If you have been involved in a car accident that someone else caused due to their negligence, recklessness, or malice, then you are entitled to seek compensation from either the driver or more likely, from their insurance company. In some cases, it is extremely clear who is at fault for the accident, meaning that you will not need to worry about arguing this detail with the insurance company, but regardless of how clear the fault is, you can be certain that the insurance company will take every possible step to limit the amount that they ultimately pay you in a settlement. This is one of many reasons why working with a car accident attorney is so important.
Call Balkin & Mausner and talk to a lawyer who is ready to take your case today. The initial stress after an accident can be overwhelming, and when you must also try to research lawyers, contact law firms, and hope to find someone who is ready to take your case, you may find yourself considering just filing your claim on your own and hoping for the best. Luckily, Balkin & Mausner makes things easy for our clients, so you can get the legal support that you deserve as soon as possible.
Read more below about New Jersey car accident claims, and contact us now to partner with an experienced attorney.
What To Do After a Car Accident in New Jersey
In any accident, the most important thing to do is to prioritize your own health and safety, and then the health and safety of your passengers. Unless the circumstances require that you take extreme actions, do not do anything that will complicate your injuries or put yourself at risk for additional harm. Remain in your vehicle if you are able to, or get to the side of the road to a median strip, parking lot, or sidewalk if it is safe to do so.
Call 911 as soon as possible so that they can dispatch local police, firefighters, and EMTs to the scene. Once they arrive, they will be able to secure the area, address any ongoing hazards, and provide medical treatment at the scene of the crash. If you call 911, you will be able to speak with the operator and give them an idea of the severity of the crash, any injuries that you are aware of, and any other important details that the emergency responders should be aware of.
Get Medical Care
Whether or not you think that you need medical care or if you can heal on your own, it is important to see a doctor. Of course, the most important reason for this is to ensure that you get the care that you need, but the other part of this step is to ensure that you establish a clear medical record of your injuries. Without records of your injuries, the insurance company will refuse to pay for them, and the courts will likely side with them due to a lack of evidence.
Hire an Attorney
You may have expected that the next step is to file a claim with the insurance company, but that is a common mistake that the insurance company benefits from each time it is made. When you file a claim without an attorney, you put yourself at risk of making statements that the insurance company will be able to use against you, even if you meant nothing by it or it seemed completely innocuous. When your attorney is the one making the contact with the insurance company, ever statement will be done through years of experience, and with the goal of getting you a settlement that you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
The following are just a few of the many common questions that lawyers are happy to answer to clients and potential clients who have been injured in a car accident. The answers provided below are meant to give you a general idea of the answer, but speaking with an attorney today is one proven way to find the full answer for yourself.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident in New Jersey?
There are many different reasons why hiring a lawyer is makes a lot of sense following a car accident, but the following are just a few to consider:
Stress is proven to have a serious negative impact on the recovery process from physical injuries, and the insurance claims process is certainly stressful. Attempting to get the money that you know you are rightfully entitled to from a company focused on paying as little as possible is highly stressful, and can be emotionally draining to the point that, without a lawyer, simply accepting the low offer seems like a reasonable option. Your attorney will be able to advocate for you while you avoid these stressors and focus on your own needs.
Even if you were not injured at all, trying to deal with an insurance company and wading through endless legal jargon while trying to advocate for your own needs is extremely frustrating and time-consuming. Tort law in the United States is extremely complicated, which is why working with an attorney is so important—especially an attorney with a history of handling these cases. Hopefully, this is the only time you will need to go through this process; therefore, learning the ins-and-outs of the American tort law for your own case might not be the best use of your time.
The path to a fair settlement can feel lonely, especially as you are attempting to learn about every step of the process at the same time that you are trying to negotiate with the insurance company. It is entirely reasonable for you to second-guess yourself for the decisions and actions you have taken, and it is important to stay strong through negotiations. The insurance company has years of practice and a team of professionals who are all focused on limiting your settlement, and when you take them on alone it can feel impossible. Your attorney will be the legal partner that you need through this process.
How do you pursue compensation after a New Jersey Car accident?
In most cases, you will be working with an insurance company representing the driver who caused your accident. When you file a claim, you will be assigned a claims adjuster who will investigate the accident, your injuries, and all of the impacts of the situation before calculating a settlement amount for your claim. However, the offer that an insurance company makes is much lower than what you deserve, and you will need to negotiate in order to get a payment that adequately compensates you for your damages. Your attorney will be able to handle this process for you.
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
In order to determine a fair amount for your personal injury claim, you will need to go through a wide range of factors, each of which has a specific way to calculate a dollar value. Economic damages include things like your medical bills and lost wages, but they also include any services that you have needed to pay for that you normally would have performed yourself, and much more. Non-economic damages are more complicated to calculate because they seek compensation for damages that do not have measurable financial values, such as the actual pain and suffering you have endured because of your injuries. As you can imagine, insurance companies push back on non-economic damages aggressively, and you will need to be prepared to fight for what you deserve.