Motor Vehicle Accidents
If you were involved in a car, truck, or other vehicle accident and suffered serious injuries as a result, you are likely to have several questions about your rights and how you will be able to pay your medical bills or manage other expenses. At Ellis Law, our New Jersey car accident lawyers understand that a motor vehicle crash can have a long-lasting impact on your health and future. We can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for injuries related to your accident and assist you in obtaining maximum compensation. For more than two decades, we have helped thousands of car accident victims find the solutions they deserve.
At Ellis Law, we represent victims of many types of motor vehicle accidents. You should not assume that your accident was bad luck. In some cases, it may not be obvious who caused the accident, but we will investigate the accident thoroughly to hold the responsible parties accountable. Do not allow a motor vehicle accident to ruin you financially when we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve in the following cases:
Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Any accident involving another vehicle could have been caused by the other driver’s negligence. If the other motorist was driving aggressively, driving too fast for conditions, intoxicated, or distracted, we will hold them accountable for their actions.
The following are the most serious types of motor vehicle accidents:
Truck Accidents: Large trucks can be extremely dangerous if the vehicle was not serviced properly, the driver was distracted, or the driver did not follow the appropriate safety guidelines. For example, truck drivers must inspect their brakes every day. Both the driver and trucking company could be liable for your injuries.
Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents often involve other cars. If the motorcyclist was at-fault, we will investigate your case to obtain maximum compensation. If you are a motorcycle owner who was hurt by another driver, we will investigate the circumstances of the accident.
Boating Accidents: Boating accidents are often caused by intoxicated boat pilots. Warm weather often inspires partiers to drive too fast on the water, and we will show how your injuries were caused by the other pilot’s negligence. We also review cases in which the client rented a boat and the pilot acted negligently.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents: Bicyclists and pedestrians often cross the road improperly or use the road incorrectly. We also help pedestrians who were hurt because of a motorist’s negligence or reckless behavior on the road.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common causes include the following:
Drowsy Driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 6,000 accidents occur due to drowsy driving each year. Truck drivers commonly experience drowsy symptoms due to long hauls, but any driver can be susceptible to falling asleep behind the wheel.
Road Rage: When on the road, try to redirect any anger you feel. Focusing on the road and relaxing will help you avoid road rage, any unsafe lane changes, or reckless maneuvers. Obey the speed limit at all times and try your best to slow down because you can easily exceed the speed limit if you are not paying attention.
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving fatally injures nine people each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Stay off your phone, do not respond to emails, and use a wireless or Bluetooth connection if you need to speak with family and friends. Keep your eyes on the road if you are talking to passengers inside the car. Looking at passengers while you are talking can take your eyes off the road long enough to cause an accident.
Drunk Driving: Each day, up to 30 people are fatally injured in drunk driving accidents, according to the NHTSA. Bring a designated driver with you if you plan to consume alcohol at an event. If a designated driver is unavailable, consider using a ridesharing service or call a taxi.
Inexperienced Drivers: Teenage drivers often make poor choices because they do not understand the ramifications of their actions on the road. This is why it is recommended that teens do not drive at night or drive without adult supervision.
Poor Weather Conditions: In heavy snow and rain, tires may lose traction on the road and skid, causing accidents with other drivers or stationary objects.
Common Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents
Seek immediate medical attention if you have been hurt and be aware of the following injuries that could occur even during a slow-moving accident:
- Broken bones
- Cuts or lacerations
- Traumatic brain injury
- Sprains and strains
- Spinal cord injuries
Whiplash, sprains, or strains may not be evident when you leave the accident scene. It is vital to seek medical attention, even if you think you are fine after an accident. Broken bones could force you to miss work, and a traumatic brain injury may prevent you from performing your job duties. Certain injuries can lead to lifelong medical issues or disability, and you deserve to be compensated. If someone’s negligence caused your injuries, you should pursue a case against all responsible parties.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
If you can exit your vehicle after an accident, try to do the following:
- Exit your vehicle safely and check on other motorists, if possible
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the other drivers
- Call the police and/or 911 immediately
- Find any witnesses that can corroborate your story
- Seek medical treatment
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible
Witnesses might come forward to make sure you are okay, and you should ask them if they saw what happened. Collect as much testimony as you can and ask for their contact information. Eyewitness accounts can back up your story, and they might help you refute the police report if you believe the officer did not assess the scene properly. When you speak to the police, do not apologize for the accident. Friendly motorists will often say they are sorry to be polite, but the officer on the scene or other drivers will take this statement as an admission of guilt.
If you seek medical attention sometime after the accident, your insurance company or the defendant may claim that you were not hurt at all. Bring all your medical bills or an estimate of the extended care you will require to your consultation.
How Should I Handle Matters with the Insurance Company?
After any accident, it is important to know your rights and how you are protected by your insurance company. Understanding your insurance policy is a critical step when obtaining compensation. Our attorneys will review your policy and fight the insurance company for the coverage you deserve. Our goal is to get you back on the road as soon as possible, and we do that by providing attentive and accessible representation that meets your individual needs, which includes finding any loopholes in your policy.
In an accident where the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own motor vehicle insurance may compensate you for your injuries. However, insurance companies are in business to make money and will work to mitigate the damages that you suffered. It is important to speak with an attorney before negotiating with your insurance company to ensure that your rights are always protected. If an insurance company offers a settlement, forward all communications to our office. Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company, and do not call them to complain about your claim. They often record their calls, which could be played back in court. We will negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, or we will notify you when we believe the case must go to trial.
How Will I Be Compensated?
New Jersey uses the comparative negligence rule to determine damages in accident cases. If the victim was found to be less than 50 percent liable for the accident, their award would be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the award was $100,000 in medical or punitive damages, the victim would receive $80,000 if they were shown to be 20 percent at-fault for the accident. You may sue for damages if you lost the ability to work, lost your earning potential, are disabled, or require lifelong medical care because of the accident. Your insurance policy determines how much leeway you have when you want to sue. We will review your policy to determine your options, including the following:
- An unlimited right to sue under your insurance policy
- A limited right to sue that allows lawsuits only for permanent injuries
- No right to sue because the value of the policy is too high
New Jersey uses punitive damages to punish the guilty party, and the state’s insurance system helps pay for medical bills quickly. If you are denied coverage, we will file a claim for the expenses your insurance company owes.
What If I Lost Someone in the Accident?
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed after an accident if the victim of the accident would otherwise have cause to file an injury claim. Wrongful death suits must be brought by a representative of the deceased’s estate. That suit can be filed on behalf of the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents. If no such family members exist, extended family members may file the suit. A wrongful death suit must prove negligence on behalf of the other driver, and the claim must show that the family members represented substantially depended on the deceased. You have two years from the date of death to file the suit. Reach out to our car accident lawyers right away to avoid any delays in your case.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer understands how cases are litigated in New Jersey. Car accidents must be handled by an attorney who can prove that you were not at-fault in the accident, show that you should be compensated for your injuries, and handle all paperwork or filings necessary for the case. A personal injury lawyer can calculate how much you are owed due to lost wages, lost earning potential, and/or pain and suffering. Your lawyer can represent you if you must file for disability, and a lawyer will represent the family/estate if someone dies in the accident.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they want to pay as little as possible after an accident. The guilty driver will hire a lawyer to protect them, and you should do the same. Never accept phone calls from other lawyers, low settlement offers from insurance companies, or complain over the phone to the insurance company. Ask a lawyer to speak on your behalf.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Help Victims Injured in All Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
The New Jersey car accident lawyers at Ellis Law can help if you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident. We will investigate your case, communicate with the appropriate medical professionals, review your insurance policy, and deal with your insurance company, if needed. Call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online for a free consultation. Centrally located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, New Jersey, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York. We speak Spanish, Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian.