Atlantic City Personal Injury Lawyers
Walking through Atlantic City as a resident, vacationer, or worker is not always safe. Injuries occur every day for various reasons, and families must resort to litigation to help victims recover compensation. Understanding the nature of these accidents, who is responsible, and how those parties are held accountable is critical for the victim’s recovery and family’s financial security.
A victim or their family should focus on recovery and ask an Atlantic City personal injury lawyer to investigate the case. As a lawyer takes over the claim, they review insurance companies, at-fault parties, local businesses, government agencies, and more. Lawyers calculate compensation for the claim using a range of factors, and victims may use these tips to avoid accidents, remain patient, and plan for the future. The injuries listed below could happen to anybody, cause damage to the mind and body, and require compensation after proving negligence on the part of one or more parties. It is wise to be prepared, know whom to call, and reach out to a lawyer soon after an accident.
How Could I Be Hurt in Atlantic City?
When workers, residents, or vacationers suffer injuries in Atlantic City, it could be for several reasons. Common injury accidents in Atlantic City include:
Slip and falls: These accidents are common in office buildings, on the sidewalk, in public parks, on the boardwalk, and in casinos. Slip and falls can cause major injuries, including broken bones, cuts, lacerations, muscle or tendon damage, concussions, contusions, open head wounds, and more. Slip and falls may also occur on loose hardwood floors, broken tiles, damaged carpet, stairs, ladders, and more. If the surface is in good condition, poor lighting, damaged handrails, or damaged mats may cause a fall. Even uneven road surfaces or potholes can cause slip and falls for pedestrians or guests in a parking lot.
While it is unfortunate if the victim slips and suffers injuries, an entity is likely responsible for the upkeep of that area. Filing a lawsuit requires the lawyer to determine which entity was negligent.
Car accidents: These accidents happen on the busy streets of Atlantic City all too often. Vacationers want to reach the casinos or beaches. Employees must get to work, and locals may leave the city for work. When a car crash occurs, other drivers may have been negligent in operating their vehicles. In other cases, these drivers may have been forced into a collision by yet another car, construction crew, road sign, or road hazard.
Car accidents may include distracted driving, drunk driving, ridesharing vehicles, or excessive speed. Speaking to a lawyer helps victims understand who to sue in these cases, as liability can be challenging to determine. The at-fault driver may be guilty of a crime, but that does not preclude them from being named in a lawsuit.
Bicycle and motorcycle accidents: Motorists are wise to avoid designated bicycle lanes. Pedestrians should step aside when bicyclists approach, and motorists should slow down as they are challenging to see. Bicyclists and motorcyclists alike should not cut through traffic, ride on lane lines, or ride through stoplights and stop signs.
Truck accidents: If a truck tips over or loses its load, it can crush passenger cars. Large trucks often hit pedestrians when clipping the curb, or a multi-vehicle crash might occur when a large truck jackknifes. Large trucks must often slip down narrow streets, back into docking bays, or make tight turns. Take even minor damage caused by a large truck seriously, as the victim’s injuries require compensation in many cases.
Dog bites: These incidents are most often the fault of the owner. Owners are liable if they violated local regulations. If the owner entrusts their dog to a walker or sitter, the sitter is accountable for attacks occurring on their watch. The Atlantic City code prohibits dog owners from bringing their pets on the boardwalk or beaches. The only exception is service dogs, and a lawyer must determine if the offending owner operated within local guidelines. Even if the owner abides by local laws, a lawsuit for unprovoked attacks helps recover damages.
Construction accidents: Construction occurs around Atlantic City every day. Construction crews must keep their areas enclosed and prevent tools, debris, or parts from interacting with the public. If construction debris or tools hurt a pedestrian or bystander, the construction company may be held accountable.
A construction accident might include toxic chemicals or gases stored under pressure. If the construction company kept these chemicals improperly, a lawsuit for damages caused by a fire, explosion, or toxic exposure is appropriate. Manufacturers are subject to litigation if they did not use the proper storage devices or defective canisters. Gases or chemicals without warning labels are even more dangerous, and the manufacturer should be held accountable for violating local, state, or federal labeling regulations.
Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians walking the streets of this popular shore town offer suffer injuries when struck by cars, bikes, or other pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right to cross, and drivers must look out for pedestrians crossing under a protected green arrow or at a designated street crossing.
Products liability: These cases involve a defective item that has caused an injury. The manufacturer of that product may be held responsible for negligent construction, or the distributor can be held liable for delivering defective goods. Lawyers also sue merchants that knowingly sold defective merchandise to the public.
Any of these accidents can escalate to a wrongful death claim if the victim subsequently dies from their injuries. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine how to move forward.
Who is Responsible for My Injuries?
While the at-fault party is easy to determine in most cases, some cases turn out to be more complicated. Eyewitness testimony may not be enough to determine what has occurred. A few examples are listed below:
- Home and property owners are responsible for maintaining their properties, but property lines can be a murky subject. Determining on which property the accident occurred is just as crucial as suing for damages.
- Car accidents often involve one vehicle striking another. After a driver is involved in a multi-vehicle crash, a lawyer may need to investigate further to determine which vehicle or entity caused that situation to occur.
- If a large truck or cargo haulers cause accidents, the driver, owner, or service technician may be held responsible. Moreover, a crew that improperly loaded the trailer, causing it to tip over, can be sued for damages.
- Families or victims can sue public utility companies if they caused accidents, injuries, or dangerous situations, including, gas leaks, fires, explosions, electrical surges, water main breaks, floods, etc.
Because each accident is different, it may take the lawyer some time to determine the accident’s true nature. Reviewing red light camera footage, security footage from local businesses, and interviewing locals sheds light on the accident.
Am I Allowed to Sue for My Injuries?
In the State of New Jersey, victims may sue for their injuries so long as they are not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Under modified comparative negligence, victims have their compensation reduced by the percentage they are deemed liable for their accident or injuries. A common defense is to claim the victim caused the accident. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer helps prove that the victim is due compensation.
Victims, friends, or eyewitnesses must follow a few simple steps at the accident scene. Without following these steps, it is difficult to file a compelling lawsuit.
- Call 911 or receive immediate medical attention. Medical care comes with records that are useful when proving the victim’s injury claims. If the victim appears to be immobile, do not try to move them without the aid of emergency medical technicians or firefighters.
- Obtain a copy of a police report if one exists.
- Take pictures or videos of the accident scene. Since a lawyer cannot review the scene while it is still active, these images enhance their investigative abilities.
- Ask for eyewitness statements. Eyewitnesses can fill in the blanks during a lawyer’s investigation. If the case is more complex or involves a level of malice, eyewitnesses may have seen these malicious acts.
While victims are allowed to sue for damages after collecting enough evidence, there are certain things plaintiffs should not do to improve their chances of recovering compensation. Victims and families should focus on recovery instead of involving themselves in the case. A lawyer serves as a buffer between the family and litigation. Take the following steps to make litigation easier for everyone involved.
- Do not speak to anyone about the case other than a lawyer. Personal representatives, other lawyers, and insurance providers may come forward, hoping to settle the case or gather information. Refer each individual to the family lawyer.
- Do not threaten anyone with a lawsuit. Threatening a lawsuit may be considered harassment, and a harassment charge jeopardizes the victim’s ability to sue for damages. In extreme cases, the defendant may claim the victim attempted to extort money from them in lieu of a lawsuit.
- Do not give recorded statements to anyone. Recorded statements, or depositions, should only be provided with a lawyer present.
- Do not provide extra information to the insurance company. The insurance company may start asking probing questions or send an adjuster to the victim’s home. Ask that a personal injury lawyer submit the claim or send a written statement to the insurance provider.
- Do not sign anything without a lawyer present. Ask the family lawyer to review all documents before signing. Signing something without reading or understanding what it says is dangerous and may close the case before it begins.
Following these steps helps lawyers do their work, shields the family from countersuits, and helps lawyers gather valuable information to which they would not have otherwise been privy.
How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Filing a personal injury lawsuit allows victims or their families to seek damages from each responsible party. A family cannot file a personal injury suit until the victim’s lawyer pinpoints those who should pay compensation. Additionally, the lawyer determines what forms of compensation are available. Generally, compensation covers the following:
Medical expenses: These are paid up to and including rehabilitative care for the victim. Victims may require surgeries, medications, medical equipment, physical therapy, or counseling. A medical expert may also speak to the care required. Medical facilities can submit estimates for future care, and a lawyer includes a tally of current medical charges with the complaint.
Ongoing medical expenses often do not stop. Payment via a lawsuit ensures that the victim can afford medical care long after receiving compensation. The defendant pays their dues so that the case does not require litigation a second time.
Property damage: Property damage after an accident may be just as devastating as physical injuries suffered by the victim. For example, if a musician carrying an instrument slips and falls on ice that should have been removed by the casino after a winter storm, the instrument could end up badly damaged. The casino must remunerate the musician for their lost instrument.
Lost wages: Victims lose income as they receive medical care. Someone who is in the hospital cannot work, and anyone sent home may require bed rest. Victims that return to work may not be on the same career track. Lost earnings ensure the family’s financial security. A lawsuit may also request payment for job training or vocational rehabilitation.
Pain and suffering or loss of companionship: The victim may have babysat their grandchildren, looked after a younger sibling, or even cared for a disabled family member. The family must grapple with this loss, change the lifestyle, and spend money it does not have. The severity of the situation often increases damage sought in a lawsuit.
Punitive damages: The court typically reserves punitive damages for violent or malicious acts. When a lawyer files a lawsuit, they will present evidence showing the defendant was malicious. Only a judge or jury may award punitive damages. New Jersey caps punitive damages at five times the compensatory damages award up to $350,000.
New Jersey imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits from the date of the accident. Grieving families often get wrapped up in the loss they have suffered. Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible before the deadline passes.
What if Someone Died in an Accident?
A lost loved one or family member cannot file a lawsuit for their injuries. The estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit, and monetary damages paid go to the estate’s beneficiaries. While grieving friends or extended family members may want to file suit, they cannot. Only a dependent spouse, child, parent, or sibling may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Aside from damages for the victim’s injuries or medical expenses, lost income, and the family’s pain and suffering, a wrongful death suit seeks damages for:
- Burial expenses
- Estate and administrative expenses
- Punitive damages
As with a personal injury lawsuit, New Jersey law limits legal action to two years after the date of death, punitive damages are only available at trial, and the parties may settle out of court at the plaintiff’s request.
Why is a Personal Injury Lawyer Helpful?
A lawyer provides the family with legal guidance during this trying time. The victim may have accrued medical debt, lost their job, been disabled, or worse. Lawyers consult with clients, review documentation, and determine if the case is viable. Lawyers who proceed with a claim gather further evidence and seek the truth.
A defendant or defendants receive notification through a process server, and the lawsuit proceeds. Clients who are suing for damages receive guidance as the defendant may wish to settle. Lawyers are natural negotiators, and they will negotiate on the client’s behalf. Lawyers are present for depositions, when documents are signed, and advise their clients of all settlement offers.
A lawyer understands if their client is getting a good deal. If so, the lawyer will settle the claim. If not, the lawyer will go to trial with the evidence they collected. A lawyer prepares victims or family members to testify, and they argue the case in open court. If necessary, a lawyer will appeal to the state appellate court.
Atlantic City Personal Injury Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Victims Injured in Various Types of Accidents
If you were hurt in an accident through no fault of your own, reach out to the Atlantic City personal injury lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm for assistance. We help clients seek compensation and move on with their lives. Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.