Car accidents happen every day in New Jersey, and if you or someone you love have the misfortune of being in one, you will need a personal injury attorney at your side to make sure your rights and interests are protected.
Causes of Car Accidents in New Jersey
The vast majority of car accidents are just that – accidents. Often someone's negligence, poor driving, or poor conduct is the cause of an accident. It is rare for a crash to be the result of a deliberate decision to cause a wreck.
However, just because car accidents are not deliberate does not mean that there is no blame or liability to apportion. If you were hurt and you did not cause the crash, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries, and the person or the people who were ultimately responsible for the crash should be the one(s) to pay for it.
Many car accidents happen because a driver was simply being careless. Their inattention or poor decision making put them in a dangerous place and caused a car accident.
If you happened to be in the car, truck, or motorcycle that got hit, this does not mean that you should have to pay for the costs of your own recovery. Between an innocent and a careless driver, the careless one is more at fault for a crash and should pay for it.
Distracted drivers make a decision to take their eyes off the road and do something else instead. Texting, calling someone on the phone, or even changing music or adjusting a GPS device puts the other drivers on the road at an increased risk of a car accident. Holding distracted drivers accountable for their actions not only gets you the compensation you need and deserve, it can also teach people that distracted driving is just not worth it.
Still more culpable are drivers who actively impair themselves – whether through drugs or alcohol – and then get behind the wheel of a car. This puts others at dire risk of a serious car accident, as intoxicated drivers are far less able to protect themselves or others on the road.
If you are hit and hurt by a drugged or drunk driver, filing a personal injury claim to get the compensation you need should be an easy choice.
Injuries from Car Accidents
The need for a personal injury lawsuit after a car crash increases dramatically as the severity of the crash increases. If you are seriously hurt, the costs of your recovery skyrocket, up to and frequently beyond the point where your financial well-being is put into jeopardy.
These injuries come in a variety of forms. Some of the worst are physical injuries, including:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Burn injuries
The costs of recovering from these injuries vary widely, depending on the severity of the crash and how badly you were hurt. In the worst cases that involve serious injuries that cause long-term debilitations and require extensive and ongoing medical care, the costs can quickly reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, not all injuries that you suffer in a car accident are physical. Some are mental or emotional, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional distress
- A loss for life's enjoyments
- Losing the companionship of a loved one while they recover
Finally, there are other ways that you can suffer from a car crash, financially. These can include:
- Costs to repair or replace property damage
- Lost income while you recover
- Lost earning capacity due to your injuries
Compensation for each and every one of these negative outcomes from a car accident can be pursued in a personal injury case. This is in stark contrast to the popular belief that you can only count on your medical bills being covered in a successful lawsuit.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim in New Jersey for an Auto Accident
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident in New Jersey and are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit, consulting with an attorney is the first step to take. Explaining your case to a licensed and experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights as well as the process of how lawsuits like these work themselves through the court system. It can also give you a general idea of how likely you are to succeed and how much you could stand to recover for your injuries and how to handle payment of your medical bills.
While every case is different, there are certain stages that most cases go through:
- Initial investigation. After seeing an attorney and discussing your case, the lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine what really happened. What this investigation reveals can drastically alter the case as it becomes apparent who was truly at fault.
- Filing a complaint. Before the statute of limitations expires, a complaint needs to be filed. This is the first document in your court case and states what happened and why you deserve compensation.
- Opportunities for settlement. The reality of personal injury cases is that they very rarely make it to a trial. Most are settled out of court. Once the complaint has been filed, you and the person you are suing will discuss settlement possibilities. If one comes up that is to your liking, you can accept, settle the case, and relinquish your legal rights in exchange for the settlement offer.
- Pre-trial hearings. As the case progresses, your attorney will make arguments before the Court over points of law.
- Trial and verdict. Finally, if no settlement has been reached before the trial date, your case will go to trial. Your lawyer will present your case to a jury, the defendant's lawyer will raise arguments against it, and the jury will decide who was at fault and what should happen.