Freehold Car Accident Lawyers
The roads in New Jersey can be dangerous, especially when there is excessive traffic and drivers are either not paying attention to where they are going or too busy rushing to their destination. The Freehold region has several areas of interest and neighborhood locations that garner their share of traffic on their roadways.
The biggest roads that go through the area include U.S. Route 9, Route 33 Business, and Route 33, with the latter leading to both the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. These and other roads travel to various Shore points, although there are plenty of tourist destinations within the area, including the Freehold Raceway, the Monmouth Battlefield, the village of West Freehold, and the Freehold Raceway Mall, the state’s second largest mall.
Major roadways and popular destinations bring in more traffic, and as the number of people on the road increases, so does the chances of a car accident. Collecting compensation for personal injury sustained in a car accident in New Jersey can be complicated. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can help a victim wade through the process to determine their best course of action.
What are Common Car Accidents?
With traffic moving over the state’s major highways and local roads, there are bound to be opportunities for an accident. The type of accident and its severity can have a direct impact on the injury a victim sustains. There are several types of car accidents:
• Rear-end collision: These are the most common, representing about 29 percent of all accidents. They occur when one vehicle runs into the back of another. The first driver may have stopped short or the second may not have been paying attention, or a combination of the two.
• Head-on collision: These are the rarest but the deadliest accidents and are the most likely to lead to passenger injury. They occur when two vehicles collide head-on. They usually occur when one driver leaves their lane and collides with another. They are more common in rural areas where vehicles can cross to the other side of the road to pass a vehicle.
• Side-impact collision or T-bone: These take place when a vehicle is turning and another vehicle hits it at a perpendicular angle. These accidents have increased over the past 20 years because of people traveling faster and a greater number of SUVs, crossovers, and vans on the road.
• Single-car collision: This occurs when a driver loses control of their vehicle. They can run off the road or collide with a non-vehicle such as a guardrail or soundproof wall.
• Low-speed collisions: Although not as problematic for the vehicle, they can still cause injuries to those who might get hit. They usually take place in confined areas such as parking lots, school zones, or other designated low-speed areas.
• Pedestrian collisions: These are always dangerous to the person who gets hit by the vehicle. The faster the car is traveling, the more severe the injuries can be. Pedestrian deaths have been on the rise over the years on account of faster car speeds and more distractions on the road.
Although there is no fool-proof way to avoid an accident, there are steps that drivers can take to minimize the chances. Those include paying greater attention to the road and not allowing other things to distract the driver from the road. Drivers should also be sure to be wary about driving in less-than-ideal conditions such as major rainstorms and snowstorms.
What are Typical Car Accident Injuries?
A variety of injuries can occur as a result of a car accident. There are instances when a person will sustain a light injury, although there are opportunities for an injury that can have a severe impact on the victim. Common car accident-related injuries include the following:
• Neck injuries or whiplash: These are the most common and occur when the neck is jerked in one direction suddenly. These can happen in speeds as low as 15 miles per hour.
• Fractures and broken bones: These are another common injury, as those involved in accidents can suffer a broken leg or arm. There have been reports of victims suffering from a broken pelvis.
• Bruising or contusions: There is going to be a certain amount of bruising associated with a car accident. Even if the driver is wearing their seat belt, that belt holding a person in place can cause a significant bruise.
• Concussions: When a collision occurs, a person’s head could impact with a part of the car, causing their brain to crash into their skull resulting in a concussion. This can have a long-lasting impact on the victim and result in memory loss and some other cognitive problems.
• Traumatic brain injuries: These are serious injuries that can have long-term effects on an individual and how they function. It can change the way the brain processes emotions and handles information. It is possible to recover from a brain injury, although depending on its severity, there are those who will require treatment for a long time.
• Internal bleeding: A person’s organs can be delicate and susceptible to damage, especially in a high-speed collision. The sooner one sees a doctor for their injuries, the less likely they will suffer any long-term effects.
Regardless of how minor a car accident appears to be, all those involved should have themselves checked out by a doctor immediately. Victims may not believe they got hurt, but they could be suffering from internal bleeding or something else that is not as apparent. When a major injury does occur, seeking medical attention quickly reduces the chances that the injuries will have any lasting effects on the victim.
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 they can seek include the following:
• Medical expenses: Anyone hurt in an accident will require medical treatment, which includes multiple doctors’ appointments as well as other treatments, including surgeries, evaluation, and physical therapy. Victims should keep all copies of their receipts and their notes from the doctor as part of the evidence used in their lawsuit.
• Lost wages: There are car accidents that result in significant injuries that prevent the driver from being able to work for an extended period. If the person does not have time off, the time away from work means a loss in salary. A victim can seek compensation for that loss.
Victims of injuries 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 auto 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.
Does New Jersey Limit What I can Collect?
New Jersey has a comparative negligence law, meaning that a court determines the percentage of fault for which a person is responsible in an accident and must pay that percentage of the overall award. That means the person suing can be found to bear some percentage of responsibility as well, meaning the amount they were originally hoping to obtain from the negligent party will be limited. In addition, if a person is found to bear more than 50 percent of the responsibility, they will be entitled to zero compensation.
Freehold Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Guide Car Accident Victims Toward a Speedy Resolution
The laws of New Jersey are complicated when it comes to dealing with compensation following a car accident. If you or someone you know was hurt or killed in an accident, it is difficult to decide what the proper path is to recoup your losses. The Freehold car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova can offer you legal advice and guidance on how best to proceed with your case. 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.