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Michael David Lindner Jr

Michael Lindner’s Answers

470 total

  • Should I get a lawyer for an accident caused by a minor running through a stop sign and causing me to hit him?

    My insurance is insisting I deal with my own policy but I want to go through the other persons insurance because if I go thru mine I will be responsible for deductibles and such. My car was totaled and I have sustained medical injuries and require...

    Michael’s Answer

    Your question is a little unclear, but I am presuming that the minor was driving a car through the stop sign and caused the accident, as opposed you striking a minor pedestrian with your car.

    If my presumption is correct, there are three parts to the case.

    First, regarding the medical bills for your medical treatment. In NJ, that is paid for by your own car insurance whether you like that or not, and unfortunately, you will face, at a minimum, a $250.00 deductible, and then 20% co-pay of the next $4,750 in medical bills. Those amounts could be higher depending on what type of policy you purchased. Also, if you elected your health insurance to be primary, then the medical bills are still paid by you through your own health insurance

    Second is the property damage to your car. This can be paid for by the other driver’s insurance, assuming there is enough coverage for property damage, and that would avoid the likely $500.00 deductible that you would have at a minimum for property damage, if not higher. But this does require some admission immediately from the other side that their driver is 100% at fault which doesn't always happen. It is sometime easier to simply go through your own car insurance, if you have collision, for them to pay for the repairs, and then if the other driver is responsible, wait for the insurance company to go after the other driver and get you the deductible back.

    Third, is your claim for pain and suffering , permanent injuries and lost wages. This would come from the other at fault driver after you are all done your medical treatment or there was some clear determination of the extent and permanency of your injuries. Whether and to what extent you can recover for this third part is highly complex, more difficult than most people believe, and almost impossible without an attorney.

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  • A percentage question

    Can anyone tell me how much an attorney will charge me in a slip and fall case percentagewise? How about if the case goes to trial? Who is responsible for doctor's visits?

    Michael’s Answer

    Assuming client is above 18, then the standard contingency fee is 1/3 percentage of the net recovery, and the rate does not change if the case goes to trial, and doesn’t change because it is a slip and fall case vs auto case vs medical malpractice case. The fee is only paid if the client is successful in getting a settlement or verdict at trial

    If there are any costs incurred for medical treatment not paid for by insurance, or by the other side in settlement, then that is paid by the client out of the net recovery to the client.

    Although that is standard, a client always has the right to retain an attorney on an hourly basis, which would require the client to pay the hourly rate as the case proceeds, typically with a retainer up front, and you pay whether the client wins or loses the case. Almost no one every chooses that option, though there are some rare cases that is in the client’s best interests.

    There are also some attorneys who will charge a slight reduction in the contingency fee, some around 30%, some 29%, some 28%., etc., but I would caution you against selecting an attorney solely based on a slight reduction in the contingency fee. Select based on experience, certified attorney, rapport, etc., and then look to the fee last.

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  • The Uber Insurance Company called me for an Official statement. Should I do it?

    I am still currently looking for a lawyer to help me with this accident case. I was in a uber car and then had a accident. I obtained some injuries, but the Uber insurance company can't give me a final settlement until I finish the treatment. I ca...

    Michael’s Answer

    Call an attorney, the consultation will be free. Don't complain that Uber won't give you a settlement until you finish treatment, in fact, your attorney will explain to you that you should not settle until you are done your treatment, since you wont know until then, the extent of your injuries and the value of the case. You only get one chance to settle a case, and once you settle, if your injuries turn out worse, then you can't come back for more money. Your attorney will also explain to you that there is insurance coverage, either through your own car insurance, if you have it, or through Uber, to get your medical bills paid as you get treatment, with minimal payment out of pocket. Payment for medical bills is different and separate from payment in settlement for your pain and suffering, injuries, lost wages,

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  • Are there any limitations as to how many interrogatories the defense attorney can put forth to the Plaintiff in a civil matter?

    It is my understanding that in a civil matter, often a defense attorney will try to weigh the Plaintiff down with interrogatories to jack up the Plaintiff's costs. So, are there any limitations on the number of interrogatories? Or on how extens...

    Michael’s Answer

    The number, the amount of supplemental interrogatories are limited for certain types of cases, and for some cases, the actual questions are pre-set Form questions. Without knowing the type of case it is difficult to state with certainty, but most likely the number are limited. That said, there are ways to stop the practice if the number becomes abusive and burdensome, though the reality is that the majority of cases are not handled that way; i.e., "to jack up the plaintiff's costs", in fact it is often sometimes just the opposite, as it is the defense that sends out these requests because they can bill their client or insurance company for those requests, and it is as way to "jack up their legal bill".

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  • Looking for a lawyer who thinks my case is worth moving forward?

    I was involved in a accident almost a year ago. The driver that hit me was uninsured and had no drivers lisence. So the car that he was driving was his girlfriend mom's vehicle who had insurance I called their insurance company explaining what ha...

    Michael’s Answer

    First, as long as the car the other driver was in had car insurance, and he was using the car with permission, then that car insurance is responsible for payment of property damage if the other driver was at fault for the accident. The fact that he was personally uninsured shouldn’t change that assessment.

    Second, assuming there was no insurance coverage for the other driver, then your own car insurance would pay for your property damage under the “Uninsured Motorist Property” damage portion of your car insurance. The minimum limit that you must buy in NJ (assuming you didn’t buy a Basic policy, or a “Dollar a Day” Medicaid policy) is $5,000, which based on the fact that you filed in Small Claims (which is for claims under 5,000) should be more than sufficient.

    Third, as mentioned above, if you have a Basic Policy, then you can’t collect under your own policy.

    Fourth, to answer your question about default judgment against the other driver, the Court rules and law does require you to prove that the other driver is not in the active military. As mentioned above, this information is freely available under the Service Members Civil Relief Act website. (though without a social security number, the site can’t be definitive)

    Fifth, depending on the extent of your property damage, it may be worthwhile for you to use a lawyer on an hourly basis or a flat rate basis since this shouldn’t involve a lot of work.

    Lastly, as an aside, you can’t get a judgment against the owner of the car just because she owned the car, unless you can prove that on the date and time the other driver was driving her car, that he was “doing so for her benefit”, which is going to be almost impossible to prove.

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  • My spouse was plaintiff in a hit and run Accident covered under UM. I have a per quod claim...

    I just learned that my husband settled his matter with the insurance carrier. He said that the insurance carrier did not require my signature on the release and the attorney representing us in the matter never contacted me about this settlement. ...

    Michael’s Answer

    When a spouse is injured, then the other spouse has a potential per quod claim – basically a claim where the non-injured spouse receives some compensation for the damages that sustained as a result of their spouses’ injuries. Even though it is a separate claim for damages, it is derivative of the injured spouse’s claim, and can’t stand on its own.

    Typically, for most cases, this is a very minor part of the claim, and many attorneys will not pursue the claim since it reduces their credibility to the jury. For example, say someone broke their leg, and then it healed relatively well. Technically, the other spouse would have a per quod claim for the damages they sustained from helping their spouse out when the spouse was hobbled - but why would you pursue that? A jury would just be irritated and angered that you are asking money for the time you spent taking your spouse to the doctor, or heling them with some chores around the house for a short period of time. Even if they did give you some money, it would be minimal.

    Conversely for seriously injured patients (think of someone in a wheelchair, or permane4ntly brain damaged in need of round the clock care for the rest of their life), the per quod claim could sometimes In extreme cases be as big as the underlying injury to the brain damaged person.

    So, some attorneys choose not to include those claims, and if that was the case here, then you are not required to sign the release, and you are not part of the settlement.

    Even if you were part of the settlement, assuming you and your spouse are still married, the money does not come in 2 separate checks, and except in very unusual situations, there is not an allocation of a certain amount to your spouse for the injuries, and a separate amount to you for per quod amount.

    Further as a practical matter, when it came down to the final settlement, I doubt that the total settlement amount would have been any different if a per quod claim was included (again, except in extreme cases). I can tell you that when we value cases for settlement, in the majority of cases, the attorney and the insurance company just look at the injured persons damages and injuries, and the per quod claim is irrelevant.

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  • NJ at-fault driver liability for medical expenses incurred as a result of accident

    I was rear ended at high velocity last week, i sustained injury on head & sent to ER by ambulance, i do have PIP though with a high deductible. I am a NJ resident & the at-fault driver was NY resident (therefore has a minimum bodily injury prot...

    Michael’s Answer

    With very few exceptions, your medical bills, with that very high deductible, will be paid by your own car insurance regardless of the status of the at fault driver’s State of resident, and regardless of the at-fault driver’s policy limits.

    However, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy can impact your ability to pursue pain and suffering (and other damages for your injuries, including reimbursement of the deductible) which would depend on which insurance carrier provided the insurance, and whether they are an insurance carrier “that is authorized to do business in NJ”.

    If they are an authorized insurance carrier in NJ (which an attorney or you can verify online), then your ability to get pain and suffering, and other damages, would depend on whether you selected the ‘limitation on lawsuit option” in your car policy.

    Lastly, if the other driver has minimal bodily injury protection, and your inured sustained turned out to be worth more than those limits, you would look back to your own car insurance policy to see your levels of underinsured motorists limits. If your UIM limits are greater than the at-fault driver’s bodily injury limits, you may have a claim for underinsured benefits from your own car insurance. If your limits are the same or less, then you do not.

    You should consult with a personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident cases. Good luck

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  • If my damages in a personal injury auto case is worth more than the tortfeasor's policy limits, could I collect from my own UIM?

    The tortfeasor has a policy of 100/300 and the UIM for the vehicle I occupied as a passenger is 25/50. There is another vehicle insured under this policy for the same UIM amount. I'm not sure if stacking is allowed in NJ. I was told that...

    Michael’s Answer

    UIM is not available. Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when the tortfeasor is underinsured compared to your limits of your car insurance that is available. Here the 100K is more than the 25K, therefore no UIM. Further no stacking of UM or UIM policies in NJ. You can, with some assistance, get the remaining 70K of medical bills paid, but that is just for bills incurred, not for pain and suffering.

    I am not sure who told you that your injuries are worth 325K, but if they are, then you should consult with an attorney ASAP

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  • Can i receive it in advance settlement

    hi my name is julian and when i was a minor about 15 years old a drunk driver hit me and my family and we had a settlement i have received 15000 after lawyer cost it went to 12000 for me since i was a minor my mother had put it in an account i rec...

    Michael’s Answer

    You seem to be describing a structured settlement since your first payment was at age 21 and another one at age 25. The lawyer who handled the case for you should have a copy of the actual structured settlement payout so you would know exactly the date and the exact amount (and there may be more payments to come, since a total of about $30,000 seems low for a structure).

    Unfortunately, if it is a structured settlement, you will be unable to get a court to modify it. Your only recourse, if you need the money right away, is to sell the structured settlement to a company that buys them. There are a number of them out there. The one thing they all have in common is that they pay you only cents on the dollar for the structured settlement payout. Assuming they were even interested, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them offer you $2,500.00 now for the rights to the $15,000 payout in three years.

    Even if you do want to do that, and even if they wanted to buy it from you, it still needs court approval of the sale, and a judge might not allow it, though most do so grudgingly.

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  • Do we need an attorney?

    My son was in a head on collision. Another vehicle hydroplaned across the center line into my sons lane causing the accident. The jaws of life had to be used to get him out. He was very fortunate in that he only got a broken toe on one foot and cr...

    Michael’s Answer

    The easy answer is yes, you most certainly do need an attorney. Contact an experienced certified civil trial attorney who will give you a free consultation.

    Since the consultation is free, there is no reason not to contact one to understand the options.

    Property damage issues, medical bills, payments of medical bills, handling of co-pays and deductibles, coordination of medical care if out of state, and potential claim for pain and suffering damages. All of these issues need to be discussed.

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