What my clients wish they knew before they got hurt

Mar 5, 2021

Alexa D’Amato Barrera gives advice to make sure people who become victims injured by others’ negligence can get the maximum compensation for their injuries.

My name is Alexa D’Amato Barrera and I have been a personal injury attorney for more than 20 years. My firm, The D'Amato Law Firm based in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, represents people who are victims of others' negligence. My clients never, in their worst nightmares, dreamed they'd need an attorney like me in their lives. Being a victim injured by the negligence of another is life-altering. Here is what they wished they knew or did BEFORE they were hurt:

1) Is your life or leg only worth $15,000? Don’t insure it like it is. I have had four cases in the last six months where my client suffered and the person that caused it had no insurance or only had $15,000 in liability coverage. Unfortunately my clients had also purchased the cheapest insurance. If the person that injures you does not have any assets there is no money to go after other than through insurance. Let’s face it, most people do not own their house or car and are living month to month. You cannot get blood from a stone. Call up your insurance agent RIGHT NOW and max out on the insurance that covers you if you are hurt. When it comes to auto insurance, for example, most insurance agents have maxed out their own personal liability and UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED motorist coverage with their auto insurance company AND their homeowners. Why don’t you? At the very least, get a quote right now! You’re worth it and so is your family!

2)     Document when you’re down! In New Jersey you are not able to sue someone just because you were hurt on their property. Depending on the nature of why you were there YOU have to PROVE that there was a dangerous condition. I know the last thing you’re thinking about when you get hurt is about suing someone, but take a picture or video. If you are seriously injured and do not have the presence of mind to do so, ask someone to do it for you. If you call my office and say you do not know how you were injured, we will not be able to represent you.

3)     If you own your car, insure it! When the bank owns your car you MUST insure it, but once you own it do NOT take off the collision or comprehensive coverage. Whatever the value of your vehicle is, you’ll get back if it’s insured. I represent the victim, so they’re surprised when the assailant’s car insurance does not want to pay them full value. It’s an insurance company we’re dealing with. They love their money and are not going to let go of it willingly. If they have an out, they will take it. I had a client who was driving straight when a dump truck pulled left in front of her. Can you believe that the negligent driver’s insurance company was only willing to offer her 25% of the value of her car because the driver of the dump truck said she was going too slow?! Insure your car if you own it.


3)     Do you enjoy the rights our forefathers fought for? Then do NOT limit them! When you purchase auto insurance do NOT limit your right to sue. Pick the NO Limitation/Full Tort option. This is a no brainer.


4)     Do you have Medicare or Medicaid or pay into your health insurance from your paycheck? If so, you CANNOT have health primary for your auto insurance! PIP (Personal Injury Protection) is the part of your auto insurance that pays your medical bills in an auto accident. Take my word for it, call your auto insurance company and switch to PIP primary option now to avoid charges and a hassle for yourself later.

Regret is a horrible thing and there is no undo button in life. Please make these changes before it’s too late.

I am proud to be a personal injury trial attorney representing catastrophically injured victims. It is a team effort with my law partners, Paul and Stephen Van Natten, and all of our staff. All the hard work we put in now truly pays off when we are able to resolve your claim successfully. For more information visit https://damatolawfirm.com or call 609-926-3300.

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