Elizabeth is New Jersey’s fourth most populist city. This northern metropolis is the hub of multiple major roadways, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 278, U.S. Route 9, and U.S. Route 439. Unlike many cities in the area, Elizbeth abandoned the grid pattern for a circular layout featuring radial streets centered around the Elizabeth train station. This combination of population, major highways, and integral location equates to a high congestion of traffic and, unfortunately, car accidents.
Injuries from a car accident could range from a few bumps and bruises to a permanent disability or death. If your injury is severe, you could be looking at significant medical expenses, lost income, and months of painful physical therapy. In many cases, a devastating car accident could be life-altering. When another motorist causes the crash, they should be held liable.
Legal Care New Jersey is a team of experienced personal injury attorneys who provide professional legal representation. Our Elizabeth, NJ car accident lawyers have the knowledge, skill, and resources to help maximize our clients’ compensation. Call (732) 838-9769 to schedule an appointment.
Liability for Car Accidents in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Car accidents are a common occurrence. Some are just a result of a series of unfortunate events. However, to hold another motorist liable for your injuries and financial losses, you must prove that their conduct met the threshold of legal negligence. Two of the most important elements our New Jersey attorneys will attempt to establish are “duty” and “breach.”
Elizabeth, NJ Driver’s Legal Duties
Under the law, every driver is required to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring anyone else on the road, including other motorists, passengers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. The easiest way to understand how a driver should act, or their duty of care, is to examine some examples.
Drive at a Reasonable Speed
Motorists are responsible for operating their vehicles at a reasonable and prudent speed, given the current traffic, weather, and road conditions. Sometimes this means driving below the posted speed limit, especially if visibility is restricted or the weather is bad.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
One of the major causes of car accidents in Elizabeth and elsewhere is distracted driving. Drivers must be aware of their surroundings. This responsibility includes staying alert and carefully looking out for other vehicles, hazards, and pedestrians. Every motorist on the road is expected to see what other prudent drivers would do under the same conditions.
Keeping Your Vehicle Under Control
If you are driving, you are expected to maintain control of your car at all times. In some personal injury cases, negligence could be inferred if a vehicle suddenly loses control.
Ensure That Your Car is Roadworthy
In addition to safely operating a vehicle, a driver is expected to ensure that the car is in proper working order. A motorist should have their car inspected annually, replace parts that are not functioning correctly, and have all necessary repairs made at a reasonable time.
State Law Imposed Duties
Every state, along with New Jersey, has specific laws that govern a licensed driver’s responsibilities. When a driver violates a law resulting in an accident, it provides evidence that the motorist’s conduct was negligent.
Breaching the Duty of Care in Elizabeth, NJ
To hold another motorist liable for your injuries after a car accident, you must prove that the driver failed to comply with their responsibilities. Legally, this is known as “breaching the duty of care.”
When determining if a drivers’ conduct breached the duty of care, our Elizabeth car accident attorneys will ask one question. “Did the driver’s conduct fall short of what a reasonable and prudent person would have done under the same or similar circumstances?” If the answer is yes, then the driver violated the responsibilities owed to the injured victim.
Some examples of a driver breaching the duty of care are obvious, such as driving drunk, ignoring a red light, or driving while texting. However, in many personal injury cases, establishing a breach is not straightforward. For instance, if the weather is foggy and visibility is limited, a prudent driver would slow down. The challenge is determining what the reasonable speed should have been under those circumstances. Likewise, tailgating is a form of reckless driving that could constitute a breach of duty. Nonetheless, it could be difficult to determine what a safe distance is between vehicles. Proving that the at-fault driver was driving too closely is not always simple.
Our New Jersey car accident attorneys will rely on your recollection of the accident, witness testimony, the police report, and physical evidence from the scene. In some situations, it might be necessary to employ an accident reconstructionist or engineer to help piece the puzzle together.
Causation and Damages in an Elizabeth, NJ Car Accident
Proving that a duty of care existed and that another driver violated that duty is only half of what is necessary to establish negligence. The breach of duty must have caused the injuries. For example, if your car was rear-ended and suffered a neck injury, you would have to prove that the neck injury resulted from the collision and not another event. If you hurt your neck the previous weekend while working in your yard, it will be difficult to hold the other driver liable.
Finally, you will have to demonstrate that you suffered measurable damages. Car accident victims are entitled to seek financial compensation for medical care, lost income, and non-economic harm such as pain and suffering. If you are lucky enough to walk away from a car accident without a scratch or bruise, you probably lack grounds for a personal injury claim. However, if you missed work, required medical treatment or therapy, you have suffered measurable damages.
A Team of Experienced Elizabeth, NJ Car Accident Attorneys Working for Accident Victims
Car accident victims should focus on their health and medical care. Our team of Elizabeth, NJ car accident attorneys is dedicated to fighting for the legal rights of those hurt through no fault of their own. Call Legal Care at (732) 838-9769 to review your case.