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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

A counterclaim is a claim that the defendant in a suit has against the plaintiff from the same transaction.

Discovery allows both parties to "discover" information in the case. The purpose is to narrow the basis of the complaint and to eliminate surprises to both parties.

Interrogatories are written questions, by one party to the other, which are answered under oath.

A deposition is a formal interview under oath in the presence of a court reporter. The answers in a deposition are oral.

Only about 25% of all personal injury cases end in a court; most will settle.

Usually it will include attorney, clerk, witness, and docket fees.

Principles that govern relationships between people where no crime has been committed.

A class action lawsuit occurs when a large group of plaintiffs sue a large group of defendants naming a representative in place of the entire group. Examples would be the tobacco industry suits and the suits against the drug manufactures of the popular diet medications, such as Fen-Phen.

Negligence is a failure to act reasonably in a situation. Doing something carelessly or failing to do something, i.e. driving without your headlights on.

Punitive damages are damages awarded to punish the defendant.

This would generally be money awarded over and above medical costs and lost wages.

Loss of consortium means the loss of companionship and care suffered by the victim’s marital partner.

Contributory negligence is a defense to negligence stating that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to their injuries.

A tort is conduct intended to harm another person or their property. Examples include fraud, misrepresentation and slander.

Not necessarily. You must first prove the grocery store either created the hazardous situation or had previous knowledge of it. If you can prove both these things, the amount of your "award" will be directly related to your injury, medical costs, and loss of income.

This is a big misconception. If you don’t suffer an injury or incur financial losses, chances are slim that you’ll collect any monetary award.

Negligence does not simply mean doing something wrong. All of the following elements must exist for an act to be considered negligent: a. Lack of reasonable care b. Breach of duty c. Injury to the victim d. Foreseeable (knowing an act would occur based on the circumstances) e. Damages

Generally the statute of limitations is two years from the date the incident occurred.

This would be a products liability case. You may be able to sue, but know that although the manufacturer is responsible for defective products, the following will be considered in your case: a. Was the defect unreasonably dangerous? b. The seller from whom you bought the iron must be in the business of selling that particular product. c. The item must not have been substantially changed between the time it left the seller and the time the user had it. d. The defect directly caused the injury. e. The product was used properly.

It is used as part of a defendant’s defense. Assumption of risk states that a user assumes risk in the following possible ways: a. You’ve discovered the risk, but disregard it. b. You’ve failed to properly maintain an item. c. You’ve failed to follow the enclosed directions.

Wrongful death laws give survivors a cause of action against someone whose negligence resulted in the victim’s death.

The party who loses at trial is called an appellant on appeal.

Emotional distress means mental anguish.

Injunctions are court orders for defendants to stop them from doing something (i.e. temporary restraining orders).

Litigation is a lawsuit.

It is a Latin phrase meaning "the thing speaks for itself."

Document the entire situation making daily notes of the effects of your injuries. Also, report the accident to the DMV and never admit responsibility.

Almost half of the United States legally requires this insurance. It helps to eliminate liability claims in smaller accidents by exchanging direct payment by the injured’s insurance company. It doesn’t, however, cover auto damage, so a claim should still be filed for this.

Almost always, the answer is yes. The law says that you have to be able to stop safely if a car stops in front of you.

Getting to court for a vehicle accident takes 3-5 years in most cases.

You should always see a doctor after an accident even if you’re not feeling pain right away. Be sure to document when you noticed the pain and when you went to the doctor.

It is in your best interest to hire an attorney.

Often times a person’s personal assets will come into play in a case such as this.

Often times, insurance companies will pay to a certain amount and get reimbursed once the case is complete.

Check your insurance policy; many will have a clause that allows you to rent a car. Be sure to track the expense involved as this is considered a cost that you suffered.

Yes.

The city is responsible for road maintenance.

The award is directly related to the costs incurred.

This varies from each case and each individual. Know that going to trial can take years, but many times in return the judgment in court is larger than in a settlement.

No. Tell the insurance company that you’ll get back to them. In the meantime, contact an attorney immediately. Often times an insurance company will offer a minimal amount of money in return for your signature stating that you won’t sue them. Never take an insurance check without first consulting an attorney.

Normally, in cases such as these, you don’t pay the attorney any money unless you win your case. If you do win, they are likely to request 33% of the settlement.

The term “birth injury” may encompass a time frame including prenatal care, labor, delivery or postnatal care. To give some common examples, allegations of negligence in a birth injury case may refer any of the following claims:

  • An obstetrician failed to diagnose and plan for a risky condition (such as preeclampsia or an oversized fetus) before birth.
  • A nurse or technician failed to alert an obstetrician of fetal distress during labor.
  • A doctor may have failed to order a C-section (or delayed ordering a C-section) when it should have been considered medically necessary.
  • An obstetrician failed to respond with appropriate maneuvers when there were complications during delivery, such as a shoulder stuck in the birth canal.
  • A doctor failed to treat a jaundiced baby correctly, resulting in kernicterus (a form of brain damage) that could have been prevented.

No. Birth trauma is sometimes unavoidable, and many birth injuries, such as bruising, heal on their own with no medical intervention necessary.

Shoulder dystocia (or Erb’s palsy, caused by a brachial plexus injury during delivery) and cerebral palsy (resulting from lack of oxygen) are particularly common birth injuries that bring up the question of negligence.

If you or your baby suffered serious injury because of complications during the labor or delivery process in a hospital in New Jersey, talk to the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP. A no-obligation consultation with a birth injury attorney can offer much reassurance. The attorneys at our law firm willingly provide potential clients with as much information and help as we can give during an initial conversation.

  • Have I or a family member suffered a severe and permanent injury while under the care of a physician or medical facility?
  • Was this injury more severe or devastating than expected from the original medical condition or trauma?
  • Has it come to my attention that the treatment received was inappropriate, or that the result was unusual?
  • Do I have strong doubts about the competency of a physician, or the appropriateness of the care received?
  • Do I have concerns that a medical device may have seriously affected my health?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, contact New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP to review your potential claim.

Often a physician, who has been guilty of medical malpractice, will not admit that he might have been wrong in the manner in which he rendered treatment or advice to a patient let alone report the incident to his insurance company. Physicians and their insurance companies know that in order to be successfully pursue most medical malpractice claims, the injured party must have highly qualified experts to testify that there was medical malpractice.

As a medical malpractice trial lawyer, medical malpractice cases are probably the most complex to pursue. The subject matter of these lawsuits is various areas of medicine. This means the proper preparation of any medical malpractice case on the part of a medical malpractice lawyer requires extensive research and assistance from physicians and nurses, as well as medical illustrators and trial support technicians. The actual out-of-pocket costs required to pursue a medical malpractice cases can range from $15,000 to $75,000 and more.

The key to a successful medical malpractice claim is in the choice of law firms representing the injured party. To have a reasonable chance for success, the lawyer chosen by the injured party must have certain qualifications:

  • Experience in handling complex medical malpractice matters.
  • Adequate support staff and access to qualified experts in various medical fields.
  • Substantial financial resources to advance the funds necessary to pursue the matter.
  • Trial experience and skill demonstrated by successful verdicts and settlements for medical malpractice claims.

New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP handle many complex medical malpractice claims. Our experience and expertise combined with a Registered Nurse on Staff, vast resources to investigate, research and successfully litigate these diverse medical malpractice claims, result in our firm’s ability to successfully produce optimum results for our clients. Contact Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy online or call 732-777-0100 to schedule a free consultation.