Car Accidents in Monmouth County
One of the biggest attractions in New Jersey is the miles of beaches along the Jersey Shore. Several small towns are ideal destination spots for those from within and outside of the state who are looking to spend the day or longer at the beach. Monmouth County is home to the northern most portion of the Jersey Shore and includes several popular beach locations such as Asbury Park, Long Branch, and Sandy Hook.
In addition to the Shore, other popular tourist and shopping spots in the county include the PNC Bank Arts Center, the Freehold Raceway, and the Freehold Raceway and Monmouth Malls. All these popular locations encourage travelers from throughout the state and beyond.
Major roads such as Interstate 195 and the Garden State Parkway are popular highways to transport residents to the beach. Other major roads that lead to the Shore include Routes 18. 9, and 33. During the summer, there are more traffic on the roads, increasing the likelihood of a car accident.
When involved in an accident, a victim should hire a seasoned car accident lawyer, who can help them recoup any financial loses they sustained and see that their rights are protected.
What are Common Car Accident Locations?
There were 548 car accidents in New Jersey in 2020 and 585 fatalities, according to the New Jersey State Police. Monmouth County saw about 33 accidents, which resulted in 34 fatalities. There have been numerous studies analyzing the locations where most car accidents take place on the roads in Monmouth County.
The top five locations of car accidents in the county include roads with the following:
- Four or more lanes, no median, and no shoulder
- Four or more lanes, a grass or curb median, and no shoulder
- Three lanes with no shoulder
- Two lanes with no shoulder
- Four or more lanes with no median and a shoulder
In the county, there are several roadways that are two or four lanes. Those include Route 9, Route 18, the Garden State Parkway, Route 34, Route 36, Route 70, and Route 537. There are portions of these roads that do not have any median or even a grass median.
What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Car Accident?
Once an accident happens, it can be a scary and disorienting experience. There are important steps a victim should take immediately following an accident. These steps will become useful if that person needs to file a claim against a liable driver. It is the early stages of building a case. These steps include the following:
- Safety first: If the accident the vehicles were involved in was minor, the vehicles should be removed from the street and rolled onto the shoulder. The drivers should turn off their car and put the hazard lights on. If possible, the drivers should place cones around them to alert other drivers about the disabled vehicles on the road.
- Seek help: All involved should check for injuries and call for an ambulance if needed. Regardless of the level of injuries, the police should be notified. The use of a police report will help in putting together a case later.
- Gather information: Victims should speak with all others involved in the accident or those who witnessed the accident. They should obtain statements, names, numbers, and driver’s license numbers. Other information should include the location of the accident, the police officer called to the scene, and any other relevant details.
- Take photos: Along with gathering information about the scene, a person should also take photos of the accident, including the damaged vehicle and any details that might have contributed to the accident such as debris on the road.
- Be minimal: When speaking to others involved in the accident, victims should be wary of saying anything that can be interpreted as assuming responsibility for the accident. They should provide as little information as possible and not sign any documents unless they are provided by the police officer or the victim’s insurance agent.
- Seek remediation: At the first opportunity, a victim should reach out to their insurance company and an experienced car accident lawyer to guarantee that their rights are protected and they receive the compensation that they deserve.
It might be difficult to remember all these steps at the time of the accident, but drivers should have a list on them or in their car for reference if they find themselves in this situation. If the victim is unable to perform the tasks themselves because of injury, a passenger involved in the accident can do them if possible.
What are Some Common Causes of Car Accidents?
With a higher number of cars out on the road, it can lead to more accidents, but it also does not help the situation when there are drivers who are not acting responsibly on the road. There are several common causes of accidents that occur every year. Most are preventable with more awareness from drivers. These causes include the following behaviors:
- Distracted driving: This contributes the most to accidents throughout the United States. Most distracted drivers are engaged on their cell phone making a phone call, checking emails, or texting. There are other forms of distracted driving as well, with drivers performing other tasks rather than paying attention to the road. There are drivers who will finish shaving or applying make-up or even squeezing in breakfast or a cup of coffee.
- Drunk/impaired driving: It is estimated that about 29 deaths per day are caused by people who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A driver who is impaired has a reduced reaction time and is unable to concentrate fully on the road before them.
- Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit or at least exceeding the speed of the other drivers on the road can be extremely dangerous. At faster speeds, it means it will take longer for a car to slow down, giving a motorist less time to react to a stopped vehicle in front of them.
- Running red lights and stop signs: About 40 percent of traffic accidents occur at intersections when drivers carelessly or negligently run a red light or a stop sign and collide into oncoming traffic.
- Reckless driving: This includes driving in a manner that pays little regard to fellow drivers on the road. Examples of reckless driving include switching lanes without looking and not abiding by caution warnings.
- Aggressive driving: Similar to reckless driving, this constitutes any driving offenses initiated by a driver that put other drivers at risk. Speeding can be an example of aggressive driving.
- Fatigue: If a driver is feeling tired or drowsy when they get behind the wheel, their reflexes will not be as sharp. A person should not get behind the wheel if they have been awake for too long.
Accidents can also happen as a result of errors that are beyond a driver’s control. There are outside conditions that can contribute to these mishaps. They include the following issues:
- Weather conditions: Certain conditions such as rain, snow, and ice cause roadways to be slippery, meaning drivers can lose control of their vehicles. When this happens, cars could collide into barriers on the side of the road or other vehicles.
- Road conditions: When the state or local municipality fails to treat the roads, defects such as potholes can form. Potholes can cause a rupture in a tire, causing a vehicle to lose control.
- Defective vehicle: There are hundreds of parts within a vehicle. If one of those parts fails, it could cause a chain reaction leading to a problem on the roadway. Cars should be inspected routinely to avoid this type of mishap.
How can I Recoup My Losses?
New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning a victim can seek their financial compensation through their individual insurance carriers rather than having to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the car accident. This streamlines the process and makes it easier for victims to recoup financial losses. Among the expenses victims can seek include medical expenses and lost wages.
Victims of personal injury can only claim financial losses that were the result of the accident. Those are expenses that they can clearly demonstrate they suffered. They cannot seek non-definitive expenses such as pain and suffering on their car insurance, although there are options for that.
Can I File a Lawsuit in New Jersey?
New Jersey car accident laws can be complicated, but the option to sue is present under a provision called the verbal threshold. This option is available to drivers so long as they select the limitation on lawsuit option as part of their car insurance.
The problem is not selecting it greatly reduces a person’s premiums, meaning that they are more likely to not select it to keep their monthly costs down. Unfortunately, not selecting it will prohibit a person’s ability to file a lawsuit against a negligent party should they be involved in a car accident. Given the complexity of the situation, victims should hire a car accident lawyer who can explain their options for them.
However, there are limitations on what circumstances must take place for a person to file a lawsuit. If the injuries are severe enough, it could open the possibility of a lawsuit. The circumstances that must exist are as follows:
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Permanent injury
Under these conditions, a victim can sue a negligent party for pain and suffering expenses. However, the process is challenging. Hiring a capable car accident lawyer can help build a case to ensure it has the best chance for success.
To file a lawsuit, a party most prove that they meet one of the six criteria to move forward. A doctor must certify, under penalty of perjury, that the victim suffered one of the six injuries. That diagnosis must be verified with objective clinical evidence including a valid diagnostic test such as an MRI, EKG, or X-ray. As a reminder, this threshold does not exist for those looking to just obtain financial loss compensation such as lost wages or medical bills.
Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyer at Mikita & Roccanova Represent Car Accident Victims Regardless of the Cause
Accidents can happen on the road, and there is no telling when they could happen or what could cause them. No matter the circumstances of your accident, if you sustained injures, you are entitled to a financial reward from the party that is liable for the accident. The Monmouth County car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova will work with you to ensure that you receive the compensation package that you deserve. 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.