Paying for a Personal Injury Attorney

Paying for a Personal Injury Attorney in Morris County and Sussex County

Morris County NJ Personal Injury AttorneyWhen a person suffers any kind of injury in an accident which was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person or entity, they may be able to seek compensation for their resulting medical expenses, lost income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering through some kind of personal injury claim. However, navigating the complex waters of personal injury law, and securing a successful financial recovery becomes a vastly more likely possibility with the help of a Morris County personal injury lawyer.

But if you have been injured in an accident, and are facing rapidly mounting medical costs along with the very real possibility that your injuries leave you unable to work, how are you supposed to afford a personal injury lawyer in the first place? The answer to this question is through what is known as a “contingency fee”.

Understanding Contingency Fees, Netcong Accident and Injury Attorney

By hiring a Netcong accident and injury attorney on a contingency fee basis, you are essentially agreeing to pay for your attorney’s services via a percentage of whatever compensation they are able to secure for you. In exchange, your attorney will cover all of the costs of your case, including the hiring of expert consultants, court fees, and their own legal fees, and will only take payment for these financial outlays in the event that a recovery is made. If they are unable to secure you a successful personal injury recovery, you do not owe your attorney a dime.

While you are by no means obligated to pay for your attorney via a contingency fee basis, most injury victims elect to do so for the simple reason that they are unable to afford the services of a highly qualified and experienced personal injury attorney in addition to the other expenses their injuries have incurred.

The insurance company from whom you are seeking compensation will certainly hire their own expert attorneys (generally referred to as insurance adjusters), and contingency fees allow injury victims to “level the playing field” by hiring expert counsel of their own without worrying about the cost of doing so.

Creating a Contingency Fee Agreement with your Florham Park Personal Injury Lawyer

When it comes to contingency fee agreements, there are several different ways to structure exactly how your agreement will work with your Florham Park personal injury lawyer.

Firstly, it is important to understand that all contingency fees are capped at 33 1/3% in New Jersey. While paying your attorney one third of whatever you recover may seem high to you, remember that having an attorney on your side during the personal injury process will almost always mean a much greater total recovery is secured than if you had elected to represent yourself, and many injury victims who do not seek legal representation are unable to secure compensation at all. Additionally, this greater total recovery that your attorney can secure for you will often pay for the contingency fee, if not more.

Secondly, it is possible to create a “sliding scale” contingency fee agreement. For example, you may agree to pay 25% in contingency fees if your attorney secures a $500,000 recovery, and pay 33% in contingency fees if your attorney is able to secure a $1,000,000 recovery.

The bottom line is that contingency fees can be adapted to any situation, and adapted in ways which best meet your own unique financial needs as well as the needs of your attorney.

Contact A Morris County Personal Injury Attorney Today

At The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff, we have extensive experience securing full and fair personal injury compensation for clients and families in towns across Morris County and Sussex County, including Netcong, Florham Park, Newton, Morristown, East Hanover, Hopatcong, Dover, Denville, Parsippany, Rockaway, Mt. Olive, Chatham, and more.

Attorney Michael Burakoff takes a unique approach to personal injury law by focusing on working closely not only with his clients, but with their families as well. This is because he understands just how difficult an injury and its results can be to the lives of the injury victim and their family, and is dedicated to keeping his clients and their families as informed, involved, and emotionally and financially secure as possible throughout the personal injury claims process.

If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of accident which was the result of the reckless or negligent actions of another party, including any kind of car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, construction accident, an accident on a dangerous or poorly maintained property, a slip and fall, and more, Michael Burakoff and our legal team are prepared to discuss your unique needs, concerns, and options in a free and confidential consultation. Please, contact us online, or through either our Morristown office or our Newton office today at (973) 520-0525.

In recent years, there’s been increased research into the impact of head injuries on athletes of all ages who play contact sports. Although significant media attention has focused on professional football players, parents, coaches and doctors are increasingly cognizant of the dangers of concussions and other brain injuries in high school athletes and those who are even younger.

Just how prevalent are concussions among teenage athletes? That’s what researchers set out to determine in a recently-published study. About one-fifth of participants (of both genders) in 8th,10th and 12th grades reported having suffered at least one concussion.

Those engaged in contact sports like football, wrestling and hockey were more likely to report diagnoses of multiple concussions during their young lives. White, male athletes in the upper grade levels were most likely to report having suffered concussions.

Of course, the concussion rate could be even higher, because the students surveyed self-reported their concussions. Likely, some suffered concussions that went undiagnosed.

The professor who authored the research published in the issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the more that is known about who suffers from concussions, the more that coaches and parents can do to prevent them. He called for trainers to keep records of concussions and be more vigilant about diagnosing them.

Concussions have varying symptoms. These include nausea, headaches, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping and depression. For most people, the symptoms eventually disappear. However, as we’ve seen with too many professional athletes, repeated concussions can lead to the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Repeated concussions can begin while kids are still very young and continue throughout their athletic careers in high school and college. Parents need to be aware of how their kids’ coaches and trainers manage athletes’ injuries. Do they take them off the field to be checked or are tell them to “tough it out” and get back out there?

If you believe that your child’s concussion or other brain injury could have been prevented or wasn’t properly handled — and he or she suffered harm as a result — you may want to explore your legal options.

Source: National Public Radio, “1 In 5 Teens Reports A Concussion Diagnosis,” Greta Jochem, Sep. 26, 2017

A recent poll, conducted by NBC News, shows that at least three-quarters of all Americans believe that both sororities and fraternities should be deterred from continuing to be allowed to engage in hazing. Among those same respondents, though, 41 percent reportedly expressed concern over whether hazing would ever fully be eradicated on college campuses.

Although it’s a longstanding practice of many college fraternities to have their pledges successfully pass several hazing rituals in order to qualify to enter their ranks, this type of recruiting is illegal in many jurisdictions.

While some states lack laws on the books regarding hazing, others allow educational institutions to choose how to punish it. In some states, though, hazing is crime that may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Among the 50 states, only six states lack anti-hazing laws on the books. Ten states, including New Jersey, consider hazing to be a crime. In this state, it’s a criminal offense that’s likened to a disorderly persons charge.

The New Jersey anti-hazing law applies to any fraternal or student organization. Lawmakers describe hazing as being any type of reckless organization, facilitation, promotion or other type of complicit behavior that can result in bodily harm of another.

A separate portion of the law describes instances in which the victim of a hazing may suffer a serious injury. In a situation in which this occurs, the hazing charge may be upgraded to an aggravated, or fourth degree, offense.

While many hazing practices years ago may have amounted to nothing more than childish pranks, in an social media obsessed world we currently live in, the shock factor bar is constantly being set higher and higher. If you or your loved one has been injured in a hazing ritual, then a New Jersey personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit for damages in your case.

Source: NBC News, “Interactive: Where Hazing Is a Crime in the U.S.,” Sep. 18, 2017

Can a victim of a violent crime sue a lock-maker if an intruder was able to get past a locked door and attack that person? That’s what one woman is going to find out.

The woman was attacked two years ago when she was 26. A man forced his way into her home, where she was alone. He stabbed her 17 times and sexually assaulted her. The man pleaded guilty to a number of charges in connection with the attack, including attempted murder.

The young woman was eventually able to escape and seek help from a neighbor. However, she had to undergo two reconstructive surgeries on her wounds. According to her attorney, she’s still dealing with the effects of the attack.

She’s also suing Kwikset, the manufacturer of the lock and Home Depot, where her father purchased it. The suit claims that the lock was “designed and manufactured with inferior strength components and materials causing it to fail.” Similar locks, according to the suit, have been returned and customers provided refunds after they too failed.

According to the woman’s attorney, the attacker was able to kick the door in, shattering the lock, after she refused him entry. He has also been named in the woman’s lawsuit.

The woman says that as horrible as the attack and its aftermath have been for her, “I want to use it to encourage others.”

We all depend on locks and a multitude of other safety products to protect our families, ourselves and our property. When those products fail to work as they should, it’s wise to find out what legal steps we can take to seek compensation and other damages.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Woman attacked in her Willowbrook home sues door lock maker, Home Depot,” Clifford Ward, Aug. 18, 2017

Waking up in the middle of a surgical procedure is a nightmare that many people have in the days prior to their own surgery. While we trust anesthesiologists to administer the proper anesthesia, unfortunately, things can go wrong.

In fact, two out of every 1,000 patients are victims of something called “anesthesia awareness.” While this term may sound fairly innocuous, at the very least, it can be traumatic.

Patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures have described waking up in the middle of it. One described it this way: “I woke up as they were either drilling or sawing my skull, and it was kind of like an out-of-body experience.”

Another, who was having skins grafts done on his hands, said that he woke up screaming in pain. He described the experience as “horrific.”

Patients who need to undergo surgery that involves anesthesia have every right to discuss their concerns with their surgeon and with their anesthesiologist. Anesthesiologists are not always comfortable talking to patients who are awake and have questions. Nonetheless, they can and should address a patient’s questions and concerns prior to the procedure.

If you or a loved one has awakened during surgery and suffered pain and trauma, either during the immediate anesthesia awareness or later on, you should determine what your legal options are to hold those responsible for this traumatic experience accountable for their actions. A New Jersey attorney can provide you with guidance and help you seek justice. Holding anesthesiologists accountable for their errors can help prevent the same trauma from happening to other patients.

Source: CBS New York, “‘Anesthesia Awareness:’ Waking Up During Surgery Can Have Long Lasting Psychological Affects,” accessed May 19, 2017

A truck that jackknifes is incredibly dangerous to other drivers because it’s completely out of control. Typically, these accidents happen when the truck loses traction for some reason, throwing the trailer and cab out of sync. Issues that lead to it include improper braking and slick road surfaces.

However, there are steps drivers can take to prevent these accidents from happening, even if it’s hard to recover once they begin.

For example, many trailers will begin swaying or swinging slightly before they start sliding to the side and control is lost. Drivers who see small movements can slow down and regain control.

Drivers also have to keep a proper following distance. If the driver is forced to slam the brake pedal to the floor, that can cause the trailer to jackknife. Longer distances may be needed in snow, ice and rain. Obviously, truck drivers can’t anticipate everything — like a car that cuts the truck off and then hammers the brakes — but they should do what they can to avoid violent stops.

Finally, drivers are encouraged to keep full loads in their trucks as much as possible. A trailer that is weighed down is less likely to swing and therefore less likely to jackknife. Planning trips effectively in advance — to have a load when both arriving at and leaving a destination — can help.

Have you been injured in an accident with an out-of-control semi? It’s terrifying, it puts you in more danger than the semi driver, and it can lead to life-changing injuries. Be sure you know if you have a right to compensation.

Source: Bay & Bay Transportation, “How Truck Drivers Can Avoid Jackknifing,” accessed March 10, 2017

Perhaps the most notorious personal injury settlement of all time belongs to the 79-year-old grandmother from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who in 1992, sued the fast food chain after she received severe burns from the cup of hot coffee she got from a McDonald’s drive-thru.

Everyone, it seemed, jumped to the conclusion that this was a frivolous lawsuit. However, a closer inspection of the case told a different story.

The woman got burned when the coffee spilled as she tried to take off the lid to add cream and sugar. The hot liquid spilled over her legs, thighs, genitals, buttocks and groin, leaving her with third-degree, full thickness burns to 6 percent of her body.

She spent eight days in the hospital getting treatment for her burns. Her wounds were painfully debrided, and she eventually required skin grafts. The woman sued McDonald’s for her injuries. According to sources, she was willing to settle the case for $20 K, but the fast food giant took it to court instead.

Discovery revealed some interesting insider information into McDonald’s coffee. More than 700 claims had previously been filed by others who had been burned by the excruciatingly hot coffee the restaurant served in the decade prior to this lawsuit.

That indicated that the company “knew, or should have known” about the hazards of serving customers such overheated liquids. McDonald’s quality assurance manager testimony in court was that it was a company requirement to keep the coffee temperature set at 185 degrees.

That was even though the QA manager admitted there were burn risks for drinks that were served at temperatures higher than 140 degrees. In fact, he acknowledged the coffee, when poured into cups for customers, was not yet fit for consumption and would burn customers’ throats and mouths if they attempted to immediately swallow it. He also admitted that company didn’t plan to lower their coffee’s temperature.

A jury awarded plaintiff compensatory damages of $200,000, with additional punitive damages of $2.7 million. This was subsequently reduced to an undisclosed amount by mutual agreement of plaintiff and defendant to avoid a lengthy appeal.

Source: Huffington Post, “The McDonalds’ Coffee Case,” Darryl S. Weiman, M.D., J.D., Jan. 07, 2017

Being injured in a motor vehicle or other kind of accident in which you bear no fault is as frustrating as it is painful. Victims of these accidents are often overwhelmed by frustration as medical expenses continue to mount throughout the recovery process. It can feel like there is no way to overcome the many obstacles one must face after suffering catastrophic injuries.

Lack of the finances necessary to get the right medical care usually occupies the minds of most victims. Where can they get the help they need to improve their chances of recovery? Sometimes, the solution lies inside a personal injury attorney’s office. However, your chances of success increase when you choose a lawyer with experience handling personal injury cases.

Our law firm has helped many residents all over the state of New Jersey recoup the finances necessary to enhance recovery after suffering catastrophic injuries. This experience comes with benefits you may have never considered including:

— Thorough accident and injury investigations.

— An objective viewpoint when assessing your case.

— Knowledge of the ins-and-outs of working with insurance companies.

— Zealous representation if your case goes to trial.

— Settlement negotiations that keep your needs in focus.

— Advocacy and skill in working through any legal “red tape.”

In the end, a committed personal injury attorney with experience can strengthen your case in numerous ways. Through it all, your lawyer has only one major goal: making you as whole as possible so that you can carry on with your life. Please visit our case summaries web page to see how we have helped many of your New Jersey neighbors. You can also find more information about personal injury throughout our website.

The tragic accident last month at the Hoboken train station is still under investigation by agents with the National Transportation Safety Board. However, already New Jersey Transit is facing intense scrutiny for prior violations federal authorities discovered during an audit of the commuter rail operations earlier this summer.

The horrific mass transit accident happened on Thursday, Sept. 29, when the locomotive-propelled train entered the station and slammed into a barrier. A woman waiting on the platform was killed by falling debris, and over 100 others were injured — some seriously. Data from the “black box” recorder on the train reportedly has been quite challenging for investigators to access.

A source who had knowledge of this summer’s audit by the Federal Railroad Administration but had no authority to publicly comment told The Washington Post that the audit revealed dozens of safety violations.

The Wall Street Journal had initially broken the story, which was independently corroborated by The Washington Post, even though the FRA had no comment. Allegedly, the audit stemmed from an uptick in safety violations and concerns about a lack of leadership at New Jersey Transit, the third-busiest commuter hub in the nation.

The nature of the safety violations was said to be “operational” as opposed to involving issues with the infrastructure. The source added that before the fatal collision, the FRA had begun the process to force compliance with safety regulations.

New Jersey Transit has felt the squeeze from budget cuts and seen veteran leaders resign in recent years. An interim director is currently at the helm of the agency.

One possible cause of the crash is the failure of NJT to install a positive train control device to slow the train down prior to its entry into the station. The FRA found no records of these devices in the 440 engines or 124 towers along the rails that would permit communication with the trains.

While there may be multiple factors involved in the crash, the injured (and the survivors of the deceased) can pursue civil remedies for the injuries and losses.

Source: The Washington Post, “Before Hoboken crash, investigators found dozens of safety issues at N.J. Transit,” Ashley Halsy III, Oct. 02, 2016

There’s still plenty of fun to be had on the Jersey Shore this summer, and one of those fun activities is parasailing. It looks glorious, flying out over the water and getting a bird’s eye view of the beach.

However, is parasailing too dangerous of an activity to enjoy? It certainly carries a degree of risk. You are flying hundreds of feet above the water, being towed by a boat and tethered by a harness and rope. If problems develop, it can be deadly.

The following tips can provide a safer experience:

— Only parasail with established companies operating out of actual physical locations as opposed to beach-front stands. Fly-by-night companies can dodge liability by packing up and heading out of state after an accident occurs.

— Never sign a release form until the boat’s operator has thoroughly detailed the risks.

— Operators should also explain safety procedures, including communications via hand signals, landing positions to minimize injuries even in rough waves or high speeds, emergency survival techniques to employ until help arrives.

— Make a visual inspection of the parasailing equipment and the boat. Are both well-maintained, or is the boat old and the tow rope frayed and weathered? If so, take a pass on the day’s activity.

— No responsible operator will fly passengers when rain threatens, during foggy conditions or high winds. Always check the weather on a smartphone before parasailing.

No matter how safety conscious you and the operator are, it is a fact that parasailing accidents can and do occur. If you are injured due to a negligent parasail operator, you may have legal recourse to pursue claims for financial compensation.

Source: Parasail Safety Council, “Consumer Parasail Safety Tips,” accessed Aug. 11, 2016

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