New Jersey Car Accident Law: What You Need to Know
March 8 2023
In New Jersey, any car accident resulting in injury or death requires motorists to call 911 and remain at the scene. Drivers must provide their name, address, insurance information and vehicle registration number.
Understanding New Jersey Car Accident Laws
Understanding New Jersey Car Accident Laws is essential to understanding the legal implications of being involved in a car accident. There are many state laws, including those governing fault liability, that apply to any and all car accidents statewide. It is important for drivers to familiarize themselves with these laws to ensure they understand their rights before entering into negotiations with insurance companies after an accident occurs.
In New Jersey, the fault liability laws are based on “comparative negligence” which essentially means each party’s responsibility for an accident is calculated relative to the other party’s negligence. Put simply, if two drivers are involved in an accident and one driver is more negligent than the other—the more negligent driver is liable for greater damages. This system also enables drivers who are partially at fault for an accident to still receive financial compensation.
One debated aspect of comparative negligence revolves around how much a partially at-fault driver can be held liable for medical bills and other damages related to a car accident. In New Jersey, this number is set within a range of 51% – 99%. If a driver’s negligence is determined to be 51-99%, then he or she can only seek partial compensation for the damages that were caused by the other driver.
It’s also important to note that there are certain “strict” liability statutes in New Jersey that designate certain drivers as always responsible in certain kinds of crashes – no matter how much other drivers may have been at fault. Examples include collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, cyclists, or animals.
Understanding New Jersey Car Accident Laws ultimately helps drivers understand their legal rights when it comes to being involved in a car crash. You should always take steps necessary to protect yourself if you feel that your rights have been violated by another party following a crash or if you believe you have been unjustly held financially responsible for damages you did not cause. Now that we understand New Jersey Car Accident Law, let’s move on to discuss who is entitled to financial compensation after an accident takes place.
Who is Entitled to Financial Compensation?
When car accidents occur, financial compensation is often necessary to cover the costs of property damage, medical bills, and other related expenses. It can often be difficult to determine who is entitled to such compensation—particularly in cases when there are more than two parties involved. To assess who is eligible for financial compensation, it is important to examine several factors such as the degree of fault assigned to each party as well as the applicable New Jersey laws in relation to car accident cases.
For instance, if a person was determined at fault for causing the accident due to negligence or recklessness, they may be liable for damages associated with the incident. On the other hand, if a person or persons were not found guilty of any wrongdoing then it can be said that those affected did not partake in any negligence that contributed to the accident. The court will then require all parties involved to submit relevant evidence proving their level of responsibility or lack thereof. Depending on the final ruling by legal authorities, financial compensation may or may not be issued.
Furthermore, another factor to consider when identifying who is entitled to financial compensation is New Jersey personal injury law, which states that you must prove three things in order to receive any damages: that your injury was caused by another party’s negligence; evidence which proves the severity of your injury; and proof that economic damages must be covered.
Therefore, regardless of fault or no fault findings in car accident cases, all related claims must adhere to transportation and personal injury laws before determining who is granted financial compensation. When determining eligibility for compensation consideration should always be given to the severity of injuries and/or property damage sustained while weighing up whether a dispute can be settled out of court or not.
Now that we understand who is entitled to financial compensation following a car accident let’s take a look at how fault and liability are established in relation to New Jersey car accident laws in the next section.
Establishing fault after a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey is an important process for both parties. It is the responsibility of each driver to prove the other’s fault or negligence after a collision. Fault is most commonly determined by examining the details of the case, such as the traffic laws broken and any available evidence, including police reports and witness statements.
In some states, statutes like comparative fault or modified comparative fault help determine who is at fault. Under comparative fault, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced if they are found to have contributed to their own injuries. Modified comparative fault shifts the burden of proof onto the defendant if the plaintiff was partially at fault. Unfortunately, New Jersey follows a more traditional contributory negligence rule that bars plaintiffs from recovering damages if they are partly responsible for their injuries. This means that even if a plaintiff is 99 percent at fault—even if their own negligence was minor relative to the defendant’s—they still cannot collect damages in court.
In addition to filing a lawsuit against the responsible party, filing an insurance claim with your own policy may also be possible. Insurance companies can offer coverage for medical costs and lost wages for those injured in car accidents, regardless of fault or whose policy covers them.
While establishing fault after a car accident in New Jersey can be difficult due to its contributory negligence rules, seeking legal counsel from an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand liability and make informed decisions regarding your next steps. Now let’s look into the insurance requirements in New Jersey.
Insurance Requirements in New Jersey
New Jersey requires owners of registered motor vehicles to have automobile liability insurance before they can operate the vehicle on public roads. This means that all drivers in the state must maintain a certain minimum level of liability insurance coverage to comply with the law and drive legally. Failure to do so may result in penalties including suspension of registration, fines, or even imprisonment.
Typically, the minimum required amount of liability insurance in New Jersey is set at $15,000 per person for bodily injury and $30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability; and $5000 for property damage. It is important to note that this minimum amount of coverage may not be sufficient to cover costs associated with an accident. If a driver is found at fault for an accident, any damages that exceed the coverage limit are their responsibility. Therefore, many advocates believe it is wise for drivers to increase their liabilities beyond the minimum requirements to better protect themselves from financial risk.
On the other hand, some people argue that setting high levels of mandatory car insurance requirements only drives up the cost of insurance premiums in New Jersey without necessarily adding value to those who adhere to them. It is because increasing requirements does not guarantee improved protection since most drivers elect to purchase bare minimums anyway due to budget constraints or a lack of understanding about potential long-term risks associated with insufficient coverage limits. Thus higher insurance coverage requirements may not be an effective answer when it comes to safeguarding against automobile accidents and their associated costs.
Ultimately, it’s up to each driver to decide what level of insurance coverage they feel comfortable having prior to operating a motor vehicle on public roads in New Jersey. But understanding the risks associated with automobile accidents and having sufficient financial coverage is essential if you want to stay safe and protect yourself from costly out-of-pocket expenses in case of an accident. With that said, let’s now move on to discuss Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in New Jersey.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an important part of New Jersey Car Accident Law. PIP is a type of no-fault insurance that covers medical payments and, depending on the policy, can cover 80% of the insured’s economic losses due to a car accident.
In New Jersey, all vehicle owners must purchase PIP insurance when writing an auto insurance policy. Financially, PIP coverage covers up to $250,000 per person in medical expenses, lost wages due to injury or incapacity resulting from the accident, and other associated costs. There are two types of PIP coverage: standard and limited. Standard PIP provides more robust coverage than limited PIP.
Proponents of PIP argue that it allows for the insured to be appropriately compensated for their losses due to an automobile accident without having to prove fault or negligence in court. Additionally, it provides prompt compensation without having to wait around for liability coverage due to a lengthy courts process. This can make it beneficial for those involved with smaller collisions who don’t want to go through a court case but still have access to receiving money for their injury related losses.
Opponents argue that PIP increases premiums and can invest time into complex claims processes because benefits are not always easy to calculate. Because it’s composed of a fixed amount of money, this could result in those with higher medical bills or greater loss of wages receive little to no compensation even if they rely heavily on their car as an income source. Its proponents are also accused of creating a false sense of protection against negligent drivers since even if you are at fault for an accident you may receive significant funds from your own insurance company depending on your policy’s limitations.
Filing a personal injury claim can be one way to try and recoup losses above and beyond what is covered by your PIP policy. In the next section we will discuss how filing a car accident claim works and the different factors involved when submitting one in New Jersey.
- According to the National Highway Safety Administration, there were 448 traffic fatalities in New Jersey in 2020.
- Seat belt use is mandatory for all passengers in New Jersey, and it is illegal to drive without a seatbelt or with an unrestrained child under 8 years of age.
- Failed or refused sobriety tests can result in a fine and license suspension up to 12 months if a person is arrested for DUI/DWI (Driving Under the Influence/Driving While Intoxicated) in New Jersey.
Filing a Car Accident Claim
Filing a car accident claim is a crucial part of resolving the aftermath of a car crash, and can make the difference between getting financial reimbursement for damages and expenses, or taking on those costs out-of-pocket. Due to New Jersey’s negligence law, anyone filing an injury claim must prove that another driver was responsible for causing the accident. A plaintiff must be able to show that the at-fault driver acted carelessly and that his or her negligence led to your injuries and related expenses.
In addition, plaintiffs must also be able to demonstrate that they suffered an injury as a result of this negligence. Victims should save all medical documents related to the car accident so these documents can serve as proof of their injuries and associated expenses. Furthermore, evidence such as photographs, police reports and witness statements can help provide a more rounded picture of what took place during the incident.
Although filing a car accident claim is essential in getting back any money spent due to the incident, some may choose not to pursue legal action because of its complexity and cost. According to New Jersey law there are time limits on filing claims; thus if you wait too long you may be barred from recovering any damages regardless of how valid your case is. It’s essential that any potential claimant contact an experienced attorney right away who can accurately evaluate their case and advise them on whether or not they have a strong chance of success.
Filing a car accident claim can involve numerous steps along the way including gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies and filing court documents among other things. Therefore, before undertaking such a process, it is important to consider all your options carefully so that you do not end up with more stress than comfort after completing your claim.
Now that we know some key points about filing a car accident claim in New Jersey, let’s move on to finding out about the required evidence for such a claim in our next section.
Required Evidence to File a Claim
When filing a claim for a car accident in New Jersey, it is important to understand what evidence is needed in order to prove the other party’s liability. Generally, these cases rely primarily on three types of evidence: eyewitness testimony, medical records/testimony, and official documentation. The following outlines the specific evidence required to successfully file a claim.
Eyewitness Testimony: Eyewitness testimony presents the best opportunity to prove who was at fault in an accident. In order to be eligible as evidence, this testimony must come from someone with no vested interest in the outcome of the case. While reliable eyewitness accounts can help secure a favorable claim outcome, ultimately it is up to the courts to decide whether or not this testimony is valid in each case.
Medical Records/Testimony: If anyone involved in a car accident has sustained an injury as a result of it, then medical records and corresponding professional testimony from attending physicians can be used as evidence in court. This type of evidence is especially important when determining claims for pain and suffering, hospital bills, and loss of income due to time taken off from work.
Official Documentation: Finally, records collected by authorities at the scene of an accident such as police reports and incident assessments are typically accepted as official evidence for a claim. Additionally, photos of the crash site and any property damage can both serve as beneficial sources of proof regarding who is liable for damages associated with an accident.
Ultimately, whenever possible personal injury victims should collect extensive evidence related to their car accidents including all statements provided by witnesses plus any photographs taken at the scene. Collectively, all this information can strengthen the efficacy and legitimacy of a personal injury claim if warranted.
Now that we have covered the required evidence necessary to file a claim let us move on to discuss another important issue in New Jersey Car Accident Law—the statute of limitations for filing a claim.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim
In the state of New Jersey, car accident victims have two years from the date of their crash to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Under what’s known as a “statute of limitations,” legal action must be filed before the expiration of this period or else it is forever barred.
The time limit imposed by this statute was created to ensure that cases are brought to court in a timely manner and before relevant evidence becomes too aged or lost altogether. The clock begins on the date of the accident and it is important that victims act fast to save their right to receive compensation. Delaying contacting an attorney may negatively affect potential settlements and bar individuals from getting the justice they deserve.
It is also important to note that different time limits may apply depending on various factors associated with the case. For example, if car accident victims were minors at the time of their crash, they may have additional months or years to take legal action due to these extended statutes.
A debate among injured parties often centers around whether or not insurance companies should abide by this two-year limitation policy when processing claims. While it does help maintain a sense of fairness for all involved, some argue that these deadlines prevent insurance companies from resolving certain matters which can lead to delays in compensation for injured parties who are struggling financially due to mounting medical expenses. On the other hand, others defend these policies as they protect insurance companies from being forced into settlements outside of this window – something which could create major financial implications for them as well.
Regardless of what one believes about its purpose, understanding the statute of limitations and filing a claim within this time frame is essential in order to preserve an individual’s right to seek compensation in New Jersey car accident claims. It is recommended that those affected contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after their crash in order to move through this process quickly and get on their way towards proper justice.
Frequently Asked Questions and Responses
How do I report a car accident in New Jersey?
In order to report a car accident in New Jersey, you must follow certain steps. First, you should call the police and inform them of the accident. You should provide them with all the necessary information regarding the accident, including your name, address, contact information and insurance information. Once you have contacted the police, make sure you document the scene of the accident with photographs or videos. You may also be required to fill out an Accident Report Form on-site at the time of the accident. Additionally, if anyone was injured or there is damage to property, you must notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible to file an official claim. Finally, it is important to seek legal advice if needed and stay informed about any new developments in New Jersey car accident law.
What should I do if I experience a car accident in New Jersey?
If you experience a car accident in New Jersey, there are several important steps you should take to protect yourself and your legal rights. First, if anyone is injured in the accident, call 911 for medical help. Next, try to move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic. If possible, exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved. Additionally, take photos or videos of the scene of the accident and any damage done to your car, as well as any visible injuries from the crash. It is also important to report the accident to local law enforcement and make sure you get a copy of the police report regarding the incident. Lastly, contact an experienced car accident attorney who understands New Jersey laws to determine your best course of action moving forward.
Are there any special rules or regulations concerning car accidents in New Jersey?
Yes, there are important rules and regulations when it comes to car accidents in New Jersey. All drivers are required to have automobile liability insurance. This insurance covers medical costs, property damage, and other potential losses that may incur in the event of an accident. Under New Jersey’s “No Fault” law, your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should pay for most medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Additionally, you may be able to recover money from another driver if they caused your accident by either a settlement or filing a lawsuit in court.
Another key New Jersey law related to car accident is called “drunk driving laws” which prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above .08%. In addition, the law requires drivers and front-seat passengers over the age of 21 to wear a seat belt. If you violate any of these regulations, you may face severe criminal penalties including fines and jail time.
Finally, the state of New Jersey requires motorists involved in an accident resulting in property damage over $500 or personal injury to either all or some of the parties involved to immediately report it to the police department within 24 hours.
Overall, understanding the car accident laws in New Jersey is an important step towards protecting yourself if an incident occurs while on the road.