Car accidents can occur at any moment. New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states. With so much congestion in any given part of the state, accidents are likely to occur.
A good understanding of New Jersey laws will help to ensure that you know your options. Talking to a Middlesex County car accident lawyer is the best way to determine the best option for your case.
Contact Rosengard Law Group for a free evaluation of your case by an experienced Middlesex County car accident lawyer.
No-fault Auto Insurance in New Jersey
New Jersey applies what is known as a no-fault insurance system when it comes to auto insurance. This means that victims of car accidents must first seek their own insurance to cover the costs of medical treatment and other losses arising from the car accident. The biggest benefit of this system is that medical expenses are paid more quickly. You will, therefore, avoid waiting a long period for reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses related to the treatment of your injuries.
The drawback of the no-fault insurance system is that it limits your right to sue for pain and suffering.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, talk to a NJ car accident lawyer.
We’ll help you understand your options and which would be the best for your case. You can depend on our experience for the best advice.
Can I Still Sue Someone for Damages after a Middlesex County Car Accident?
If you are involved in a car accident in New Jersey, your own insurance provider will be required to cover the resulting expenses including your medical bills, compensation for lost wages as well as other related expenses. Insurance companies, however, only pay up to the limit of the coverage of the insurance policy. Therefore, if you have a basic car accident policy, you may not receive adequate compensation to cover your expenses.
A Middlesex County car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation from the at-fault driver to cover the rest of the expenses. However, it is important to note that there are limitations to this because of New Jersey’s no-fault insurance system.
In general, victims of car accidents may pursue compensation if the injuries sustained are severe e.g. resulted in paralysis, permanent injuries, significant disfigurement or loss of a body part. Families of car accident victims may also file a lawsuit if the accident resulted in the death of their loved one.
You may also be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver if there is evidence of gross negligence or malice.
Middlesex County Car Accident statute of limitations and damages cap
If you want to pursue someone for the damages and losses you have suffered as a result of a car accident that they were responsible for, it’s important to be aware of the deadlines and limitations that the law places on these types of lawsuits.
In New Jersey, the deadline for car accident lawsuits is 2 years. This period is counted from the time of the accident. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this period, you will not be able to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your damages and losses. There are, however, some circumstances under which the court will allow you to file your car accident lawsuits after the statute of limitations has elapsed. Talk to an experienced Middlesex County car accident attorney to find out if you can still pursue compensation after 2 years.
New Jersey law also puts a cap on what can be awarded as damages in a car accident case. This is known as a damages cap. It, however, only applies to punitive damages. These are damages that are intended as a punishment to the at-fault party for malicious or serious wrongdoing.
Punitive damages are capped at 5 times the total value of damages or $350,000, whichever is a great value.
Talk to a Middlesex County Lawyer to find out if you are eligible to pursue punitive damages. We’ll fight to protect your rights.
Modified comparative negligence
If you choose to file a lawsuit for compensation for your injuries and losses in a car accident, you should be aware that your role in causing the accident will also be considered. This is based on the modified comparative negligence laws applied in New Jersey. The percentage of fault assigned to you will determine the actual amount you will receive as compensation.
Under modified comparative negligence, if you were found to be 40 percent responsible for the accident, the amount you will be awarded as compensation will be reduced by 40 percent. If the total amount awarded as compensation was $100,000 for example, you would only receive $60,000 as compensation.
It is also important to note that if you were found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you will not receive any compensation.
Insurance companies will do their best to argue that you were partially responsible for the accident. They will do this in an effort to reduce their payout or even ensure that they don’t have to pay you at all. It is therefore important to have a skilled and experienced Middlesex Count car accident lawyer fighting on your behalf to protect your rights.
What the auto accident insurance claims process looks like
In the ideal world, filing an insurance claim after an auto accident would be easy and you’d be assured of receiving compensation. However, this often isn’t the case. Insurance companies are businesses looking to make a profit. Giving you compensation for your injuries will result in a loss. They will do all they can therefore, to prevent this. Having an experienced Middlesex County car accident lawyer fighting for you will increase your chances of successfully recovering compensation from the insurance company.
Understanding how the insurance claims process works is a great way to anticipate issues that may arise with the claims process.
Investigation of the claim
Once you file your claim, an insurance adjuster will look into the claim to determine the insurance company’s liability. They will go through your insurance policy to determine its terms. They will also contact witnesses of the accident to establish the circumstances of the accident. The insurance adjuster will go through any evidence submitted by you as well as that collected by the police. They will request your medical service provider for information about your injuries and treatment to establish your medical expenses and prognosis.
Presentation of a settlement offer
Having investigated your claim, the insurance adjuster will contact you with a settlement offer. This is an indication that the insurance company is willing to pay the claim. However, this offer is often much lower than you should accept as compensation. Insurance adjusters typically lowball insurance settlements in order to save their employers some money. This low offer leaves a lot of room for negotiations.
Sending a demand letter
If you’ve hired a car accident lawyer, they may move to preempt the insurance adjuster by sending a demand letter. This letter states what you expect the insurance company to pay in compensation.
The figure stated in the demand letter is often higher than what your lawyer believes your case is worth. This high figure leaves room for negotiation.
Negotiation for a settlement
This stage involves a lot of back and forth communication between the insurance adjuster and your lawyer. While some victims prefer to go it alone, there are many benefits to hiring an experienced lawyer. Your lawyer will even out the playing field. They will apply years of experience and skill in order to fight for just compensation on your behalf.
An experienced lawyer will handle the drafting of a settlement agreement on your behalf. They will ensure that the settlement agreement is crafted to suit your current and future needs.
Filing a Middlesex County Car Accident lawsuit
If your claim is denied, you may want to pursue it to court. A car accident lawyer will file the lawsuit, gather evidence to build your claim and argue your case in court on your behalf. They will ensure that you beat state deadlines in filing your lawsuit.
Get A Free Middlesex County Car Accident Consultation
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re not in this alone. Contact us today. We provide a free consultation to car accident victims. We’ll walk with you and fight to protect your right to recover compensation.