New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys
Do I Have a Case?
If you have been involved in a car accident in New Jersey, the first step is to find out who is at fault for the crash.
Generally, it is easy to know who is responsible for most automobile accidents. When the crash is caused by a rear-end hit, illegal lane switch, breaking a red light, not stopping at the stop sign, or not yielding to traffic with the right-of-way, we know who is at fault. If you are partly at fault for the crash, you can still file a lawsuit and recover as long as you are not 50% or more at fault.
The second step is to look at the injury you suffered. If you broke a bone, had a limb dismembered, have scarring, or any other kind of significant injury, you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a family member died as a result of the accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jersey.
With certain injuries, the lawyer must wait to see if the injury is bad enough to file the lawsuit. Most of those cases involve injuries to the soft tissues (e.g. damage to the discs in the spine). If a doctor finds that the discs have been permanently damaged by the crash, the lawyer can go ahead and file a lawsuit.
How Insurance Handles Car Accidents in New Jersey
New Jersey drivers have the option of electing the standard Personal Injury Protection (PIP) of $250,000 option when purchasing car insurance. Some drivers choose lower coverage. This coverage applies no matter who caused the crash.
If your medical bills exceed the amount of PIP coverage, you might be left with bills to pay out of pocket if you do not have separate health insurance that will pay.
When you sue the other driver, the other driver’s insurance company will take care of it. The insurance company will hire the lawyer, pay for the defense doctor, and pay the money if you recover.
One of the first things a New Jersey car crash lawyer wants to know after filing your lawsuit is how much insurance the defendant has. The insurance coverage will let you know the limit of what you can recover.
If the other driver’s coverage is invalid or not sufficient to compensate for your injuries, your lawyer will look at your own automobile insurance policy and see if you have underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage that might apply. Underinsured motorist coverage also applies if you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
I Had to Stop Quickly But Then I was Hit from Behind
If you had to stop quickly, it was probably because you were being careful not to hit something in front of you. If that resulted in the car behind hitting you, the car behind was negligent in not staying back a safe distance. A jury might think that you are partly to blame but it depends on the circumstances.
The Car that Hit Me was From Another State
If the crash happened in New Jersey but car that hit you was from another state, the lawsuit can still be filed in New Jersey.
What Happens if The Other Was Drunk?
If the driver of the car responsible for your injuries was drunk at the time of the crash, you will file a lawsuit against that driver. Your attorney will also investigate whether the driver was served alcohol at a bar or restaurant while visibly intoxicated or under the age of 21. If so, a lawsuit can be filed against the bar or restaurant. This is known as New Jersey’s Dram Shop law.
If the drunk driver was given the alcohol while at somebody’s house, the lawyer must also investigate to see if the homeowner can be sued.
I Was Injured As A Passenger With Someone Else Driving
Passengers injured in crashes can file a lawsuit against all the responsible drivers. Often, passengers feel bad about filing a lawsuit against the driver of their own car, especially if it is a friend. Those passengers should remember that your friend who drove the car will probably be brought into the lawsuit by the driver of the other car. Those passengers should also remember that if the driver is insured, the insurance company will hire a lawyer and pay for any damages.
Getting Injured As a Pedestrian
Pedestrian crashes often result in catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries and loss of limbs. Because pedestrian knock downs usually happen in urban areas with cross walks and lights, your lawyer might also investigate if a similar accident happened before that could have prevented your injury.
Pedestrian injury cases are similar to car crash cases and the lawsuit will involve many of the same steps.
What is My Case Worth?
New Jersey law recognizes that folks who are seriously injured in car crashes should be compensated for their pain and suffering. The law also allows for compensation for loss of income and medical expenses. If there is a need for future medical care, that need must be shown to the court.
Assessing pain and suffering is not easy because no two injuries are the same. Insurance companies look at many factors to assess pain and suffering, including some of the following: How bad is the damage to the car? Did you go to the ER? Did you lose time from work? How much treatment did you have? Did you have any surgeries? How old are you? Have you been involved in other crashes? How much insurance coverage is there to cover the case?
Because insurance companies try to fit your case into a mathematical formula, they do not always put a fair value on your injuries. If you feel that the insurance company is undervaluing your injury, you have the option of going to a jury trial where your attorney will ask the jury to listen to you and your doctors so that you can get a fair hearing.
How long does the Lawsuit Take?
New Jersey car crash lawsuits usually finish within (2) years from the time of filing.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys
At Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC, our team of New Jersey car crash lawyers are experienced, dedicated, and committed to help those going through very difficult times. Contact us today at 201-488-1161 for a legal consultation
When you retain LMLTOO for your car crash case, you do not pay us unless you recover money.