Car accidents that cause injuries to victims can lead to lawsuits in Union City. The success of these claims depends on the evidence victims can provide and the steps they take in the days, weeks, and months that follow a crash.
Union City is a popular throughway for commuters traveling in and out of Manhattan, making it a common location for car accidents. Wherever your recent car accident took place, report it to the police and wait for officers to arrive. Then, go to the nearest hospital to get medical care. Once you understand the extent of your injuries, we can compare them to New Jersey’s serious injury threshold for car accident cases. If your injuries are serious enough to sue, we can help you bring your claim within the two-year statute of limitations in Union City. After you file, we will assess any settlement offers that come in and help you decide whether or not you should take your case to court.
To get a free assessment of your case from Legal Care’s Union City, NJ car accident lawyers, call us now at (732) 838-9769.
Car Accident Frequency in Union City, NJ
Union City is just across the Hudson River from New York, making it a hot spot for commuters and tourists traveling to and from the area. This makes Union City a high-risk location for auto accidents.
In 2023, there were a total of 24 car accidents that led to 26 fatalities in Hudson County, where Union City is located. While fatalities often occur because of serious collisions, that is not always the case. More minor crashes can also result in severe injuries and even deaths.
Across Hudson County in 2021, there were 15,857 reported traffic accidents, making it the fourth most common county in all of New Jersey for motor vehicle accidents.
Union City’s proximity to Manhattan is one of the factors that makes it a common location for collisions. Drivers might be unfamiliar with the area when heading towards the Lincoln Tunnel, increasing the likelihood of accidents taking place. Drivers frustrated by the city traffic might act recklessly, harming others on the road.
How to Respond to a Car Accident in Union City, NJ
Knowing how to respond to a car accident that takes place in Union City is important. Missteps in the early stages of your case might disrupt your claim down the line.
Start by staying calm and calling law enforcement. All auto accidents that result in injury in Union City need to be reported to the police, according to N.J.S.A. § 39:4-130. Once you have done that, you can exchange information with the at-fault driver if you are able to. If you cannot do this because of your injuries, the police can do so once they arrive.
In terms of your conversations with the negligent driver, do not apologize for the accident or admit fault in any way. Allow our attorneys to handle any future discussions and communications so that you do not unintentionally jeopardize your case.
Remain at the scene long enough for police officers and emergency medical personnel to arrive. Do not leave the accident scene before that time. Doing so might harm your compensation claim in the future.
While you are still at the location of the car accident, take photos of the area and your injuries. Such pictures can act as evidence in your case and provide clear proof of the property damage to your vehicle and your immediate physical injuries.
You can also talk to eyewitnesses to get their names and information so that our car accident lawyers can contact them to obtain their statements in support of your lawsuit.
Going to the Hospital After a Car Crash in Union City, NJ
Your next stop should be the hospital. Do not go home after the crash, as doing so might cause your injuries to worsen and make it harder to establish certain aspects of your compensation claim in Union City.
Because of the prospect of filing an injury lawsuit against a negligent driver, all victims hurt in car crashes must go to the hospital. Going to the emergency room is always preferred rather than going to your primary care physician. Hospitals have the equipment and resources to treat the severe injuries often sustained in car accidents, while private practices might not. Furthermore, going to the emergency room connotes urgency. Waiting to get an appointment with your normal doctor does not have the same effect.
By going to the hospital, you can start building medical evidence. Such evidence is necessary for any claim based on negligence and injuries. If you are advised to get certain tests or procedures done during the course of your treatment, do so. If it becomes known that you did not follow your treatment plan, it might appear as though you are uncommitted to your physical recovery, which could hurt your claim in Union City.
When Victims Can Sue for Car Accidents in Union City, NJ
New Jersey does not automatically allow victims of auto accidents to sue for compensation as it is a no-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. Because of this, our attorneys will have to review your medical records and compare your injuries to the threshold for serious injuries.
N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8(a) states that only those who have sustained injuries including displaced fractures, serious disfigurement or scarring, and loss of a fetus can file lawsuits against negligent drivers. Other permanent injuries might allow you to sue as well. The other alternative is filing a claim with one’s personal injury protection insurance, which can result in different compensation for victims in Union City.
This is why establishing the severity of your injuries at the onset of your case is crucial. Suppose you do not get the proper medical treatment or have doctors confirm your injuries. In that case, you will not have sufficient evidence to submit to the court proving that you pass the serious injury threshold to sue for damages.
Comparative Fault and Car Accident Claims in Union City, NJ
As a victim, it is crucial that you understand New Jersey’s modified comparative fault statute and how it might impact your car accident claim in Union City.
N.J.S.A. § 2A:15-5.1 states that victims can sue for injury as long as they are not more at fault for an accident than the defendant. Remember, you will have to pass the serious injury threshold as well. If you are partially liable but not more than 50% to blame, your damages will be awarded in proportion to your percentage of fault.
In general, failure to wear a seat belt does not constitute contributory negligence. However, if you were speeding at the time of the crash or acted negligently in any other way, your actions might be taken into account by a jury.
Getting ahead of a defendant’s potential comparative fault arguments will be important for all victims. By presenting clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s negligence, we can ensure your awarded damages are not unfairly reduced in Union City.
Estimating Damages in a Union City, NJ Car Accident Lawsuit
Estimating the value of your claim is necessary so that you do not accept a settlement offer from the defendant that does not totally compensate you for your damages. Our attorneys can help you do this by using various calculation methods.
Calculating economic damages is relatively simple. To start, we will gather all information and documentation regarding your financial losses due to a crash in Union City. This will involve compiling your medical bills and any additional out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred. Because victims often suffer economic damages past the conclusion of their claims, it may be necessary for them to recover compensation for future losses. We can accomplish this by enlisting experts who can testify to the anticipated medical care you will need in the future and whether or not you will be able to return to work at full capacity. New Jersey does not limit victims’ recoveries of economic damages, meaning that when victims present clear evidence of their damages and meet the burden of proof, they can recover compensation for all economic losses.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Calculating non-economic damages is a bit trickier as they do not come with a price tag. To do this, we might use various methods, such as the per diem or multiplier methods. When using the per diem method to estimate your pain and suffering, a dollar amount will be assigned to each day you have suffered or are expected to suffer because of an accident. The multiplier method involves choosing a multiplier based on the severity of your injuries and multiplying that number by your economic damages. To prove that you are entitled to non-financial damages, we might ask you to provide a personal statement explaining the extent of your pain and suffering in Union City. There is no limitation on how much non-economic damages car accident victims can recover in New Jersey.
Punitive damages work differently than compensatory damages. Instead of aiming to make a victim whole again following an accident, punitive damages aim to punish defendants for gross negligence and recklessness. The jury assigned to your case will calculate punitive damages and award them to you if they are appropriate. Punitive damages are not available in every car accident lawsuit in Union City.
Navigating Car Accident Settlement Negotiations in Union City, NJ
Oftentimes, defendants want to settle car accident claims so that they are not responsible for paying huge sums to victims in Union City. Our lawyers will oversee settlement negotiations to ensure you do not accept an unfair offer.
In general, the first settlement offers you receive will not be sufficient. Insurance companies and defendants often present victims with low-ball offers initially. If you accept a poor settlement offer, you cannot proceed with a trial in Union City.
We will evaluate settlement offers based on our calculation of your damages. If a settlement does not come close to your deserved compensation, we may leverage evidence against the defendant during negotiations to convince them to settle at a higher amount. Unfortunately, some defendants are willing to take their chances at trial, causing them to refuse to present a good offer. Should this happen, we can take your case to court so that we can present our evidence in front of a jury.
How Compensation is Paid to Car Accident Victims in Union City, NJ
How you receive your compensatory damages will be based on the specifics of your claim and the defendant’s ability. You will likely get a lump sum or a structured settlement.
Lump Sum Payments
Whether you settle your case out of court or go to trial, you could get a lump sum payment. Defendants might offer this type of settlement before trial, which would allow you to recover all compensation at once through one payment. If you are offered this type of settlement, we will carefully review it to ensure it is appropriate. Even if you go to court, you might be awarded a lump sum settlement in Union City.
Structured settlements are more common than lump sum settlements, as defendants can more easily afford this type of compensation structure. With structured settlements, defendants are required to make regular payments to victims until they have satisfied all requirements set by the jury or the settlement agreement. So, you might receive monthly payments over the course of several years following the conclusion of your claim. If you get a structured settlement, our attorneys will review it to ensure that it is fair and that the regular payment amounts are sufficient to help you cover costs associated with your car accident injuries.
Call Our Union City, NJ Attorneys to Discuss Your Car Accident Case
You can call Legal Care at (732) 838-9769 to get a free case evaluation from our car accident lawyers today.