July 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM
SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – When a 78-year-old thriving and healthy Sussex County resident slipped and fell in front of the Newton Post Office on Jan. 4, 2006 on a very glazed sidewalk, it would change his life forever.
Melting snow traveled downhill forming a sheet of ice, and the gentleman was severely injured. He transitioned from being a vibrant person, still working full-time, and enjoying vacation, and other times with his family, to suffering painfully from the brain trauma due to his fall.
One of his children sought out a reputable personal injury attorney to help them learn their rights, and found Frank Smith from Francis M. Smith, Esq., NJ Personal Injury Attorney.
Smith began practicing in 1976, and for almost the first decade of his career, he was in-house counsel for two separate insurance companies. Since 1985, he has been a personal injury attorney for plaintiffs, and represents clients in Sussex, Union, Morris, and Hunterdon Counties. Some types of cases he represents include: motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, construction accidents, and more.
One trait that separates Frank Smith from others in his field is his willingness to go that extra mile, literally. Smith travels to see his clients wherever they are, recognizing they may have difficulties that will impede their travels from their injuries and other circumstances. Some who work with him refer to this type of service he offers as “personalized concierge service.” This sought-out attorney with offices in Mountainside, Morristown, and Annandale, N.J., will see his clients at home, at the hospital, or any other location that is comfortable to them.
A new client of Smith’s called a large firm before calling Smith, and was told that their next available appointment was in three weeks. When Smith spoke to the then-potential client, he replied, “I can come out and see you tomorrow.”
Here a client speaks of that concierge type of service in the video below:
“You’ve got to be ready to do that,” Smith said, in terms of being accommodating to potential clients, and clients, who have been through debilitating injuries.
In the case of the slip and fall in front of the Newton Post Office Smith met with members of this family at a location that was convenient for them.
Smith ended up challenging the United States Postal Service, as well as adjacent McGuire Chevrolet Cadillac, in the slip and fall suit, to hopefully recoup compensation for the victim.
Sadly, the brain trauma from the fall impacted the victim’s quality of life so brutally he was relegated to a nursing home, and developed unbearable bedsores. The bedsores, in turn, triggered sepsis (bacteria in the bloodstream), and, as the man was scheduled for amputation surgery of both of his feet due to gangrene, that day, Jan. 1, 2008, he quietly died.
As reported in the New Jersey Law Journal, Smith ended up taking the case for his clients, who were awarded a $2 million settlement, $1.5 million from the United States, and $500,000 from McGuire Chevrolet Cadillac, to satisfy liens, as well as to compensate the estate and family.
Another success story of Smith’s involved a Nigerian immigrant who worked as a security guard in an Elizabeth, N.J. factory. One July 2010 morning, the gentleman heard growling while making rounds. The next thing he knew, two dogs, a Rottweiler and a Pit Bull, began viciously attacking him.
The dogs belonged to the business owner, and the landlord knew about them as well.
"Nobody told my client the dogs were there,” Smith said.
His client was under attack for an hour. Attendants in a truck that had just driven into the facility were too frightened to leave their truck to call for help, and once they did, the police had so much difficulty subduing the ravenous dogs, and the Pit Bull choked itself to death as it flailed around.
Plastic surgery experts who treated Smith’s client said he had “too many bite marks to count.”
Smith said his client’s kidneys began to shut down from the severe adrenaline rush he spiked, and from the crush injuries, which broke down into his muscles.
However, Smith helped his client to walk away with $563,501 in damages, after New Jersey’s strict statutes for dog bite liability was enforced, and 85 percent responsibility for the dog attack was placed on the owner of the canines, and 15 percent on the landlord.
According to Smith, this was one of the largest settlements to date apportioned for a New Jersey dog bite victim.
Another successful judgment for one of Smith’s clients went to a Sussex County resident, who was injured in 2007 when a bus driver changed lanes and clipped her SUV’s right rear corner, causing her to hit a utility pole on Route 10, on her way to Randolph. The victim required fusion surgery in her neck and back, requiring spacers in between the vertebrae, and also suffered psychological post-traumatic issues from the change in her lifestyle. She was awarded $742,500.
These are just a few of many cases that Smith has been able to garner over $33 million in awards as compensation for his clients’ traumatic situations.
For a client who enlists the services of Francis M. Smith, Esq., NJ Personal Injury Attorney, there is never any risk for an injured party to make a phone call to call Frank Smith, and there are no upfront fees or retainers due.
As Smith explains in one of his informational videos on his YouTube Channel, “It’s really risk-free for a client to talk to me to become a client, and to be represented. It’s really my risk, as far as the fee is concerned. If there is no recovery, I’m not paid.”
Not only does Smith have a high success rate in obtaining awards for his clients, he also provides clients, potential clients, and anyone looking to become educated about certain topics, including insurance, with a plethora of information on his website, and NJ Personal Injury Blog.
One such issue is the “Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold” versus “No Threshold.” In New Jersey, Smith said, many insurance companies push the savings associated on auto premiums for the drivers who opt out of the “No Threshold” choice. “Buyer beware,” if there is an accident around the corner, and the “Limitation on Lawsuit,” selection is the pick, which can prevent a victim from making a claim on any injury.
If there is a “Limitation on Lawsuit,” an injured driver can only pursue a claim against another driver if there is death, loss of fetus, serious scarring or disfigurement, displaced fractures, or permanent injury (requiring a Certification of Permanent injury from a doctor). Smith advocates the “No Threshold” option on his website, knowing how 90 percent of cases with the “Limitation on Lawsuit” reaps zero compensation in the end for those who opt for them, and seek recompense after becoming injured.
Smith said only 10 to 15 percent of New Jersey drivers have opted for the “No Threshold” selection.
Smith also offers a free copy of the “New Jersey Car Insurance Checklist” on his website, so New Jerseyans learn how to maximize their insurance coverage to best protect themselves and their loved ones.
Another way in which Smith aids his clients is providing resources to them once they do receive a settlement, to ensure their award is protected. Smith does tell his clients, once they have received a large settlement, to take a vacation, or buy a new car.
“You deserve it,” he said he tells them.
Smith explains the reason why his clients have recovered an award is due to permanent injury, and after they are awarded, he can refer them to financial planners to help them make choices about how to best invest their money.
“I want it [the settlement monies] to make a difference in your life,” Smith tells them.
Call Frank Smith at Francis M. Smith, Esq., NJ Personal Injury Attorney for a free consultation toll free, at (888) 233-1272.
Click here for his website.
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