I was recently hit by a car as a pedestrian. I suffered no major injuries, however 3 weeks after the accident I can barely walk, and when I do, my knee and hip are in severe pain. I live in North Jersey, where the accident happened, but am staying in South Jersey with my parents now. Where should I get a lawyer? I've tried to get a lawyer here in South Jersey but it seems like they are all trying to refer to lawyers closer to where the accident happened. Also what are they responsible for? Do I have to get all my documents together, find my own doctor, or is the attorney suppose to refer me to one? The last lawyer that was "helping me out" seemed to give me the run around for a bit then told me they were going to refer me to a friend up north again. I just don't know what to do...
You can have any lawyer who is licensed in New Jersey represent you however, for logistical purposes it might make sens to have a lawyer who is closer to the site of the accident take your case. What is important is that you feel comfortable with whichever attorney you choose and that they are responsive to your needs. I am licensed in New Jersey and I would be glad to discuss this case with you at your convenience. You may reach me at 973 467 1060. Best of luck on your search.
What a lawyer can do for you is determine which insurance is responsible for payment of your medical bills. It will not be the insurance of the car that hit you! If you own a car, your own insurance will be responsible for your medical bills. If you don't own a car, but live with a relative who owns a car, their insurance will pay your medical bills. If there is no car in your household, it will be the NJPLIGA (state guaranty fund). It is important to submit the Application for Benefits to the right insurance company and a good lawyer will do this for you. The choice of a doctor is up to you. Typically people want to treat with a doctor that is near where they live for convenience. You can hire a lawyer in North Jersey and see a doctor in South Jersey, not a problem, as long as everyone knowns what they are doing. As far as paperwork, the police report is always helpful when you meet with a lawyer, and the insurance information of any household vehicles. The reasons for this are complicated and may seem irrelevant because you were a pedestrian, but they are necessary. My office is in Jersey City and I would be happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your case and perhaps recommend a competent doctor as well. (201) 798-2711 Good luck.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow your doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to your medical records. Photograph your injuries and the damage done to any vehicle or other property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.
Generally it is good to retain an attorney in the area where the accident occurred and where potential witnesses reside etc. I suggest you continue to seek a personal injury attorney who will undertake your representation.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.
If you reported no injuries at the scene of the accident and didn' follow up for medical assistance for several weeks you may have a hard time proving your injuries were caused by the MVA. As other have said you need to see doctors and have a determination made as to why you are experiencing pain and whether it was caused by the MVA. It may seem obvious to you but you need to prove a connection in court with expert tesitmony. I, personally, never like to refer people to doctors, at least for their intial treatment. Nothing is worse than at trial having a client answer the questions "So how did you find Dr So and So?" with "My lawyer had me go to him." Others may disagree. Find an experienced trial lawyer in northern New Jersey where you live. Word of mouth is best. TV ads are simply paid for advertisments and do not necessarily mean the lawyer has any particular experience or skill in the area. Read the small print at the bottom of the ad. But, I think you need medical evaluation more than you need a lawyer at this juncture.
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