Did you know that the average person will be involved in a car accident once every 18 years or so? These statistics from industry experts show just how common these types of incidents are. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you’re going to have questions. Even if this wasn’t your first accident, each incident is different and has different factors. We answer commonly asked questions about car accidents below.
What if I’m Partially At-Fault for the Accident?
Let’s say you were involved in an accident where the other driver was talking on their cell phone when the incident occurred. While this case may seem cut and dry, you were also speeding 15 miles over the speed limit, meaning you were partially at-fault for the collision. Are you still entitled to compensation?
The short answer, yes. New Jersey is a no-fault car insurance state, which means that any driver injured in a crash will have to turn to their own personal injury protection coverage in order to recover compensation for medical bills and other financial losses tied to the accident. Drivers must do this regardless of who is at-fault for the accident. This means that you’re able to recover some monetary compensation even if you were partially to blame for what happened.
New Jersey follows what’s known as a “modified comparative fault” rule when two parties share the blame for an accident. This means that the plaintiff’s compensation award will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. So, if you were awarded $100,000 but were found to be 20% responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation you’ll receive will be $80,000. It’s important to note that if you were deemed to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, you will receive nothing under this rule.
Related Blog: 5 Potentially Liable Parties After a Car Crash
How Long Does the Insurance Company Have to Respond to a Claim?
After being in an accident, the insurance company has 10 days to acknowledge that they received your claim. During this time, the insurance company should also provide you with the contact information to the claims office or the claims adjuster handling your case. The insurance company is also required to respond to any form of communication you attempt with them within 10 days as well as starting the investigation process. The investigation process must be completed within 30 days of when you submitted your proof of loss.
During this 30 day window, the insurance company should be in contact with you if there is any additional information they need; they must tell you why they need it and where it must be sent to. Once an agreement is reached with the insurance company, they must pay you within 10 days.
This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can be extremely useful. See, insurance companies are not out to do what’s best for you. Rather, they are interested in protecting their bottom line and making a profit. Simply put, they can’t make a profit if they’re paying out lots of money. So, oftentimes, insurance companies will try to make a lowball offer and if you’ve been out of work or struggling under the weight of medical bills and regular household expenses, you’re going to be tempted to take it. A skilled attorney will work exclusively with the insurance company to make sure your claim is not only handled appropriately and efficiently but that you are getting an offer that can make a substantial difference in your life, not one to keep you afloat only temporarily.
If the insurance company is giving you the runaround, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who has decades of experience handling complex car accident claims.
Related Blog: Auto Insurance – Insurance Coverage
Contact an East Orange Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at CourtLaw represent clients injured because of car accidents in Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, Hoboken, Newark, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 442-5900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, Roselle, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Linden, Newark, Paterson, South Amboy, and Trenton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.