Edison Car Accident Lawyers
Getting involved in a car accident can be a scary and traumatic event. You could have suffered significant injuries that may take months or years to recover from if you recover at all. There can also be emotional and mental trauma associated with being involved in an accident.
The laws in New Jersey can be confusing and complicated when it comes to seeking compensations for your injuries. Although you might be able to avoid a long litigation process, the amount you receive could have its limits.
You will need a car accident lawyer who can help you sort out the situation and explain your options. If you can file a claim for your accident, you will need a lawyer on hand to handle the legal aspects of your case while you work on your recuperation.
What are Common Causes of a Car Accident?
Many car accidents are preventable if the motorist only exercises caution or common sense. There are instances in which the fault for an accident does not lie with anyone on the road, but owing to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. A few of the common causes of car accidents include these factors:
- Speeding: Although nearly everyone has been guilty of speeding at one point in their lives, it is still a dangerous practice in which to engage, as it is a contributing factor in about a quarter of all car accidents. When you speed, you have less time to react to things going on around and in front of you. If a car stops short, you will have less time to apply the brakes, increasing the chance of you colliding with that vehicle.
- Distracted driving: Driving involves making split-second decisions. The human brain can only handle so much information at a time. If you take your eyes off the road even for a moment, it could lead to an accident. Activities such as eating, using the radio, applying makeup, and texting or using your phone are common distractions and should be avoided while driving.
- Drunk driving: Despite the continuous warnings, increased punishments, and alternative methods of traveling, people still get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink. When you drink, your senses and reaction times are impaired, making it extremely dangerous to drive. Drunk drivers make poor decisions, including running red lights, driving too fast, driving too slowly, and driving on the wrong side of the road.
- Road rage: Road rage is uncontrolled aggressive or violent behavior toward another driver on the road. Examples of this behavior include illegal driving maneuvers such as tailgating, cutting off other drivers, not using turn signals, and verbally abusing other drivers. These maneuvers can often have tragic results, as they force other drivers to quickly react, which can precipitate an accident.
- Drugged driving: As with drunk driving, getting behind the wheel under the influence of certain narcotics can be deadly. It can cause you to not have a clear head, meaning you are not as aware of your surroundings. You will not react in time to things, or you will not react at all. Even prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
- Aggressive driving: There are also dangerous drivers who can spark a road rage incident. An aggressive driver will speed, weave in and out of traffic, and tailgate. If you encounter such a driver on the road, it is best to pull over and let them pass.
There are other causes of accidents that pertain to the conditions of the road. When it is raining or snowing out, it can lead to wet and slippery conditions that can cause an accident. When the weather seems too treacherous to drive, it is best to wait out the storm until it is safe. If you are caught driving during one of these conditions, you should drive carefully and pull over when you can.
How can I be Compensated for My Car Accident Injuries?
The law in New Jersey on this matter is complicated. The state is a no-fault state, meaning that regardless of the circumstances of your accident, you can file a claim on your own insurance to recoup your losses for certain expenses. Victims must first seek to obtain financial compensation under their own personal injury protection (PIP) before they can sue the other driver directly. However, the amount of compensation victims receive is limited to specific dollar amounts specified in the insurance policy.
When seeking a claim on your insurance, you are entitled to seek compensation for any medical expenses you incurred from the accident and any lost wages you suffered because you were unable to return to work.
One complication in New Jersey is when you purchase your car insurance, you have the option to a limited right to sue. It is the more expensive choice, which is why many drivers do not sign on for this option. However, if they do, they can seek compensation from the negligent party under certain circumstances, and those circumstances include the following:
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Permanent injury
When these conditions exist, you can file a claim against the negligent party for pain and suffering damages. If you are unsure of your options, consult with a car accident lawyer who understands the law and will help determine your options.
Does New Jersey Place Any Limits on My Compensation?
The state follows the comparative negligence rule, meaning that anyone deemed to be responsible for an accident must contribute to the compensation. If you file a claim but the judge rules that the liable driver is only 80 percent responsible for the accident, they will contribute only 80 percent. However, if a driver is deemed to bear more than 50 percent of the responsibility, they are not entitled to any of the compensation awarded by the court.
What Should I Do after a Car Accident?
The moment immediately following a car accident can be harrowing. It can be difficult to process what has just occurred, but it is very important that you take several important steps. These steps are essential to protect your health as well as others involved and the integrity of any litigation that might occur in the future. They include the following:
- Call the police: No matter the extent of the accident, you should notify the police. This way, officers can write up a report of the incident and speak to those involved. When the police are finished, ask the responding officer how you can obtain a copy of the accident report.
- Seek medical attention: Your health is of primary importance, so you should seek medical attention right away. If the accident is severe enough, there might be first responders on sight who will attend to your injuries. If you were not hurt, check around to see if anyone else was hurt. Even if you do not feel as if you were injured, you should have yourself evaluated as soon as possible.
- Take notes: When you have the opportunity, write down all that you can remember about the accident, including the time of the accident, weather conditions, and road conditions. Include what you were doing at the time and what you believe led to the accident.
- Take pictures: If you are able, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Pay close attention to the damage sustained by your vehicle as well as any others involved. Also take pictures of the conditions or circumstances that led to the accident.
- Talk to witnesses: Talk with the people around the accident who might have seen something. Get their statements and find out what they saw. Most importantly, get their contact information in case you or your lawyer needs to get in touch with them again. Although police may not speak to witnesses, you should not talk with witnesses until police arrive.
- Limit what you say: When the police arrive, you can tell them what happened, but be sure not to admit any fault in the matter, nor should you comment on how the accident occurred.
It might seem like a lot to recall in the initial moments after an accident, but these are important steps. One option is to print these steps out and leave a copy in your car so that you remember them. Gathering this information will make it easier when filing a claim either on your insurance or against a negligent driver.
Edison Car Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Will Help You if You Have Been Injured in an Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident, the laws in New Jersey can seem convoluted as to what your options are to receive compensation for your injuries. The Edison car accident lawyers at Ellis Law can help. We know New Jersey law and how it works. Our legal team will go over the details of your case and your insurance to determine what the proper step forward is for you to help you get the results you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 732-308-0200 or complete our online form. We are located in Freehold, New Jersey, and help clients throughout Freehold, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn, New York, and New York City.