Personal Injury Deposition FAQs

deposition faqDepositions serve two main purposes in personal injury cases. First, they allow the parties to learn about the facts of the case. Second, they let the parties develop a factual record that can be used to cross-examine adverse witnesses at trial.  Below are some of the common questions we receive regarding depositions in personal injury cases.

Q: What is a deposition?

A: This is a method of gathering information by obtaining testimony under oath from parties, fact witnesses and expert witnesses in a personal injury case. It is essentially a question and answer period, where an attorney asks a witness a variety of questions relating to the lawsuit. The witness is under oath, thus their testimony has the same force and effect as if it were in court. The deposition testimony is recorded by a court reporter and printed in a booklet called a transcript. The testimony […]

New Jersey Transit Settles Worker’s Retaliation Lawsuit for $699,000

A New Jersey Transit employee recently settled his worker’s retaliation lawsuit against the railroad $699,000. Plaintiff was working as a conductor-flagman for the railroad in February 2008 when he witnessed another worker come into contact with an electrical wire, become engulfed in flames, and die. Emotionally distraught after witnessing the accident, plaintiff consulted with a mental health professional provided by the railroad. At the recommendation of the mental health professional, plaintiff took several months of leave from work. When he was medically cleared to return to work in October 2008, the railroad put plaintiff on unpaid leave and did not allow him to return to work. It was alleged in plaintiff’s NJ employment lawsuit that New Jersey Transit improperly retaliated against him for taking time off from work after witnessing the accident. The case settlement was reached prior to trial.

Essex County, New Jersey Jury Awards $15 Million in Discrimination Lawsuit Against School District

A jury in Newark, NJ recently handed down a $15 million verdict in a workplace discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee of the Newark Public School District. The former school worker alleged a course of discriminatory conduct by the district after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and later sustained a back injury that caused physical limitations. Claims were brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. After an eight week trial, the jury found found for the school worker and awarded compensation for lost future pay, back pay, lost pension benefits, pain and suffering and aggravation of a pre-existing injury. In addition, the jury award $3 million in punitive damages.

New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violated By Not Revealing Used Car’s History

In what appears to be a ruling of first impression in Montgomery v. Millenium Auto Group, MRS-L-2839-10, a car dealer was found to have violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by selling a used car without disclosing its prior use as a loaner vehicle.  Research performed by the parties revealed that no other court had ruled on whether the the Act applied to the failure to disclose that a used car had been a loaner.

This is a significant ruling, and a big win for New Jersey consumers.  It now requires full disclosure of the history of used cars sold by dealers, including disclosure that a used car subject to sale had been a loaner vehicle.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of consumer fraud, you should contact an experienced New Jersey consumer fraud attorney who can analyze the facts of your case and explain your legal […]

Punitive Damages In New Jersey Injury Lawsuits

Punitive damages are damages on an increased scale that are awarded to a plaintiff over and above the amount that will strictly compensate them for their loss.  A claim for punitive damages is appropriate where the wrong done to plaintiff was aggravated by circumstances of violence, oppression, malice, fraud, or wanton and wicked conduct on the part of the defendant.  These damages are not only intended to provide solace to plaintiff, but also to make an example of a defendant and deter similar activity in the future.

The New Jersey Punitive Damages Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.9, limits punitive damages to five times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $350,000, whichever is greater, except in certain cases involving public policy and social concerns.  Under the Act, plaintiff must specifically request punitive damages in the Complaint.  The defendant may then request a bifurcated trial first to determine liability for compensatory damages and second, […]

The Use Of Expert Witnesses In New Jersey / New York Personal Injury Lawsuits

Expert testimony is typically required to support New Jersey / New York personal injury claims when the subject matter is so complex that jurors of common knowledge and experience would be unable to make a case determination without the benefit of information and opinions expressed by a person with specialized knowledge.  This is an important, but many times overlooked, concept.

Without proper, qualified expert(s) to support a case, an injured person’s lawsuit will be be vulnerable to dismissal, and thus no recovery.  Whether to retain one or more expert witnesses to support a case is typically a decision left to the injured person’s lawyer.  Thus, it is imperative that seriously injured persons consult with an experienced New Jersey / New York personal injury lawyer who can analyze the facts and controlling law of their case, and retain all appropriate expert witnesses who may be needed to prosecute the personal injury lawsuit.

A Primer On The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is designed to protect consumers in a variety of transactions for both tangible items and services.  To establish liability under the Act, proof of three elements is generally required: (1) unlawful conduct by a defendant; (2) an ascertainable loss sustained by the plaintiff; and (3) a causal relationship between the unlawful conduct and the ascertainable loss.

With regard to the first element, there are three categories of unlawful conduct that can result in liability under the Act: affirmative acts; knowing omissions, and regulatory violations.  As to the second element, to prove an ascertainable loss under the Act, litigants must demonstrate that they sustained a quantifiable loss of money or property, real or personal.  Finally, plaintiffs bringing claims under the Act must demonstrate a nexus between the unlawful act and the recoverable damages – or that the unlawful act was the immediate cause of the loss.

A […]

Many Insurance Claims Resulting From Hurricane Sandy Will Be Delayed, Under-Compensated or Denied

It has been estimated that the dollar amount of the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy could top $50 billion dollars.  While taxpayer dollars will fund much of the cost to rebuild infrastructure and public services, the cost to replace private property of the many individuals and businesses affected by the storm will largely be paid by insurance dollars.

Following a loss, the owner of an insurance policy typically must make a claim to their insurance company in order to receive insurance benefits covering the loss.  Claims are subjected to a rigorous review process by insurance companies, who will review the facts surrounding the claim and the terms of the insurance policy in determining whether to pay or deny a claim.  Due to the rigorous claims review process, policyholders should take certain precautions when making claims to their insurance company in order to maximize their chances for success on the claim.

All damaged […]

Small And Medium Sized Businesses: Limit Potential Exposure In Breach of Warranty Lawsuits

Lawsuits alleging the sale of defective goods between businesses often include claims for breach of warranty.  In New Jersey and New York, these claims are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”), as adopted and codified by each State.  While the UCC contains default terms and conditions that courts may use to “fill the gaps” of poorly drafted sales contracts, or where there is no contract at all, the UCC allows businesses fairly broad latitude in defining the scope of permissible claims and damages in breach of warranty actions.

The two types of warranties that are typically at issue in these matters are express and implied warranties.  Express warranties are warranties that are written and expressly contained in a contract or other written instrument between the parties.  Implied warranties, on the other hand, are warranties that are typically implied in a transaction for the sale of goods or products.  In this […]

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