Trenton, NJ – New Jersey always has large amounts of traffic because it is situated between the Philadelphia and New York City metro areas. This traffic often results in accidents and various other problems on the state’s roads. After a collision, drivers will normally have to contact their insurance company, then get legal help if they need additional compensation.
How is fault determined?
There are actually a couple of different issues regarding fault and liability in an accident, and they are related to either insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits. From a legal standpoint, the victim will want to prove that the defendant was negligent based on the state’s laws so that they can collect damages.
Negligence and civil lawsuits
A negligence lawsuit is meant to show that the defendant breached their duty of care on the roads and caused harm to the victim. In New Jersey, the state uses a form of contributory negligence, also called modified comparative negligence, to allow the plaintiff to collect only if their portion of fault is less than the defendant’s. When the plaintiff is successful, but they were partially at fault, their damages will be reduced relative to their level of fault. In other words the plaintiff can be partially responsible for causing the accident and still collect damages, but if they are more at fault for the accident than the defendant, they cannot collect at all.
Damages are also restricted in some ways under New Jersey state law. A victim with basic auto insurance coverage can only recover non-economic damages for pain and suffering if the accident caused a serious injury such as loss of limbs, loss of an unborn child, or fatal injuries.
Insurance claims and personal injury protection
Insurance claims and the provider’s process to investigate the vehicle damage and injuries are different from the legal standards for negligence. The state has a process after most accidents where the victim can file a personal injury protection claim. This allows the victim to receive an amount that can possibly be as large as their maximum policy limit for things like lost wages, services that cannot be performed as normal due to the accident, and money towards funeral costs if the accident is fatal.
Ensuring that an experienced attorney assists with this process
The process of dealing with insurance companies and filing a separate personal injury lawsuit can become confusing based on the specifics of the case and the potential damages available. It is recommended to contact an attorney who focuses on auto accidents and personal injury law before proceeding.
Using a legal directory to find the right lawyer
USAttorneys.com is a site that contains listings of various attorneys based on their location and practice areas. Anyone who has been involved in an accident in Trenton or other cities nearby can contact an injury attorney and meet to discuss potential legal action.