Knowing who caused your New Jersey accident may seem like the simplest thing in the world. In reality, fault is not always clear. Because of that, it’s important for New Jersey victims to learn how to determine fault after a car accident.
There are several steps New Jersey victims can take to determine fault for a car accident. First, call the police. Officers can investigate a collision and include their findings in a police report. Next, take pictures and speak to eyewitnesses. Photographic evidence and eyewitness testimony can help determine fault and prove it in a lawsuit. Finally, hire an attorney. The right lawyer will have the resources and experience necessary to determine the party responsible for your New Jersey car accident and hold them accountable in a lawsuit for compensatory damages.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping New Jersey car accident victims get the justice they deserve against negligent drivers. For a free case evaluation with the New Jersey car accident lawyers at Legal Care, call today at (732) 838-9769.
How Can You Determine Fault After a New Jersey Car Accident?
If, after your New Jersey car accident, fault is not immediately apparent, you may feel at a loss. While being confused and frightened after a crash is understandable, it’s important that you take a deep breath and then take action. In the immediate aftermath of a New Jersey car accident, there are several things victims can do to determine fault.
Call the Police
Immediately after a car accident in New Jersey, call the police. This is of the utmost importance, especially if you sustained injuries or property damage due to a negligent driver’s actions. Alerting New Jersey law enforcement officials is also crucial in multi-car accidents, where determining fault can be more difficult.
Once they arrive, police officers can create a crash report detailing the events of your collision. Officers will take accounts from all involved parties and eyewitnesses. New Jersey law enforcement officials may also note their opinions about an accident’s events. Information like whether or not a negligent party was driving while intoxicated will also be included in a police report. Although these documents aren’t considered evidence in New Jersey lawsuits, they can lead to evidence that proves a negligent driver’s fault.
One of the best things New Jersey car accident victims can do to help determine fault for a collision is to take photos. Photographic evidence can be invaluable to your attorney when piecing together an accident’s events. Having an excess of pictures is never bad, so victims should take photos of everything they can. Snap pictures of the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you sustained. You should also take photos of the entire scene, as you never know what you may photograph that can be helpful to your Jersey City car accident lawyer.
Photos from a collision site can indicate an accident’s events and, potentially, a liable party. If you cannot take pictures yourself because of your injuries, you can ask first responders or eyewitnesses to do so for you.
Speak to Eyewitnesses
Some car accidents happen out of nowhere before victims can understand what’s happening. If your collision happened fast or a negligent driver sped away, it may be difficult to determine fault. If you’re unsure who caused your accident, speak to eyewitnesses. While New Jersey law enforcement officials will most likely do the same, it’s a good idea for victims to get eyewitnesses’ contact information.
Your Newark car accident lawyer can then get in contact with eyewitnesses to ask them what happened. If an eyewitness saw your accident and a negligent party’s actions, their testimony can help to prove a defendant’s fault in a New Jersey car accident lawsuit.
Hire an Attorney
Unfortunately, not all car accidents are cut and dry. Depending on the circumstances of your collision, the fault may be unclear. To determine who caused your car accident injuries, you should hire an experienced attorney. The right lawyer will know how to gather evidence that points to a fault, like security camera footage, to successfully identify a negligent party. Your attorney can pool together information, like eyewitness statements, photos, police reports, and even your medical records, to thoroughly understand an accident’s cause.
Our skilled Paterson car accident lawyers can wade through various accounts of a crash to find the truth so that you can hold an at-fault driver responsible in a lawsuit for compensatory damages.
Why is Determining Fault for a New Jersey Car Accident Important?
Determining fault is crucial after a New Jersey car accident, so victims can hold negligent drivers accountable. If you don’t know who an at-fault party is or cannot prove that they alone caused your accident, it may be difficult to recover the compensatory damages you deserve.
New Jersey’s no-fault insurance laws generally require victims to turn to their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for compensation after a crash. However, if your PIP insurance is insufficient to cover the cost of your damages, and you don’t know the identity of a negligent party, you cannot file a claim with their liability insurance or a lawsuit for compensation.
While knowing who caused your accident is crucial, proving that fact is even more important. New Jersey’s modified comparative fault laws dictate that defendants must be entirely responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries and, if not, a victim’s awarded damages may be reduced. Essentially that means that if a defendant claims you are partially at fault for your injuries, you may recover fewer compensatory damages. This can be shocking for car accident victims who know they did not contribute to their collision but were unaware of how comparative fault laws could impact them. An experienced Elizabeth car accident lawyer will be familiar with comparative fault laws and will work hard to prove a negligent party’s fault in a lawsuit, so that you can recover the economic and non-economic damages you deserve.
Call Our Attorneys After Your New Jersey Car Accident
If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident in New Jersey, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Lakewood personal injury lawyers at Legal Care, call today at (732) 838-9769.