Car Accidents in Highland Park
Highland Park, New Jersey, situated just above the Raritan River in Middlesex County, is home to many busy roads. A well-populated area in a very populous state, Highland Park sees its share of car accidents. Many people in one area can make for traffic congestion, which is one of the top causes associated with motor vehicle accidents for obvious reasons: more cars equal more chances for accidents.
Highland Park has a population of nearly 14,000 people in an area of about 1.83 square miles. Highland Park has a mix of highways and major roads that become packed with cars. Like other areas across the United States, even the side roads and residential streets have become sites of traffic accidents.
Though officials in the area are working every day to keep driving safe in the area, these roads and the many smaller side roads that crisscross the borough can be dangerous sites of serious car accidents. Drivers in Highland Park and the surrounding areas should be aware of what it means to be involved in a car accident in New Jersey.
What Types of Car Accidents are Common in Highland Park?
Some of the types of accidents that threaten the safety of people living and working in Highland Park include the following:
Rear-end collision. The most common type of car accident, rear-end collisions happen when drivers tailgate and the car in front stops suddenly. When this happens, the car in back cannot stop in time. These accidents cause car damage but can also cause serious personal injuries to drivers and passengers.
Intersection accident. When one car crashes into another car at an intersection, the type of accident is usually a side-impact collision, also called a T-bone accident. This type of accident occurs when one car enters the intersection when another car is traveling on a perpendicular road.
Low-speed collision. Unsurprisingly common, low-speed collisions can be surprisingly damaging. People are vulnerable to being seriously hurt in accidents that involve the size and weight of even a small car. Although high speeds do increase the chances of serious injuries, low-speed accidents have caused debilitating injuries to car occupants.
Pedestrian accident. Individuals who get hit by a car are extremely defenseless. A passenger crossing a street or a person standing nearby a busy road can easily become injured if a driver is not paying attention.
Head-on collision. Although this type of accident is less common than others, it is one of the most serious. A head-on collision happens when one car is traveling in the wrong direction, or when a car veers off a two-way highway into oncoming traffic.
What Kinds of Injuries are Caused by Car Accidents?
Many injuries are common in car accidents, some more serious than others. Some of the more serious injuries for which people seek accident damages include the following trauma:
Neck injuries. The most common neck injury caused by a car accident is whiplash, which is the result of a person’s head being thrown violently forward and snapping back from the force of a collision. Whiplash is common even at low speeds. More serious neck injuries can include nerve and spinal cord damage.
Broken bones and fractures. Broken arms and legs can be painful and take time to heal. Other broken bones can be more problematic, such as a broken hip, pelvis, or ribs.
Head and brain injuries. Ranging from concussions to traumatic brain injuries that cause ongoing problems with memory and cognition, head and brain injuries happen when someone hits their head on the steering wheel, car frame, window, or other object, which causes the brain to jostle around inside their skull or crash against their skull wall. Traumatic brain injuries can cause problems with how a person can control their body and may affect their intelligence, emotions, and personality.
Internal injuries. What may seem like a bad bruise at first may turn out to be something much more serious. Contusions and cuts can go deeper than the skin’s surface. Broken ribs can puncture internal organs. The high impact of a car accident can cause much deeper damage than may be obvious initially.
For these injuries and others, accident victims should seek out medical attention to ensure that their injuries are addressed right away, giving them the best chance of a positive outcome. Importantly, people injured in an accident should ensure that they have sufficient documentation of their injuries to be used in the claims process for insurance purposes or to support any other legal recourse for damages that may become necessary.
What Does It Mean that New Jersey is a No-Fault State?
People who get hurt in car accidents in New Jersey are subject to the state’s no-fault auto insurance laws, which means that any injuries or other losses they suffer will be covered by their own car insurance policy. This can be useful if the claimant wishes to avoid having to go through the other driver’s insurance company, but these laws can also limit the damages available.
Drivers in New Jersey must carry personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their policy. This is designed to provide more coverage for bodily injuries that may result from an accident. PIP covers the driver, their passengers, and others as outlined in the policy. The policy is active no matter who is at fault in the accident but does come with coverage limits.
How Do New Jersey’s Verbal Threshold Rules Affect My Right to Sue?
As part of New Jersey’s no-fault insurance laws, drivers in the state may be limited in their ability to sue for damages outside of monetary awards to reimburse costs for things such as accident-related vehicle damages, medical bills, and lost wages, which are calculable and not subjective.
According to these verbal threshold laws, a person cannot sue for things like pain and suffering or other hard-to-quantify damages unless their injuries exceed a certain threshold. Generally, the injuries that reach this threshold are severe and long term. Such injuries might involve losing the use of a body part, including of loss of motor function from nerve damage and the total amputation of a limb. Serious injuries that leave a person disfigured, maimed, or mutilated by burns or other injuries may qualify under the state’s threshold rules.
Each policy holder can determine if their insurance policy is subject to the verbal threshold by looking at the declarations page on their policy to determine if they have verbal threshold, which limits their ability to sue for lesser injuries; or no threshold, which carries no such limits. The choice to include a verbal threshold limit is useful in keeping premiums down, but it can be costly if an accident causes serious injuries.
What Happens if the Insurance Offer is Not Enough to Cover My Losses?
If the limits on the insurance policy do not cover the losses suffered by the claimant, they may be able to make the case that their injury is severe enough to take the issue to court.
Though the no-fault rules in New Jersey establish that each driver in a car accident should go through their own insurance for coverage of accident-related damages, there are instances in which an injured party may opt to go after the at-fault driver’s insurance in order to cover their losses. A lawyer familiar with New Jersey car accident law can determine if a particular case is eligible.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Although it is possible to let the insurance company determine how much a case is worth and make a settlement offer, they are under no obligation to do right by the policy holder. After all, auto insurance is a business with incentives to keep payouts low. Having a lawyer can ensure that the claimant has someone who understands the laws and the claims process on their side.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Represent Those Hurt in Serious Auto Collisions
Understanding the implications of insurance arrangements in New Jersey can be complicated. For someone who has been injured in an automobile accident, the details can become overwhelming. The Highland Park car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova can sit down with you to explain what New Jersey’s laws mean with regard to your coverage and your case. We are ready to handle your claim and will fight to get you the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County and Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.