New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers You Can Count on
Proudly Serving Injured People Since 1927
Have you been hurt in an accident due to someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior in New Jersey? Injured in a car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, or a road along the Jersey Shore? Make sure you fully understand your rights. Make sure you talk to an experienced New Jersey car accident attorney at Shebell & Shebell, LLC. Our offices are located in Shrewsbury and Newark.
For nearly a century, our law firm has been fighting for the rights of injury victims throughout New Jersey. Founded in 1927, our law firm has a long history of helping people obtain the financial compensation they deserve for their car accident-related injuries. That’s why we want to meet with you to discuss your car accident. We want to find out what happened and create a strategy that suits your specific legal needs.
Types Of Car Accidents
Car accidents caused by other drivers can cover a wide range. Some of the most common – and most serious – car accident claims we handle at our law firm include:
- Rear-end car accidents – These types of collisions are the most common types of crashes. Serious injuries, including whiplash and concussions, are common in rear-end accidents.
- Head-on collisions – Among the most violent types of car accidents, head-on crashes often occur on city streets and rural roads due to the reckless or negligent behavior of the at-fault driver. Speeding, texting and driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol are common causes of head-on collisions, which are often fatal.
- Intersection accidents – Left-turn crashes, rear-end accidents, and head-on collisions are among the most common types of intersection accidents. Drivers who run a red light or don’t stop for a stop sign are often to blame. Reckless and aggressive driving frequently plays a role too.
- Hit-and-run – Drivers in New Jersey are required to stop and exchange information with the other driver if they’re involved in a collision. Failure to do so is against the law.
- Fatal car accidents – Many auto accidents result in fatalities. When they do, family members may want to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Whatever type of car accident you’re dealing with in New Jersey, we’re here to help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for his or her actions.
Causes Of Car Accidents
So why do car accidents happen? Some of the most common reasons why include:
- Distracted driving – Drivers need to pay attention at all times. If they don’t, they can easily cause a crash. Examples of distracted driving include using a cellphone, adjusting the radio, looking up directions on a GPS, personal grooming, and eating or drinking while driving. Other common forms of distraction include talking to a passenger, rubbernecking, and daydreaming (becoming lost in thought).
- Texting and driving – Reading or sending a text while driving is against the law in New Jersey. Even so, some drivers text anyway, resulting in a serious collision with another vehicle.
- Speeding – Drivers who speed often cause serious crashes because they don’t have enough time or space to slow down to avoid a collision. The severity of a car accident also increases exponentially with an increase in speed.
- Drinking and driving – Drunk drivers wreak havoc on the roads in New Jersey. Because their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impaired, drivers under the influence of alcohol often cause serious car accidents, including wrong-way crashes and head-on collisions.
- Falling asleep at the wheel – Tired drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have a choice. They could have pulled over and avoided causing a collision. Instead, they chose to drive while fatigued and fell asleep at the wheel.
These are just some of the reasons why motor vehicle accidents occur in New Jersey. There are many other reasons why collisions happen. That’s why a crash needs to be carefully investigated to determine who’s at fault.
New Jersey has a ‘choice no-fault’ car insurance system. What does that mean?
Like several states, New Jersey has a no-fault car insurance system. This means that individuals injured in a car crash file an injury claim for medical treatment with their own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. As a result, your insurance carrier will pay your medical expenses and other out-of-pocket losses up to your insurance policy limit, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Unlike other no-fault car insurance states, New Jersey’s system is slightly different. This is because drivers have more of a choice than insurance policyholders in other states, which is why New Jersey’s insurance system is referred to as ‘choice no-fault.’
Under this system, New Jersey drivers can choose between two main types of car insurance:
- Basic Policy insurance – As the name suggests, basic insurance policyholders only need to have $5,000 in property damage coverage per accident and $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage per person. Such policies do not include liability coverage, which provides insurance protection in the event that the driver causes an accident and accident-related expenses are not covered by PIP insurance.
- Standard Policy insurance – This type of car insurance includes a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. Policyholders can purchase additional coverage as high as $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident. This is why standard policy insurance is often referred to as full coverage in New Jersey.
Standard policy insurance holders also have another choice:
- Limited right to sue – This less-expensive choice only allows policyholders to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the injury victim sustains a severe injury as defined by the State of New Jersey and forfeits the right to sue for “pain and suffering.”
- Unlimited right to sue – This alternative type of insurance grants policyholders the right to sue the at-fault driver no matter what type of injury the crash victim sustains. Policyholders who choose the unlimited right to sue option can also seek damages (financial compensation) for “pain and suffering.”
How is fault determined for an accident in New Jersey?
Soon after a crash involving injuries, a police officer or New Jersey state trooper will likely investigate your accident. Details about your crash will be recorded in your accident report, officially called a New Jersey Police Crash Investigation Report.
Insurance adjusters often use the police accident report and other pieces of evidence to determine who was at fault, but it’s important to remember that insurance companies have a vested interest in paying crash victims as little as possible. That means even if the cause of your accident seems straightforward, an insurance adjuster may try to unjustly place the blame on you.
Fortunately, your car accident lawyer can be part of these conversations and deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf. This is why it’s critical to have an experienced attorney on your side looking out for your best interests.
How much is my claim worth?
There are many different factors that determine the total value of a personal injury claim, so there’s no set dollar amount. One of the most important things to consider when calculating the value of a claim is the severity of your injuries and the impact they’ve had on your life.
This is why it’s critical that you talk to an attorney right away when you’ve been injured in a car accident. A lawyer will be able to review the details of your case and give you a clear understanding of what you may be eligible to recover in compensation.
What can I be compensated for after an accident?
If you were injured in an accident because of someone else, you should be able to pursue compensation through your own policy for medical expenses and lost wages. Benefits available through PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage typically include:
- Follow-up doctor’s appointments to monitor your health progress.
- All surgical procedures, including follow-up surgery.
- Prescription medications, especially if you’re suffering from chronic pain.
- Physical therapy, especially if you have long-term physical issues.
- Replacement income if you cannot work while you’re recovering from your injury.
These are just some of the expenses you may be able to be compensated for after your crash. You may be eligible to receive additional compensation for other past, present and future expenses. Your attorney can help you explore all the options available to you.
Can I file a car accident lawsuit in New Jersey?
In most cases, you have the right to file a lawsuit if another driver caused your collision in New Jersey, even if you have “limited right to sue” car insurance. However, it’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible who understands New Jersey’s choice no-fault car insurance system. That way, you will know if you can or should take legal action in response to your collision. Each crash is different. So is the strategy for addressing them. That’s why it’s important to understand your legal options before deciding whether to file a lawsuit.
Where do I file a car accident lawsuit in New Jersey?
In general, you will need to file a lawsuit or take other legal action in New Jersey in the community where your accident took place or where you live. New Jersey’s courts are organized by county. Certain New Jersey counties have more than one courthouse, including Essex County, where Newark is located.
Attorneys will often determine the best jurisdiction to venue your case in based on all the factors involved. Sometimes a lawsuit can be brought in different counties, and one may be better for your case than another. This is why it’s important to consult with a lawyer familiar with New Jersey’s legal system. Where you file your lawsuit could influence the outcome of your case.
How much time do I have to take legal action?
In most cases, you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit or take other legal action in New Jersey. The deadline is two years from the date of your accident. However, if the accident involves a public entity, there are time frames that require notice in some instances as soon as within 30 days after the accident. This is due to the state’s statute of limitations on taking legal action in response to a motor vehicle accident, according to New Jersey state law (N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2(a)). It is also affected by the New Jersey Tort Claims Act.
Two years might seem like a long time. But the longer you wait, the more challenging it can often be to find the facts you need to build a strong legal case. Evidence related to your car crash can be destroyed or lost. Witnesses who saw what happened might move away or forget what happened. This is why it’s critical that you have an experienced attorney investigating your New Jersey car accident as soon as possible.
Count On Us When It Counts. Talk To A Car Accident Attorney.
Depending on the circumstances of your crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your accident-related expenses. In some cases of serious injury, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. You may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the financial effects of the accident. This can include your loss of income, medical bills, and other financial burdens from the accident.
Non-economic damages are the human losses that you suffer. These damages can include the pain you experienced, the effects on your quality of life, and how your life has been altered by the negligence of the other party. When pursuing damages, it is important to discuss your matter with an attorney that can assess your case and help you make informed decisions about your legal matter. Depending on what type of insurance you or the other driver has, there may be limits on how much money you can collect for pain and suffering, due to New Jersey’s insurance laws.
Make sure you understand your rights after your motor vehicle accidents. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation with a New Jersey car accident attorney who will stand up for your rights. Contact Shebell & Shebell, LLC. Our offices are located in Shrewsbury and Newark, and we represent people statewide.