Do I have a case?


Many times a client walks into my office and gives an account of their motor vehicle accident. After receiving all the details the client asks me "well what do you think? Do I have a case?" Often times the accident just occurred, and it is difficult to tell, so my response is often "I don't know yet. It is too early to tell." I get the look like I told them that their favorite pet just died, and they misconstrue that I am telling them that they have no case - but that is not correct.

Often it is difficult to tell if a case is going to be successful when it comes to neck and back injuries, or what is commonly known as soft tissue injuries. In the State of New Jersey the legislature has made it very difficult, but not impossible, to recover on these types of injuries due to a serious injury threshold. In order to be successful on a motor vehicle accident in the State of New Jersey, one must get over the serious injury - verbal - threshold by proving one of 6 items, usually the most common is that the claimant has suffered a permanent injury and is entitled to damages.

So in order to prove that there is a permanent injury there must be sufficient medical documentation of a permanent injury proven through expert reports, pain management reports, physical therapy reports, and most important radiology reports such as x-rays and MRIs. Without this documentation, no motor vehicle accident case will be successful, and the chances are great that the court will dismiss your litigation. All these reports take about 6 months to 1 year to become finalized as the claimant is often receiving constant treatment over the course of this time period.

Therefore, until I have at least an x-ray or MRI it is impossible to give the opinion if you will have a case or not. Until I have all of the medical records my opinion cannot be finalized whether there is a viable case.

Worrying about whether there is a viable case and investigating whether litigation can be filed due to your injuries is my job, and I always make sure that I communicate this to my clients, to put them at ease that they are doing the right thing by allowing me as the professional to monitor their matter. I know that when they leave my office they are assured that I am on top of their file and are in good hands.