Every day, drivers and passengers in Union County and elsewhere in New Jersey suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and bicycles. The New Jersey car accident attorneys at Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P.C. have the experience and expertise to guide you through the often-complex legal process related to car accident cases.
Do You Need a New Jersey Car Accident Attorney?
Attempting to deal directly with an insurance company on your own will probably result in a settlement offer well below that to which you may be entitled. We will work to get you money damages for your bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, mental distress, and unpaid medical bills.
The Union County, New Jersey car accident attorneys at Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P.C., will be forceful advocates for you. Most motor vehicle cases settle at some point. However, if the insurance company for the other driver will not make an adequate settlement offer, we will be prepared to take your case to trial.
What Should You Do If You Get in a Car Accident?
If you are injured, immediately see a doctor. Even if you have minor injuries, seek medical care. Remember, minor injuries to car accident victims can become major injuries if not treated promptly. Some injuries to car accident victims may not show symptoms for hours or days after the accident.
Be sure to tell your doctor all of your injuries, no matter how minor they may appear to you.
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene. You should also take pictures of the damage to your car and any other vehicles involved in the accident.
You should also get contact information for other drivers and witnesses. You will exchange information with the other driver, such as license, insurance and registration details.
You should call the police to report the accident. Your insurance company will want a copy of the police report.
You should notify your insurance company as soon as you can. The company may require notice within a specified time period.
If you have been injured, immediately contact an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer. New Jersey, as every other state, has specified time periods within which injured persons must file personal injury lawsuits (two years from the accident; if a minor, two years from when the minor turns 18).
Don’t wait; you may get a call within days or weeks from the other driver’s insurance company. You don’t want to talk to them until you have spoken to an experienced Union County, New Jersey car accident lawyer.
What Causes Car Accidents in New Jersey?
New Jersey is a congested state. Its roadways are full of cars, SUVs, large trucks and buses. There are many reasons there are a large number of car accidents in New Jersey:
- Driver fatigue-Aside from actually falling asleep at the wheel, fatigued drivers can get distracted, have slower response times and are not as aware of their surroundings or road conditions;
- Drunk/impaired driving-Alcohol or drug use results in decreased response time, recklessness and impaired senses. Even legal drug use can lead to drowsiness and is a hazard to drivers and others on the road;
- Teenagers-Teenagers are not experienced drivers and can be easily distracted, especially if there are other teenagers in the car. New Jersey has a graduated driver’s license program for young drivers;
- Senior citizens-Older drivers experience degenerative changes in reflexes and vision and can be a danger to themselves and others;
- Speeding–Whatever the reason (late for work or a party, aggressiveness, recklessness) speeding is a hazard to the speeder and other vehicles on the road. Even if driving at or below the posted limit, the speeder may ignore road conditions, such as ice or rain-soaked roads, that require drivers to reduce their speed;
- Distracted drivers–Fiddling with the radio or a navigation system, talking on the phone and texting can all lead to serious accidents;
- Road construction projects–Road construction/repair projects result in narrow lanes, re-directed lanes, heavy trucks and construction vehicles leaving/entering construction sites and can lead to accidents;
- Defective road design/maintenance–Defectively designed and improperly maintained roadways can lead to accidents. Too narrow a shoulder, excessively curved roads or ramps and improperly maintained roads can cause car accidents in New Jersey.
What Type of Injuries Do People Get in a Car Accident in New Jersey?
There are many types of injuries that can occur in a car accident in New Jersey:
- Soft tissue
- Bruises, lacerations
- Bone fractures
- Concussions, head injuries
- Shoulder, back and neck sprains/strains
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Amputations of limbs
- Spinal cord/paralysis
- Wrongful death
Serious injuries that a person sustains in a car accident can mean hospitalization and multiple follow-up visits to a doctor. People who sustain the injuries listed above may also need multiple visits to a physical therapist or chiropractor for treatment.
What Are My Damages in a New Jersey Car Accident Case?
In a New Jersey car accident case, there are several types of damage claims New Jersey personal injury law recognizes:
- Medical expenses-You may recover all of your medical expenses (even those for which insurance paid);
- Property damages;
- Lost wages- You may recover wages you were not paid if you had to miss work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering-This type of damage is subjective but is widely recognized in New Jersey personal injury law. You can tell the jury how badly your back hurt after your car accident, how you got chiropractic treatment for weeks and you still have stiffness in your back most mornings when you wake up. That is pain and suffering;
- Disability-If there are lingering symptoms from your injury (and there often are) you can tell the jury about them. Perhaps you work at a desk all day but cannot sit for over 25-30 minutes because of the back injury you sustained in the car accident. You have to frequently stop working, get up from the desk and walk around the office because of your back injury. You can tell the jury about that. The jury can take that into account during their deliberations and factor it into their damage award;
- Future medical treatment-If you suffered a traumatic brain injury or compound fracture of your leg in an accident with a large truck, you may need medical and physical therapy treatment for the foreseeable future. You (and your doctor) can tell the jury about that;
- Loss of consortium-If your spouse was killed in a motor vehicle accident, or severely injured, the jury can compensate you for the loss of consortium-the loss of the affection, advice and companionship spouses show each other; and
- Punitive damages-Punitive damages are a distinct type of damage and are not usually available in a personal injury case. Punitive damages punish the defendant for bad conduct. Cases in which people are injured because of someone else’s negligence rarely involve punitive damages. Punitive damages might be available against a drunk driver who caused an accident and had several prior drunk driving convictions. A trucking company that fabricated maintenance records for its fleet of trucks, including the one that hit you, might be liable for punitive damages. There would have to be serious misconduct on the defendant’s part to justify an award for punitive damages. However, if we believe the defendant’s misconduct in your case was extreme, we will fight to get an award of punitive damages for you.
New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys Get Results
Below are some of the recent car accident cases in which Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P. C., car accident attorneys got favorable results for their injured clients:
- February 5, 2020 – $230,000 settlement for a motor vehicle accident
- February 5, 2020- $350,000 settlement for a motor vehicle accident
- March 28, 2019 – $325,000 settlement for a motor vehicle accident
- February 7, 2019 – $725,000 settlement for a motor vehicle accident
- February 7, 2019- $342,000 settlement for a motorcycle accident
If you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, whether as a driver, passenger, bicycle/motorcycle rider or pedestrian, call us at 908-490-0444 at our Scotch Plains office or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer. There is no attorneys’ fee charged to you unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery on your behalf.