,400,000) dollars for future lost wages, and put all the blame on DYFS for the tragedy.

However, attorneys for DYFS filed a challenge to the verdicts, and this past Wednesday, March 19, 2014, the Honorable James Rothschild Jr., who presided over the trial, decided that the facts and law required some changes to the jury’s verdicts.  Specifically, the Court reduced the verdict for future medical expenses from $105 million dollars to $75.9 million dollars.  In addition, he laid twenty-five (25%) percent of the blame for the tragedy at the feet of the boy’s now incarcerated father, effectively reducing the obligation of DYFS to seventy-five (75%) percent.  Together this modification of medical expenses and reassignment of blame has resulted in a reduction of DYFS responsibility from $166 million dollars to $102 million dollars.

No word at this writing whether either side plans to challenge the trial court’s decision in the Appellate Division.

If you or your loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, contact Personal Injury Lawyer NJ Patrick Amoresano for a free consultation at 201-704-2280.  

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Personal Injury Lawyer New Jersey Contingency Fees

personal injury lawyer new jersey contingency fees courtroom image

When a Personal Injury Lawyer New Jersey takes your case for a so-called contingency fee, it means that he gets paid from whatever money he recovers for your case.  His fee is contingent upon recovering money.  No money, no fee.  Unlike some other states, where contingency fees can be as high as 40-45% of the gross recovery, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has capped contingency fees at 33 1/3% of the net recovery for adults, and 25% for anyone under the age of 18.  So, if a lawyer spends $5,000 on case expenses to recover $50,000 for an adult, the net recovery is $45,000, and the lawyers 1/3 fee is $15,000, which translates to 30% of the gross $50,000 recovery.  In the case of a minor, the lawyer’s fee would be 25% of the $45,000, or $11,250, which translates to 22.5 % of the gross $50,000 recovery.

Does a lower contingency fee mean the client collects more money?   Not necessarily.  When you see a circular saying the large box of Wheaties, normally $5.00, will be on sale next Wednesday for $2.50, you know that by waiting ‘til next Wednesday, you’ll get the same amount of Wheaties for less money.  When it comes to contingency fee cases, however, the outcome uncertain because two separate factors are affecting the equation – the contingency fee rate, which is certain, and the amount of money recovered, which is always uncertain.  Let’s say a lawyer charges you 33 1/3% to take your case, and  he gets you a net recovery of $45,000.  In that case, he’d collect $15,000, and you’d collect $30,000.  On the other hand, if a lawyer charges you a  contingency fee of only 28%, but he gets you a net recovery of just $40,000, then he’d collect $11,200, and you’d collect $28,800.  So the answer is obviously no, a lower contingency fee rate does not necessarily mean the client collects more money.  The net result to the client always depends on what the lawyer is able to recover.

The recovery in a case is determined in one of two ways – by how much an insurance company is willing to offer, or how much the jury is willing to award.  Either way, achieving the right result requires a lawyer with the right reputation, skills, and experience.  Does your lawyer practice in the region where your case is located (North, Central, or Southern New Jersey) ?  Has your lawyer been Board-Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, an approved measure of continuing legal education, real trial experience, and professional reputation?  Does your attorney have access to the inside information and expertise of hundreds of other New Jersey trial lawyers because he’s a fellow member of the New Jersey Association for Justice?  Has your lawyer demonstrated a willingness to do what’s necessary to let the insurance company know you mean business, and not bargain away your rights for a quick settlement?  You need to get the answers to these questions, especially if your injuries are serious, and the other side is all about avoiding responsibility.  If so, your case could take a lot of time and money to prepare properly, and having the right lawyer at your side makes all the difference in the world when it’s time to make tough decisions about waging war or making peace.

Personal Injury Lawyer New Jersey Contingency Fees

 The choice of an attorney is an important decision requiring careful thought.  So don’t hesitate to do some homework, and then call a well-credential Personal Injury Lawyer New Jersey for a free consultation.

 

 

 

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Board Certified New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

board certified new jersey personal injury attorney image of board certification logo

Civil Trial Attorney Certifications are issued by the New Jersey Supreme Court to lawyers who’ve submitted the details of their careers – trials skills, experience, and special education – to the scrutiny of expert Board members specially selected by the New Jersey Supreme Court to insure high standards  of civil trial practice in the State of New Jersey.  In addition, all applicants must pass a written examination, identify others lawyers who’ve opposed them in Court, and Judges before whom they’ve appeared, to attest to their professional reputation, integrity, and skills.

The Certification Program helps consumers identify lawyers who’ve demonstrated proficiency in specialized fields of law. Certification aids attorneys by in making their special credentials known to prospective clients and other attorneys.  Certification also encourages lawyers to maintain and improve their levels of competence through continuing education, training, and best practices in their respective areas of law, including Civil Trial Law, Criminal Trial Law, Matrimonial Law, Workers Compensation Law, and Municipal Court Law. 

Less than three (3%)  percent of all attorneys in New Jersey are Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, and certifications last for just five years, after which the lawyer must renew his application for continued certification.

Board Certified New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

So if your searching for a first-rate New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, you’d be well advised to chose one with a consistent history of Board Certification.  Patrick X. Amoresano has been doing justice for injured New Jersey clients for more than three decades.  The Supreme Court of New Jersey issued him his first Certification as a Civil Trial Attorney in 1990, and has repeatedly renewed that certification every five to seven years.  In addition, Martindale-Hubbell, the oldest and most-respected attorney rating organization in the nation, has seen fit to award Mr. Amoresano with its highest honor – AV Preeminent – the pinnacle of legal ability and ethical standards.

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Medical Malpractice Lawyers NJ Case Review

medical malpractice lawyers nj case review image of surgery

Like all New Jersey personal injury claims, a New Jersey medical malpractice claim arises from injury on account of negligence.  Unlike a driver who’s blown a stop sign, however, a medical malpractice matter involves the conduct of a healthcare professional whose actions are compared to the medical community’s accepted standards of care. 

Therefore, to prove that a particular doctor or nurse has been negligent, a qualified expert from the same medical specialty is typically required to render an opinion after review of the patient’s pertinent medical records.

If the expert finds negligence, the next question is whether the doctor or nurse’s negligence has done the patient harm. After all, we don’t normally seek medical care in the first place unless there’s already something wrong with us.

Sometimes, the injury caused by the negligence is obvious, even to the untrained layperson.  In other words, you don’t need an expert to know that leaving a scalpel inside a patient is unacceptable.  But most of the time, the connection between the negligence and the patient condition is not perfectly clear.  Instead, this connection is complicated by questions of causation –  did any or all of the patient’s ailments arise from a pre-existing injury or disease, rather than from acts of malpractice?  In such cases, another expert specializing in the particular injury is often required to establish a clear connection between that injury and the alleged medical negligence.

Finally, the attorney and his client need to carefully assess exactly what kind of harm has been caused by the medical malpractice. Is the client’s resulting injury slight or serious, permanent or temporary?  In fact, when evaluating the risks and rewards of prosecuting a medical malpractice claim, severity of injury is really the first and most important question.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers NJ Case Review

Legally speaking, any kind of harm caused by medical malpractice is eligible for compensation, but as a practical matter, one must carefully consider whether spending a lot of time and money on a risky and contested case would be worthwhile when the claim that has limited monetary value.  That said, If you believe you’ve got a worthwhile case, do not hesitate contact experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers NJ immediately for a free consultation concerning the wisest course of action.

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