Personal Injury: What to Do after a Car Accident

Anyone who has experienced a car accident understands it’s a jolting and stunning experience. You’ll need to keep a clear head on the scene. The first thing you must check is the health and safety of your passengers. You may need to call for emergency services.

If you’re in New Jersey, you are required to report a car accident that involves injury, death, or over $500 worth of damages to vehicles or property. If property damage is the only result, and the police aren’t called, you’ll need to send a letter to your local Motor Vehicle Commission Agency within 10 days describing the circumstances as clearly as possible.

For this matter, and for personal liability claims, you should exchange information with all parties involved, including names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, car tag numbers, vehicle descriptions, and insurance information. If there are witnesses, get their names and addresses, too. Write down the time, the weather conditions, and road conditions when the accident occurred.

Someone has been injured. What should I know about filing a personal injury claim?

In New Jersey, drivers can choose between ‘no fault’ or traditional car insurance coverage. If you have ‘no fault’ coverage, you are required to first turn to your own insurance for medical compensation or other losses. You are only permitted to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the other party if injuries exceed the “serious injury” threshold – loss of limb, disfigurement, serious scarring, or loss of a fetus.

Understand New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims from the date of the car accident. You must file your claim within this window, otherwise, your case will not make it to court.

New Jersey follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule when determining fault and due compensation in personal injury and car accident cases. This means a jury will decide whether you share some of the fault for the accident. You’re entitled to damages if it’s determined you were less than 50% responsible. However, your percentage of responsibility will be deducted from the overall damages you win. Therefore, if damages – personal injury and material losses – equal $100,000, but you are 25% responsible, you would receive $75,000.

I would like to pursue a personal injury claim following a car accident. What should I do?

If you are in New Jersey, call attorney David P. Schroth at 609-882-0041. Located just outside Trenton, David has over 20 years of experience practicing New Jersey law, including personal injuries from car accident claims. He will aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.

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