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Areas of Practice

Car Accidents

Construction Accidents

Medical Malpractice

Workplace Accidents

Slip and Fall

Wrongful Death

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What To Expect If You Have A Case

Evaluating and hiring an injury attorney usually involves a initial consultation, which most attorneys provide free of charge. Many attorneys also provide free transportation to and from their offices, to make the process as convenient as possible for the client.

During the initial consultation, your attorney will want to collect as much information as possible relating to the incident surrounding your accident or injury. This includes information regarding your medical treatment, who was involved in the accident, any witnesses, your insurance coverage, as well as thorough information about circumstances that resulted in your accident or injury. The attorney will also usually discuss the costs of the case and the legal fees that you can expect.

  • The attorney may ask you to sign medical release forms so that they can have access to your medical records
  • In choosing an attorney, make sure that their experience fits your circumstances
  • Be sure to discuss all of your legal options during the consultation
  • Come prepared - write down all of the circumstances that led to your injury
Step 2:
An Attorney Will Investigate

After you choose an attorney and have signed a retainer contract, they will begin investigating your case in a process called "discovery." There are 3 forms of discovery - written, document production and depositions.

Written discovery involves Interrogatories, which are just questions about the facts of your case. Document discovery is the gathering of any documents related to your case, electronic or printed. Any party has the right to see documents that are related to a case. Depositions are sworn statements, and you can likely expect to be deposed to get the facts.

  • Discovery can be long and expensive in complicated cases, such as medical malpractice
  • Be honest! Lying in a deposition is a sure way to lose a case
Step 3:
Deciding Whether to Settle

Settlement is when the person who is filing the lawsuit agrees not to pursue legal action in return for an agreed upon amount of money. Most lawsuits end in settlement. In deciding whether or not to settle, there are many factors to consider:

  • What are your chances of winning at trial?
  • How expensive it will be to pursue legal action and how long litigation will last
  • How much your attorney thinks you can win in damages in court vs. the settlement amount
  • What are the policy limits of the defendants insurance policy

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About The Firm

Harrell Smith & Williams

767 Central Avenue Westfield, NJ 07090

We Fight For You

We’ve all heard the expression that everyone deserves a fair day in court. We don’t believe that a person’s wealth or intelligence should have anything to do with their right to justice.

If you have been harmed, you deserve compensation. And if insurance companies are using your inexperience to keep your hard-earned money, then you deserve someone with experience and tenacity to get it back.

Our firm exists because we want to help you fight the bad guys, but we know you can’t do it alone. You need people who know the system, the jargon, the rules, so we can beat corporations at their game and give you the outcome you deserve.


Kenneth M. Harrell

Kenneth is a 2004 honor graduate of Seton Hall Law School. Because of his experience and training, he is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. Only 2-3% of the attorneys in the State have obtained this prestigious award, and Kenneth obtained it at his first opportunity.


James Bayard Smith Jr.

Bayard graduated from Lafayette College, Cum Laude in 1995, received his law degree from The College of William & Mary School of Law in 1999 and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar that year. He is also admitted to practice before The United States Supreme Court.


Daniel J. Williams

Daniel received his Bachelor of Arts in Crime, Law and Justice from the Pennsylvania State University in 2000. Upon graduation from college, he immediately pursued his legal studies at Roger Williams University and attained his Juris Doctor Degree in 2003.


Leigh A. Raffauf

Leigh graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1996 and received her law degree from Widener University School of Law in 1999. After being admitted to the New Jersey bar in 2000, she began her career specializing in insurance defense. This is the start of how she became the PIP litigation specialist she is today.


We're Here To Help You

There is No Cost To Speak To Us About Your Case
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