Driving around New Jersey can be complicated. Major highways, such as the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike, Route 80, and Route 78, carry thousands of people from one part of the state to the other. Beyond that, there are hundreds of other major highways, county roads, and local roads that carry hundreds of people each day. Since there are many drivers on the road, there are many car accidents. Getting injured in a car accident is a traumatic event. It can leave a person facing long-term injuries or disabilities. They may be unable to return to work in the same capacity as before and face mounting medical bills.
New Jersey law allows victims to recoup their losses from their auto insurance. However, there are certain instances when a victim can sue a liable party. A victim should contact a Burlington County car accident lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman for help determining the best course of action after a collision.
What are Common Types of Car Accidents?
With mounting traffic congestion and drivers becoming more negligent, distracted, and reckless behind the wheel, there are bound to be an array of accidents. There are various types of accidents, which include:
- Rear-End Collisions: Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They occur when one driver does not see another vehicle stopped in front of them and the moving car hits the stationary vehicle from behind.
- Front-End Collisions: These are the most dangerous type of accident because a driver could be thrown headfirst into a windshield. These occur when one car leaves their lane and wanders into opposing traffic.
- Side-Impact Collisions: In these collisions, one vehicle is in the middle of the intersection when a second vehicle enters and hits that car on the side. These occur when one or both drivers should not be in the intersection.
What are Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents?
No matter the severity of an accident, injuries can happen. The intensity of an accident does not necessarily translate into an equal level of injury. However, even if someone has been involved in an accident and they do not believe that they were injured, they should still seek medical help. There are hidden injuries that could be lurking under the surface. The most common car accident injuries include:
- Bruising and Contusions: Even a minor accident can lead to bruising or contusions if the driver slams hard into their seat belt. A seat belt will prevent worse damage, but it will still leave a bruise for a few weeks.
- Whiplash: This occurs when the head moves backward and suddenly forward. It rarely causes long-term problems, but it can be painful for several weeks.
- Neck and Back injuries: The severe rapid force that takes place during a car accident can result in neck and back injuries. A neck or back injury might not be immediately detectible, but it can lead to limited mobility and other problems.
- Concussions: During an accident, a victim could hit their head hard on an object within the car, causing a concussion. There are multiple symptoms of a concussion, including memory loss and an inability to think quickly. Immediate care can limit any long-term problems associated with a concussion.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): These alter the way the brain works and has long-term effects. Recovery is possible, but treating the injury could take years, depending on its severity.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): After a major car accident, a person could experience severe emotional impact. A car accident victim may not want to drive anymore or even have difficulty sleeping.
- Broken Bones: With the sudden stop of a vehicle, it could cause a victim’s body to collide with parts of the car, putting tremendous stress on a person’s bones. That stress could cause bones to break, which could result in a broken arm, leg, or another part of the body.
- Internal Bleeding: A person’s organs are fragile and can easily bruise upon impact. That impact can also lead to internal bleeding. A victim must be treated immediately to avoid any serious damage to those organs or the rest of the body.
After being involved in an accident, a victim should seek medical help as soon as possible. Even if they do not believe that they were injured, they should have a doctor confirm that diagnosis.
What Compensation can I Obtain Following a Car Accident?
After an accident, victims can recoup certain financial losses from auto car insurance. This arrangement exists because New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning each victim’s auto insurance will pay for their medical bills, regardless of fault. A positive is that it eliminates the need to go to trial, and a negative is that it limits the amount a victim can recoup. A victim can only claim concrete expenses that they lost, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Lifelong medical treatment
- Wrongful death
When can I File a Lawsuit in New Jersey?
The laws in New Jersey when it comes to car accidents can be convoluted. While it is a no-fault state that gives victims a non-litigious option to recoup their losses, there is an opportunity to seek out additional compensation from the person or entity that is liable for their accident. An additional consideration is the “limitation on lawsuit” tort option that is available.
The limitation on lawsuit option could have serious consequences in the future, especially if the victim becomes involved in a car accident. Not selecting it prohibits their opportunity to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. When purchasing auto insurance, drivers should consider this option and consult with a car accident lawyer to determine their best course of action.
However, there are limitations on what circumstances must take place for a person to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the injuries are severe enough, it could open the possibility of a lawsuit. The circumstances that can lead to a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Wrongful death
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Permanent injury
Even though these conditions must exist to sue a liable party for the role they played in the accident that led to injuries, the process is very challenging. To file the lawsuit, the victimized party must demonstrate that they meet one of six requirements. To do that, a doctor must certify that the victim suffered one of the injuries. To verify that diagnosis, valid imaging diagnostic tests must be used.
What is Comparative Negligence?
New Jersey follows a comparative negligence law, meaning a court assigns a percentage of blame or fault for all involved parties in an accident. They are then responsible for that percentage of the overall reward issued. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 10 percent liable, that percentage is deducted from the full amount that the defendant will have to pay. In addition, if a person is found to be more than 50 percent liable, they will not be eligible to collect any of the reward.
What are the Causes of Most Accidents in New Jersey?
There are numerous causes of accidents, such as human error or road conditions. While situations, like poor weather, can contribute to accidents, one of the most dangerous causes are negligent drivers. The common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: This has become one of the most common causes of accidents. Many states prohibit texting while driving, and others require hands-free devices while talking on the phone.
- Drunk Driving: Drug and alcohol impairments limit reflexes and slow reaction times.
- Speeding: Speeding limits reaction time, meaning speeding drivers cannot respond quickly to stopped vehicles in front of them.
- Reckless Driving: This is when a driver is changing lanes and not paying attention to other drivers around them. It can also include not taking the necessary precautions when out on the road.
- Aggressive Driving: An aggressive driver makes others around them nervous and causes them to overreact, which could cause an accident. Aggressive drivers will weave in and out of traffic and accelerate and brake hard to get to where they want to go as quickly as possible.
There are many causes of car accidents, and it is important for motorists to know them. Additionally, the cause of an accident can affect liability. For help with filing a lawsuit to collect damages, it is encouraged that a car accident victim seeks legal representation.
Burlington County Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Find Justice for Injured Collision Victims
If you have been involved in a car accident in New Jersey and you are having a difficult time figuring out your legal options, the Burlington County car accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can help you with your case. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online for a free consultation today. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Burlington County and the surrounding areas.