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Can I Sue A Distracted Driver That Hit Me In New Jersey?

In New Jersey, if you’re hit by a distracted driver, it’s important to know your legal options. Distracted driving, a major issue on roads like the New Jersey Turnpike, can lead to serious accidents.

By understanding the legal process and the role of personal injury lawyers, you can effectively seek justice and compensation.

This article will guide you through the steps of suing a distracted driver, from gathering evidence to consulting with a skilled attorney familiar with New Jersey’s traffic laws and accident scenarios.

Stay informed and prepared to navigate the aftermath of such incidents.

Can I Sue A Distracted Driver That Hit Me In New Jersey?

How can I sue a driver who hit me in New Jersey?

Suing a driver who hit you in New Jersey involves a few clear steps:

  1. Gather Evidence: Right after the accident, take photos of the scene, and the damage, and collect contact information of witnesses. For instance, if an accident happened on a busy road like Route 1, capturing the traffic conditions can be useful.
  2. Report the Accident: You must report the accident to the police, especially if it occurred on major roads like the New Jersey Turnpike. The police report is a crucial piece of evidence.
  3. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel okay, get checked by a doctor. Medical records are vital for your case, particularly if the accident occurred near local workplaces where injuries might not be immediately apparent.
  4. Consult a Lawyer: Contact a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey. They understand state laws, such as the New Jersey Comparative Negligence Act (N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.1), which might affect your case.
  5. File a Lawsuit: Your attorney will help you file a lawsuit. This includes determining who is at fault, calculating damages, and negotiating with insurance companies.

How can someone sue for driver Negligence in New Jersey?

Suing for driver negligence in New Jersey involves a few clear steps:

Understand Negligence

In New Jersey, negligence means a driver didn’t take reasonable care to avoid causing harm. For example, if someone is texting while driving on the New Jersey Turnpike and causes an accident, they could be considered negligent.

Proving the Four Elements

To sue, you need to show:

  1. Duty of Care: The driver had a responsibility to drive safely.
  2. Breach of Duty: They didn’t follow this responsibility (e.g., speeding near a school in Newark).
  3. Cause: Their actions led to the accident.
  4. Damages: You suffered losses (like medical bills or car repairs).

Collect Evidence

Gather proof like police reports, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene.

File a Lawsuit

In New Jersey, you can file a negligence lawsuit in a county court. The statute of limitations (time limit) is generally two years from the accident date, as per N.J.S.A. 2A:14-2.

Refer to specific New Jersey laws like N.J.S.A. 39:4-97, which penalizes careless driving, to support your case.

See also: Understanding What The Law Means By Negligence

Most Common personal injury due to distracted driving in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, distracted driving is a major concern and often leads to various types of personal injuries. Here’s a look at the most common injuries resulting from such incidents:

  1. Whiplash: This neck injury is frequent in rear-end collisions caused by a distracted driver. For example, if a driver is texting and hits a car on the New Jersey Turnpike, the sudden impact can cause the head to jerk abruptly, leading to whiplash.
  2. Concussions or Head Injuries: When a distracted driver causes an accident, occupants can hit their heads against parts of the car, like the steering wheel or windows, leading to concussions.
  3. Broken Bones: In more severe cases, such as a distracted driver running a red light in a busy area like downtown Newark, passengers can suffer from broken bones due to the force of the collision.
  4. Cuts and Bruises: Loose objects in the car or broken glass can cause cuts and bruises during accidents caused by distractions.

Who is At-Fault Law?

Understanding who is at fault in a car accident under New Jersey law is key to handling the aftermath of a crash. Here’s a simple guide:

At-Fault Basics in New Jersey

  • The driver who caused the accident is usually considered at fault.
  • The fault is determined by traffic laws, like not following safe driving distances (N.J.S.A. 39:4-89).
  • For instance, a driver who rear-ends another car on the Garden State Parkway is typically at fault.

Factors Influencing Fault Determination

  • Traffic violations: If a driver breaks a traffic rule, like speeding or running a red light.
  • Witness statements and police reports are crucial in proving fault.
  • Dashcam or surveillance footage, if available, can be decisive.

Comparative Negligence in New Jersey

  • In some cases, both drivers may share the fault (known as comparative negligence).
  • Compensation can be adjusted based on each driver’s share of fault.

How long does a distracted driving case take in New Jersey?

The duration of a distracted driving case in New Jersey can vary widely based on several factors.

Here’s a straightforward explanation:

  1. Complexity of the Case: Simple cases, like a minor fender-bender on local roads such as Route 1 in Princeton, might resolve faster. Complex cases, especially those with serious injuries or disputes over fault, can take longer.
  2. Legal Processes Involved: The steps from filing a claim to reaching a settlement or going to trial can extend the timeline.
  3. Court Schedules: Court congestion, particularly in busier jurisdictions like Newark or Jersey City, can impact how quickly a case progresses.
  4. Negotiations with Insurance Companies: The length of negotiations with insurance companies can vary. Some settle quickly, while others require more extensive discussions.

The expected period is:

  • Minor Cases: For less complex cases, like minor accidents on local roads with clear evidence of distracted driving, the resolution might take a few months to a year.
  • Complex Cases: In cases involving serious injuries, significant property damage, or disputes over fault and negligence, the process could extend from one to several years.

See also: How Does Distracted Driving Cause Car Accidents?

Which types of elements are caused by distracted driving in  New Jersey?

Distracted driving in New Jersey causes various problems on the road, affecting everyone’s safety. Here are some key elements caused by it:

  1. Increased Accidents: Distracted driving leads to more car accidents. Drivers not paying attention, perhaps looking at their phones, can easily miss traffic signals or unexpected stops, especially on busy roads like the New Jersey Turnpike.
  2. Higher Risk of Injuries: These accidents often result in injuries. A distracted driver might not brake in time, causing rear-end collisions, which commonly lead to injuries like whiplash.
  3. Traffic Flow Disruptions: Distracted driving can cause sudden braking or erratic driving behavior, disrupting the smooth flow of traffic, particularly in areas with heavy commuting like routes to Newark or Jersey City.

Contact with Personal Injury Lawyers In New Jersey

For expert guidance and representation in personal injury cases resulting from car accidents in New Jersey, consider reaching out to Rosengard Law Group, known for their deep understanding of local traffic laws, effective handling of complex insurance claims, and especially considering the state’s busy roads like the New Jersey Turnpike and crowded areas like downtown Newark.

Personal injury lawyers play a crucial role. Here’s what they offer:

  • Expertise in Local Laws: These lawyers understand New Jersey’s specific traffic laws and workplace safety regulations.
  • Handling Various Cases: They deal with injuries from car accidents, workplace incidents, and more.
  • Navigating Insurance: They can adeptly handle complex insurance claims.
  • Familiarity with NJ Statutes: They reference laws like the NJ No-Fault Law (N.J.S.A. 39:6A-1), crucial for car accident claims.

FAQs

How to prove after accidents that the driver was distracted in NJ?

To prove a driver was distracted in a New Jersey accident, you can use evidence like witness statements, police reports, and, if available, traffic camera footage showing the driver’s behavior before the accident.

How can someone get compensation for economic damages after an accident in NJ?

In New Jersey, to get compensation for economic damages after an accident, you can file an insurance claim with your insurer or pursue a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance. If necessary, legal action may also be taken to seek fair compensation.

Conclusion

In New Jersey, if a distracted driver hits you, understanding your legal options is crucial for seeking justice and compensation.

With the assistance of personal injury lawyers, well-versed in NJ’s specific traffic laws, you can proceed with the complex process of proving negligence and claiming damages.

These professionals are equipped to handle the intricacies of cases involving distracted driving, which is a prevalent issue on busy roads like the New Jersey Turnpike.

Their expertise not only simplifies the legal journey but also maximizes your chances of receiving fair compensation for any losses or injuries sustained.

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