Car Accident Claims Process in New Jersey
A car accident is often a highly emotional situation with feelings ranging from shock and fear to confusion and panic. Thinking about the proper procedure for reporting a car accident can be overwhelming in the midst of an accident scene but handling the situation properly can ensure that your injuries and damages are covered.
New Jersey’s Car Accident Reporting Process
The priority with any car accident is to assess injuries and immediately call for emergency medical services and law enforcement officers. Once the injured victims and the accident scene are stable, drivers and passengers of all vehicles involved in the accident need to follow the proper protocol for reporting the accident, which includes:
- Exchange of information, such as driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and personal identification of all those involved in the accident.
- Pictures of the accident scene, including the position and condition of the vehicles involved in the accident, and the road and peripheral conditions surrounding the accident scene.
- Gather witness testimony and contact information for future reference during an investigation.
- An official police report must be completed at the scene, or as soon as possible following the accident.
- A written report must be filed with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission within 10 days of the accident.
What are New Jersey’s Car Insurance Requirements?
Every driver in New Jersey is legally required to have a car insurance policy to cover injuries and damages that occur in a car accident. New Jersey is a no fault state, which means that a driver’s personal insurance policy will cover their damages and injuries, regardless of who is at-fault for the accident. A New Jersey driver’s insurance company may be liable for certain damages and injuries when the accident is determined to be the policy holder’s fault and the other driver does not have enough coverage to pay for their damages or injuries. The minimum amount of car insurance required by law in New Jersey includes:
- Body Injury Liability of at least $15,000 for each policy holder and a minimum of $30,000 for all victims injured in an accident where they are at fault.
- Property Damage Liability of $5,000 for damages resulting from an accident where the policy holder is responsible.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) of $15,000 per person involved in an accident for injuries that are covered under the driver’s insurance policy
New Jersey drivers are not required to carry underinsured or uninsured coverage, or collision and comprehensive insurance. When a New Jersey driver is in an accident with another driver that carries the minimum insurance required by law, the policy may not provide enough compensation to cover their injuries or damages. When injuries and damages result in high medical costs and lost wages, the affected driver may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for the accident.
What If I Am Partly Responsible for the Car Accident?
When drivers involved in a car accident share the blame for the injuries and damages, the insurance companies or the court system will determine how much each party is responsible to pay using New Jersey’s comparative negligence law. In this case, each driver will be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. When the accident results in a settlement, each driver’s percentage will be deducted from their award.
For example, a driver that is determined to be 30 percent responsible for a car accident will have their settlement with the other driver’s insurance company reduced by 30 percent to cover their share of the liability. On the other hand, a driver that is found to be 100 percent responsible for the car accident will not be able to claim anything from the other driver’s insurance company.
Oakhurst Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Represent Car Accident Victims
If you were involved in a car accident in New Jersey, contact the Oakhurst car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC right away. We will fight to hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 732-660-1200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Oakhurst, Aberdeen, and Parlin, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve 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.