When you get into an auto accident, many emotions run through your mind. If you’re involved in a seemingly minor fender bender, you may start off with a feeling of relief. That is, until later, when you realize you’ve suffered serious injuries and need medical treatment.
Many people injured in car crashes react differently as far as inconvenience or devastation. Don’t think you’re unusual if you feel overcome by anger, confusion, anxiousness, or frustration. The results of a motor vehicle collision may infiltrate your daily thoughts. In some cases, you may replay the accident in your head as you try to drift off to sleep.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains records concerning reported car crashes. If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision, you join many others. In 2018, New Jersey state authorities tallied 278,413 reports of crashes throughout the state. The numbers exclude incidents that occurred on private property. Additionally, some automobile accidents go unreported.
In best-case scenarios, little to no property damages surface as the only issue. Without question, repairing a vehicle costs money. You’re shocked to learn that you need to make a claim with your own insurance company even when the accident isn’t your fault. Of course, you’ll again feel anger and frustration when you learn you need to come up with the deductible. Why is that, you wonder? New Jersey has a “no-fault” policy when it comes to auto accidents. The procedure for making a claim strikes you as confusing and unfair. If getting your car fixed alone is going to cause so much trouble, what happens if you suffer injuries?
For a moment, return to the numbers collected by the NJ DOT. Year after year, thousands of people complain of injuries at the time of the crash. Many more don’t discover they’re hurt until a few days later.
Motor Vehicle Accidents and Medical Bills
Medical treatment then becomes a primary concern when you suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident. You already know how confusing it is to make a claim for property damage. Now, your focus turns to make sure you have insurance coverage for your medical bills.
Not all car crash victims have their own automobile insurance policies. If you own and operate a vehicle in the State of New Jersey, you face legal requirements regarding coverage. In most cases, payment for your medical treatment falls under a portion of your coverage known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Depending on the extent of your policy limits, you may have adequate coverage to ensure payment of your medical bills. There’s also the chance that your health benefits will cover your costs.
Then, there is the possibility that you may not even own or operate a vehicle in New Jersey. You could be a passenger in someone else’s car. Auto-pedestrian accidents also cause significant harm. Additionally, when an automobile crashes into someone on a bicycle, the results often manifest as catastrophic injuries.
Notably, some car crashes involve work-related claims. For example, if your employer sent you on an errand, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In such cases, your employer’s insurance company provides you the names of specific treating doctors. For on-the-job injuries, the only exception to authorized medical care concerns emergency treatment.
An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney helps injury victims through the claims process. When you’re hurt, it’s difficult to understand how the whole system works. It’s particularly frustrating when you had absolutely nothing to do with the accident. Do your best to limit your conversations with your own insurance company, as well as the representative from the other carrier. When you are requested to give written or oral statements, you should refer insurance adjusters to your attorney.
A recent New Jersey Supreme Court ruling resulted in a change in the way auto accident victims can handle the claims process. Previously, injury victims who selected the limitation on lawsuit option as part of their policy could not sue for economic damages. However, if your bills exceed the amount of PIP benefits available to you, your attorney can discuss pursuing a lawsuit for them. All in all, you should not sustain severe economic losses when you are injured by no fault of your own.
Time Limitations for Automobile Accident Negligence Claims
It may seem like a complicated process to pursue compensation from someone else if you’ve been injured in an automobile accident. Once again, an experienced personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process.
You should first know that there are time limitations when it comes to filing negligence claims regarding car crashes. As soon as you discover you suffered injuries, you should meet with an experienced automobile accident attorney to discuss your options.
You may be under the impression that you have two years from the date of the accident in which to file a lawsuit. Assuredly, that represents the truth in many cases. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, a claim against the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York comes with even stricter time limitations; in order to pursue a negligence claim against the Port Authority, a lawsuit must be filed within one year. Another example: if a government employee runs a red light and rams into your vehicle, the law requires you to follow specified notification requirements. More than likely, you’ll need to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the occurrence. In special cases, the court may grant you an extended notification time period. In some cases, the statute of limitations may be even more expansive than expected. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you when it comes to matters involving children or on the job injuries. For the most part, the same time limitations apply when you lose a loved one in a fatal automobile accident. You should not procrastinate in your pursuit of a claim for damages.
Other Considerations Involving Car Crashes and Compensation
Under New Jersey law, automobile insurance policyholders have a few options when it comes to car crashes and compensation. In order to restrict costs, many vehicle owners limit their right to sue for damages.
One of the major differences between policy choices concerns the right to sue an at-fault driver for pain and suffering. Even so, there are several reasons you can pursue a lawsuit with a lesser option. An experienced automobile accident attorney can review the feasibility of pursuing a claim for money damages.
You should also know that you may be entitled to sue a negligent party for aggravation of pre-existing injuries. For example, you may have healed from a previous knee or hip replacement. The force of a car crash could easily change your circumstances and quality of life.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to a motor vehicle accident, your lawyer can also explain the procedures associated with a wrongful death claim. To begin, you’ll need to determine who has the right to pursue legal action on behalf of the estate.
What about if you were hurt at work while involved in a motor vehicle accident? First, you won’t have to prove someone else was at fault to make a claim. Secondly, you may be able to pursue a third-party case against the individual who caused the crash.
Here’s something else for consideration. Were you partially at fault for the collision that resulted in your injuries? As long as you were less than 50% negligent, you may be entitled to compensation.
Jersey City auto accident lawyer Anthony Carbone understands how upsetting and confusing it is after an auto accident, especially if it took the life of someone you loved. Many insurance companies and individuals will fight against paying what is your rightful compensation. It’s not that insurance adjusters necessarily doubt you’ve suffered as a result of an accident. However, carriers are in the business of making money. If they afford you payments of any kind, they lose.
Another thing to keep in mind: insurance fraud represents a punishable offense. Don’t make up or exaggerate injuries and expect you’ll escape prosecution. Medical experts may point out their suspicions. And, if the facts don’t add up, you could find yourself in big trouble.
In the meantime, you should know that Attorney Carbone wants to help you gain compensation and closure from your auto accident and allow you to start living your life normally again. A combination of over three decades of experience and advocacy proves critical when pursuing a case on your behalf. While money can’t bring you back to your condition before the accident, it can help you move forward.
Our motor vehicle accident lawyer in Jersey City can answer your questions about New Jersey law concerning auto accident litigation. Many cases never make it to the courtroom. Attorney Carbone’s experience helps in achieving settlement awards without the expense of a trial.
With all this said, you need to know what to do if you’re involved in a car crash. Learn what your first steps should be after a motor vehicle accident.
Different Types of Auto Accidents
There are many types of auto accidents that our law firm handles, such as:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Utility Truck Accidents
- Mass Transit Accidents
- Taxi Accidents
- Jitney Bus Accidents
- Weather-Related Accidents
- Aggressive Driving/Speeding Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Drowsy Driving
- Hit and Run Auto Accidents
- Fatal Auto Accidents
- Distracted Driving
- Auto Accidents with Uninsured Motorists
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents
- Ridesharing Accidents