Automobile accidents are common. On the roads of the United States, unforeseen obstacles and hazards, including other drivers, are just a reality of being a motor vehicle operator or passenger. The roads of New Jersey are no exception. Our roads have a reputation for being confusing, dangerous, congested and filled with aggressive drivers. If you are in an accident, you could face serious injuries, the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages and an affected quality of life. The severity of injuries varies and some can stay dormant for years, impacting your future. When accidents occur, it is important for you to know your rights and what to expect.
How Long Does a Case Take?
Depending on the injuries and circumstances, some cases last years, while others cases can settle in months. If there is a dispute over who was at fault for the accident or the severity of the injuries, the case will take longer. Generally, cases with very serious injuries take longer unless the defendant has small amounts of insurance coverage. New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations mandates that the lawsuit generally has to be started within two years of the date of the accident.
Will I go to Court?
In most cases, the better the evidence in your favor, the less likely you will have to go to court. Accordingly, if there is a dispute about who was at fault for the accident, the case may require you to attend some court proceedings, although not necessarily a trial. Issues can complicate the process, including:
- Fault for the accident
- Nature and extent of your injuries
- Whether your injuries were preexisting or exacerbated
- Whether the collision was low impact
When these issues arise, there is a better chance the case will have to go to court to be resolved. Though sometimes unforeseen factors complicate a case, automobile accident cases are usually settled without a trial.
There are two categories of recoverable damages: economic loss or out-of-pocket expenses, which includes wage loss, and unpaid medical bills will be a factor in most automobile accidents. The second and more complicated damages are called non-economic damages. Also known as “pain and suffering,” you may be able to recover damages based on the pain that you experience, how your quality of life was affected, and how your day-to-day life changed and will change as a result of the accident.
Liability for Medical Bills
New Jersey follows a no-fault system, and generally your automobile insurance company is responsible for covering medical bills as a result of an accident. Every owner in New Jersey pays for personal injury protection coverage (PIP) that pays medical bills when you are in an accident without regard to fault. When you purchase an automobile insurance policy, you have the right to pick your private health care carrier to be the primary party responsible for your medical treatment and bills. It is important to note that if you choose that option, your private insurance may have the right to recover the expenses or place a lien against any recovery as a result of a lawsuit for injuries.
Contact Cohn Lifland
Cohn Lifland has provided New Jersey with quality legal services for over 90 years. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you need to protect your rights and livelihood. In cases where someone else’s neglect has impacted your future, you may be eligible to recover damages for economic and non-economic loss. Our attorneys have years of experience guiding our clients through the aftermath of automobile accidents. If you need a firm dedicated to its clients, Cohn Lifland is ready to offer diligent representation. Don’t allow someone else’s actions to negatively impact your life and livelihood. Contact us today.