Howell Township Car Accidents
Car accidents are one of the biggest threats to health and safety in Howell Township, New Jersey. Traffic collisions are also a major financial drain on those involved in accidents. People who find themselves involved in a serious car accident in Howell Township should know their rights and understand the process for seeking redress from the party responsible for their losses.
Although recovering physically after a devastating car accident is most important, the financial losses associated with medical bills and lost income can also have a serious impact on one’s life. It can be invaluable to get a handle on what New Jersey state laws say with regard to the kinds of damages available through insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits and what circumstances determine the availability of certain types of compensation.
What State Laws Determine How Car Insurance Works in New Jersey?
Every driver is required to carry car insurance to provide coverage in case of an accident. In New Jersey, the coverage afforded by the insurance policy is meant to cover the losses of the policy holder and others specifically listed on the policy. This is because New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that the insurance payout is not contingent on a finding of fault, since each person involved in the car accident will file a claim for coverage under their own policy.
What Are the Benefits of No-Fault Insurance Coverage?
The major benefit of no-fault car insurance laws is that policyholders can receive benefits more quickly through their own policy without the need to litigate who was responsible for the accident. This means that those injured can pay their accident-related medical bills without delay, potentially eliminating concerns over late fees or other costs that may accrue on top of the initial costs of diagnoses and treatments.
Timely insurance payouts may also alleviate concerns of lost income that may otherwise threaten a persons personal and family finances if the payments were held up.
What Are Some of the Drawbacks of New Jersey Car Insurance Laws?
New Jersey laws restrict when someone in a car accident can sue for damages not covered by insurance. As long as certain conditions are part of the insurance policy, lawsuits are permitted in some extreme cases. State laws say that car accident damages must exceed a certain threshold for the person to file a personal injury suit against another driver or negligent party.
For damages to be available outside of the insurance policy’s coverage, one or more of the following conditions must have been suffered as a result of the accident:
- Displaced fractures
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of a fetus
Having sustained at least one of these serious injuries opens the case to claims for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Economic damages include costs such as payments for medical care to address the physical impacts of the accident as well as any loss of income that the person suffered while they were unable to work after the accident.
Non-economic damages, by contrast, are less concrete in their application and, unavoidably, they are more subject to interpretation by courts when awarding personal injury damages in car accident cases and others. Unlike making easily calculated payments to satisfy provable amounts for medical bills or lost wages, non-economic damages are more complicated.
A classic example of non-economic damages is pain and suffering. It is a subjective matter to assign a dollar figure to account for such harm, yet our legal system deals with such loss by making financial reparations that are deemed appropriate in measure to the initial harm suffered.
What Are Some Common Causes of Car Accidents in Howell Township?
Unfortunately, Howell Township is as susceptible as other parts of the state and country to negligent behaviors that cause dangers to road users. Some of the types of negligence involve reckless driving behavior, whereas others involve carelessness on the part of the manufacturer, servicer, or distributor of one of the vehicles involved. Negligence of landowners or public maintenance crews may also cause accidents.
Some of the types of negligence shown by drivers that cause accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk driving
- Running red lights
- Wrong-way driving
Negligence on the part of third-party defendants might include:
- A faulty car part that fails and causes a driver to lose control of their vehicle.
- A poorly performing vehicle with dangerous flaws that is cleared by a mechanic to be on the road anyway.
- Poorly maintained roads that cause driving dangers.
- Confusing signs or road markings that cause drivers to be put in dangerous situations.
What Should I Do if I Am in a Car Accident?
If you are involved in any car accident that involves property damage in excess of $500, you must report the incident to the police. If there are any injuries to people, the authorities should be notified. Generally, the local police department will send out an officer to create an incident report.
Obviously, if any serious injuries are involved, you should state so on your 911 call so that emergency medical personnel will be dispatched to the accident scene. For accidents that do not involve serious or life-threatening injuries, you should move to collect your own evidence even before the police arrive.
All drivers should exchange contact and insurance information, which includes names, addresses, phone numbers, as well as each other’s insurance providers and policy numbers. You should also take note of the color, make, and model of the other driver’s vehicle.
Take notes or pictures to record the circumstances surrounding the collision. Note the weather, lighting issues, or road conditions that may have contributed to the accident. Photograph the positions of the vehicles and possible skid marks as well as the signs or road markings that may yield clues about what happened.
After the police officer takes their notes, be sure to follow up with the local police station to get a copy of the report. You should also get a thorough post-accident medical assessment to discuss any issues with your doctor.
It is not uncommon for symptoms of accident-related injuries to surface after the immediate chaos of the accident subsides. Signs of damage from muscle strains to serious internal injuries can be detected and documented by a medical professional. That initial documentation can be crucial to linking your injury to the accident, a connection that may turn out to be vital to a future case claiming costly damages if your injury turns out to be very serious.
What Are the Advantages of Promptly Reporting the Accident?
When it comes to insurance coverage, timeliness in reporting the accident usually benefits the policyholder by speeding their claim and allowing them to receive accident claim benefits that will help them address the immediate costs of the accident, such as car repairs, car rental, or replacement value of a totaled car as well as such swift payments for doctor bills and/or lost income.
Howell Township Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Represent Clients Injured in a Car Accident
If you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident in Howell Township, reach out to the Howell Township car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova. Our experienced legal team will fight to help you recover fair compensation from the at-fault party responsible for the harm you have suffered. 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.