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8 Most Common Defenses In New Jersey Car Accident Claims

Car accidents are often chaotic and challenging experiences, and when it comes to processing the after-effects, dealing with insurance companies adds another layer of complexity.

In New Jersey, understanding the defenses insurance companies might use can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. 

Let’s explore the eight most common defenses and actions you can take to strengthen your case.

8 Most Common Defenses In New Jersey Car Accident Claims

1. Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence comes into play when the injured party is deemed partially responsible for the accident.

Insurance companies may employ this defense to shift blame onto the injured party and subsequently reduce the compensation amount based on the assigned degree of fault. 

To counter this, it’s crucial to gather compelling evidence, including witness statements, photographs, and traffic camera footage. 

2. Comparative Fault Laws

In cases involving comparative fault laws, the fault is assessed for each party, and compensation is determined proportionally.

Insurance companies might argue that both parties share responsibility, leading to a decrease in compensation based on the assigned percentage of fault. 

Strengthening your case involves presenting evidence that proves the other party’s majority fault.

Collaborating closely with a legal expert becomes essential to process the complexities inherent in cases of comparative negligence.

3. Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for a car accident claim establishes the deadline for filing a report. Insurance companies may exploit missed deadlines to dismiss claims or use time constraints to pressure claimants into accepting lower settlements. 

To safeguard your case, be aware of the filing deadline, typically two years in New Jersey. Initiate the claims process promptly to avoid jeopardizing your case and ensure compliance with the statute of limitations.

4. Plaintiff Assumption of Risk

Assumption of risk implies that the injured party willingly accepted the inherent risks involved in the situation. Insurance companies may argue that the injured party was aware of potential dangers, attempting to minimize liability.

To counter this defense, it is crucial to demonstrate that the other party’s negligence exceeded reasonable expectations. 

5. No-Fault Insurance

New Jersey operates on a no-fault insurance system, wherein your insurance covers medical expenses regardless of fault.

Insurance companies may emphasize this system to limit payouts and argue against liability, focusing on personal injury protection coverage. 

6. Intervening Cause

The intervening cause introduces a separate event that contributes to the accident.

Insurance companies may attribute the accident to an unforeseeable third-party event, shifting blame away from the insured party.

Gathering evidence becomes crucial to counter claims of intervening causes.

7. Pre-Existing Condition

Insurance companies may argue that injuries were pre-existing, not caused by the accident.

Disputing the connection between the accident and injuries is essential, as is downplaying the impact of the accident on existing conditions. 

Obtaining medical records to document the extent of injuries caused by the accident and seeking expert medical opinions are vital steps to establish causation.

8. No Causation

Disputing the direct link between the accident and injuries, insurance companies may challenge the cause-and-effect relationship.

To counter this, it is crucial to collect medical records and expert opinions linking injuries to the accident. 

Comprehensive documentation of all medical treatments and expenses further strengthens your case, ensuring a clear connection between the accident and the resulting injuries.

What actions can I take to improve my case?

  1. Report the accident to the police and your insurance company immediately.
  2. Seek medical attention promptly, even for seemingly minor injuries.
  3. Document the accident scene, injuries, and damages with photographs.
  4. Keep a thorough record of medical treatments, expenses, and any related communications.
  5. Collect contact information from witnesses and request statements.
  6. Expert witnesses offer valuable testimony to support your personal injury case.

Legal Consultation with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

When facing the complexities of insurance claims and countering common defenses, seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney is pivotal.

If you find yourself grappling with contributory negligence, comparative negligence, or any other defense, reaching out to a reputable law firm such as Rosengard Law Group can provide the necessary support.

Their experienced team can not only help you process the intricacies of your case but also ensure that you are well-prepared to face any challenges presented by insurance companies. 

From building a firm defense to exploring legal options, a trusted attorney can be a valuable asset in securing a fair resolution for your car accident claim.

FAQs

How long must I file a car accident claim in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is typically two years. It is crucial to initiate the claims process promptly to ensure compliance with this deadline.

What if the insurance company denies liability for the accident?

If the insurance company denies liability, consult with a personal injury attorney. They can help evaluate the denial, gather evidence, and explore legal options to challenge the decision.

What happens if the statute of limitations expires before I file a claim?

If the statute of limitations expires before filing a claim, you may lose the right to pursue compensation. Act promptly and seek legal advice to ensure timely initiation of the claims process.

Conclusion

Processing a car accident claim in New Jersey involves understanding and countering common defenses employed by insurance companies.

By taking prompt action, documenting thoroughly, and seeking legal guidance, you can strengthen your case and improve the chances of a fair resolution. 

Remember, knowledge is your ally in the complex domain of insurance claims, ensuring that you are well-prepared to face any challenges that may arise.

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