Aside from feeling pain following a motor vehicle accident, many people are left with feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and fear. The law governing automobile accidents in the State of New Jersey contains many protections for those who are injured as a result of the negligence of others. If you are involved in a car accident, it is extremely important that you contact an attorney who is very well experienced in this specific area of the law.
The attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC have dedicated their careers to the practice of motor vehicle negligence cases. We have handled all types of motor vehicle accident cases that range from their earliest stages up to and including complex trials before a judge and jury. We also work hard to provide our clients with the most in-depth answers to the most difficult case questions and concerns. At Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC we work vigorously to not only defend our clients against accusatory insurance companies, but also to assist our clients in receiving the full monetary compensation they deserve.
What You Do (or Fail to Do) After an Accident Can Affect Your Case
A car accident will almost always come as a shock to those involved and it is difficult to determine how a person will react in the event of a car accident. Depending on the degree of severity of the accident, some people may feel disoriented, frightened, and nervous. Because car accidents can result in a multitude of long-term consequences, it is essential to take careful precaution after an accident. Understanding what to do can make a difference between a successful personal injury claim and a failed one. The following are key steps to take soon after a motor vehicle accident:
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured as a result of a car crash, you should have your injuries examined by a medical professional. You should know that not every injury would be immediately apparent. After an auto accident, many victims experience the increase of a hormone known as adrenaline, which can occur when a person is under extreme stressful situations. Adrenaline induces a person’s “fight-or-flight” response, which decreases his or her ability to feel pain. Whether an injury is visible or not, the inability to recognize the severity can hinder a person’s willingness to seek medical attention. Failing to seek medical attention or delaying the matter can be detrimental to a personal injury claim.
Some of the most common injuries that may take several days, if not weeks, to become apparent following a vehicle collision include: concussions and traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, and other muscular strains. Many of these injuries require an X-ray and emergency medical care.
Contact Local Authorities to Obtain a Police Report
Filing a police report immediately after an accident is ideal, but this might not always happen, especially in minor fender benders. Small accidents are typically not seen as a need for police response, unless the accident is obstructing traffic or there is a bodily injury involved. Even when the accident seems minor, however, it is important to contact a local police agency. A police officer that responds to the scene will be able to make a report that will ensure important details about the accident are well documented and this will help to protect your rights. By filing a police report, you can also ensure that the other party does not change his or her version of events or other physical damages that suddenly surface many weeks after the accident. When an officer fails to respond to the scene, you may be able to file your own police report by going into the local police station.
When it comes to personal injury claims, police reports are very valuable in providing accurate crash reports to insurance companies. These reports will provide an unbiased report that insurance companies can use to determine the amount of compensation owed to a party. Information typically included in the police report includes: a diagram of the accident, weather, lighting, and roadway conditions, approximate time and location of the incident, citations or any violations of law, statements of all parties involved, statements of witnesses in the scene, and the opinion of the officer as it pertains to the cause of the vehicular collision along with a fault determination.
Other Ways to Document the Scene
When filing a personal injury claim, it is common practice for the other party to contest the allegations presented in the claim. An effective way to defend against this is to provide evidence of your version of events. You can do this by making a detailed note or taking pictures of the following: the state of the vehicles involved after the accident, taking pictures of the inside of the vehicles and outside, roadway conditions and visible roadway hazards, street barriers, street lanes, and other significant markings, street signs and their location, and weather conditions.
Obtain the Contact Information of the Parties Involved and Eyewitnesses in the Scene
Obtaining the names, phone numbers, and addresses of everyone involved in the accident is very important and can help build a strong case. Obtaining a description of the vehicle and its license plate number will be helpful, but insurance companies will also require a vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN). Similarly, it is important to obtain the name of the other party’s insurance company and the insurance policy number.
Eyewitnesses can also be beneficial for your case and help you defend your version of events. Outside party testimony can be valuable when filing a personal injury claim; therefore, their names and contact information should also be collected.
What a Dedicated Car Accident Injury Attorney in New Jersey Can Do For You
Personal injury cases in the State of New Jersey can be very complex. Contingent on the nature of the case, an injured party may need to file a claim against multiple culpable parties. Additionally, the State of New Jersey has a strict deadline when it comes to filing a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations for a car accident claim is two years from the time of the injury but can vary depending on strict circumstances.
If you have been injured in a car accident in the State of New Jersey, you should know that the laws are specifically designed to provide compensation to those injured as a result of another’s negligence. Many injured victims can find themselves hesitant to pursue legal action and defend their rights out of fear that the other driver will be personally responsible and have to pay out of pocket for the settlement, judgment, or verdict. In the vast majority of cases, this simply does not occur. Motor vehicle insurance is mandatory in the State of New Jersey; therefore, all drivers on the roads must be insured with an automobile insurance policy. As part of that insurance agreement/contract, the insurance company agrees to hire an attorney to represent the defendant and to pay out any settlement or verdict up to their insured’s policy limits.
Obtain the Legal Support of a Trusted Team of Attorneys who Serve Auto/Car Accident Victims in New Jersey
At Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC, we are dedicated to helping victims in their pursuit of filing for a personal injury claim after a car accident. We have extensive experience in helping our clients in pursuing a claim for pain and suffering even when they do not know the identity of the other driver(s) or the other vehicle(s) were uninsured at the time of the accident. When this happens, injured parties can obtain compensation through the filing of an Uninsured Motorist claim. The attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC have a vast experience in negotiating with the insurance companies and are fully prepared to go to trial if or when necessary. Two of the members of this firm previously worked for the insurance companies and have a superior understanding as to what they are looking for and what information is necessary in order for them to offer the highest settlement possible.
We are here to assist you from the very beginning of the case and help you in reporting the accident to your insurance company to filling out the Personal Injury Protection forms to ensure that your medical bills are timely processed and paid. We can even assist you in getting your medical treatment paid for even if you were struck by a car as a pedestrian and do not have any medical coverage. If you have been in a car accident, please call us today at (908) 264-7228 for a free case evaluation. We are eager to discuss the merits of your case and guide you in making sure that all of the complex procedures are properly followed, thus providing you with the greatest chance of success.