There are more than 200 million registered drivers in this country. Given that significant amount of congestion, cars are inevitably going to collide with each other. The result can be a harrowing experience for all involved, especially if someone sustains a major injury. An injured person will need to obtain compensation to pay for any medical costs associated with the accident. In certain instances, they will have to file a liability claim against an individual deemed at-fault for the accident, although in New Jersey, such a claim comes with conditions. The Middletown car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova can help victims build a liability case.
What are New Jersey’s Liability Laws?
New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that when a car accident occurs, the police officer assigned to investigate can rule that neither party was at-fault for the accident. This outcome takes place often and means the injured parties must then seek any type of financial relief from their respective personal injury protection. There are instances when an accident can fall outside of the limitations of a no-fault case, however certain conditions must be met to qualify.
If fault is assigned to a person, the victim can seek a liability claim against that person and their insurance carrier. However, a person has only two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If they fail to do so within that two-year window, most New Jersey courts will throw the case out, unless the plaintiff can demonstrate special circumstances that caused the delay.
What is No-Fault Insurance?
In many ways, no-fault insurance is a more efficient method for an injured person to receive compensation for their injuries. They will go through their own insurance instead of confronting another party or their insurance carrier. New Jersey is one of few states that offer this type of insurance. The benefit for victims is the insurance will pay out any expenses incurred, regardless of who was at-fault for the accident. However, any settlement received will not be as much as it would be in a traditional liability case. A victim is unable to seek damages for pain and suffering and will only receive compensation for any concrete expenses they incur.
How Does the Comparative Fault Rule Impact Financial Compensation?
While New Jersey limits the amount of compensation a victim can receive from their insurance, there is no guarantee that they can receive their full expected amount, even if they file a liability claim against another driver. New Jersey follows a modified comparative fault rule, meaning that those involved in an accident share responsibility and cost. If it is determined that the person who filed the claim bears 30 percent of the responsibility, they will be responsible for 30 percent of the final award. If one person is ruled to be more than 50 percent responsible for an accident, then they are barred from receiving any compensation.
What Types of Accidents Involve Other Vehicles?
Not every accident that takes place on the road involves two cars and, in some cases, a victim may not even be the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident. Regardless of those circumstances, the rules still apply although drivers should always be aware and alert to others on the road, even if they are not in a car. Common types of accidents include:
- Ridesharing accidents: These accidents take place when the victim is a passenger in a taxi or similar service. While most drivers are required to carry insurance to qualify as a driver, in most cases, that insurance does not cover the passengers. If a passenger is injured in this type of accident, their option is to file a claim against the driver, regardless of the circumstances. They should also file a claim against the at-fault driver.
- Bicycle accidents: Most bicyclists travel on roads that they are not supposed to nor do they obey stop signs and red lights. This makes it difficult as a driver to maneuver around them on the road. Drivers should be cognizant of their surroundings when trying to pass a cyclist. The fear is always that a bicyclist may dart into traffic with little to no warning.
- Motorcycle accidents: Most motorcycles do not share the same maneuverability as bicyclists, but they can still be dangerous on the road. Some motorcyclists like to weave in and out of traffic, as well as drive between lanes obscured from a driver’s view.
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians can be just as unpredictable as bicyclists as some may dart into traffic or abruptly try to cross a busy street without using a designated crosswalk. Drivers need to give pedestrians their space when they need to cross the street. In most states, drivers must yield to pedestrians attempting to use a crosswalk.
- Truck and bus accidents: These accidents can take place for a variety of reasons because someone may be driving while drowsy or distracted. The driver is responsible for any accidents due to their careless or distracted driving.
- Trailer and carrier accidents: There are two different targets for liability in these accidents. One focus is on the companies that hook up the trailers. If they fail to do it properly and an accident occurs, the company could be held liable for any damages that result due to the accident. The driver can still be liable if he causes an accident for driving recklessly or other driver error-related problems.
What Compensation can I Receive?
Car accidents can cause financial hardships for victims. It could mean multiple visits to a doctor’s office, which can result in accumulating medical bills and extended time away from work. However, victims can recoup most of those lost wages and expenses through their insurance. One of the main expenses a victim can obtain from their insurance is compensation for any medical costs that take place because of the accident. At the accident scene, a victim may receive an exam from an EMT or be sent to a hospital. Depending on the severity of the accident, surgery or therapy might be required, as well as follow-up visits. Victims should keep a record of any medical expenses they incur to provide for their insurance.
While the victim of an accident is home recuperating or seeking treatment for their injuries, it is keeping them away from work. Not all jobs offer employees the opportunity to work remotely and not every position is capable of being a remote position. In those instances, an injury or ongoing medical visits can keep a person away from work. Victims can also seek compensation for lost wages from their insurance as well. They should keep a record of past pay stubs to demonstrate the amount they are accustomed to receiving.
As a no-fault state, victims are not entitled to receive pain and suffering payments from their insurance companies in New Jersey. That option is still available if they can file a liability claim against a person deemed to be at-fault for the accident. They can also seek pain and suffering payments from a third-party if there was a defect in the vehicle that was the cause of the accident.
Middletown Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Seek Compensation for Car Accident Victims
If you were injured in a car accident and need help obtaining compensation that you deserve, reach out to the Middletown car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova. Call us 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.