Car Accidents in Neptune City
Neptune City, New Jersey, is a busy town with close proximity to beaches and other family friendly destinations. Throughout the year, but particularly in warm-weather months, Neptune sees its fair share of vacation traffic as well as local commuter traffic.
Known as the Crossroads of the Jersey Shore, Neptune Township, New Jersey, includes major highways such as the Garden State Parkway and State Highways 18, 33, 35, 66 and 71.
On these thoroughfares, as well as the smaller local streets, there are plenty of car accidents that occur, causing property damage and economic harm as well as personal injury. People involved in accidents in Neptune can turn an experienced car accident lawyer to help them understand their rights and secure compensation for their losses.
What are Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Common causes of car accidents include dangerous driving behaviors as well as oversights and mistakes. Many driver errors have to do with some form of negligence. The most egregious driving conduct includes when a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle while clearly in an unsafe condition, such as intoxicated, overtired, or perilously distracted. Accidents can also be caused by negligent car manufacturers or road maintenance authorities.
Some of the most common behaviors that lead to accidents include:
- Failure to use turn signals
- Running red lights
- Driving distractions
- Drunk driving
- Driver fatigue
- Poor weather
- Road conditions
- Mechanical defects
- Blind spots
What are Injuries Commonly Suffered in Serious Car Accidents?
Neck injuries: Whiplash is the most common neck injury. Whiplash occurs in a car accident when the force of the impact jolts the person in one direction before they are violently thrown in the opposite direction, causing their head to swing back and forth and their neck to bear the brunt of the extreme force. The harm from this and other neck injuries can range from muscle strains to serious nerve damage.
Head injuries: Concussions can cause temporary damage, but more severe brain injuries can include brain bleeds, nerve damage, and swelling in the brain. These injuries can cause issues such as temporary blackouts to long-lasting comas as well as permanent loss of consciousness or responsiveness that leaves the individual with no chance of returning to normal life.
Back injuries: Injuries to the spine and spinal cord can cause permanent paralysis. Some back injuries lead to life-long struggles with pain. Some cause mobility issues or recurring bouts of incapacitation from damaged muscles, disks, tissues, and bones.
Broken or fractured bones: Some of the most common car accident injuries, bone fractures or breaks can cause intense pain, immobility, and inability to work. In a car accident, breaking a bone may cause other damage if the bone tears through muscle or tissues.
Soft tissue injuries: Sprains and strains can be quite painful and may require lengthy physical therapy before the injured person regains proper use of their injured body part. Torn ligaments and tendons can take months to heal properly.
Nerve damage: Car accidents can cause deep and lasting damage to nerve cells that send signals throughout the body. Damage to nerves can cause intense pain and can affect a person’s ability to return to normal life after their injury.
What damages are Available in a Car Accident Claim?
Typically damages in a car accident case are paid out by the driver’s own insurance company. In New Jersey, claimants can file a claim for any expenses they incurred as a result of the crash. The two major kinds of car accident claims are medical bills for diagnosis and treatment of injuries suffered in the accident, and lost wages that the injured person would have been able to earn, if not for the accident.
Medical bills: This includes costs for such items as co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses that address injuries caused by the accident, such as payments for ambulance transportation, emergency room visit, follow-up doctor’s appointments, diagnostic testing, treatments, physical therapy, medical equipment, and medications.
Lost wages: Damages may also include lost income, which compensates the injured claimant for the income they lost while recovering from the incident. It may also compensate them for lost future income that their injury prevents them from making in the future.
When are Third-Party Insurance Claims Appropriate?
The law in New Jersey, a no-fault state, establishes that individual driver’s must carry at least basic coverage and that when there is an accident, the covered driver will file their claim for coverage under their own insurance, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. The coverage should include personal injury protection (PIP) as part of the policy for this purpose.
In some cases, however, the injuries are so extreme that the claimant’s needs are not met by the PIP insurance limits. When this happens, the injured person may file a third-party claim against the other driver’s insurance.
New Jersey’s status as a no-fault state does make exceptions for these extreme cases. Any of the following injuries may be the basis for a third-party lawsuit:
- Loss of a body part
- Significant disfigurement
- Significant scarring
- A displaced fracture
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury that no longer functions normally
One feature of a third-party claim that is not available through PIP insurance coverage is that a third-party claim may include a provision to seek non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver?
Sometimes the costs of the injuries are far greater than the limits if the insurance policy. Often this brings up the question of whether or not to sue.
If the amount of compensation offered in the insurance settlement does not meet the needs of the claimant, the claimant may decide to pursue legal action against the person responsible for their injuries. When this is the case, the injured party files a lawsuit to have the case heard in court.
Rather than having the representatives for both sides hash out a settlement agreement, the decision in a court case will rest with a judge who will make the call on who is legally liable for the accident and what amount of compensation would be fair to make things right for the aggrieved party.
Sometimes the threat of a lawsuit, and the associated legal costs of going to court, will be enough to force the at-fault party to offer more in a settlement. However, if the accused driver believes the case against them is weak, they may prefer to take their chances in court.
How Do Comparative Negligence Laws Affect the Compensation?
In New Jersey, the theory of comparative negligence may affect how much compensation an injured person can collect after a car accident. The theory asserts that if a person is at fault in the accident that caused their injuries, they will have their compensation reduced in correlation to the amount of fault they bear in the accident. In other words, if a driver suffers $10,000 in damages for an accident for which they were found to be 20 percent responsible, they would only be able to collect $8,000 in compensation for their injuries. If they are more than 50 percent at fault, they would not be able to collect compensation from the other party.
Neptune Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Help Injured Victims Seek Justice
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you should be able to collect damages to pay for things such as medical costs and lost wages you suffered as a result of your accident. If your injury meets certain criteria, you may be eligible to collect additional compensation for such things as pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. The Neptune car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova can help you understand your rights and support your contention that the other driver was at fault in your accident. We will work tirelessly to assemble all the relevant evidence to prove the other driver’s liability and to secure you the compensation 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.