Answering Questions About Motor Vehicle Accidents

On average, a motorist will get into a car accident once every ten years. These car accidents can be a minor inconvenience, involving only property damage, or could involve life-altering injuries. Whatever the situation, if you have been in a car accident, you probably have many questions. At The Epstein Law Firm, we are a trusted resource for people across New Jersey who have been injured in all types of motor vehicle accidents. Our history of success in personal injury and wrongful death litigation stands as a testament to our skill and dedication.

The information below contains general answers to some of the questions people have about motor vehicle accidents. To discuss your accident and your injuries, call us at 201-918-3560 to set up a free initial consultation.

What should I do after an accident? Immediately following an accident, you or someone in your vehicle should call the police. The police will prepare and file an accident report. This report could contain valuable information about your accident. If you are able to do so, you should take pictures of your car, the other driver's car and the accident scene with your phone. You should exchange insurance information with the other driver, but should not discuss the accident any further. Any statements you make at this time could be used against you.

You should also seek medical attention. For serious injuries an ambulance will arrive at the accident scene. Even if you don't believe you need immediate medical attention, you should have a doctor look at you to see if you sustained any injuries. The reason for this is that if you wait too long to seek medical attention, the insurance company may claim that the accident was not the cause of your injuries. After getting medical treatment, you should then contact a lawyer.

What is "no-fault" insurance? No-fault insurance is also known as Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. With PIP, you do not have to prove that the other driver is at fault for the accident. This coverage is required in New Jersey, although drivers can select between a standard policy and a basic policy. The standard policy provides additional PIP coverage, as well as additional coverage for bodily liability.

Another factor in your car insurance policy is your right to sue the other driver. If you select a "limited right to sue" in your policy, you will save some money. However, if you are in an accident and the other driver is at fault, you will not be able to sue them for your pain and suffering unless you sustain a permanent injury. Under New Jersey law, a permanent injury can include the loss of a limb or other body part, a displaced fracture, significant disfigurement or scarring. You can also bring a claim if you lose a fetus or if a loved one is killed in the accident.

What if the other driver claims that I am at fault for the accident? New Jersey follows the "modified comparative fault" rule. This means that a jury will have to find that the other driver was more than 50% at fault for the accident in order for you to recover any damages. Once your case hits this threshold, your recovery can be reduced by your percentage of fault. Therefore, if you sustained $100,000 in damages but the jury found that you were 10% at fault for the accident, your recovery would be reduced by $10,000 and you would recover $90,000.

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim? New Jersey's statute of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death claims is two years. Therefore, you have two years from the day of the accident to bring a wrongful death claim. As a practical matter, however, you want to speak to an attorney well before two years. In a car accident, particularly one involving serious injuries, your lawyer will want to look at the accident scene and the vehicles. Generally speaking, the longer you wait to file a case, the more difficult it will be to prepare the strongest claim for damages.

Contact The Epstein Law Firm To Set Up A Free Consultation

Our lawyers are ready to help you recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 201-918-3560 or complete our online form to begin. If you cannot travel to us, we can travel to you.