When driving around in a vehicle, there is always the possibility of being involved in a car accident. These can be scary experiences that leave the victim feeling vulnerable and afraid. There are many different reasons why car accidents happen, and in many instances, victims are not at-fault. Car accidents can happen at any time and it is best to be prepared. The time after a car accident can feel overwhelming with an uncertainty about one’s health and job prospects. Victims need someone who can guide them through an ordeal. The Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova help victims by determining liable parties and ensuring victims receive the compensation they need.
Why Do Accidents Happen?
There are numerous circumstances that lead to an accident with a significant amount having to do with negligence. However, there are some instances where a driver is not at-fault, but in many cases, someone is responsible. Some circumstances include:
- Distracted driving: The two most common distractions while driving are talking on the phone and texting. Most states banned phone use while driving, with the former being legal in some places only with a hands-free device. Still, others try to accomplish other things while in the car, such as shaving, applying makeup, or even eating food.
- Aggressive driving: These types of drivers cause everyone around them to drive differently than they would normally. An aggressive driver will swerve in and out of traffic and accelerate just to get ahead of someone. This type of driver makes others more nervous as they react to the aggressive nature. They can also be a distraction to others. In many instances, the aggressive driver might not even be involved in an accident but is still the cause of one.
- Drowsy driving: This is a problem that is prevalent among truck drivers who might be driving beyond their own limits to make a delivery by a certain time. Federal regulations limit the amount of time a truck driver can be on the road before they must take a break. Some employers push their drivers to violate those regulations. Driving drowsy is a problem because a tired driver might not be focused on the road as well as they should be. Their reaction time will be down and lead to a major accident. Truck drivers are not the only ones that run the risk of driving drowsy. Car drivers can also fall into this category, especially if they are driving at times they are not accustomed to, such as late at night or early in the morning.
- Drunk or impaired driving: When a driver indulges too much in alcohol or illegal narcotics, it impairs their senses. Their reaction time is significantly impaired and their ability to process what they see can also be altered. In most states, impaired driving is a criminal violation that could carry jail time, depending on the situation.
- Failure to signal: This can be a careless mistake or a sign of distracted or even aggressive driving. By failing to signal, those around the driver are unprepared for any turns that person makes. The driver could inadvertently collide with another. It could also result in a chain reaction as one driver attempts to maneuver out of the way of the incoming car.
- Speeding: All drivers have gone above the speed limit at one point or another. While it is a common practice, it is no less dangerous. When a driver speeds, they limit the time they must react to something, and the time other drivers must react to the speeder. The result could lead to major accidents.
- Weather conditions: Some circumstances do not involve the driver’s actions but conditions outside. The weather can wreak havoc on drivers from slippery road surfaces to limited visibility. It is best to avoid driving in these conditions whenever possible.
- Product defects: Manufacturing or design errors occur with cars. In those instances, a driver may not be prepared to deal with what defect is embedded in the car. It could cause the car to spin out or the driver to lose control. In those instances, we will hold the manufacturer liable.
New Jersey Accident Laws
If a car accident occurred in New Jersey, it is important to know the laws and how they impact what happens after the accident. New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that for victims to pick up any compensation, they must file it through their personal injury protection, no matter who caused the accident. An injury claim must meet certain prerequisites to move beyond no-fault limitations.
Several states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, offer no-fault protection in the event of a car accident. In many ways, the no-fault system is much more streamlined and less confrontational than the traditional approach. Under the traditional approach, the injured driver would have to file a liability claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. The injured party would have to convince the insurance company that their driver was responsible and provide evidence to prove that.
In a no-fault system, the injured driver submits a liability claim to their own insurance company, who will pay for the charges no matter who was at-fault for the accident. However, this method is not as lucrative as the traditional system. Under the no-fault system, there are certain expenses the injured driver cannot request, such as pain and suffering. The no-fault insurance will only pay out legitimate expenses that the victim incurred because of the accident.
New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations
If a case does not meet the criteria to disqualify it as a no-fault case, victims have the option to file a liability case against the driver deemed at-fault for the accident. Victims have two years from the day of the crash to file a claim. Most New Jersey courts will dismiss a case after the deadline, unless the victim can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances.
What is the Comparative Fault Rule?
New Jersey has a modified comparative fault rule when it comes to determining compensation for an accident victim. Under the rule, it is possible for both parties to share responsibility for an accident and as a result, the cost. The jury will first determine the percentage of responsibility each party possesses and reward the compensation accordingly. However, since New Jersey is a modified comparative fault state, the person seeking damages must not be found to be more than 50 percent responsible for an accident. If they are found to be more than 50 percent responsible, then they will not receive any compensation.
What Expenses am I Entitled to After My Accident?
New Jersey limits the types of expenses victims can claim in a no-fault case. Victims can receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills: If a victim requires any type of test as a result of an injury, they are entitled to receive compensation from their insurance provider or the party that was responsible for the accident. After an accident, be sure to save all medical files and bills to submit to the necessary parties.
- Lost wages: The accident might result in victims not being able to work for a limited period and they are entitled to receive money for those lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: Victims will not be able to collect this if a case falls under the no-fault scenario. If it does not, victims are entitled to seek pian and suffering damages from the at-fault driver.
Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Seek Compensation for Car Accident Victims
If you or someone you love suffered injuries from a car accident, contact the Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova today. We can help you receive the fair compensation that you deserve. Call us today at 732-705-3363 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Ocean County, Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.