Belleville, NJ Car Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a car accident can be confusing. Whether this is your first car accident or you have been involved in other crashes before, you may be confused about how to pay for your medical expenses and how to receive other compensation for your injuries.
With the help of a Belleville car accident lawyer, you should explore options for compensation beyond a simple car accident claim. Many car accident victims are entitled to additional damages that their PIP insurance will not cover, but certain thresholds must be met first. Ultimately, our attorneys might be able to help you hold the at-fault driver responsible in a personal injury lawsuit.
For help with your car accident case, contact the Belleville, NJ car accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm today. Call us at (718) 841-0083.
Navigating New Jersey’s No-Fault Insurance Rules in Belleville
If you were injured in a car accident in NJ, you will have to contend with New Jersey’s no-fault rules. A “no-fault” insurance system uses insurance that covers each driver for their own injuries, whether or not they caused the accident. When you are injured in a no-fault state, you file a claim with your own insurance’s PIP (personal injury protection) coverage to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages. This can be contrasted with an “at-fault” or “tort” system where each driver carries insurance to cover the injuries they cause. There, injured drivers file a claim against the driver who hurt them for coverage.
Limitations on Lawsuits
The tricky issue with no-fault systems is that they usually block lawsuits for most simple cases. Instead of allowing victims to sue the driver who caused their crash, they are forced to use only their PIP coverage to get compensation. However, if their injuries are sufficiently “serious,” then they can file a claim against the other driver or even take their case to court.
NJ Choice No-Fault Rules
New Jersey also has a special rule for insurance: you can opt out of the no-fault system by purchasing higher insurance coverage. If you purchase insurance with a “limited right to sue,” then your ability to file a lawsuit is limited only to situations involving permanent injuries, serious scarring, loss of a fetus, serious fractures, or death. If you purchase a policy with an “unlimited right to sue” option, then you are not held back by the “serious injury” requirement and can file a lawsuit for any injuries.
Why File a Lawsuit?
Having the chance to file a lawsuit is important in many injury cases. If your accident involves substantial emotional distress or pain and suffering, you cannot get these damages paid through PIP coverage. Instead, you should contact our Belleville personal injury lawyers and discuss whether you can file a lawsuit for financial compensation.
Proving Fault in a Car Accident in Belleville, NJ
If you are solely filing for compensation through your own PIP insurance, then proving fault will not be an important part of your injury case. These insurance policies simply pay damages any time there is a verifiable injury claim related to a crash – though your insurance company might want to know who is at fault because they might want to raise your rates if you caused the crash. In any case that goes to court or involves a third-party claim against another driver’s liability coverage, fault must be determined before any payments will be issued.
Violations that Supply Fault in a Car Crash
To prove fault in a car accident case, you usually have to prove that the other driver did something unreasonable or violated a traffic law in causing the crash. Unreasonable actions could include things like eating while driving or failing to thoroughly check your blind spot – things that might be dangerous but not precisely illegal. Otherwise, any traffic violation that leads to the crash could be grounds to hold someone liable. Commonly, the following traffic violations are the root cause of a car accident:
- Suddenly changing lanes without signaling
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
- Tired driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
If any other traffic violation was what led to the crash, our Belleville car accident lawyers can help use that violation as proof of fault as well.
Assigning Partial Fault to Each Driver
In many car accident cases, the facts are complicated. When the totality of the circumstances are considered, the court might ultimately find that multiple drivers share fault. That can lead to each driver paying their fair share of the damages they caused you, calculated as a percentage of their fault in causing the crash.
You, as the victim, could be deemed partially responsible for causing the crash as well. Things like slight speeding or failing to stop completely at a stop sign might contribute to a crash. But in the face of the other driver’s greater mistakes or violations, your mistakes might seem insignificant.
Do not worry though – you are not blocked from compensation for partial fault as long as you are 50% or less at fault for the crash. Damages could be reduced by a few percentage points for small amounts of fault, but you can otherwise recover compensation for the full value for the fault of the other driver(s). One of our jobs as your attorney is to help protect your case by denying allegations of partial fault and trying to prove that the other drivers were fully responsible for your injuries.
Call Our Belleville Car Accident Attorneys
For a free case review, call our Belleville car accident lawyers today at (718) 841-0083. At The Carrion Law Firm, we offer free case evaluations.