New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
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FIGHTING FOR NEW JERSEY CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS
Reckless, distracted or negligent drivers as well as roadwork maintenance crews and faulty vehicle parts cause serious accidents that can leave people with major physical injuries and expensive property damage. These injuries can be life-changing causing pain and potential permanent injuries.
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident in NJ time is of the essence and evidence from the accident needs to be preserved.
Contact our auto accident lawyers today at 1-800-681-3550 or using the form for a free consultation.
DO I HAVE A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM IN NEW JERSEY?
Reckless, distracted, or negligent drivers, as well as roadwork maintenance crews and faulty vehicle parts, cause serious accidents that can leave people with major physical injuries and expensive property damage. These injuries can be life-changing, causing pain and potentially permanent injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you could be compensated for your injuries and pursuing legal action is the best way to ensure that you are provided with the justice you deserve.
New Jersey is a no-fault car insurance state, so after an accident, you typically need to file the claim under your own personal injury protection coverage in order to receive compensation for either property loss, medical expenses, etc. regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Vehicle owners in New Jersey are required to have at least a basic insurance policy. Under this no-fault policy, your insurance company will be the ones covering your financial damages for you, up to the limits of the policy. A no-fault claim can get you compensation for your injuries, but not for vehicle damage.
In some serious cases, a driver is able to directly sue the at-fault driver outside of those parameters. This includes accidents that involve death, or injuries such as
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of a body part
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury
- Displaced fracture
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON CAR ACCIDENT INJURIES
Every car accident has different circumstances and the intense forces involved in a crash can cause any number of different injuries.
Brain and Head
Head injuries are one of the most common injuries that result from a car accident. Their severity can vary, but all can be dangerous. This includes injuries like
- Concussions: caused by an impact that makes the brain strike the inside of the skull, causing swelling and trauma to the brain
- Piercing: debris from the outside environment and structure of the cars involved, can cause penetration wounds when they impact a skull, usually resulting in severe bleeding and brain injuries
- Diffuse Axonal injuries: occurs when a sudden twisting motion causes damage to the brain and surrounding structures, causing the brain structures to tear
Chest and Abdominal
An impact to the chest or lower torso can cause injuries to vital internal organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. Even when the damage to these organs isn’t as severe, you can still suffer from painful injuries like muscle strains, fractured bones, and bruised ribs.
Knee and Leg
Car crashes are a very common cause of broken bones because of the large forces involved during a crash. When this force impacts the leg, the bones are unable to handle the load and break. These forces also create a large potential for joint damage as any twisting motions cause the joints to bend in awkward ways or twist, causing tearing of the soft tissue.
The neck has a close connection to the central nervous system, as such any damage to the area can result in a number of injuries occurring, including ligament damage, vocal cord damage, and emotional disorders.
Whiplash is a particular kind of neck injury caused by a snapping motion in the neck during a crash. The soft tissue in the neck tears and swells, leading to lasting neurological issues like neck pain, shoulder pain, migraines, and dizziness.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you need to act immediately. The State of New Jersey requires that you report an accident if it involves injury, death, or more than $500 in damage to the vehicles or property. You will then need to submit a written report to the NJ DOT within 10 days of the accident.
Besides calling law enforcement or emergency services, you also should:
- Make note of details about the road conditions/weather at the time of the accident
- Make solid observations about the accident, such as what you saw, what each car was doing, and identify witnesses
- See a doctor as soon as you can after the accident
- Take photos of the vehicles, the scene of the accident, your injuries, etc.
Following these steps can help solidify your case and provide the proof needed to get you compensation for your financial losses or injuries
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVE IN A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM IN NEW JERSEY?
The statute of limitations in New Jersey for filing a claim in a motor vehicle accident case is two years. You will also need to prove fault on the part of the other party and damages to you personally. This could include speeding, which can be proven through an investigation of the scene, traffic or surveillance cameras, etc. It could also include a drunk driver, so a breathalyzer or blood/urine tests will be important in this case.
You can also use eyewitness statements, the police report, records of your medical treatment post-accident, cell phone records (to determine if they were using their phone while driving), and photos of the scene to prove your case. This is why gathering information immediately after the accident and making sure to keep all records related to it is crucial, and can help you win your case.
In one of our own motor vehicle accident cases, we successfully sued a bar in Trenton, New Jersey, for over-serving one of their patrons. The patron then left the restaurant and got behind the wheel of a car while his blood alcohol level was over 4 times the legal limit, seriously injuring the two passengers in the vehicle (our clients). The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a wall. The passengers were Sergeants in the Air Force and sustained life-altering and career-altering injuries as a result of the crash. They were compensated $1,075,000 in total.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A CAR ACCIDENT PAYOUT?
When trying to sort out how long it takes to get a payout for a personal injury suit, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before they reach trial.
This means that the amount of time it takes to receive a settlement is much shorter than an extended trial could take. In general, it takes one to two months to receive a car accident settlement. While every case will be different, once a settlement is reached, the insurance company will require that you sign a release.
After that step is taken, victim expenses are paid (things like car repair bills and medical bills), and attorney fees are paid, you’ll be awarded you compensation.
WHAT ARE YOU ENTITLED TO IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
If you aren’t at fault for an accident, you can file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance provider or contact an attorney and file a lawsuit against the appropriate parties. In both cases, you can get compensation for your suffered losses, covering things like medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In a lawsuit you’ll need to prove that your injuries wouldn’t have happened if the other driver hadn’t been negligent.
In a situation where you’re at partial fault, you can get compensation for the same types of damages, but it will be at a reduced percentage depending upon how much fault you bear for the accident.
HOW SHOULD I ACT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
A car accident can be quite shocking, that’s why it’s important to know what steps to take after a car accident ahead of time. In order you’ll want to make sure you:
- Protect the scene: if you have flares you may need to use them but at the very least put your hazard lights on, this isn’t only for others benefit but also your safety
- Contact the police: you should contact the police even if there isn’t a serious injury, many states require that you contact police after a crash and insurance companies may require a police report to make a claim for vehicular damage.
- Take pictures: you’ll want to do all you can to make a record of the crash and gather evidence to make your case. This includes taking pictures of things like damage to the vehicle and visible injuries that you have
- Report the accident: you’ll want to contact your insurance provider to find out what kind of coverage you have and to start the claims process
- Seek medical treatment: you want to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after a crash, even if you don’t think you’re injured to make sure a medical professional has the chance to catch any developing injuries and to create a medical record tying your injuries to the crash
- Contact an attorney: if necessary you’ll want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure all of your legal interests are being looked after
HOW DO I GET THE MOST MONEY FROM A CAR ACCIDENT?
The amount of money you can win depends on the specifics of your case, but there are some steps you can take to maximize your compensation. The first step is to document as much as possible to make sure you have evidence to support your case. The second step is to contact a personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can help you get the largest possible award by negotiating settlements and prosecuting your case.
HOW LONG DOES A CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT TAKE?
The amount of time a car accident lawsuit takes to resolve depends upon the specifics of the case, but there are a few timelines that are more common ranging from a few months to possibly a few years. For the most part, the majority of car accident lawsuits will be settled out of court after about two months. However, depending on the severity of the injuries of the people involved (meaning the monetary cost of the damages is higher) or whether a lawsuit plays out in court, the case could take years to resolve.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PAYOUT FOR A CAR ACCIDENT IN NEW JERSEY?
The amount you could get in compensation will vary depending on the specific details of your case, but on average a car accident settlement will be anywhere from $15,000 to $28,000. The size of the payout will largely depend on the severity of the injuries to the victims involved.
The payouts also tend to be higher if the negligent driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs.
Although there is no exact formula, insurance companies have analyzed statistics to calculate about how much your claim may be worth to predict what a jury could potentially award you if the case was to reach trial.
As a former insurance adjuster, Richard Hollawell is well-versed in the techniques insurance companies use to limit your payouts. Working with a personal injury lawyer can increase the amount you receive.
WHEN SHOULD YOU HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR A CAR ACCIDENT?
There is no way to know exactly when you need to hire an attorney to address a car accident issue. If you do have a problem, we recommend contacting an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible, to make sure those problems are being assessed by an expert as soon as possible.
However, if you’re not sure if you need one and are wondering when the right time to look into hiring a lawyer may be, you should definitely contact one when you start feeling uncomfortable handling the claim yourself.
SHOULD I GET AN ATTORNEY FOR AUTO ACCIDENT?
If you aren’t at fault for the car accident, then you do not have to hire a lawyer. However, it’s generally the case that an attorney can help you maximize the compensation you’re eligible for by helping you avoid crash liability, make sure insurance companies treat you fairly, or negotiate a settlement.
WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE SUES ME FOR A CAR ACCIDENT?
In general, if you’re found to be at-fault for collision then you can file a claim to your insurance provider to defend you, if you had insurance coverage when the crash occurred. In this case, they can help prevent a judgement against you. You should contact your adjuster to find out what they’re doing to represent your interests. However, if you did not have insurance coverage you’ll likely need an attorney.
HOW DO YOU WIN A CAR LAWSUIT?
There are no concrete steps you can take that will guarantee that you win your case. However, there are steps you can take to be proactive following a crash that will give you the best shot at winning.
Get medical help right away: If possible, you should seek medical care right after a crash, even if you don’t think you suffered an injury. This is for two reasons. One, it could improve your health outcomes because some common injuries from a car accident, like internal bleeding, can have delayed onset and be difficult to diagnose. Two, it creates a papertrail tying any potential injuries you may have to treat in the future and the time of the accident
Limit communication: After you hire a lawyer, let them represent you. Don’t speak to outside parties regarding the crash without your lawyer and refrain from commenting on anything possibly related to the crash or your injuries on social media, because what you post there could be used to weaken your case
Keep documents: You want to be sure to keep as many records as possible that relate to your case. This means items like hospital bills, car repair receipts, medicine costs, and records of time away from work. A journal could help as well. You never know what could come up and become important
Negotiate smart: sometimes after a painful accident, it’s common for people’s emotions to get involved. However, it’s important not to allow those emotions to add to your pain.
Everyone wants the compensation they think they deserve, but when it comes time to settle, your lawyer can give you a good idea of what a jury would likely say about your case and what a good deal would be.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE A CAR ACCIDENT CASE?
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, time is of the essence, and evidence from the accident needs to be preserved. Pursuing legal action against another driver, or pursuing compensation from an insurance company can be tedious, and you need an expert motor vehicle lawyer on your side.
Contact us today at 1-800-681-3550, or fill out our contact form, and we will begin working for you immediately.