Personal Injury Attorneys in New Jersey
It can be difficult to know how to deal with a personal injury case after a car accident. It can make sense to hire a personal injury attorney to help you sort it all out. Before hiring one, interview several and make sure to ask certain questions to get a sense of their experience and processes. Make sure you understand New Jersey's laws regarding personal injury so you can make educated decisions about your case.
NOTE: The content of this website is intended solely for informational purposes. It is not a source of legal advice and should not be used as such.
A personal injury attorney can be an enormous asset to getting you the compensation you deserve after a car accident, especially if your injuries are very severe and involve non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Continue reading to learn how a personal injury lawyer can help you, what to consider as you hire one, and pertinent personal injury laws you need to know.
Hiring a NJ Personal Injury Attorney
Car accidents are traumatic and dealing with the aftermath can be especially difficult. This is never truer than when you get injured.
After an injury-causing accident, you'll have to deal with:
- Doctor's appointments.
- Documenting your symptoms and care.
- Paying medical bills.
- Dealing with the insurance companies.
- Pain and physical effects.
- Emotional effects/trauma.
- Other consequences of the accident.
When you are trying to heal, dealing with all of the above can be extremely overwhelming. A personal injury attorney can represent your rights, provide guidance, and help you navigate your case for the best possible outcome.
Questions to Ask Your Attorney
It's important to interview personal injury attorneys before hiring one so that you trust you've found one you're comfortable with.
Be sure to ask about their:
- Track record and experience.
- Process for trying personal injury cases.
Remember, it's important to listen to your gut. Even if you get great answers to your questions, you may feel uneasy for no good reason. If this is the case, keep searching until you find someone with whom you feel comfortable.
New Jersey Laws and Your Personal Injury Case
When you're dealing with insurance investigations and settlements, or even a lawsuit, you need to understand the New Jersey laws regarding personal injury that can affect you.
NJ Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury refers to the time window you have from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit.
This time window varies by state. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations is 2 years.
If you neglect to file a lawsuit within the specified time period, you likely will be denied the opportunity to get your case heard.
NJ Fault Laws
No Fault Law
New Jersey operates under a no-fault system
This means that you must submit your accident claim with your own insurance policy, UNLESS your injuries meet a certain threshold (your medical bills exceed a certain amount and/or your injury is severe). At this point, you can file a personal injury claim against the other driver.
A personal injury attorney can provide guidance on fault claims in a no-fault state like New Jersey.
Modified Comparative Negligence
It's important to understand that sometimes more than one driver is to blame for an accident. In some cases, you may be the victim of an accident but hold some blame. For example, the other driver may be 80% at fault, but you may have been speeding and share 20% of the blame.
When more than one driver is at fault, the law steps in to decide how damages get doled out. In New Jersey, the modified comparative law is used.
Here's how modified comparative negligence works:
- If you're partially at fault, your potential compensation is REDUCED by the percentage of fault you hold.
- For example, if total damages are $100,000 and you are 20% at fault, you may only receive $80,000.
- If you are 50% or more at fault, you get NO compensation.
In your negotiations with your insurance company, you will probably hear about this modified comparative negligence law, and it's important to know it can affect your overall compensation.