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People involved in car accidents in New Jersey generally should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney as soon as their medical issues are addressed. In fact, a person involved in an automobile accident with injuries should consult with an attorney immediately! Legal and financial issues are complex and relate to what happened, who is at fault, what the insurance situation is and when the accident happened. Failing to consult with a New Jersey car accident lawyer may mean that you are not properly compensated for your injuries or the pain and suffering that you experience.
Typically, a claim for personal injuries (and property damage as well) arises when two cars collide and one driver is at fault for the accident. The claims are usually made against the at fault (negligent) driver’s liability (car insurance) carrier. If the insurance claim is not settled, a lawsuit must be filed against the driver; the insurance company will then hire a lawyer to defend its insured. If the at fault driver does not have insurance, has inadequate insurance, or if the accident is caused by a hit and run driver, then a claim is made against your own uninsured or UIM motorist coverage. If you do not have that coverage, you may never receive adequate repayment for your injuries.
Frequently, the injured person in an accident can not afford proper medical treatment for their injuries or rehabilitation. An attorney can frequently arrange for necessary medical treatment by medical providers where the treatment is given as needed and payment is postponed to those providers until the case settles. Those medical providers get paid out of the settlement proceeds.
It is important to consult a NJ injury lawyer after you are involved in an accident because failing to file your claim within a proper time frame, also called the Statute of Limitations, may mean that you cannot file it at all. The Statute of limitations can be difficult to calculate for a lay person. Generally, personal injury claims must be brought within two (2) years of the date that the accident occurred or the claim arose. It can vary if the injured person or at-fault party are deceased, fraud is involved, a foreign object is left in your body by a doctor or in certain other limited circumstances. Further, if a government entity caused harm, a proper written notice must be provided to the government entity in a much shorter period of time. This can be as short as 3 months (90 days).
The money, also called damages, that a person injured in a car accident can receive includes reimbursement for all medical expenses and future medical expenses. Medical expenses are based on actual medical bills for care that the injured person received. Future medical expenses are based on testimony regarding the likely cost of long term care. Even if health care insurance has paid for medical bills, an injured person is entitled to be compensated for the full amount as if that individual had personally paid the bills. Under certain circumstances, a medical insurer may seek reimbursement from the person who received the care.
Additional damages include pain and suffering and future pain and suffering; lost wages and future lost wages; and in some cases loss of consortium (e.g. sex with your partner). The money paid for Pain and suffering is meant to compensate you for your actual pain and suffering as a result of the injury. Future pain and suffering takes into account how long your condition will continue and its effect on your daily life. If you are out of work due to an accident related injury, you are entitled to be compensated for your lost wages. Even if you were paid through sick leave or vacation leave, you are also entitled to be compensated for the same amount as if you were not paid. You are also entitled to be compensated for future lost wages, particularly when you are unable to return to the same type of work or to work at all.
Damages are paid in a lump sum at the end of the case either through settlement or jury verdict. Once the final amount is determined, you cannot seek additional amounts in the future for the same accident.
As you can see, these situations are very complicated. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, please take good care of yourself and your injuries. Then be sure to call an attorney at our NJ injury law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. And ALWAYS wear your seatbelt.
Motor vehicle accident victims often sustain substantial injuries. This includes drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Those victims may also lose income from work and incur medical and/ or funeral bills. Injuries in motor vehicle accidents often include:
Apart from the careless driver(s), who else can be held legally responsible in a motor vehicle crash? Depending on the location and other circumstances, employers of the driver(s), owners of the vehicle(s), owners of property, and governmental entities may be legally obligated to compensate the victim. In some cases, a missing guardrail, nonfunctioning traffic signal, missing traffic sign, hazardous pothole, or overgrown foliage may implicate a county road maintenance public entity, NJ Transit, PATCO or private contractor. In other cases, involving manufacturing, design or maintenance defects of mechanical parts, a manufacturing and/or design company may be responsible under product liability legal theory. In some trucking accident cases, repair records are falsified, giving rise to legal responsibility on the part of service station repair facilities.
Car, truck and bus accident victims are entitled to restitution in the form of money as compensation for their pain, suffering, disability, impairment, lost earnings, medical costs, and damage to vehicles/property. Victims are also entitled to compensation for their loss of enjoyment of life, including their diminished activity level. These losses can devastate an individual and a family.
When lost or reduced wages are implicated, your New Jersey car accident attorney will consult with leading vocational and economic experts to identify the full impact of those losses upon household finances.
It is important to take certain measures at the time of a crash and immediately after a crash. These measures are designed to help secure your legal rights and successfully help you, in the event that you or your loved ones are injured. These nine actions should be taken to protect your interests.
HCK has decades of experience securing six and seven-figure jury verdicts and settlements for victims of motor vehicle accidents. Our team includes certified civil trial attorneys, which is a credential held by only about 2% of all New Jersey attorneys. Equally, our lawyers and staff understand that your injury is personal to you. HCK treats you as they would treat their own family member. Victims are able to hire HCK in personal injury cases on a risk-free contingency fee basis, which means that the law firm takes the financial risk in presenting your case.
Each year, there are hundreds of fatalities on New Jersey's roads and thousands more are injured. The same is true in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one finds yourself in that category of statistics, it is essential that your legal rights are sufficiently protected. HCK has on its team a group of talented and highly-respected personal injury attorneys, with decades of experience specific to motor vehicle accidents. Contact us today to start your claim.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.