Getting into a car accident remains one of life’s most frustrating, confusing, and scary experiences. What happens immediately afterwards can significantly impact an insurance or personal injury claim. For that reason, every driver who crashes in New Jersey should follow certain protocols post-incident.
Assess for Injuries
Drivers should take a moment to determine whether they, any passengers, or involved pedestrians need immediate help. In most cases, injured people should not be removed from where they are. The only exception to this rule is when it would be safer for them to be moved away, as in the case of a car that was on fire.
Call Emergency Personnel
Even a fender bender can leave drivers and passengers shaken, if not visibly hurt. Someone should always contact 911 to report an accident in New Jersey if damage estimates will likely exceed $500. That way, the police and other emergency responders can offer their assistance. They will arrive on the scene and evaluate what happened. Medical teams can also examine anyone suffering from trauma.
Move Vehicles to a Safe Location
If possible, moving a car to a safer location lessens the likelihood that the stopped vehicles will become the cause of another accident. If the cars cannot be driven away from where they collided, safety cones, flares, and other equipment should be set up to alert other drivers coming into the area.
Drivers need to be ready to collect information from each other, as well as any anyone who saw the car accident. This makes it easier to contact witnesses if an insurance claim is denied, or if victims want to pursue personal injury damages later.
Call Insurance Providers
A motorist who carries insurance should contact their insurance provider before leaving the scene of the accident. The insurance provider will then open a claim. Waiting too long to call an insurance carrier only makes it harder for the insured motorist. Under New Jersey’s no-fault law, drivers must seek compensation and damages from their own insurance companies first.
What happens in the case of a personal injury lawsuit after a devastating accident? In New Jersey, the laws governing accidents relate to comparative negligence. This means both drivers may be found at-fault. Drivers who file lawsuits must prove that they were not more than half at-fault, otherwise they will be awarded nothing by the courts if they file a suit. Personal injury attorneys routinely help clients navigate this complex system.
Document the Accident Scene
In the age of smartphones, practically everyone has a video camera to capture images and illustrate what the scene looked like at the time of the crash. Documentation like this can come in handy to prove fault later, especially if insurance providers argue over who should pay for what damages. Additionally, documentation always helps if victims with significant injuries pursue personal injury lawsuits.
Oakhurst Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Work with Victims of New Jersey Car Crashes
If you were injured in a car accident, the Oakhurst car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC can help. Call us at 732-660-1200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, as well as Doylestown, Pennsylvania, our attorneys represent clients throughout Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.