Personal Injury

Slavitt & Cowen, A Professional Corporation is a successful and experienced personal injury law firm. The attorneys at Slavitt & Cowen, A Professional Corporation have helped injured people recover for losses and damages resulting from accidents, medical malpractice, negligence, unsafe products, and as well as injuries that give rise to workers' compensation.

Personal injury cases are those in which the victim suffers an injury to the body or mind. At Slavitt & Cowen, A Professional Corporation, our practice is in the area of personal injury. The firm's attorneys employ a practical, professional approach so that our clients obtain a full and fair recovery for their injuries, including damages for their past and future medical bills, time lost from work, and their pain and suffering.

At Slavitt & Cowen, A Professional Corporation, the client's interests are a priority. The attorneys at Slavitt & Cowen, A Professional Corporation provide personalized legal guidance at every step of a client's case, keeping clients updated on their case's progress and fully informing them about the legal strategy and recovery options available.

If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact 973-622-6418 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Slavitt & Cowen, A Professional Corporation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is negligence?

Negligence is the failure to use ordinary or reasonable care. With respect to its legal definition, for someone to be liable for negligence, he or she (a) must owe a duty of care to the plaintiff; (b) he or she must have breached that duty of care; and (c) the breach must proximately and actually cause harm to the plaintiff.

What compensation may I claim for my personal injury?

Personal injury victims generally are entitled to recover damages for all losses and expenses they incur because of an accident. Such compensation may include recovery for:

  • medical bills;
  • lost wages, including overtime;
  • pain and suffering;
  • physical and/or mental disability;
  • disfigurement and permanent scars;
  • emotional trauma;
  • loss of love and affection; and
  • other incidental expenses related to the injury

What is the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit?

The limitation period varies from one state to another. In New Jersey, the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of incident. The time limitation for medical malpractice actions is two years from the incident that gave rise to the injury or two years from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. As to products liability cases, they must be commenced within two years of the date of the injury or two years from the date of the discovery of the injury.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is defined as a negligent act or omission by a doctor, nurse or other medical practitioner that causes harm to a patient. Negligence can also arise because of an error in diagnosis or treatment. Hospitals and other medical facilities, may also be liable for medical malpractice for improper care, such as problems with medications and nursing care.

What if I am injured on someone else's property?

Generally, the owners and tenants of residential, business, or government properties may be responsible for injuries that occur on their premises due to negligence or lack of proper maintenance. Such accidents are sometimes referred to as "slip and fall" injuries. Liability in a slip and fall generally depends on the circumstances of the case, such as who owns the property and whether the injured is a business customer. Depending on who is in control of the premises, usually either the premises owner or the tenant will be held responsible.

What is the Tort Threshold?

In New Jersey, when purchasing automobile insurance, drivers choose whether there will be a limitation on their right to sue an at-fault driver. If the driver chooses "No Limitation on Lawsuit," he or she can sue an at-fault driver without any limitation on their right to file a claim. However, if the driver chooses "Limitation on Lawsuit," he or she may file suit without the potential for dismissal of the claim only if the injuries fall under one of the following categories: (1) death; (2) dismemberment; (3) significant disfigurement or scarring; (4) displaced fracture; (5) loss of fetus; or (6) a permanent injury.

If someone is injured while on my business premises, what information should be included in the accident report?

It is very important that the report include: the date and time of the accident; details about the location of the occurrence; the names and contact information of anyone involved in the incident; photographs of the scene and injury if visible and detailed statements from all witnesses, including the injured party if possible. Detailed descriptions of the scene when employees and/or a supervisor arrives on the scene may also be obtained.

What should I do if I am involved in an automobile accident?

First, you should never leave the scene of the accident. You could be criminally prosecuted for leaving the scene or hit and run. Notify the police and cooperate with the authorities when they arrive, providing accurate contact information. Give your account of the accident to the authorities, but do not admit fault or liability to the police or anyone else at the scene. It is better not to comment on fault because it might not be readily ascertainable at that time. If you are injured, seek medical attention. You should also notify your insurance company as soon as possible.

What are common defenses to personal injury claims?

Among the defenses that may be asserted in a personal injury lawsuit are the following: contributory or comparative negligence (based on the plaintiff's own conduct in causing the injury); the statute of limitations (the time in which a claim must be brought); sovereign immunity (the immunity that may be available to government entities and employees); and product alteration or misuse (if a products liability suit is involved).

What defenses are available in wrongful death cases?

Generally, the same defenses are available to a defendant in a wrongful death case as in any action brought for injuries if the decedent had not died. Therefore, if the decedent was partially at fault, contributory or comparative negligence may be a viable defense as well as the statute of limitations and alteration or misuse of a product in a products liability action.

How does accident reconstruction work?

Traffic accident reconstruction often plays an important role in personal injury lawsuits. That process typically involves two phases – investigative and analytical. The investigative phase includes the gathering of all facts and information (the police report, photographic evidence, physical measurements of the accident scene and of the vehicles involved, and witness statements. The analytical phase involves analysis of the engineering data collected, testing to determine operator and vehicle performance, and calculations needed to allow experts to model and describe the events before, during, and after the accident. For a trial setting, it is important that the experts present the engineering and physics in a manner that lay jurors can comprehend.

What if more than one party was at fault in an accident?

In New Jersey, when two or more parties are determined to be at fault in a personal injury case, the court determines each party's fault or "negligence" as a percentage of all the negligence of the parties involved. I an at-fault party's negligence is determined to be 60 % or more, that party is jointly and severally liable for the plaintiff's damages. Where a party's negligence is less than 60%, he or she is only liable for that portion of the plaintiff's total damages that equals his percentage of the negligence.