Car crashes can take a terrible toll on a person. The shock, inconvenience, worrying about bills piling up, and unrelenting pressure from insurance companies can be almost as bad as the crash itself.
Working with an East Brunswick car accident lawyer is one way to relieve the pressure. An accomplished personal injury attorney could handle communication with insurance companies, manage your unpaid medical bills, and hold the responsible parties accountable so you can move forward after the accident.
New Jersey is a no-fault state for vehicle collisions, meaning that most people who suffer losses in a crash turn first to their own insurer. Everyone registering a vehicle must have at least $15,000 of personal injury protection (PIP). These benefits will pay for medical care, lost wages, and essential household services a crash victim cannot perform due to their injury.
If a car crash survivor’s PIP is inadequate to cover their losses, an East Brunswick attorney might advise filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance. New Jersey Statute § 39:6A-3 requires all drivers to have minimum liability coverage of $15,000 for bodily injury to one person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injury for policies issued or renewed before January 1, 2023. The minimum coverage increased to $25,000 and $50,000 for policies issued or renewed after that date.
Negotiations with the other driver’s insurer typically produce an acceptable settlement. However, if the driver had the minimum coverage or the claimant suffered significant injuries, the driver’s insurance might not be enough to cover all losses. In some cases, they could pursue remedies in court.
New Jersey offers several types of auto insurance policies. The Basic policy would limit the right of an injured crash survivor to sue unless they sustained specified serious injuries. The Standard policy offers buyers the option of choosing a limited or unlimited right to sue.
A policyholder with an unlimited right to sue could pursue an at-fault driver in court for any losses their PIP did not cover, including pain and suffering. If a crash survivor has a limited right to sue policy, they could pursue damages in court only if their injuries include the following:
An injured person with a limited right to sue must prove their injuries are sufficiently serious to allow them to step out of the no-fault system and take their claim to court.
In many cases of serious injury, an insurance company approaches a survivor with a settlement offer before they have an opportunity to evaluate their options. The insurer might pressure the injured person to accept a settlement that provides far less than their claim’s value. The only prudent response in such cases is to refuse to speak to the insurance company representative and refer them to an East Brunswick motor vehicle collision attorney.
A crash survivor seeking damages through the courts must prove the other driver’s negligence was the direct cause of their injuries. Negligence means the failure to use the care that a reasonable person would have used in similar circumstances.
An East Brunswick attorney could collect evidence of negligence through police reports, witness statements, physical evidence at the scene, black box data if available, and other information that sheds light on what occurred. The other driver is liable for an injured person’s damages if their negligence caused the incident.
Car crashes often result from a combination of factors. If the injured survivor was also negligent and contributed to the incident, they could collect reduced damages in some circumstances. A judge or jury allocates fault on a percentage basis. The injured survivor could collect damages if their percentage of fault is less than the at-fault driver’s percentage.
Car crashes can trigger complex legal and procedural issues. Turning your claim over to an East Brunswick car accident lawyer could save you considerable anxiety and help ensure you do not leave any money on the table.
Do not try to manage your claim without assistance. Contact our team today.