What is unique about truck accident and injury claims?

Tractor-Trailer Truck Accident Attorney Morris and Sussex County NJ

Auto Accident Attorney Representing Clients in Denville, Newton, Parsippany, Dover, Rockaway, Hopatcong, Mt. Olive, Netcong and across Morris and Sussex County

Tractor-Trailer Trucks Accident Attorney Morris and Sussex County NJThe effects of a truck in an auto accident are often much different than the effects on a smaller vehicle due to its size and force. From dump trucks to tractor-trailer trucks full of cargo, accidents involving trucks are often very serious. According to 2014 statistics by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 72 percent of trucking accidents that resulted in fatalities involved tractor-trailers.

The severity of injuries sustained in trucking accidents is, generally speaking, more serious than those sustained in car accidents. Because of the weight of the truck, which is generally at least 8,000 pounds compared to the 2,000 pounds a car weighs, a truck’s impact is far greater.  Injuries sustained in a trucking accident may have life-changing impacts such as spinal cord trauma, severe burns, crushed bones, brain injury, and concussion; and fatalities are much more common at the hands of a trucking accident.

Differences in Insurance Claims for Car and Truck Accidents

In addition to the severity of injuries possibly sustained in a trucking accident, the process for filing a report after a truck accident, an insurance claim, and the general outcomes, are different.

Compensation

Compensation for claimants in a truck accident is often much higher than that of a car accident due to the weight of the truck and the potential severity of impacts.

Liability

Determining liability in a truck accident claim is more complicated than the process in a two-car accident claim. Because trucks are more difficult and dangerous to maneuver and have such impairments as larger blind spots, a longer distance for braking, and heavy loads, they are at risk for causing more serious accidents than cars of smaller sizes. Because of their weight, tractor-trailers take over 500 feet to come to a complete stop after braking, compared to the just over 300 feet required for a car to stop after applying brakes.

While trucks are more likely to contribute to accidents because of the actual size and weight of the vehicle, smaller cars are more likely to contribute to accidents because of driver negligence.

Get in touch with a Morris and Sussex County Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free ConsultationLiability could fall partially on the driver of the truck and partially on the driver of the car, or partial fault could lie in the hands of the truck’s manufacturer. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration noted that in 2014, 61 percent of large trucking accidents involved two cars, and 21 percent involved multiple vehicles, further muddying the liability claims.

In the case that the driver is a contractor, the process for filing becomes more complicated still, and it is imperative to hire an accident lawyer who can support your claim and ensure that you get the fair compensation for medical expenses and physical losses incurred as a direct result of the accident, whether it was the truck driver or the truck manufacturer who was at fault.

Legal Resources

The New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission Accident Reports is the same for all autos including trucks; however, the legal resources trucking companies have available to conduct their own accident report for future evidence base differs from those of most private drivers.  Truck companies are equipped with contracted lawyers, and when one of their trucks is involved in an accident, they often send a lawyer directly to the accident scene to create a comprehensive accident report. As the driver of a car involved in a trucking accident, you will want to ensure that you have specific, documented evidence gathered at the scene to support your claim and the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.

Call an Experienced Morris and Sussex County Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you have been involved in a trucking accident, it is imperative that you get the support of an experienced accident and personal injury lawyer. Contact our law office to schedule a consultation with an experienced member of our legal team, and we will help you recover your fair share.

At The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, we have extensive experience helping clients and families recover full and fair compensation for truck accident injuries of all kinds in Denville, Newton, Parsippany, Dover, Rockaway, Hopatcong, Mt. Olive, Netcong, Morris County, and Sussex County.

To speak with Michael Burakoff and our seasoned team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding any kind of truck accident, your options for holding responsible parties liable and securing financial compensation, and how exactly we can help you to do so, please contact us online, or through either our Morristown office or our Newton office at (973) 520-0525.

Traumatic Brain Injuries From Car Accidents Attorney Morris County NJ

Auto Accident and Brain Injury Attorney Serving Clients Across Morris and Sussex County with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

Traumatic Brain Injuries From Car Accidents Attorney Morris County NJAccording to Science Daily and a CDC report, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) account for roughly 30 percent of all injury deaths in the United States. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths related to traumatic brain injury among people aged 15 to 34. Between 2006 to 2014, the number of people seeking treatment for TBI and TBI-related deaths increased by 53%. Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days or the rest of their lives. Early diagnosis and treatment are one of the most important ways to prevent many impairments or death.

Despite there not being as much research conducted into the link between car crashes and TBI, as compared to football players and military personnel, in general, the process of healing from a brain injury can take a very long time, if recovery is even possible. Brain injuries can affect the victims’ physical, cognitive, and even emotional health. If you or a loved one has suffered an accident leading to a brain injury, you and your family may be entitled to financial compensation to cover damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitation, and much more.

I Have No Visible Wounds. How Do I Know if I Have a Brain Injury?

The physical symptoms of brain injury (i.e. headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of consciousness, trouble with sleep, coordination issues, dizziness, seizures, etc) vary and can take minutes, hours, days, or even weeks to manifest.

Open head wounds may be an obvious sign of a head injury, but the skull doesn’t need to have been penetrated or fractured for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to occur.  In car accidents, the sheer force of the accident can cause the brain to collide against the internal surface area and bone of the skull. When a moving head quickly stops, the brain and your head continue its forward movement, striking the skull’s interior. The result is often bruising of the brain (i.e., a contusion) and bleeding (i.e., hemorrhaging), two types of injuries often invisible and undetectable at the scene of the accident, or at the time of injury.

Important Steps to Take After a Sussex County Motor Vehicle Accident

In the immediate aftermath of an accident always seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you may have sustained an injury which has yet to present symptoms. Waiting to visit a doctor can negatively impact a future personal injury. A doctor will be able to determine your injuries through an examination. This will ensure a brain injury diagnosis as soon as possible so you can receive the proper medical treatment you need. A diagnosis from your doctor will also link your injury to your accident. Your physician will rule out any previous conditions as to the cause of your TBI and attribute it to the actual accident and not something other than the car accident.

Brain injuries can be life-altering, and your condition may lead to permanent disability – preventing you from ever returning to work. Even in cases where TBI victims are able to return to work, permanent brain damage can significantly impact their lives. Fortunately New Jersey Civil Courts recognize these damages and frequently award higher payouts for victims of catastrophic injuries.

File An Accident Claim With Your Insurer

Always notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident to protect your rights to collect benefits. You do not have to discuss the details of the accident with your own insurance company before you talk to an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer. You should not talk to a representative of any other insurance company before you talk to an independent attorney. You should not sign any paperwork, releases or settlement agreements before you consult a lawyer.

Newton Accident Attorney Recovers Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injuries

Newton Traumatic Brain Injury Accident Attorney Recovers CompensationTo recover full and fair compensation for your injuries, our Newton attorney will need to prove that you were involved in an accident, your accident was directly caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, and that your injuries were the direct result of the accident in question.

Medical expenses can exceed expectations due to the numerous essentials tests for diagnosing the amount of brain damage the victim suffered. The severity of the situation may require a skull, neck, and spinal x-rays along with an MRI or CT scan. Once someone is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, they will require substantial therapy and treatment to help with his recovery, if recovery is possible.

Morris and Sussex County Attorney Handles Motor Vehicle Accident and TBI Cases

It is important to remember that once your personal injury settlement is final, there is no second chance to recover damages for a lifetime of medical bills, missed work, and other damages. Before signing any paperwork or agreeing to a lump sum settlement from an insurance provider, speak to our experienced Newton attorney to understand your legal standing.

Brain injury cases can be very complex, so don´t take any chances and consult with a traumatic brain injury attorney before pursuing your TBI lawsuit.  These types of cases require both legal and medical expertise.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, call an experienced injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff at (973) 520-052 or submit an online form.

Morris County Car Accident Lawyer Pursues Fair Compensation for Your Injuries

Personal Injury Attorney providing counsel Across Morris and Sussex County with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

Morris County Car Accident Lawyer Pursues Fair Compensation for Your InjuriesAutomobile insurance in New Jersey is known as “no-fault insurance” because no matter who or what causes your car accident, this insurance ensures that every driver has certain losses covered, including medical expenses. Typically injured drivers and passengers must first turn to their own personal-injury-protection (PIP) car insurance coverage to get compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other out-of-pocket losses after a crash, regardless of who might have been at fault.

At the Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, we take the time to analyze your claim, go over your legal options, fight for your rights and litigate on your behalf against the insurance companies. We consider that an agreement between the involved parties is not an option unless the insurance company offers an amount that justly compensates our injured client.

Call (973) 520-0525 to reach one of our offices or visit our website to access our online form to schedule an appointment for a complimentary initial consultation.

Sussex County, NJ Car Accident Attorneys Encouraging You To Protect Yourself

There are so many factors to consider in an accident. There are very basic things that you can do to assist yourself.  If you are hurt, go to the doctor.  Contact your insurance company. Obtain a police report. Even though NJ state law does not require calling law enforcement unless the accident results in injury, death or damage in excess of $500, a police report can help determine who was at fault.

If an occupant of the other car was hurt you should not discuss the accident.  You do not know how injured the person may and they may eventually decide to sue your insurance company and you personally.  If the passenger has difficulty getting medical reimbursements or has suffered a catastrophic injury, they will need to seek recovery from you and your company. They may try to use any and all information they have to assist in their recovery.

Photograph the Accident Scene and Injuries

Take pictures of your vehicle and the scene (i.e., skid marks, weather conditions, where the vehicles landed, your injuries) as soon as possible after the accident. It is difficult to dispute the severity of the physical and automotive damage if pictures are taken at the scene.

Time Period to File an Accident Claim With Your NJ Insurer

You should always notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident to protect your rights to collect benefits. Your policy should state the time period you have to report your accident to your insurance provider.  The usual window of time is no more than seven days, but sometimes it may be up to 30 days. If possible, it is recommended not to wait that long as reporting immediately is best. Because New Jersey is a no-fault state, you should report the accident and your intent to file a claim to your insurer. If the at-fault driver was uninsured, then your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will come into play.

Basics of Communicating With Your Insurance Company

You do not have to discuss the details of the accident with your own insurance company before you talk to an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer. You should not talk to a representative of any other insurance company before you talk to an independent attorney. You should not sign any paperwork, releases or settlement agreements before you consult a lawyer.

Do not admit fault. Giving you insurance company too much info can detract from your claim. Stick to the basic facts of the accident, like:

  • you were in an accident
  • the location of the accident
  • the date and time of the accident
  • a short description of what occurred (i.e., I was side-swiped).

Document Your Injuries and Treatment with a Diary

Keeping a daily or weekly diary of any resulting injuries, treatment, and progress can help determine the nature and severity of the physical or psychological trauma you endured.

Bad Faith Insurance Claims Lawyer Morristown, NJ

Bad Faith Insurance Claims Lawyer Morristown, NJAlthough you are working with your own insurer, the company is not on your side. Insurance companies and their adjusters are focused on paying you as little as possible for your claim.

If you are having difficulty obtaining the compensation you deserve, our attorneys can handle the details of a bad faith insurance claim on your behalf. We have decades of experience handling various personal injury claims and can help you get the compensation you need.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Our Newton or Morristown Offices Today

Attorney Michael Burakoff has more than 35 years of motor vehicle accident, personal injury trial, and negotiation experience. He has fought for medical expense, lost income, and pain and suffering personal injury compensation for the victims of serious and catastrophic injuries in towns across Morris County and Sussex County, including Newton, Netcong, Dover, Hopatcong, Mt. Olive, Rockaway, Hanover, Parsippany, and Morristown.

For more information or to schedule an appointment regarding bad faith insurance, a third-party claim, or issues related to uninsured or underinsured motorists, please contact us through our website or call us (973) 520-0525  to properly file your case and start working on your fair compensation.

Morristown Hit and Run Accident Injury Attorney

Serving Injured patients in North Jersey Clients with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

Morristown Hit and Run Accident AttorneyA car accident is a scary experience, but more startling is a hit-and-run when the car that struck you leaves the scene of the accident. AAA defines a hit-and-run accident as one in which at least one party involved in the car accident leaves the scene without offering sufficient information. In New Jersey, between 2006 and 2016, there were over 400 deadly hit-and-run accidents, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are on the rise in New Jersey and across the country. A 2018 study by AAA found that on average, 682,000 hit-and-run accidents have occurred annually since 2006. The years between 2009 and 2016 showed a 60 percent increase in instances of hit-and-runs, and by 2016 records showed that one hit-and-run occurs every minute in the U.S., a treacherous statistic for drivers. So what do you do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run?

First steps after being in a hit-and-run

Being involved in a hit-and-run, like any accident, is a stressful experience. Here are some steps to take after the incident, that should prove to help your physical and mental well-being, as well as, gather as much information as you can that will help in filing a claim and protecting your rights.

Stay Calm After an Auto Accident

The most important thing is to stay calm. Deep breathing will help your physical and emotional body come back to balance after the stress response has been triggered, and this will also help you find the mental concentration to notice important elements of the accident scene that may be of importance for your accident claim and case.

Gather and Write Down Any Information You Can About the Fleeing Vehicle

Write down the license plate, make, and model of the fleeing car if you are able. This information supports authorities in their search and provides important information to your car insurance carrier as it relates to your accident claim. Do not, under any circumstances, follow the car, even if you were unable to gather the information that would help authorities find the guilty party. Even in the absence of that information, there are options to recover losses incurred in the accident. Stay at the scene of the accident in a safe place, and await authorities.

Seek Medical Attention, Talk to Witnesses, Note Time and Details of the Scene

As in any car accident, the most important priority is to seek medical support if necessary. Gather the contact information of any witnesses that were present for the accident. Additionally, make a note of the exact time and location at which the accident occurred, and any other details regarding the scene and event. Then, file a police report and an accident claim with your auto insurance carrier.

What auto insurance coverage options are thereafter a hit-and-run?

Contact Our Morristown Personal Injury and Hit and Run Attorney TodayBy law, all New Jersey auto insurance includes Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and it is through this avenue that you will be able to seek recovery for losses. In order to pursue this route, however, it is imperative that you have the legal support of an experienced accident attorney to ensure that the full extent of your medical expenses and material damages are recovered.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which includes Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) coverage handling medical expenses incurred as a direct result of a hit-and-run accident and Uninsured Motorist Property Damage handling car repairs, is set into motion when the other vehicle does not have insurance coverage. This would be the case in a hit-and-run, as you don’t have access to the auto insurance information of the liable party.

Contact Our Morristown Personal Injury and Hit and Run Attorney Today

All drivers in New Jersey and across the country have a legal responsibility to remain at the scene of an accident in which they have taken part or risk legal penalties. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, contact a member of our experienced legal team today. We will walk you through your next steps, options, and serve as a liaison for the auto insurance provider as Uninsured Motorist Coverage is activated to ensure that all of your car repairs and medical expenses are covered to the extent of your legal rights.

At The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, we have extensive experience helping accident victims and their families to recover full and fair compensation in New Jersey, Morris County, and Sussex County, including towns like East Hanover, Morristown, Parsippany, Denville, Dover, Netcong, Hopatcong, and Newton.

To speak with Michael Burakoff and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding a bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, hit and run accident, or any other kind of accident, your options for recovering a fair compensation, please contact us online, or through either our Morristown office or our Newton office at (973) 520-0525.

Whiplash Injury Attorneys Morris County and Sussex County NJ

Personal Injury Attorney Serving North Jersey Clients with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

Motor Vehicle Accidents Attorney in Morris County, NJCar accident and other motor vehicle accident injuries can have devastating effects on an individual’s physical and their family´s financial well-being. Many car accidents can result in whiplash, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or catastrophic injuries which require medical treatment. Whether they are low-impact accidents or ones that result in serious injuries, these injuries can result in extremely high medical costs and loss of enjoyment of life for a period of time, but may not necessarily be considered “permanent.” Thus may not qualify for a personal injury claim in the case that the injury victim only has a limited right to sue.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident of any kind, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering through a car accident personal injury claim.

At The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, we have successfully recovered compensation for accident injury victims and their families in towns across Morris County and Sussex County, including Hopatcong, Parsippany, Netcong, Newton, Dover, Denville, Mt. Olive, East Hanover, Morristown, and more. Attorneys who “handle” auto accident claims are a dime a dozen in New Jersey. However, if you have been seriously injured in a car crash, you deserve a New Jersey car accident attorney who will do more than just “handle” your auto accident claim, and the family-focused approach of our firm will provide you and your family with exactly that kind of “extra mile” service that you truly need and deserve.

Please, call our Morristown or Newton office to discuss your unique needs, concerns, and the situation regarding any kind of car accident injury with our highly knowledgeable legal team today in a free and confidential consultation.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries drivers or passengers suffer. Often it occurs when a vehicle is rear-ended or struck from behind by another vehicle. The sudden rear impact can cause hyperextension of the neck. As the seat pushes the occupant’s midsection forward the head and neck fall back. As a result, the head and neck can enter hyperflexion as they attempt to return to a normal position.

Common Symptoms of Whiplash, Low Impact Neck, & Spine Injuries

Motor Vehicle Accidents Attorney in Morris County, NJWhiplash symptoms may be present at the time of the accident, or there could be a delay of up to 24 hours before they appear. Some symptoms may not be obvious even when they are connected to serious medical conditions. Neck and head may not manifest until days or weeks after an accident, and can include:

  • pain and stiffness or limited range of motion
  • discomfort or numbness and tingling in the arms or fingers
  • clicking/grating
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD)

Though a mild case of whiplash will heal with time and treatment, in some cases, injuries sustained in relatively low-speed impacts can be serious enough to require surgery. Due to the fact that some of these soft-tissue injuries may not show up on an X-ray or MRI, accident victims may have to fight for the compensation they need to recover.

Seek Medical Care Immediately

After a car accident, you should always immediately seek medical care. Even is you’re unsure if you have a whiplash injury, a doctor will be able to determine your injuries through an examination. This will ensure a whiplash diagnosis as soon as possible so you can receive the proper medical care you need. A diagnosis from your doctor will also link your injury to your accident. Your physician will rule out any previous conditions as to the cause of your whiplash, and attribute your whiplash to the actual accident and not something other than the car accident.

File a Police Report after a New Jersey Auto Accident

Failing to report the accident may result in you being charged in accordance with NJ Rev Stat §39:4-130, and possibly being fined anywhere from $30 to $100, in addition to the suspension or loss of your driving license. Even if you immediately report the accident via telephone, you may be still found guilty of failing to report an accident in New Jersey if you do not provide the written report.

Follow Your Doctors’ Orders & Treatment Plan

This may shorten your recovery period and could demonstrate the severity of your injury.

File a Claim With Your Insurance Company

You should always notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. Because New Jersey is a no-fault state, you will report the accident and your intent to file a claim to your insurer. Although you are working with your own insurer, the company is not on your side. Insurance companies and their insurance adjusters are solely focused on paying out as little as possible for your claim.

If you are having difficulty obtaining the compensation you deserve, our attorneys can handle the details of a bad faith insurance claim on your behalf. We have decades of experience handling various personal injury claims and can help you get the compensation you need.

Gather Proof or Evidence to Support Your Accident Claim

  • maintain detailed records of all information pertaining to your whiplash injury,
  • ask medical providers for your records and doctors’ notes regarding your injury,
  • obtain copies of relevant medical documentation such as imaging records (MRI, CAT, etc) medical testing, prescription drugs, and other related medical documentation,
  • keep all medical bills from your whiplash treatment to show the expenses you incurred due to the injury,
  • obtain records on lost wages, missed or leave-related work records of work for whiplash treatment from your employer, and
  • take notes on how your injuries affect your day-to-day life.

All relevant information and documentation can be immensely useful in supporting your claim and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Contact A Morris County Car Accident Injury Attorney Today

Motor Vehicle Accidents Attorney in Morris County, NJAt The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, our legal team has more than 35 years of experience helping clients to recover the compensation they need and deserve for car accident injuries, including those suffering from whiplash, in towns across New Jersey, Morris County, and Sussex County, including Parsippany, Newton, Dover, Netcong, Hopatcong, East Hanover, Denville, Mt. Olive, Morristown, and more.

Our firm is unique among personal injury law firms in that we focus on working closely not only with our clients but their families as well. Attorney Michael Burakoff understands just how difficult it can be for families to undergo the stress and hardship that a serious injury can cause, and as such beliefs in taking every legal step necessary to protect injury victims’ rights, obtain compensation for economic injuries, and help their entire family to recover from the tragedy of a serious car accident.

To speak with Michael Burakoff and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding any kind of car accident injury or wrongful death, your options for making a successful personal injury recovery, and how exactly we can help you to do so, please contact us online, or through either our Morristown office or our Newton office at (973) 520-0525.

Insurance Companies Bad Faith Claims in Morris County, NJ

Bad faith: Suing Your Insurance Company in Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists ClaimsYour insurer has an obligation to act in good faith when you file your claim. The company shouldn’t try to avoid its duty to investigate your claim or pay you. If they do, they are acting in bad faith. NJ drivers are legally required to carry motor vehicle insurance. Minimal insurance policies which will not cover any damages incurred when motor vehicle accidents result in major property damage or serious injury. You may want to sue your insurance company because of the coverage denial, failure to investigate a claim, failure to negotiate or even attempt a reasonable settlement, or even failure to pay your claim in a reasonable amount to time when their liability has been clearly established.

You have the right to hold your insurance company accountable when they do not treat your policy fairly. You should not be faced with potentially catastrophic financial ruin because you did not receive the money you are owed.

Personal Injury Attorney Providing Counsel in North Jersey Clients with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

The uninsured and underinsured motorists’ attorney of The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff has extensive experience serving motor vehicle accident victims across Morris and Sussex County towns including Newton, Morristown, Roxbury, Dover, East Hanover, Morris Plains, Andover, Chatham, and across Northern New Jersey. Attorney Burakoff has practiced personal injury law exclusively since starting his practice in 1976. This concentrated focus allows our firm to offer well informed and high-quality legal services for clients in need. We are committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve.

Call our Morristown office or our Newton office today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential personal injury claim for a wrongful car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any other type of motor vehicle accident.

Can I sue my insurance company?

Yes. Many insurance companies do not have their clients’ best interests in mind and are motivated by profits. Insurers employ highly-skilled attorneys who give the company an advantage over the injured party.

What is a bad faith claim?

In Pickett v. Lloyd’s, 131 N.J. 457, 621 A.2d 445, the New Jersey Supreme Court first recognized first-party bad faith claims and determined that an:

“the insurance company may be liable to a policyholder for bad faith in the context of paying benefits under a policy.  The scope of that duty is not to be equated with simple negligence.  In the case of denial of benefits, bad faith is established by showing that no debatable reasons existed for denial of the benefits.  In the case of processing delay, bad faith is established by showing that no valid reasons existed to delay processing the claim and the insurance company knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that no valid reasons supported the delay.”

Under New Jersey law, if an insurer breaches their common law duty (i.e., good faith and fair dealing), an insured person can recover up to the limits of their policy as well as consequential bad faith-related damages against a first-party insurer only if they are able to demonstrate that the insurer:

  • lack of a reasonable basis for denying the claim,
  • unreasonably delaying its processing, and
  • the insurer’s knowledge or reckless disregard that it was acting unreasonably.

What is the difference between an uninsured and underinsured motorist claim?

Basic auto insurance coverage is mandatory for all drivers in New Jersey. Although not required, many drivers also carry uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage.

An uninsured motorist (UM) claim is asserted by an insured against its own insurance company when the insured is involved in an automobile accident with another driver who has no insurance or cannot be located.

Bad faith: Suing Your Insurance Company in Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists ClaimsAn underinsured motorist (UIM) claim is asserted by an insured against its insurance company when the other driver is underinsured.

UM and UIM provide compensation for personal injuries, and because the insured is seeking recovery under his or her own policy of insurance, they are first-party insurance coverages and they are considered to be as opposed to third-party insurance coverages.

Insurance companies are very much aware that they have no obligation to pay all claims, just those claims that the uninsured or underinsured person would be responsible for paying. If it doesn’t pay your claim, your insurer which you pay premiums to is acting as the insurance company for the person who injured you and damaged your property.

What is Senate Bill NJ S2144 or the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”)?

The basis of the bill relates to the creation of a private cause of action for violation of the New Jersey Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (“UCSPA”). UCSPA also known as NJ Rev Stat § 17B:30-13.1, prohibits insurers from engaging in various deceitful business practices, such as misrepresentation of facts or denial of a claim without a reasonable investigation.

Having passed the New Jersey Senate this bill is currently pending before the New Jersey Assembly’s Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. It establishes remedies for violations of the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (i.e., bad faith delay or denial of claims for insurance benefits), which previously could only be brought by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance.

A claimant would not be required to prove that there was recurring misconduct by the insurer that would indicate “a general business practice,” Most significant is that the proposed bill would allow the recovery of treble damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, and extra-contractual damages.

Contact a Newton and Morristown Injury Attorney Today

Personal injury and auto accident attorney Michael P. Burakoff takes pride in protecting the legal rights of motor vehicle accident victims across local Morris County and Sussex County communities such as Florham Park, Mt. Olive, Morristown, Newton, Dover, Rockaway, and all of Northern New Jersey.

Our firm will work with not only our clients but also their families throughout the legal process. Attorney Burakoff believes in putting the attorney-client relationship first and foremost, which creates an environment where our clients’ needs and concerns are heard loud and clear.

To speak with a member of our qualified legal team regarding your motor vehicle accident and your potential for financial compensation, please contact us online or call our Morristown office or our Newton office at (973) 520-0525 for a free and confidential consultation.

Low-Impact Accidents and Serious Injury Attorneys Morris County NJ

Trusted Car Accident Injury Attorney Serving Clients Across Morris and Sussex County with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

Low-Impact Accidents and Serious Injury Attorneys Morris County NJOne of the most common mistaken beliefs about motor vehicle accidents is that low impact collisions where an individual may not receive direct impact to their body cannot cause serious injury. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Though, low-impact car accidents, typically “fender benders,” are common, they can be the cause of some serious injuries. Even when these accidents only cause minimal physical damage to the vehicles, the occupants may not be so lucky.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries drivers or passengers suffer. Often it occurs when a vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle. The sudden rear impact can cause hyperextension of the neck. As the seat pushes the occupant’s midsection forward the head and neck fall back. As a result, the head and neck can enter hyperflexion as they attempt to return to a normal position.

Lumbar spine injuries can occur even in low impact collisions. The lumbar spine is made up of the five largest vertebrae as well as the strongest of the muscles of the spine. A sprain to the lumbar spine is often particularly painful and may result in limited mobility, swelling, bruising as well as tenderness, and may severely hinder your ability to perform daily activities.

Herniated discs are not uncommon in low impact motor vehicle accidents. A herniated disc occurs when a disc is displaced and can occur when the neck and spine enter a whiplash effect. A herniated disc can place pressure on the spinal cord or its surrounding nerves causing intense pain.

Spinal Cord Injuries, though not usual in low impact collisions, have been known to occur. These injuries can range from the bruising or excessive pressure to permanent damage to the spinal cord and nerves. Spinal cord injuries can result in total or partial paralysis, loss of sensation in areas of the body in addition to the loss of reflex function.

Common Symptoms of Low Impact Neck and Spine Injuries

It is important to note that injuries to the neck and head may not manifest themselves until days or weeks after an accident. Furthermore, some symptoms may not be obvious even when they are connected to serious medical conditions.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Pain and stiffness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Clicking/grating

Though a mild case of whiplash will heal with time and treatment, in some cases, injuries sustained in relatively low-speed impacts can be serious enough to require surgery. Due to the fact that some of these soft-tissue injuries may not show up on an X-ray, accident victims may have to fight for the compensation they need to recover.

The Value of an Experienced Attorney is Morristown Low-Impact Injury Cases

Low-Impact Accidents and Serious Injury Attorneys Morris County NJThose who suffer serious and long-lasting neck and back injuries as a result of low-impact accidents may face many obstacles on the road to obtaining fair compensation needed for recovery. For this reason, proper legal counsel is critical to securing damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.

In these cases retaining an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney is crucial. The use of experienced medical specialists, as well as other specialists, will be needed to establish your injuries and how the accident caused your injuries. An attorney who has the resources, expertise and a record of successfully handling cases involving serious injuries resulting from low-impact accidents will understand how to build you the strongest case possible in order to negotiate a fair settlement for you.

Contact a Morris and Sussex County Motor Vehicle Accidents Attorney

Personal injury attorney Michael Burakoff  has extensive experience representing the victims of motor vehicle accidents. He will help you organize your claim and negotiate a fair settlement amount.

From our NJ offices, we represent injured people in Morris County, Sussex County, including Newton, Morristown, Hopatcong, East Hanover, Mt. Olive, Parsippany, Netcong, Rockaway, Roxbury, Morris Plains, Dover, Florham Park, Allamuchy, Denville, Chatham, and more.

If you or someone you love got into a car accident, contact us online or by phone by calling (973) 520-052 to schedule a free and no-obligation initial consultation.

What do I do after a Morris or Sussex County Car Accident?

Personal Injury and Auto Accident Attorneys Serving North Jersey Clients with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

What do I do after a Morris or Sussex County Car Accident?Car accidents are all too common nowadays with the increase in people owning their own car. As a result, New Jersey roadways now average over 50,000 car crashes per year. Therefore, whether involved in a multi-vehicle accident, bus accident, or any type of motor vehicle accident it is important to know what critical steps you should take. Above all, your own health in these situations should be considered as the most important factor when considering what to do next.

For some people, a car accident can be a very disturbing event where it can be difficult to know what to do in that specific moment, you may block important facts such as the rights you have and eventually how to reach a settlement if in fact you or someone involved has suffered an injury. Those moments are crucial and you need the legal advice of an experienced injury attorney. Call the Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff at (973) 520-0525 and we will walk you through the complicated legal process and provide the counsel you need to make educated decisions for you and your family.

Steps to follow if you are part of a Car Accident

Important steps to follow;

  • As mentioned previously you should first concentrate on your own health. If this means a trip to the hospital, then it is important that you do so
  • Take note of any witnesses so you can check any information at a later date that may be beneficial to the police
  • If you do not need medical treatment, stay where you are until a police officer tells you that you can go. This is particularly significant if anybody was injured at the time of the accident
  • If you leave your car before first, check if any other parties are injured
  • Evaluate any visible damage to the vehicles and make sure you take photos of any damage

When talking to the police after an accident, they will ask you to identify yourself and provide a form of identification. This could be your driving license or any other documents that you might have on your person. At this time you should also provide your insurance details for the vehicle along with the number plate.

What are your rights when talking to a Police Officer?

If the police officer is questioning you about an action that could result in criminal charges then you have the right to remain silent and ask for an attorney. Such charges could include driving under the influence or possession of illegal drugs. However, It important to be patient and cooperate with the police officer in order to prevent the situation worsening.

If the police officer thinks that you violated New Jersey’s traffic laws, then they might issue you a ticket. Once the traffic citation is given, you must sign it and accept it. This, however, is not a formal acceptance of guilt, but a simple agreement that you will attend a court hearing regarding the citation. When attending the court date you may plead not guilty and request a trial. You can also try to negotiate some sort of deal with the prosecutor that may include attending a driver awareness course or paying a fine. Following this, the citation can then be waived and in some cases, taken off your driving record.

How to Report a Car Accident in New Jersey

Following the event of a car accident in New Jersey, you usually have 10 days to file a written accident report. If the crash resulted in death or injury, and/or damage to property (more than $500) you need to file a report to the local authorities. If there was no police officer at the scene then you must report to the nearest office of the county police. Alternatively, you can report to the New Jersey State Police via telephone.

If the driver involved is not able to file a written report and there was another passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident, then that passenger should do so on behalf of the driver. The legal owner of the vehicle involved in the accident can also file the written report on behalf of the driver.

In order to file a written car crash report with the New Jersey MVC, you, your insurance provider, the vehicle owner or legal representative must draft the written report and submit it as a letter to the MVC. In the report, you need to provide as much information as possible including at least:

  • The conditions then existing at the accident,
  • The parties and vehicles involved in the accident and their insurance details
  • The cause(s) of the accident

However, it is important to note exceptions to filing a report. For example, if a police officer has already submitted a written report, then one does not need to be sent to the local law enforcement authorities or the MVC. Make sure you check that this has been sent before deciding not to file a written report.

Failing to File a Report after a NJ Auto Accident

Failing to report the accident may result in you being charged in accordance with the New Jersey Traffic Law 39:4-130. Under this section, you could be fined anywhere from $30 to $100, in addition to the suspension or loss of your driving license. Even if you immediately report the accident via telephone, you may be still found guilty of failing to report an accident in New Jersey if you do not provide the written report. However, if you did not flee the scene of the accident, it may be possible to keep your license from suspension if you are represented by a committed and knowledgeable attorney.

Morristown, Newton or West New York Car Accident Attorneys

If you were injured in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff. We can answer any questions and provide the counsel required to protect your rights. Contact us today at either of our convenient locations in Morristown and Newton, New Jersey. Call us at (973) 520-0525 for a free consultation.

Child Injuries in Morris County Motor Vehicle Accidents

Committed Personal Injury Attorney Serving Clients Across Morris and Sussex County with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ

Child Injuries in Morris County Motor Vehicle AccidentsAccording to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the number one cause of death and injury in children is motor vehicle accidents. For this reason, every state has safety laws designed to safeguard the lives and health of children that far exceed those for adults. In the State of New Jersey, children under 80 pounds or under 8 years old are required to ride in a child seat. It has been proven that using a child safety seat greatly reduces the risk of death and protects children from injuries in the event of a crash. It is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to ensure that children are in a child safety seat whenever they ride in a car.

According to recent statistics published by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than one-third of all children under 13 years old who died in passenger vehicle crashes were not in car seats or not wearing seatbelts.  In fact, on average two children are killed and 338 are injured every day while riding in motor vehicles. Statistics show that the larger the vehicle, the more likely it is that a child who was killed was not wearing a seatbelt or was not in a car seat.

After an accident, the options to get fair compensation are limited and accessible for the ones that know the how-to of the legal process. At the Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, we treat every case like it’s our only case, and strive to achieve a result that will provide financial security to cover all injured-related expenses for you or children involved. Call us (973) 520-052 and ensure your rights are protected and you have a plan for the future after suffering an accident.

Proper Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Saves Lives

According to estimates by the NHTSA approximately 10,000 lives were saved by child restraints from 1975 through 2011. With this in mind they offer the following tips for keeping children safe on New Jersey roads:

  • Be sure the child seat is suitable for your child’s age and size
  • Always set a good example by always wearing your seatbelt
  • Visit SaferCar.gov to determine if your child is in the correct type of seat. You can also register your car seat on the same site to be notified of any recalls
  • You should have the child seat checked by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician approved by the NHTSA
  • Always carefully read the instructions and labels that come with your child’s car seat
  • You should consult your vehicle owner’s manual for information about installing the seat properly in your vehicle
  • Always use the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraint system or seatbelt to install the car seat and use the top tether for securing forward-facing car seats

Sadly, despite all precautions, it is not possible to always protect their children from harm. Constant threats such as distracted, aggressive and intoxicated drivers are always present on our New Jersey’s roadways.

What to do in the event of an accident

There are few things scarier than being in a motor vehicle accident where children are involved.  If it happens here is what you must do:

  1. Stop the car as soon as possible
  2. Turn off the engine
  3. Switch the hazard lights on
  4. Try to remain as calm as possible (children panic when adults panic)
  5. Check for any injuries to yourself or your passengers (for children this may include physically checking them for injuries and not just asking if they are alright)
  6. Call the police and an ambulance immediately if anyone is hurt or if the road is blocked

If there are any injuries or damages it is recommended that you contact an experienced motor vehicle accident and personal injury attorney as soon as possible no matter who is at fault. Protecting yourself and your children does not end with proper safety precautions. It also extends to protecting yourself and your interest after an accident happens.  An experienced attorney can guide you through what comes next.

Contact a Morris and Sussex County Motor Vehicles and Child Safety Attorney

Personal injury attorney Michael Burakoff will be able to be your advisor and answer all of your car accident questions. He will help you to organize your claim and negotiate a fair compensation amount on your family’s behalf. In the event of a car accident, contact us online or by phone, (973) 520-052 to schedule an initial consultation.

Punitive Award Attorney Morris and Sussex County NJ

Personal Injury Attorney Representing Clients across Denville, Newton, Parsippany, Dover, Rockaway, Hopatcong, Mt. Olive, Netcong, Morris County, and Sussex County

Punitive Award Attorney Morris and Sussex County NJIn any personal injury case in New Jersey or across the United States punitive damages and whether should be awarded is always hotly debated. Cases with high punitive awards are often well-publicized, and people who have seriously injured often want to know if their claims qualify for a significant punitive award. Understanding the situations and criteria that lead to high punitive awards is critical to understanding if your personal injury case qualifies.

At The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff our team of legal professionals will work hard side by side with you to provide you with the knowledge you need to successfully face your case. We understand New Jersey state regulations regarding punitive damages award-able in personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits. For a free consultation call at (973) 520-0525. or contact us online, to discuss your case in detail and review your options as it relates to a punitive damages recovery.

Necessary Criteria for Large Punitive Awards

In truth, strict legal requirements make it difficult for most plaintiffs to receive such awards. For a court to award a high punitive award a case must meet the following three primary criteria:

  • The injury was clearly and probably caused by the defendant’s direct actions or omissions. The forensic reconstruction of the event must undeniably demonstrate that the defendant was responsible for the event or series of events that caused the grave injury.
  • The event caused actual injuries with long-term effects. The injury has to be shown to have caused the victim to incur specific costs, including medical expenses, loss of income as well as pain and suffering.
  • The accused demonstrated malice or wanton disregard toward the injured party. There must be provable recklessness or intent involved in the management or execution of a service or the manufacturing or distribution of a defective product.

Receiving a significant punitive award is intentionally made to be an uphill battle by the courts, and the burden of proof usually lies with the victim to prove that such an award is warranted. An attorney with experience with receiving large punitive awards for their clients is a must if you seek to pursue this type of personal injury claim. It is highly recommended to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs as evidence is more likely to be retrievable, and the likelihood of winning a substantial award is greater.

Examples and Rationale for Large Punitive Awards

Occasionally, juries in a personal injury case award a plaintiff punitive damages that represent more than the costs of the plaintiff’s injuries for the purpose of punishing a defendant and sending a message to others in the industry. Here are some examples:

In this workplace accident case, an accident left an employee quadriplegic after he was crushed by the forklift he was operating. The court ultimately approved a $33.9 million settlement as a warning to other employers to improve workplace safety.

An Irvington high-school student was left paralyzed after a beating at school won a $16.3 million verdict from an Essex County jury after the family was able to prove that the school district was negligent. This was done to drive other school districts to improve student safety.

In this Passaic County personal injury case a disabled boy who was struck by a baseball that had been hit with a metal bat sued the manufacturer of the bat, Little League Baseball, and a sporting goods chain. A $14.5 million settlement was awarded with the intention of improving sports equipment safety for children.

In each of these cases, there is a greater good that is served by the punitive award. In most cases, they serve to put organizations or industries on notice about the standards of behavior that the public expects and demands of them. In effect, they serve as a warning to others in the industry or in similar organizations that may be engaging in similar behaviors.

Contact a Morris and Sussex County Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation

It is important to remember that your case will be fought tooth and nail and given that organizations that have the ability to make large punitive payouts usually have large amounts of money for legal defense. For this reason, your choice of attorney will be critical to the success of your case.

Michael P. Burakoff has been successfully helping individuals and companies overcome challenging legal matters for almost thirty (30) years.  Whether helping injured victims or defending his clients from claims, the Law Office Michael P. Burakoff has the same goal: to help our clients find satisfying and effective solutions for their legal matters.

If you suffered an accident, and consider your case deserves specialized attention, don´t hesitate to contact The Law Office Michael P. Burakoff, to schedule a free and confidential consultation regarding your case at (973) 520-0525, or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Morristown and Newton, covering both Morris and Sussex Counties, and we are also willing and able to come to you if you are unable to travel do to your injuries. Let us help you protect your rights today.

Free Consultation

To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973) 520-0525 or toll-free at (877)-830-8211.

You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.