Car Accidents FAQ
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident? What Should I Bring With Me for My First Meeting With My Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer after a car accident is not required, but having legal representation can greatly benefit your case by providing expert advice and guidance in navigating the legal process, negotiating with insurance companies, and pursuing compensation for damages. An experienced attorney can also help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
To fully prepare for your first meeting, it’s important to bring the following documents.
Copy of the police report
Copy of your insurance declarations page
Photographs of the accident – include any photos or videos you took of the accident, including any injuries, property damage, or anything you believe could be useful
Medical records – if you were injured and needed medical attention, bring any relevant medical copies you have related to the accident
Wage loss information – if you have missed work due to your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of your income. Bring any documentation from your employer showing missed days.
A list of questions to ask – you will most likely have a bunch of questions to ask, so be sure to bring a list of questions that you have prepared since the day you got into the accident. Some questions could include:
What is your experience with personal injury cases?
How long have you been practicing?
Have you worked with cases similar to mine? What was the outcome?
Will it take long to resolve my case?
Do You Have to Accept an Insurance Settlement?
No, you are not required to accept an insurance settlement. An insurance settlement is a negotiated agreement between you and the insurance company to resolve your claim. It is up to you to decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer. However, it is important to consider several factors before accepting or rejecting a settlement offer, including: The extent of your damages and medical expenses The liability or fault of the other party involved in the accident The strength of your case and the likelihood of success in court The cost and time involved in pursuing a lawsuit
How Do I Know If I Have a Car Accident Claim Worth Pursuing?
To determine if you have a car accident claim worth pursuing, assess the extent of damages incurred and determine who was at fault for the accident. If you incurred significant damages and the other driver was at fault, it may be worth pursuing a claim.
Should I Accept Another Driver’s Insurance Company’s Offer After My Car Accident?
You do not have to accept the first settlement offer; the insurance company will likely make another settlement offer at an increased value. Once you refuse to take the first offer from the insurance company, you will be on your way to more negotiations. The insurance claims adjuster may tell you they cannot increase the settlement offer, but this is not true.
Will My Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident?
An accident affects your car insurance rates for three to five years, although this varies by state and insurance provider. Even if it was a minor crash, insurers perceive you as a greater risk and will almost always increase your rates.
What Can Dash Cam Footage Be Used For? Is Dash Cam Footage Admissible in Court?
Recorded footage can provide evidence to your car insurance company of what caused an accident, instead of relying solely on eyewitnesses to determine how an accident occurred. Additionally, Dash Cam footage can be provided within a court of law to provide further evidence.
Yes, dash cams are legal to install in private vehicles and the footage is almost always admissible as evidence in court. However, you should be careful about what your dashcam is recording. The footage must be a record of what actually happened. If video evidence is altered, or if it’s not clear what exactly transpired, then it may not be admissible in court proceedings.
Can You Use Your Dash Cam for Proof That You Weren’t Speeding?
Although they’re not calibrated like a law enforcement officer’s radar, they can still be used to call into question speeding— especially if the officer has cited you for allegedly going at a higher speed than the posted limit. If the Police have reason to believe that a crime has been committed Dash Cam footage can be requested and if denied a warrant can be issued for its release.
What if I Was Hit by an Uninsured Driver?
If you have been involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, if you selected uninsured motorist coverage, you can sue your own automobile insurer for any damages caused by the accident. If you did not select uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a lawsuit for your personal injuries against the uninsured driver for your pain and suffering and any medical bills caused by the accident, but whether you can collect those damages will depend on whether the other driver has sufficient assets.
Following the accident, gather as much information as possible, by taking photos and videos of the scene. If there are any witnesses ask them if you can record a video of them stating what happened. If the other driver has fled the scene, try to record as much as you can that could help the police find the vehicle. Any parts of the license plate, make or model, color, style, and any type of description of the driver could help.
What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents?
The most common causes of car accidents include: Distracted driving - whether it be texting and driving, or the driver is not paying attention for whatever reason, this is the number one cause of car accidents Intoxicated driving - this is the second most common cause of car accidents and can be fatal to everyone involved. Speeding Reckless driving Running traffic signals Vehicle defects
How Should I Respond to Insurance Companies That Call After a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
You are required to give a statement to your insurance company after an accident. However, you are not required to talk to any representative from any other insurance company. You need to be aware that what you say can be used to try to minimize your claim, so it’s important to hire an experienced car accident attorney that can best represent you and will know exactly how to handle situations like these.
What Do I Do in a Minor Accident with No Damage? Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
If there is no damage to the cars involved, and no injuries, it is still recommended that you call the police. Exchange information with the other driver as well, such as name, phone number, and insurance information. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the scene, taking as many different angles as possible.
Hiring a personal injury attorney is always an option, and if the accident was the other person's fault, you have a legal right to recover from your losses. At The Law Offices of Gold, Albanese, Barletti LLC, we are able to make that happen for you. You’ll want to contact your lawyer as soon as the accident happens, although you can wait a little to do so.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
Call 911 and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think you were seriously injured, many injuries sustained from car accidents are not evident until days or even weeks later.
Get insurance information from other drivers and the contact information of everyone involved in the accident, including any witnesses. If possible, take pictures, jot down notes regarding what happened and get a copy of the police report. If you were transported to receive medical attention, get all vital information from the police as soon as possible.
Contact an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney. They will protect your rights and help to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do at the Scene of the Car Accident?
The most important thing to do firsthand is to check your own personal injuries and whoever was in your vehicle. If you are not okay, call an ambulance right away. When you have brought yourself over to a safer place (if possible), call the police and file a report. This is crucial, as a police report is how they will determine who is at fault and who is responsible for the crash. Then, it’s recommended that you get the other individuals who were involved in the crash name, phone number, and insurance information. You do not have to give a statement yet but getting the necessary information is important.
What Statements Should Be Provided at the Scene of the Accident?
When you are at the scene of the car accident, it’s always important to make sure you are cooperating with law enforcement and to also speak openly with any medical personnel that are attending to your injuries. In that case, you should be giving statements to those individuals.
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
In most scenarios, you will have a case if someone acted carelessly and is the reason for your injuries. But, you shouldn’t have to handle this situation alone, so contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. We will be able to tell you who you can sue, and what you can expect to recover from your accident.
Do I Have a Case If I Didn’t Wear a Seat Belt?
In cases involving accident victims who weren’t wearing seat belts, it is important to carefully examine the circumstances of the accident and the type of injury or injuries that the victim suffered. Usually, the standard defense in these cases is that the injuries would not have occurred if the victim had been wearing a seat belt.
Our lawyers counter these arguments with the testimony of nationally recognized experts in auto injuries. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, they may be able to testify that had you been wearing a seat belt:
The injuries still would have occurred, or
The injuries would not have been as severe as they were, though you still would have suffered injuries.
In either case, you would still be eligible for compensation. Our goal when representing you will be to obtain maximum compensation for you.
When Should I Contact My Insurance Company? Should I Give a Statement to the Insurance Company?
It is likely that your insurer will require you to report the accident within a certain time frame, so it is important to act quickly. Oftentimes, you will have a month to report the accident to your insurance company. When it comes down to actually filing the claim, there may or may not be a time limit.
An insurance adjuster will most likely contact you to get the details of the accident. Do not give a recorded statement or sign anything without speaking to an attorney.
What Type of Compensation Will I Receive?
You may be entitled to damages for: Medical expenses Lost wages Pain and suffering Other types of damages Read more: What Types Of Compensation Can I Get From A Car Accident?
What Is My Car Accident Case Worth? How Long Will It Take to Settle My Claim?
No two cases are alike, and the value of a claim is based on the nature and severity of your injuries and the impact they have had on you and your family. The amount you ultimately attain often depends on the dollar amount of coverage that the liable party carries and whether or not you were partially responsible for the accident.
The length of time it will take to settle your claim depends on the individual circumstances. Some cases take just a few months to settle; others may take years.
Do I Have a Case If I Do Not Feel Hurt?
There is a possibility that you can still have a case even if you do not feel hurt. After being involved in a car accident, it’s possible that the adrenaline from the accident is causing you to not feel as much pain which is only temporary. You may start to feel increased pain or other symptoms later on, so it is better to always consult with a doctor even if you do not feel pain.
Do I Have to Call the Police After the Accident?
It is always better to be on the safer side when it comes to calling the police after an accident. You should always call the police even if there do not seem to be any injuries. Police officers are able to prepare police reports in connection with the crash and help you sort things out with documentation of what happened in case that is important in the future.
Should I Continue Driving My Car After an Accident?
One of the main concerns that some people have after getting into a car accident is whether or not their vehicle is drivable or if they are going to need a towing service. If you have any doubts that your vehicle is not going to be safe to drive, it’s important that you get it checked before using it.
What If I Had a Pre-Existing Condition?
If you were involved in a car accident and had a pre-existing condition that is now more painful, it’s important that you contact our attorneys today. Having a pre-existing condition can affect the amount of money paid out by the insurance company or awarded in a lawsuit. It is absolutely necessary to have an attorney that will not accept no for an answer and is dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve.
What Happens If The Insurance Company Says I Don’t Need a Lawyer?
Chances are that insurance companies are going to try and persuade you to not get a lawyer. If an insurance company offers you a settlement, do not accept any offers or sign anything until you speak with a lawyer. Our experienced lawyers will be able to tell you if what you’re being offered is fair, at no cost to you.
What If I Was Partly At Fault for the Accident?
New Jersey has what is known as a comparative negligence law, meaning that even if you are partially responsible for an accident, you can still sue the other drivers for any fault they had in the accident.
What Is Meant By a No-Fault State?
In New Jersey, no fault insurance means that if you are injured in a car accident, your own car insurance coverage will pay some or all of your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Drivers maintain insurance to cover losses that they suffer from during an accident, which covers your own injuries and the damages. Who is at fault does not matter in this situation.
What Information Do I Need to File a Claim? Will I Go to Court if I File a Personal Injury Claim?
It is important to obtain as much information as possible in order to successfully file a claim. Some of the key information generally includes: The contact information of all parties involved The contact information of any witnesses of the accident A detailed explanation of how the accident occurred Photographs from the scene of the accident Any other information that would be able to help prove your case
Most cases, car accident claims can be resolved outside of court and settled through negotiating with an insurance company. But, many insurers try to settle claims quickly and for as little money as possible. If by chance the insurer does provide an offer that does not meet the full value of your claim, our attorneys are prepared to litigate the case in court.
What Should I Do If I Was The Victim of a Hit and Run?
If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident, it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect your legal rights. Call the police to file a report, obtain contact information of any witnesses to the accident, and document as much as possible about the scene of the accident. Seek medical treatment immediately if you are injured, and contact one of our lawyers as soon as possible.
Is There a Deadline to File My Car Accident Claim?
In New Jersey, victims generally have two years to file a personal injury claim for injuries they sustain in an accident. The sooner you get started, the better, so if you have suffered injuries from a car accident contact our attorneys today.
How Do You Know Who Was At Fault for a Car Accident?
Determining who was at fault for a car accident usually requires a detailed investigation. Most car accidents are caused by the driver's error, although other parties could bear some of the fault such as manufacturers, the employer of any drivers, and even governmental entities. An investigation will look into any traffic violations or evidence that the driver could have acted carelessly, as well as any defects in the vehicle and the overall layout of the accident’s scene.