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Car Accident FAQ

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New Jersey Car Accidents Frequently Asked Questions

Experienced Union County Accident Injury Attorneys Answer The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents In New Jersey

FAQ: What is considered legal negligence in a car accident?

The term “negligence” refers to any kind of reckless, irresponsible behavior that either causes or contributes to an accident. In the case of a car accident, negligence may be displayed by speeding, driving aggressively, making rapid lane changes, distracted driving, driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, driving through stop signs, and not heeding traffic signs. Negligence is at the center of all personal injury claims and it must be proven that this careless behavior caused the car accident in order for you to file a claim to recover damages.

FAQ: If I file a personal injury claim for my car accident, do I have to go to court?

In the majority of cases, no. If the other driver’s insurance company offers you a settlement for your car accident that both you and your accident attorney believe is a fair settlement, then your case will not go to court. If, however, this is not the case in your situation, then it is possible that you will need to have a formal trial. It is best to consult with an experienced car accident attorney who can answer this question regarding your particular case.

FAQ: How much time do I have to file a claim for my car accident in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, such as a claim for a car accident, is two years from the time the accident occurred. It is important to meet this legal deadline; failure to file your claim in time may result in having your case dismissed by the New Jersey courts.

FAQ: If I am partly responsible for my car accident, can I still recover compensation in New Jersey?

That depends upon your level of fault. In this situation, the state of New Jersey follows modified comparative negligence laws that state that the compensation you may recover for your accident injuries will be reduced by a percentage that is equal to your level of fault. So, for example, if it is determined that you are 30 percent responsible for your accident, your damage award will be reduced by 30 percent. If it is determined that you are more than 50 percent responsible for your accident, however, you will be unable to recover any compensation from the other at-fault parties.

FAQ: Can I be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if I took cough medicine that made me drowsy?

Yes. You may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs for any type of medication — including an over-the-counter medicine such as cough medicine — that impairs your ability to safely drive a vehicle and impairs your judgment.

FAQ: Can I recover compensation for emotional pain and suffering?

Yes. If you are in an accident that was caused by negligence you may recover compensation for your emotional pain and suffering. Because this type of loss does not have an exact monetary value, the New Jersey court will consider the various elements of your claim and assign a financial value to that loss.

FAQ: I was in a car accident but I didn’t know that I was injured until a few days after the accident. What should I do?

Many people who are involved in car accidents initially feel that they were not hurt. But, a few days or weeks later, the accident injuries present themselves. It is very important to immediately seek medical treatment once you realize that you were injured. This not only ensures that you receive the proper medical treatment for your injuries; it also provides written documentation of your medical condition. This type of documentation will be necessary should you wish to file a personal injury claim for your car accident.

FAQ: I was injured in an accident with an Uber driver. Can I still file a claim to recover damages?

Yes. As long as the accident was caused by the Uber driver’s negligence, you may file a claim to recover damages. However, the process of recovering compensation for injuries and other losses that are sustained in an accident with a rideshare company such as Uber can be particularly challenging. Uber accident claims are far more complicated than standard vehicle accident claims, because of the business relationship between Uber drivers and Uber. Uber drivers are not Uber employees — they are independent contractors. You must first file a claim against the Uber driver’s personal car insurance policy. However, if the driver was working and earning money when the accident occurred, the insurance company will deny the claim because personal car insurance policies only provide coverage for times when the vehicle is operated for personal use, not for paid work. And while Uber does provide car insurance, the coverage varies depending upon the situation. If you were injured in an accident with an Uber driver, it is best to consult with an experienced car accident attorney.

FAQ: I was pulled over by law enforcement and asked to take a breathalyzer test. Do I have to submit to testing?

While you are under no legal obligation to submit to a breathalyzer test or any other form of chemical testing, in New Jersey, there are penalties for not taking the test. When you received your drivers’ license, you gave implied consent to submit to field sobriety and chemical testing for the purposes of determining a blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, then there are penalties that vary depending upon whether this is your first, second, or third offense. Speak with an experienced car accident attorney who will explain your rights under the law, as well as the potential consequences of not agreeing to chemical testing.

FAQ: The other driver’s insurance adjuster asked for my medical records. Should I release them?

No — you should not release your medical records to the other driver’s insurance adjuster. Consult with an experienced car accident attorney regarding this request; releasing your medical information to the other party could damage your case.

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