Jersey City Car Accident Lawyers
Jersey City Car Accident Lawyers
New Jersey, with its high population density, consistently ranks high in the yearly lists of worst places to drive in, with poor road conditions and distracted driving being some of the most common causes of accidents. In fact, there are an average of 220,000 car accidents every year in the Garden State. Jersey City is no exception and has its own history of tragic car accidents.
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash in Jersey City area, turning to an experienced car accident lawyer as quickly as possible can give you the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve to aid in your recovery.
Common Causes for Car Accidents in Jersey City
There are many reasons why car accidents occur, with everything from drunk driving to poor road conditions potentially impacting how likely you are to get into a crash.
Human error is consistently a main cause of car accidents, but other factors can contribute. Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Jersey City include:
In Jersey City, distracted driving is a serious concern. Engaging in a visual-manual subtask, like texting, dialing, or even reaching for a phone, makes a car accident three times more likely to occur.
Although teenagers tend to engage in distracted driving most often — with one-quarter of teens responding to text messages at least once every time they drive — adults also engage in these behaviors.
Nationwide, 25% of all car accidents involve drivers using a cell phone, but anything that takes your eyes off the road can distract you. Eating, turning to speak to someone in the back seat, smoking, and even listening to music make you more likely to get into an accident in Jersey City.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are the leading cause of car accidents in New Jersey, surpassing even distracted driving.
Being under the influence affects your brain function, impacting your vision and hearing while making you less coordinated. Your reaction times are also slower, so you’ll struggle to respond appropriately to changes on the road.
Throughout the country, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%. The BAC level is the percentage of alcohol in your blood, and it’s the most common way of measuring levels of intoxication.
Even if your BAC level is below 0.08%, you can still be impaired, with decreased multitasking and visual function. Having a single drink can put you and others on the road at risk.
The faster a car goes, the less time the driver has to react to anything that changes on the road. If there is a collision of any kind, speeding puts much more force on the human body, resulting in worse injuries and a higher risk of fatalities.
Speeding is a calculated and deliberate choice the driver makes that puts everyone around them, including themselves, in danger. Most people understand that going at 120 miles per hour is dangerous, but it’s just as important to know that increasing your speed by even just five miles per hour in the wrong place can put you at serious risk.
Speed limits are not randomly selected numbers; instead, they have been carefully calculated by federal, state, and local governments. Not adhering to speed limits is a problem that continues to cause fatalities every day around the country.
Drowsy driving, also called driver fatigue, is when someone drives while they are sleepy or tired. Drowsy drivers aren’t able to perceive or react to dangers on the road quickly enough. In some instances, drivers can even fall asleep behind the wheel and lose control of the car.
Just a few seconds of being a sleep puts you at risk of being involved in a serious and life-threatening car accident. Driver fatigue can present with many symptoms, including:
● Tired eyes
● Inability to remember directions
● Difficulty concentrating
Anyone who notices one or more of these symptoms should pull over and rest. Most major highways have rest stops to allow you to do this safely.
Reckless driving refers to actions that the driver takes that display a disregard for the rules of the road. Most of the time, reckless driving involves one or more traffic violations that are not, on their own, considered reckless. They become so if there are aggravating circumstances, like pedestrian traffic or visibility issues on the road.
The most common reckless driving acts are:
● Drinking and driving
● Distracted driving
● Running stop signs
● Running red lights
● Suddenly braking
● Driving without headlights
● Improper turns
Speeding on its own can be considered reckless driving if road visibility is poor, the width and surface of the road make speeding more dangerous, and many other factors. Teenagers are typically more likely to engage in these behaviors, but anyone can be charged with reckless driving.
Tailgating contributes to a number of car accidents in Jersey City. Tailgating refers to when a driver follows the car in front too closely. This decreases the amount of time that the driver has to react, potentially leading to rear-ending the car in front.
Tailgating can also be a sign of aggressive driving and road rage. Someone who has road rage can be as dangerous as someone who is intoxicated.
Roads that are in poor condition make car accidents more likely to happen. Potholes are a serious concern. They form when the top layer of asphalt wears away and exposes the concrete base.
Potholes put a lot of strain on a car’s shocks and suspension, potentially leading to extensive damage. If the pothole is deep enough, it may cause a driver to lose control of their car and suffer an accident.
Roads in poor condition can also make blowing out a tire more likely because the surface of the road wears away at the rubber. Having a tire blowout if you’re on the highway or other roadways where the speed limit is higher puts you in danger of losing control of the car.
In all of New Jersey, including the Jersey City area, traffic congestion is a problem. With more drivers on the road, getting anywhere takes time and requires patience.
In such conditions, people may be more likely to act aggressively out of frustration. More time spent out on the roads also increases distractions and mental fatigue.
What To Do After a Jersey City Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be stressful and traumatic. Understanding what steps to take if you’re involved in one can help the experience feel less overwhelming.
New Jersey law requires that you stay at the accident scene and call 911. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as you can, including whether you see any injuries or hear anyone in pain.
Make sure to exchange information with the other driver. This applies even if no one was injured. You can then begin to gather evidence. This includes taking pictures of the injuries you and any passengers sustained, the kind of damage the car and other property have, and any markings on the road.
If possible, it’s a good idea to write down how the accident happened while it’s still fresh in your mind so that you have details. You will then need to inform your insurer of the accident. You will want to do this as soon as you can to avoid any issues if you’re making a claim.
It is crucial to turn to a Jersey City car accident lawyer to help you through the process. A skilled car accident lawyer can help guide you through making a claim so that you have the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve.
Common Car Accident Injuries
A car accident can cause a variety of injuries, many of which can interfere with your daily life and make it more difficult to work. Some of the most common injuries people suffer in New Jersey car crashes include:
Head and Back Injuries
Head and back injuries are among the most potentially dangerous injuries and the ones that tend to pose the most problems during the healing process. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are those that occur if your brain is jolted.
In a car accident, it’s easy for the neck to snap forward during impact or for your head to hit a window or another surface. Some types of TBI are mild, but many also have lasting effects, including the risk of developing brain damage. Concussions are one type of TBI. They’re considered mild, but you still need to get medical care.
Spinal cord injuries are another serious risk. They can be total — which means that you don’t have any feeling below the injury site — or incomplete, which means you still have some feeling below the injury. Paralysis may happen immediately, but signs of the problem sometimes take time to make themselves known.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries include everything from sprains to bruising and lacerations (cuts). Sprains occur between two bones of a joint, while strains occur within the tissues that connect muscles to bones.
Bruising is perhaps the most common type of injury that people receive when they’re involved in a car accident. Most bruises resolve independently, but some may be severe enough to require medical attention.
Always have a medical professional check out any bruising after a car accident, especially if you have bruising near your heart.
Neck and Chest Injuries
Broken or bruised ribs can occur during an accident, especially from the force that the seat belt creates to keep you from lunging forward during impact. Because it’s not always possible to know the severity of damage right after the accident, having medical professionals check for broken ribs or puncturing from broken ribs is vital.
Whiplash is another common injury that people receive if they are involved in a car accident. It occurs if your neck snaps forward or backward. The weight of the head puts a strain on the neck muscles. If your airbags fail to deploy, the chances of suffering whiplash are even higher.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
Many factors affect what your car accident case is worth, including the severity of the injuries you sustained and whether you suffered property damage.
No two car accidents are the same, but a Jersey City car accident lawyer can evaluate the unique details of your case and determine how much compensation you may be entitled to. The type of insurance you have plays a role, with those with more extensive policies usually garner more.
If you suffered property damage to your car, taking the vehicle for an estimate of what the repairs will cost is essential to help your lawyer ask for the right compensation. If the repair costs are more than the insurance company’s threshold, your insurer may choose to total the car and pay you the replacement value. Injuries make up a key part of your case, so it’s important to document everything.
The severity of the injury and how it can affect your quality of life, your job, and other aspects of your life are all factors that impact the compensation you receive.
For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury, you would have more medical bills than if you received whiplash or a few bruises. This means that you may be able to get higher compensation for a spinal cord injury in comparison to a minor injury.
To get an accurate idea of what you can claim, make sure to reach out to a Jersey City car accident lawyer at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq.
Potential Damages in a Car Accident Case
You need to claim specific damages to receive compensation after a car accident. Damages are the specific amounts of money you request to reimburse you for property damage, injuries, and other losses related to your accident.
Medical expenses are the most common type of damages people who have been in car accidents claim. Damages for medical expenses can cover the following:
● Ambulance fees
● Physical therapy
● In-home services
Future medical expenses are also considered, including whether you will need continued help or therapy. These future expenses are particularly important if you suffer an injury that causes a chronic condition.
Separate from medical expenses, you may be able to claim pain and suffering damage as well. This damage covers any physical or emotional distress, including anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
You may also be able to get compensation for lost wages. If you missed work to get medical treatment or you had to change jobs to accommodate injuries that don’t allow you to perform your regular job, you can claim damages to cover these losses.
You can also seek compensation for property damage. This usually means your car, but it can also include other property that may have been damaged during the accident.
People who had loved ones who were killed or severely injured during a car accident can claim damages for loss of companionship and support. Usually, this applies to spouses.
In some instances, it may also be possible to claim punitive damages. This is the case if the person responsible for the car accident behaved recklessly or irresponsibly.
Is New Jersey a Fault or No-Fault State?
New Jersey is one of 12 no-fault states in the country. This doesn’t mean that fault is not assigned after an accident. It means that the compensation for medical bills, property damage, and more comes from your insurer, whether you were at fault or not.
In New Jersey, you need to have three types of insurance: personal injury protection (PIP), liability insurance, and uninsured motorist insurance. You must have these minimum coverages, but there are additional options.
New Jersey law regarding car accidents is complex, as you also have to consider limited right to sue and unlimited right to sue. If you have a limited right-to-sue policy, you can sue the person who was at fault outside of PIP coverage and no-fault laws. That said, you can only do this if you suffer a serious injury.
With an unlimited right-to-sue policy, you’re able to sue the person outside of PIP and no-fault law without any injury limitations.
Why You Should Hire GGL
The Jersey City car accident lawyers of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq take pride in guiding and advocating for car accident victims in New Jersey. Our seasoned team has over 30 years of experience and can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
When you turn to GGL, you can receive assistance from a tenacious group of lawyers who will not under-settle your case. If your rights are not respected, we aren’t afraid to take your case to trial.