Automotive transportation is a fundamental part of life in New Jersey. But sharing the road with other vehicles will inevitably lead to accidents. Car accidents are a leading cause of injuries on New Jersey roadways. The New Jersey Department of Transportation reported close to 200,000 crashes in 2020. But statistics are of little significance if you sustained an injury in a motor vehicle accident.
Experiencing a motor vehicle accident can be a frustrating and distressing experience. Worse yet, you may have to consider the legal ramifications while recovering from a serious injury.
Let us take on this burden. You deserve all available financial compensation for your injuries.
Consult with Newark auto accident attorneys following a car accident. O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble motor vehicle accident lawyers are here to help. Do not hesitate to call us for a FREE, confidential consultation. Our car wreck lawyers in Newark stand ready to hear your side of the story. We will fight to hold negligent drivers and insurance companies liable.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents occur in a variety of ways. Driving under the influence is a significant cause of accidents. Distracted driving is another major problem in the U.S. It’s practically an epidemic. Other causes of car accidents include:
- Drowsy driving,
- Reckless driving,
- Defective car parts,
- Weather-related accidents,
- Failure to obey traffic signals, and
- Road hazards.
The experienced Newark auto accident attorneys at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble handle all types of car accidents. We also handle other types of vehicle accidents. Please get in touch with us online or call today to learn more.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
The scene of a crash can quickly become chaotic. In the aftermath, it's crucial to maintain sight of what to do following an auto accident. Following specific steps can help ensure your safety and build the strongest case.
- Call 911 or the police. New Jersey law requires reporting all auto accidents resulting in injuries or at least $500 of property damage.
- Get medical help. Even if a driver does not feel injured, it is best to get a medical assessment as soon as possible because some injuries appear later.
- Document the accident scene. Gather as much evidence at the accident scene as possible, including photographs of the damage.
- Get contact information from witnesses. Obtain insurance information from the other drivers and contact information for any witnesses.
- Contact Newark auto accident attorneys. Consult an attorney soon after the accident to receive guidance for insurance company interactions.
No matter what you think caused the accident, never admit fault at the scene. Unknown factors, such as drinking, drugs, or distracted driving, might be part of the equation. Always speak to an attorney before talking to the other party’s insurance company.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state and requires all motorists to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Regardless of fault, PIP should cover the cost of treatment for minor and moderate car accidents up to coverage limits. With no-fault insurance, your insurance policy is the primary insurer, regardless of fault for the accident or type of coverage.
Most New Jersey drivers opt for a standard auto insurance policy, which provides for bodily injury liability, property damage liability, PIP, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. With the standard policy, you can also choose from the limited right to sue or the unlimited right to sue.
Limitation on Lawsuit Option
With a limited right to sue, you give up the right to sue for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering unless you suffered serious injuries in the accident. Serious injuries include significant disfigurement, dismemberment, or any other type of permanent injury.
No Limitation on Lawsuit
With insurance with no limitation, you have the right to sue the at-fault party for pain and suffering associated with any car accident, not just serious injuries.
Whether your insurance has a limited right to sue or an unlimited right to sue, you can file a claim to recover compensation for economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income that exceed your PIP coverage.
When to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
Your insurance policy will define your right to sue. Even with PIP insurance, you may need help from a Newark car accident attorney. O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble car accident attorneys can help identify applicable policy limitations and advise you on whether you should file a claim with the other party’s insurance.
New Jersey state law provides a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you fail to meet this two-year deadline, you lose the right to obtain compensation for your injuries.
A special time limit applies if your claim is against a state or local government entity. You must provide formal notice within 90 days of the accident. Following the notice, you must wait six months to file a lawsuit against a government entity.
Newark car accident lawyers can help you seek compensation promptly. Get help from a Newark car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Elements Required to Prove Negligence
All drivers on the road must exercise a degree of ordinary care for the safety of others. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to act as a responsible person would in similar circumstances.
To prevail on a claim of negligence, a plaintiff must establish four elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty;
- The breach of duty was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm; and
- The harm is worth damages, or compensation.
The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show how the defendant caused harm, setting forth competent evidence when meeting these elements. Engaging experienced legal counsel to build your case can improve your chances of achieving the most favorable outcome.
The Newark auto accident attorneys at OPLN can identify the appropriate parties and thoroughly investigate the facts to help you get the best possible outcome.
Compensation Available to Car Accident Victims
Under New Jersey law, you are still eligible for compensation even if you are partially liable for a car accident. Contributory negligence does not bar recovery if you are no more than 50% responsible for the accident. However, the compensation you receive will be reduced by whatever percentage of the accident was your fault.
Damages available in a car accident fall into two categories: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages compensate the injured person for their losses. There are two forms of compensatory damages: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages cover the following:
- Medical treatment expenses,
- Future medical costs,
- Costs related to a loss of vehicle,
- Lost income, and
- Future lost earnings.
Noneconomic damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and similar losses. There are no particular rules on calculating noneconomic damages.
Punitive damages seek to punish and deter defendants who commit egregious acts. They are rare in auto accidents but may be available if the other driver was doing something unusually dangerous, such as drag racing or driving under the influence of alcohol.
Contact the Newark car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble for a free consultation. We will walk through your case to determine what compensation may be available. We’ll also look at all avenues for compensation, including your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance, and any relevant third parties.
Discuss Your Case With Us
The injuries can be catastrophic when you’ve been in a serious car accident. And even seemingly minor accidents can turn your life upside down. Use the depth of experience at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble to help get your life back on track. Receive highly skilled legal representation from our Newark auto accident attorneys.
Don’t rely on an insurance company to protect your interests. Their top concern is the bottom line. Our top concern is helping you.
Our firm has a long history of serving clients. We will guide you through all aspects of your personal injury case.
Most auto accident injury claims filed in New Jersey result in a settlement. Let us help you maximize your financial recovery. Our legal team consists of tough negotiators who routinely achieve favorable settlements. Although results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances, we will evaluate your unique situation and fight for all compensation you are entitled to.
Even if your case requires resolution through litigation, our attorneys are ready and are courtroom tested. Our firm has succeeded in all areas of civil litigation, including car accidents. We put our firm’s resources to work for you, and you pay us nothing out of pocket. Contact us online or call to discuss your case.