Ewing Township, NJ (May 21st, 2022) – On the evening of Saturday, May 21st in the township of Ewing, a municipal government vehicle was involved in a traffic accident with a gray sedan.
According to authorities, the accident happened on the 1500-1600 block of North Olden Ave. The accident happened just before 9:30 p.m.
The gray sedan suffered rear-end damage and its airbags were deployed upon impact. The vehicle came to a stop in the driveway of a local restaurant.
Authorities diverted traffic until the collision debris could be cleared from the road.
The parties involved were rushed to a local hospital for treatment. Both parties complained of pain at the time of the collision.
The accident remains under police investigation. Anyone with information regarding this accident is being asked to contact Ewing Police.
As in every state, those who are injured in a traffic accident where another was at fault, those injured in the State of New Jersey have the option of filing an injury claim in civil court. When a person is harmed as a result of the negligence of a government entity, however, obtaining needed monetary compensation can be difficult.
Based on the Tort Claims Act of New Jersey, the state preserves the rule of “sovereign immunity”. This common-law rule prevents companies and people from bringing a case against a government office.
Found under Title 59 Section 59:2-2, exceptions to this rule are specified. Under the allowable exceptions, people are able to bring an injury claim against a government entity for negligence, under certain situations.
Based on Section 59:2-2, a public party can be held responsible for the damages a worker causes when the damages are within the scope of the worker’s employment. The public party would be held responsible in the same manner that would be possible to hold a private citizen accountable under similar circumstances. Section 59:2-2, therefore, claims that if an injured person is able to bring a case against a private party, the injured person then has the right to bring the case against the public party as well.
A situation that may qualify for this exception is one in which a person was struck by a vehicle being driven by a public employee who was on the clock at the time of the incident. Another qualifying example would be if a person was injured while on public property as a result of a dangerous condition on the property. The property managers in charge of maintaining the public property were alerted about the dangerous condition but did not remedy the situation or warn others about the dangerous condition would therefore face liability.
It is very important to note that while it may be possible to file a claim against a government agency through a permissible exception, the Tort Claims Act does place a limit on the damages award in several key ways.
An example of this can be found under Section 59: 9-2(e). Here, the Act states that a person will need to have auto insurance to cover the costs of the injury. Any amount that may be received from the insurance company will be deducted from the damages award the person could receive from the state.
Similarly, to receive a damages award for pain and suffering, the injured party will need to meet the requirements outlined in Section 59: 9-2. Under this section, an award for pain and suffering will not be granted unless there has been an irreversible disability, such as the loss of bodily functions, dismemberment, or disfigurement. It is also necessary to demonstrate that the medical expenses have exceeded a monetary amount of $3,600. When a case does not meet these requirements, it may be possible to continue seeking monetary compensation for property damage and medical costs. In these cases, however, an injured party will not be eligible to seek a pain and suffering damages award.
When filing a claim against a government agency, it should be noted that there is a very strict, and short, time limit for filing the case. In the State of New Jersey, a plaintiff will only have 90 days from the date of the traffic accident to bring the case forward. When this cannot be completed on time, the plaintiff will likely lose the opportunity to bring the case forward. Once the case has been received by the state, the state could take up to 90 days to either accept the claim or reject it.
In rare situations, a court could grant a plaintiff extra time to bring an injury case forward. Pursuant to Section 59:8-9. The court could extend the deadline for one year when the plaintiff can demonstrate that there are extraordinary circumstances that have restricted his or her ability to submit the case on time. The decision to extend the deadline is a decision that is made on a case-by-case basis by the court.
Filing a personal injury claim in the aftermath of an auto accident is oftentimes a difficult experience. When the accident involves a government entity, however, the claim can become that much more complicated. It is very difficult to establish a case against a negligent public party, nonetheless, it is necessary to hold these parties accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one was recently involved in an accident involving a government entity, obtaining the support of a well-versed personal injury attorney is highly recommended. A skilled attorney will gather all necessary information to ensure a strong case is filed.
When injured as a result of the negligent actions of a worker of a Garden State government entity, consider obtaining the qualified support of the attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC. The proficient law firm vigorously pursues accident claims against public entities when their negligence caused harm to others.
To hold a negligent party accountable after your traffic accident, contact Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC. You can obtain a free consultation with the law firm by completing the confidential online contact form here.