Any motor vehicle accident can be devastating, and victims are often left to deal with the aftermath alone. Determining liability in a motor vehicle accident can be complex, and there are numerous factors that will need to be taken into consideration to help ensure that the true wrongful parties are held liable for their actions. At Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio, we have the experience to deal with the complexities of any accident case and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
We represent clients including but not limited to the following types of motor vehicle accidents:
- Car Accidents
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Distracted Driving
- Drowsy Driving
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Fatal Auto Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- New Jersey Dram Shop Liability
- Passenger Injuries
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Public Transportation Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Texting While Driving Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
Read our Motor Vehicle Accident FAQs for more information.
What to Do After a Motor Vehicle Accident in NJ
There are certain legal requirements that the state of New Jersey applies to drivers that have been involved in a car accident. These are covered in Sections 39:4-129 and 39:4-130 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes:
- Stop Your Vehicle – Drivers must immediately stop their vehicle if an accident has occurred that involved damages to their vehicle, other vehicles or any property.
- Pull to the Side of the Road – You must stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing traffic. If this is not possible, you should call a tow truck.
- Notify the Police – If police are not yet on the scene, make sure you contact them. Do not assume others at the scene have done so.
- Aid Any Victims – If anyone is injured, call 911 and provide as much help as possible until the EMTs arrive.
- Exchange Information – You are required to provide your name, address, and proof of driver’s license and vehicle registration to other drivers involved in the accident or witnesses at the scene. You must also give this information to law enforcement.
- File a Written Report – Any drivers that are involved in a motor vehicle accident must fill out a car accident report and submit that form to the New Jersey Department of Transportation within 10 days of the accident if any injuries or damages in excess of $500 occurred as a result.
In addition to these required steps, it is also wise to do the following if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident:
- Be Calm – Do not panic and leave the scene of the accident. This is known as a hit and run and is considered a criminal offense.
- Check Yourself and Any Passengers for Serious Injuries – If you or anyone else seems to have sustained serious injuries, stay put unless the situation requires you to vacate the vehicle. If you are able to leave the vehicle, do so carefully.
- Seek Medical Attention – Even if you do not think anything is wrong, make sure to get medical attention as soon as possible. You may have an injury that has a delayed onset.
- Write Down Everything About the Scene – This way you have a written record of what the scene was like. Memory can be faulty. Write down things like the time of day and what the lighting conditions were, road conditions, whether it was overcast or clear, what speed you were going, the estimated speed of the other driver, and other details about the incident.
- Get Witness Information – Make sure to get the name and contact information of any available witnesses.
- Do Not Admit Fault – Regardless of whether or not you feel like you are partially to blame for the accident, you should leave that for those with more experience to figure out. Trying to establish that the other driver was more at fault is important for receiving maximum recovery under New Jersey’s comparative negligence law.
- Do Not Volunteer Unnecessary Information to the Police – Cooperate with law enforcement but do not give out information that you are not asked to give. Also ask for the incident report number and the business cards of the officers.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – When talking to the insurance company do not admit fault for the accident, speculate about what the other driver may have been doing or thinking, downplay your injuries or make statements about what you were doing before the accident. Leave the injuries up to the medical professionals and details about what you were doing before the accident to your attorney.
- Keep All Documents Related to Your Accident – Any bills, reports, receipts or correspondences related to the accident and any injuries you may have sustained should be filed and kept organized.
- Seek Out Legal Assistance – It is vital that you acquire the expertise of a personal injury attorney like those at Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio to help you through the complexities of a motor vehicle accident case. We can help you deal with the insurance companies and the courts in order to make sure you receive proper compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages which are rightfully owed to you.
Keep in mind that motor vehicle accidents have a two year statute of limitations in New Jersey, starting from the day of the accident. Therefore, it is wise to get started on your accident case right away.
No-Fault States And PIP Insurance
If you or a loved one has been injured, it is vital to seek the counsel of an experienced New Jersey auto accident attorney who can help you understand the complexities of automobile insurance and claims procedures.
New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means a driver who is involved in an auto accident can collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with the accident–regardless of who was at fault. If a motor vehicle accident results in damages that exceed what your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy covers, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover additional compensation.
When it comes to motor vehicle insurance, most people choose what is known as the verbal threshold, since doing so comes with cheaper insurance policy premiums. However, it is important to know what exactly you are giving up when you choose this option. The verbal threshold restricts a policy holder’s ability to sue for pain and suffering for bodily injuries outside of specific serious cases. These six exceptions are as follows:
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury
In any of these cases, a person can sue for pain and suffering, also called non economic damages. The law guiding verbal threshold requires a physician to examine the injured party and provide objective clinical evidence that one of the six aforementioned injuries has occurred.
Comparative Negligence in Motor Vehicle Accidents
If the other driver was entirely at fault for the accident, then the other driver will usually be forced to pay compensation through their insurance for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
However, if you are partially to blame for the accident occurring, things get more complicated. New Jersey has a comparative fault rule which weighs how much you are at fault for the accident and then deducts that percentage from the total damages you are awarded in your case. So if you received a total damages award of $100,000 but you were found to be 30% at fault for the accident, you would only be entitled to $70,000. It is also important to note that if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident you will receive no compensation.
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys Can Help With Insurance Claims
Following an accident, dealing with insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers can be overwhelming and frustrating. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and will attempt to pay as little compensation as possible or even try to deny valid claims. Our experienced legal team has handled thousands of auto accident cases and has extensive experience in negotiating with insurance companies. At Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio, we will take the time to give you the specialized attention you need, communicate with your health care providers, gather evidence to support your claim and work to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages. We have convenient offices in Red Bank, NJ and Morristown, NJ.