Car accidents can happen at any time or any place, and they often have devastating consequences. From physical injuries to emotional trauma and financial loss, car accidents can change your life in an instant. Unfortunately, in Jersey City, car accidents are all too common. Injury collisions have steadily decreased since 2002, but Hudson County still reported 2,345 injury-causing accidents in 2020.
These accidents can result in severe to catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and paralysis. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Jersey City car accident, you must act quickly to protect your legal rights—every second counts when it comes to a car accident case. Contact our skilled Jersey City car accident lawyers to learn more.
Common Injuries After a Car Accident
Car accidents can result in a wide array of injuries, from minor soft tissue damage to severe, life-changing injuries. Some of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents include the following.
- Whiplash. This injury is a neck injury that occurs when the head rapidly and forcefully jerks back and forth, causing damage to the soft tissues in the neck.
- Broken or fractured bones. Broken bones, including fractures of the arms, legs, ribs, and other bones, are common car accident injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Car accidents can cause head trauma, from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries. Car accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis, loss of sensation, and other serious complications.
- Internal injuries. You could suffer internal organ damage from the impact or seatbelt, including damage to the lungs, liver, and spleen.
If another party’s actions caused your injuries, speak with the auto accident lawyers at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, today.
Types of Damages in a Car Accident
If you were injured in a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages. Some of the most common types of car accident damages include:
- Medical expenses—compensation for medical expenses can include the cost of medical treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, ambulance transportation, and rehabilitation;
- Lost wages—if you’ve missed work due to your injuries, you might be entitled to compensation for lost wages;
- Property damage—your property damage losses can include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, rental car reimbursement, and repair or replacement costs for any other personal property damaged in the accident;
- Pain and suffering—pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional distress you’ve experienced due to the accident and your injuries; and
- Wrongful death—if a loved one died from injuries sustained in a car accident, surviving family members could be entitled to compensation for their losses, such as loss of financial support and inheritance.
In limited scenarios, you could be entitled to punitive damages. Courts might award punitive damages if you can prove the defendant’s conduct was intentional, particularly egregious, or reckless.
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Jersey City, NJ
What you do following an auto accident is crucial. Your actions can affect your case outcome and how much compensation you are eligible to receive. Here are some important things to do after a car accident:
- Report the accident to law enforcement right away. Calling the police from the accident scene will create an official record of the accident. This report can be helpful when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.
- Document the accident scene. Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. Take pictures of skid marks, debris, and anything else that could be important in a lawsuit.
- Exchange information with all involved parties. Get contact information from the other driver and any witnesses, and make notes about the accident’s time, date, and location.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine after the accident, seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical professional can evaluate your condition and provide necessary treatment.
- Contact our Jersey City car accident attorneys. A car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, including negotiating a potential settlement with the other party’s insurance.
Be cautious about anything you say at the accident scene or to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Something as innocuous as saying sorry or that you didn’t see the other driver could be construed as an admission of guilt.
Statute of Limitations
It’s essential to act quickly after a car accident because the statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including car accident cases, is typically two years from the accident date. That means you must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident, or you might lose your right to pursue legal action. However, there are exceptions that might give you more or less time to file. An experienced Jersey City car accident lawyer can determine when you need to file your claim.
Common Challenges in Insurance Claims
At times, navigating insurance claims can be a smooth process, while other instances may present various difficulties that warrant the involvement of an attorney. Below are some typical challenges that can arise during a car accident claim.
Disputes over insurance claims: If you suspect that your claim has been unjustly denied, it is advisable to promptly seek the assistance of a car accident lawyer in Jersey City.
Inadequate settlement offers: Insurance companies might swiftly propose a settlement amount that is considerably lower than what you are entitled to under the law. It is crucial to carefully evaluate any initial offer and remember that you have the right to reject it and engage in negotiations for a fairer compensation.
Acts of bad faith: Insurance providers are obligated to treat policyholders fairly and handle claims in good faith. If you believe that you are being treated unfairly or unlawfully, it is recommended to contact one of our attorneys without delay. When an insurer engages in bad faith practices, you may have grounds for an additional legal claim.
Contributory negligence: According to New Jersey's modified comparative negligence rule, your ability to recover compensation may be jeopardized if the insurer believes there is evidence indicating that you bear more fault for the accident than the other party involved.
Uninsured and underinsured drivers: In the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the other individual. Our car accident attorneys in Jersey City are experienced in assisting you with seeking appropriate compensation through the legal process.
What Damages Are Available in Fatal Car Accident Claims?
In New Jersey, the compensation available when someone dies from a car accident is governed by the state's wrongful death laws. Here are some types of compensation that may be available:
- Economic Damages: This includes compensation for financial losses directly related to the death, such as medical expenses incurred before the death, funeral and burial costs, and the loss of the deceased person's income and financial support.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are damages that address the emotional and non-financial impact of the loss. They may include compensation for the loss of companionship, guidance, and consortium provided by the deceased person, as well as the emotional distress experienced by surviving family members.
- Punitive Damages: In cases where the at-fault party's actions were particularly egregious or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.
It's important to note that the specific compensation awarded in a wrongful death case can vary based on the unique circumstances of the accident and the relationship of the claimants to the deceased person. Consulting with an attorney is advisable to understand the specific compensation available in your case.
Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Jersey City
Hiring a car accident lawyer in Jersey City can be incredibly beneficial for many reasons. A car accident lawyer can:
- Protect your legal rights. A car accident lawyer will protect your rights and fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.
- Be objective and provide guidance. The legal process can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if this is your first time bringing a claim. A car accident lawyer will guide you through the process, answer your questions, and help you understand your options.
- Negotiate with insurance companies. Insurance companies are more concerned with their bottom line than your well-being. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to help you get a fair settlement.
- Pursue legal action if necessary. If a fair settlement can’t be reached, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
One of our auto accident lawyers can explain the entire process and help you decide on the best course of legal action.
Our client was a 41 year old man riding a bicycle in Union County who was hit by an automobile. The accident caused him to suffer from a pelvic fracture. Surgery was performed but the plaintiff struggles with continuing residual pain. (Attorney Scott Parsons handled the case.)
Contact Our Jersey City Car Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in Jersey City, don’t wait to seek legal assistance. When you need assistance after an auto accident, O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble stands ready to help. It’s time to take control of your life. Let us put our years of experience to work for you. Contact our Jersey City car accident lawyers to schedule an initial consultation.