Hackensack Car Accident Attorneys
Automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and buses are involved in accidents every day. While statistics show that safe driving campaigns and the manufacture of safer cars are working to reduce the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents, thousands still occur nationwide every year. Of the more than 32,000 fatal accidents that occur in the United States each year, it has been estimated that approximately 500 of those occur in New Jersey. Of course, the number of non-fatal motor vehicle accidents that occur in New Jersey every year is exponentially higher.
When a motor vehicle accident results in serious injuries and is caused by the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
Motor Vehicle Accident Law in Bergen County
The New Jersey Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (“AICRA”) is a comprehensive body of statutory law relating to automobile insurance and the right to sue for motor vehicle injuries in New Jersey. New Jersey is a “no-fault” state, meaning that an injured person must typically look to their own insurance policy for immediate medical benefits following an automobile accident. Additionally, under many circumstances in New Jersey, there exists a limited right to sue the negligent party or parties who caused the accident.
Personal Injury Protection
Under the no-fault system in New Jersey, owners of automobiles are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) automobile insurance, pursuant to New Jersey statute, N.J.S.A 39:6A-1. This coverage provides a package of benefits to the policyholder and immediate family members in the event of an auto-related injury, including payment of medical bills. PIP coverage offered by New Jersey insurers typically ranges from $15,000 to $250,000. You may opt for Basic PIP, at the lower end, or Standard PIP, which includes death benefits, essential services and limited lost wage compensation at the higher end.
If you are injured in a car accident and your PIP coverage is insufficient to cover all your medical bills, there are a few options you and your attorney may pursue:
- The at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage
- Your own medical insurance
Suing for pain and suffering for injuries sustained in an auto accident is determined a number of factors, including the type of coverage you opted for when you purchased your policy.
Limited right-to-sue/verbal threshold/limited tort threshold – To sue for pain and suffering where the verbal threshold applies, your injury must result in one of the following categories: (1) death; (2) dismemberment; (3) loss of a fetus; (4) significant disfigurement or scarring; (5) displaced fractures; or (6) permanent injury.
Unlimited right-to-sue – While this coverage costs more, it allows you to sue an at-fault driver for pain and suffering without limitation in most cases when you sustain injury in an automobile accident.
An experienced Motor Vehicle Accident lawyer can analyze the facts of your case, identify all possible benefits and pursue the compensation that you deserve. At the Reinartz Law Firm, we know the law and can help to make you whole again.
Auto Accident Settlements
Every lawsuit filed by the firm is prepared as if the case will go to trial. However, in reality, it is only a small percentage of cases that actually go before a jury. Many cases settle out of court before trial. In auto accident settlements, we may seek various types of compensation for injured people, including compensation for property damage, personal injury, and more.
Vehicle Property Damage
Depending upon the extent of your vehicle damage, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repair or the total value of your vehicle at the time of loss.
Lost Wages and Out-of-Pocket Losses
If your injuries cause you to miss time from work, or preclude you from working in the future, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages. You may also be compensated for public transportation outlays, car rental expenses and other incidental damages caused by the injuries.
Hospital, acute care center and doctor bills are common car accident injury expenses, as long as they are considered “reasonable and necessary.” You may also require lab work, diagnostic testing, medication, physical therapy, chiropractic care and other medical treatment. These expenses are usually compensable, as well.
Pain and Suffering
You may be entitled to additional compensation for pain, suffering, impairment, disability and loss of enjoyment of life. The time it takes to recover from a serious injury, if ever, can also play a role in the compensation you receive.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Auto accidents are typically caused by driver error or some outside issue, like road hazards or mechanical problems. Common reasons for auto collisions include the following.
- Excessive Speed – Speeding diminishes a driver’s ability to react in a timely manner, leading to collisions and other accidents.
- Driver Fatigue – Many motorists fail to realize how detrimental it is to drive when overly tired. Reaction time for fatigued drivers can be highly impacted.
- Inclement Weather – Driving on icy roads and in the rain or snow requires extra precaution to prevent accidents.
- Road Hazards – Road work, pot holes, gravel, and lane issues are some examples of road problems that can catch a driver off guard, and lead to accidents.
- Tailgating – Following too closely is a common problem, resulting in rear-end collisions.
- Texting or Other Driver Distractions – Smartphones, navigation systems, radios, smoking, kids, and even eating while driving present potential dangers.
- Driver Impairment – Whether under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication, driving under the influence is a hazard for motorists.
Injuries Caused by Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents can be severe and life-changing. Injuries can range from herniated discs and broken bones to traumatic brain injury, permanent disfigurement and even death. Victims may be unable to work to support their family, and are forced to deal with crushing medical bills for hospitalization, treatment and rehabilitation. Dealing with insurance companies during this time can be frustrating and overwhelming, and New Jersey’s no-fault system of insurance can be confusing. We handle cases involving:
Legal Representation Can Increase Your Chances of Success
Often, victims of motor vehicle accidents will attempt to go it alone on an auto claim, hoping that an insurance company will do the right thing, pay their out-of-pocket expenses and compensate them for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. However, rarely do insurance companies have your best interests in mind and, by not seeking representation, you could severely hurt your chances for success on a claim. It’s important that you understand who the insurance adjuster is working for. It’s not you, but the insurer. The adjuster’s goal is to settle claims for the least amount of compensation and as quickly as possible.
Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of unrepresented injury victims and underpaying or even denying meritorious claims. We know how to deal with insurance companies and prepare the strongest claim on your behalf. Our firm will protect your rights, and pursue all compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
About The Reinartz Law Firm
The Reinartz Law Firm is an experienced Bergen County, New Jersey motor vehicle accident law firm. We deal directly with insurance companies for you and will tackle the many other challenges associated with your case, such as investigation, gathering evidence, litigation in court, expert witness selection and more. Our lawyers are nationally recognized litigators whose goal is to achieve the most successful and positive outcome, and provide our clients personalized attention every step of the way.
If you are struggling through the aftermath of a serious motor vehicle accident, call today to speak with a lawyer at The Reinartz Law Firm. Our Bergen County injury lawyers will fight for your rights and help get you back on the road to recovery. Call us today for a free consultation.