Car accidents and injuries are on the rise in New Jersey. Data from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) reports shows that the overall rate of fatal crashes has risen significantly since 2013, with a total of 591 fatal collisions in the state in 2017.
That same year, there were a total of 61,753 injury accidents in New Jersey.
Many auto collisions happen because of another party’s negligence. Much too often, another driver engages in reckless or careless behavior behind the wheel, causing a crash and severe injuries.
Motor vehicle collisions also can occur as a result of defective motor vehicle parts, poor motor vehicle maintenance, dangerous road conditions, and inclement weather.
If you or someone you love recently got hurt in a car crash, you should speak with a New Jersey and New York car accident lawyer as soon as you can about filing a claim. An advocate at Kreizer Law can discuss your options with you for moving forward with a lawsuit.
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The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do If You're In An Accident
Common Causes of New Jersey and New York Car Accidents
Car crashes happen for many different reasons, often involving driver negligence. The following are some of the most common causes of car accidents in New Jersey:
- Aggressive driving, including speeding, tailgating, running red lights, or otherwise failing to obey the rules of the road;
- Distracted driving, including texting or talking on a cell phone while driving;
- Drunk or intoxicated driving;
- Drowsy or fatigued driving;
- Poor motor vehicle maintenance;
- Negligent repair of a motor vehicle;
- Design defect in an automobile part;
- Manufacturing defect in an automobile part;
- Poorly maintained roads; and
- Inclement weather.
Liability for a Motor Vehicle Crash in New Jersey and New York
Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may be able to seek compensation from one or more responsible parties. Examples of parties commonly liable for car accident in New Jersey and New York may include but are not limited to:
- Negligent motorist;
- Negligent pedestrian or bicyclist;
- Negligent mechanic;
- Owner of the vehicle (if different from the person driving);
- Property owner responsible for maintaining the area where the accident occurred;
- Designer of the automobile or one of its parts;
- Manufacturer of the automobile or one of its parts.
Seeking Compensation After a New Jersey or New York Auto Accident
To seek compensation after a car accident in New Jersey or New York, it is important to speak with an attorney about filing an insurance claim.
Your lawyer can help you to negotiate with the insurance company for a reasonable settlement offer.
If you cannot get a reasonable settlement offer, it may be necessary to take your case to court. Generally speaking, the following are steps to take after getting hurt in a crash:
- Gather information at the scene of the crash, including photographs, witness contact information, police report, and contact information for anyone involved in the collision;
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you do not have immediate signs and symptoms of a severe injury;
- Contact your insurance company to report the crash, but do not provide any subjective information (e.g., your opinion about who caused the accident or how it happened);
- File an insurance claim with the help of your attorney;
- Seek a reasonable settlement from the insurance company; and
- File a car accident lawsuit if you cannot obtain a reasonable settlement offer, or if insurance limits prevent you from obtaining full compensation for your losses.
The New Jersey and New York car accident lawyers at our firm can discuss the car accident claims process with you and can get started on your case today.
Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident in New Jersey
If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash in New Jersey and need to take your case to trial, it is important to pay careful attention to the statute of limitations in a personal injury lawsuit. A car accident plaintiff has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim for compensation. Failure to file a claim within the two-year period specified in the statute can result in the plaintiff’s claim becoming time-barred.
Once a claim is time-barred, an injured car accident victim cannot file a lawsuit to seek compensation, regardless of the severity of the injury or clear-cut fault. While two years might seem like a long time, it can take months to go through the insurance claims process.
Until you file an insurance claim, you will not know whether you need to take your case to trial. Further, the longer you wait to get started on your claim, there is a greater chance that evidence can be lost. You should begin working with an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney today to ensure that you remain eligible to receive compensation.
Effect of Contributory Negligence in a New Jersey Car Crash
What will happen if the car accident victim is partially to blame for the accident or for the severity of his or her injuries? Under New Jersey contributory negligence law, as long as a plaintiff is not 51 percent or more to blame, then that plaintiff is still permitted to recover. However, a plaintiff’s award is reduced by his or her percentage of liability.
For example, if a court determines that a plaintiff is 25 percent liable and awards the plaintiff a total of $100,000, that award is reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Accordingly, the $100,000 award would be reduced by 25 percent (or, $25,000), and the plaintiff would recover $75,000.
Once a plaintiff’s negligence is greater than the defendant’s (51 percent or more), then the plaintiff is barred from any recovery.
Contact Our NJ and NY Auto Accident Lawyers Today
Were you injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by another party’s negligent or reckless behavior? You should not have to bear the costs of an accident when another party may be liable. Auto accidents can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, not to mention the costs of pain and suffering.
Call us toll-free 1‑(800)-4-JUSTICE® –1-(800)-458-7842 to begin evaluating your case.
An experienced and compassionate New Jersey and New York auto accident attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact Kreizer Law to learn more about the personal injury services we provide to clients and their families in ew Jersey and New York.