Edison Car Accident Attorney
In one recent year, a whopping 61,043 car accidents with injuries took place in New Jersey, many of them in the Edison area. Car crash injuries range from minor to severe, and sometimes, even fatal. Victims often suffer lifelong consequences and become weighted down by a serious financial burden as they are diagnosed, treated, and receive rehabilitative care.
If you were injured in an Edison car accident and medical bills are piling up, you may feel like there’s no way to escape the crushing weight of your debt. Even with auto and health insurance, you may be left with substantial bills due to a high deductible or obligation to pay coinsurance for services and care your insurance doesn’t cover. Getting into an accident without insurance is even more devastating financially, as you will be on the hook for every cent of care you receive. In the United States, the majority of people who file bankruptcy cite medical debt as their primary reason for doing so.
But New Jersey law provides a way for you to seek relief from the overwhelming burden of medical bills that were caused by the negligence of another driver through a personal injury lawsuit. The law also sets forth a time limit by which you must file your suit—what is known as the statute of limitations. The clock on this time limit begins the day of your accident and requires that you file suit within two years of that date.
Failing to file within the statute of limitations will almost always cause your suit to be dismissed (thrown out and not considered by the court), leaving you with no remedy to recover monetary damages for your injuries no matter how legally sound your claim is or how severe your injuries are.
Every driver with a driver’s license and registered vehicle in New Jersey also must have auto insurance with personal injury protection (PIP), with minimum coverage amounts. Because New Jersey is a no fault state, your PIP policy pays for certain auto accident costs without regard to fault. The law is intended to expedite payment to those who have been injured and, in theory, reduce litigation around car accidents.
Calling an Edison car accident lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help you recover more compensation and do so far more efficiently than if you act alone.
Photographs Form Powerful Evidence in a Car Accident Claim
Relevant photos taken immediately after a car accident can provide a visual picture of what happened and may help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If you can take photos at the accident scene, take more than you think you will need.
When it comes to compelling evidence, you can never have too much. Photographs of the accident scene can prove the extent of the damage and can shed some light on how the collision happened. In many cases, some roadway debris is removed quickly—if physically able, act quickly to document the scene. Do not move anything, either inside or outside of the car.
Pictures can prove useful
Details are important. Focus on wide-angle shots as well as close-ups. The right pictures may help clarify traffic congestion, roadway conditions, the number of potential witnesses, physical injuries, and property damage.
The correct images taken at a car accident scene can show:
- The cause of the crash
- Mitigating or contributing factors
- Physical and property damages
Take photos of the accident in context with the surrounding area
In any legal situation, evidence is critical. A picture says more than words when validating the need for medical care and verifying damage to the car. Take photos of the position of the damaged vehicle as it sits with the surrounding area. Get pictures of nearby homes, businesses, or buildings. Any structure in the vicinity may have security camera footage that may prove helpful.
- It can help to see the condition and location of any traffic signs or signals in the area
- Take pictures of the license plates of all vehicles involved
- Photograph the damaged car from all angles
- Take snapshots of the interior of the damaged vehicle
- Photograph skid marks and road debris
- Get a picture of any passengers involved in the accident
- Activate the time and date stamp on the phone—be sure it is accurate
- Continue to take photographs of injuries throughout the healing process
- Take photos of any roadside damage
- Do not post these pictures on social media sites
Have someone photograph your injuries
Take a picture of your injuries at the moment of impact. Make sure one of the photos is a full view showing your face and all clothing.
Safeguard Your Photographs
Preserve and protect your evidence in case your phone is lost. Email a copy of the photos to yourself and send a copy to your attorney. If there are no pictures of the accident scene, the insurance company’s claims adjuster will likely try to discredit verbal statements about the incident. Photos taken promptly will give your attorney some leverage—it is not just your word against the other driver’s.
Car Accident Injury Statistics in Edison, NJ
New Jersey Insurance Laws
The state has set forth two different types of auto insurance as options for drivers. They are full tort and limited tort. They differ not only in the price of premiums, but also in what types of damages the policies pay out. All policies must cover economic damages (basically those things for which you receive a bill or that are easily calculable), but only full tort coverage allows you to recover for less tangible non-economic benefits such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
What are the Costs Covered by PIP?
Whether you choose limited or full tort coverage, there are basic minimums benefits the policy must pay—medical costs, lost wages, essential services, and death benefits. Of course, these costs are only covered up to the maximum benefit of your policy.
The law sets forth the minimum coverage amount you are required to carry at $15,000, but you can purchase up to $250,000 in PIP coverage. Regardless of your policy’s benefit coverage mount, if you suffer a severe brain injury or spinal injury, your coverage automatically increases to $250,000.
- Medical costs: PIP covers medical services and medication, ambulance transportation to the hospital (initial injury), diagnostic services, surgical services and hospital expenses, rehabilitation costs, and the cost of special treatment required by the patient’s needs based on a recognized religion, among others.
- Lost wages: Your PIP plan will cover the wages you lost due to your inability to work because of your injury. Coverage begins at a default minimum of $100 per week if you carry a policy with the minimum $15,000 coverage limit, but may increase to $5,200 each week. It probably comes as no surprise that your lost wage benefit cannot be more than the normal income you earned before your accident.
- Essential services: If you are unable to perform essential services due to your injury, your plan will pay you the cost of having to hire someone else to do them. Examples of essential services include mowing the lawn, house cleaning, doing laundry, and snow shoveling. The max amount allowed for essential services is $12 per day.
- Death benefits: If a person is fatally injured in a car accident, that person’s PIP coverage makes the maximum payout from the deceased’s lost income and essential services benefits to his or her next of kin. The next of kin are not required to prove how much income is lost—only to provide the insurance company with the death certificate. In addition, the default PIP policy will pay the next of kin up to a maximum of $1,000 for funeral expenses.
- Non-economic damages: As mentioned, you may only recover non-economic damages if you carry full tort liability coverage. But like many laws, it has exceptions. If you’ve suffered a disfiguration, dismemberment, have lost a fetus, or suffer from a permanent injury you can recover non-economic damages.
How much does PIP Cover?
PIP only covers up to your maximum benefit amount. And even then, it won’t fully cover all of your expenses or lost wages. Your policy will have a deductible that you will have to pay for each PIP claim and you will be responsible for a 20 percent copay of the difference between your deductible and $5,000.
And again, this is only up to the maximum benefit provided under your PIP policy. If you’re left with bills that you can’t cover, your best bet may be a personal injury suit against the other driver. Our car accident lawyers can help you determine your right to do this.
Why You Need an Edison Car Accident Attorney?
You may be wondering if you need an attorney to help you file and pursue your personal injury lawsuit; while it is not a requirement, it is rarely a good decision to represent yourself. It’s highly likely that insurance companies will be involved in addition to the negligent party. While insurance companies are not inherently evil—they do after all pay you some benefits – those companies employ literal teams of attorneys whose only job is to see that their companies pay you as little as possible. The other driver will also likely lawyer up, leaving an unrepresented litigant at a severe disadvantage.
Representing yourself against experienced attorneys is likely not in your best interest. You need someone on your side who knows personal injury law in New Jersey and who has a proven track record of experience going up against insurance companies and defense attorneys.
If you try to do it on your own, without knowledge of the law, the tactics defendant attorneys employ to get out of paying plaintiffs money, understanding of how to take and give depositions, how to conduct a proper investigation, the legal requirements for filing a lawsuit, and the possibly mountain of other paperwork necessary during the pendency of your suit, you’ll most likely get steamrolled by attorneys who do.
Choosing Your New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
No doubt you’ve seen and heard approximately 1 million ads and commercials for personal injury attorneys on the TV and radio. All of them tout themselves as competent to handle your case. So how do you pick?
Look at Experience
All attorneys must get through law school and the grueling task that is the bar exam, but that’s where the similarities end. After those two hurdles, anyone can hang a shingle and practice nearly any kind of law they want. But experience matters when recovery for your injuries is in the balance.
Choose someone who has been there and done that—someone with the skills to negotiate with other attorneys, who has the specialized knowledge of personal injury law, and—perhaps most importantly—has handled car accident cases in New Jersey, from filing the suit until a jury trial verdict if your case goes that far.
Most personal injury lawsuits settle out of court and never get before a jury. This is where your attorney’s negotiation skills come in. It’s critically important that she knows how to push in negotiations and when to back off. She needs the background and experience to make an informed judgment as to whether the deal you were offered is good or if you may fare better at trial.
There’s not an attorney out there who can guarantee you a specific outcome, and that person could be walking the line of committing legal malpractice if they did. But an attorney who has handled multiple car accident lawsuits should have a good feel for the fairness of any deal offered, and can at the very least help you understand your odds.
Keep in mind that your attorney has an obligation to bring you any deal the defendant offers you. It doesn’t matter if she thinks it’s ridiculous, or that you’ve been offered far more than she thought. You get to evaluate every offer, and decide whether to take it.
If you decide that no offer is worth taking and that you want to proceed to trial, your attorney’s experience makes a world of difference here too. Not all attorneys are good litigators. That’s perfectly fine in many practice areas, but not for you when you need someone to litigate your claim in court.
Find out what kinds of cases the attorneys you’re considering have taken and how many trials they’ve taken to court, as well as what kind of results they’ve gotten. Choose someone who is comfortable in the courtroom, understands the rules of evidence, practices of the jurisdiction, and how to interact with jurors and witnesses (both those called by you and by the other party).
It’s pretty easy to discover the reputation your attorney has in your community in the age of the Internet. A quick Google or Yahoo! Search will give you some information. Although of course biased toward the attorney, don’t neglect to check out their website. Many attorneys post results and client testimonials.
In addition, the website www.avvo.com is the premier attorney review site. You can see reviews and testimonials from former clients, as well as input about that attorney from other attorneys in your community who have had dealings with them, as co-counsel, opposing counsel, or in other roles. You can also see our case case results and client testimonials to see how people rate our services.
Ask About the Team
Personal injury cases are complicated and definitely not one-man shows. While your attorney will be responsible for evaluating the legal merits of your case and making arguments in favor of them, writing motions, attending depositions, negotiating on your behalf, and if necessary, representing you at trial, there are a ton of other things that happen behind the scenes of your case.
Your attorney, for example, may need an investigator to review discovery (the information the other party has—both good and bad), interview witnesses, and compile reports of their accounts. This can be an enormous undertaking.
Hire Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Edison Car Accident Attorneys
Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident so that you do not run up against the statute of limitations. Due to the complex nature of these suits, the more time you can give your attorney to evaluate circumstances and prepare your lawsuit, the better off you’ll be.
Founded nearly 50 years ago, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is committed to making high quality legal representation available to all those who need it. Since our founding in 1972, our attorneys have established a track record of recovery for our clients and a reputation for compassionate legal representation. Based on our founding philosophy, we operate on a contingency fee basis: That means you do not owe us attorney fees unless we recover for you. Healing from a car accident takes time and energy, and that’s what you should focus on while you recover.
Turn your case over to us, and trust our vast experience, knowledge of the law, and the compassion we bring to every case. Contact us online or by phone in our Edison office at (732) 287-6890 today for your free case evaluation.
Edison Car Accident FAQs: How Retaining an Attorney Can Help You
A serious car accident can leave you with significant damages, such as injuries, missed time from work, and medical costs. When another person’s negligence causes the car accident, you should reach out to an Edison car accident attorney to determine whether you qualify to file a claim. It’s much easier to pursue compensation for your injuries with a lawyer managing the legal complexities of your case. However, you must hurry, as the time allowed for pursuing civil action is somewhat limited by state law. The experienced Edison car accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers LLP can help; reach out today.
What should I do first?
You may find yourself in a hospital bed at a trauma center. The stark realization of all that transpired in the accident and the injuries that you’ve sustained can frighten and overwhelm you. Your inability to work may make you anxious as medical bills begin to mount.
If you experienced a serious car accident due to the reckless actions of another driver, consider contacting an attorney. Most New Jersey car accident lawyers offer a free case evaluation. Jacoby & Meyers LLP proudly represent accident victims in Edison and the surrounding region.
Our free case evaluation serves as a starting point for you and us. It provides us with the opportunity to learn more about your potential case and you with the opportunity to learn more about our legal services.
Contacting our office is easy—putting off the call is even easier and may cost you your chance at a fair settlement. Take the first step toward protecting your right to fight for maximum compensation and contact us today.
What types of injuries qualify as catastrophic?
A catastrophic injury involves a severe and sometimes permanent injury. Examples of a catastrophic injury include:
Spinal cord damage: A spinal cord injury limits or stops sensation and movement. In severe spinal cord injuries, the disruption of important information to and from the brain can result in paralysis.
This type of injury generally results in patients who need a power chair for mobility. To accommodate a power chair, home and vehicle modifications may prove necessary. Along with frequent re-hospitalizations, the overall costs of such an injury throughout a patient’s lifetime can cost millions.
Severe brain injury: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes a TBI as a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect one’s ability to move, communicate, experience sensations, and more.
A loved one who suffers from a TBI may require specific care that you struggle to provide. The injury may make it impossible for victims to ever fully recover to how they were before the accident.
Around-the-clock care is costly and something the responsible party should pay for, not you. If you must place an injured loved one in a skilled nursing facility, the monthly costs may equate to thousands of dollars.
These are just two examples of catastrophic injuries. Finding the right care for you or your loved one should not involve shopping for the cheapest medical facility. When the injury results from negligence, a lawyer can fight for fair compensation that makes quality care affordable.
How do I estimate my future medical needs?
Serious injuries result in serious medical bills. You may require immediate transport to John F. Kennedy Medical Center, and depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may require care throughout your lifetime. Paying for such care can quickly become unmanageable.
While it is impossible to predict the future, try to plan for it. If your medical condition worsens, you may require expensive additional care.
Your unknown future medical needs are why you should never accept a settlement without a lawyer. An insurance adjuster may pressure you into accepting less than the full cost of your injuries, and may convince you that you do not need a lawyer.
This type of pressure from an insurance adjuster when you are most vulnerable is not fair. Giving in to the pressure will close your claim and leave you with no legal recourse for pursuing additional funds if you develop complications down the road.
The legal team at Jacoby & Meyers LLP puts our experience to work for you. Our previous experience helping accident victims gives us the knowledge necessary to determine what type of settlement is fair. We base this upon our experience and your injuries and need for future medical care.
Do not cave to the pressure of aggressive insurance adjusters. Your experience was likely traumatic, and your injuries require your full focus. Release the burden of handling your case alone; contact Jacoby & Meyers LLP today for a free case evaluation.
What is the difference between a claim and a lawsuit?
A car accident claim is generally a claim filed with the responsible party’s insurance company. An insurance claim can open the door to the negotiation process by an insurance adjuster and a member of our team.
A car accident case generally settles out of court. The details of your case can affect how your case proceeds and the outcome. Your lawyer may take your case to trial if negotiations for a settlement fail.
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we take great pride in our trial skills. Our experience is invaluable when it comes to presenting before a jury. We can use evidence to show how the accident affected you physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially.
Injured plaintiffs must file their lawsuits within the required statute of limitations. The time allowed for New Jersey accident victims is generally two years for filing a civil lawsuit for either a car accident or a wrongful death lawsuit.
What types of compensation are available?
The damages you suffered are not fair.
If your commute to work turned tragic due to an irresponsible driver, you should fight for compensation, including for:
- Missed time from work: A long recovery from car accident injuries can prevent you from working, placing you in a financial bind.
- Loss of future income: Catastrophic or permanent injuries can devastate you and end your career.
- Medical costs: The expenses you incur due to another driver’s negligence are not fair and not something for which you should pay.
- Ongoing medical costs: A permanent or catastrophic injury may require ongoing costs, like therapies and rehabilitation.
- Pain and suffering: Your lawyer can demonstrate how the driver’s reckless actions have adversely affected your quality of life.
These are examples of the types of compensation possible in a car accident case. Damages sometimes differ, as accidents can produce varying types of harm for others.
A car accident lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers LLP can review your case to determine the best way to pursue compensation on your behalf. While compensation is never promised, it’s worth it to retain a lawyer
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
A drunk driver killed my spouse. Can I sue for damages?
If a drunk driver is responsible for the crash that killed your spouse, you can generally sue for your damages. A lawyer will investigate whether the driver was indeed drunk and responsible for the accident.
The loss of your spouse can impact you significantly in a variety of ways. From the loss of companionship to the loss of income, your world can quickly fill with loneliness, and you may have no way to pay your expenses.
Like car accident cases, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years. Just because state law states that you have two years does not mean that you should wait two years before taking legal action.
An accident investigation and preparation for a civil trial takes time. Your lawyer needs to gather police reports, interview witnesses, and review accident scene photographs. This is just part of the services that an attorney will provide when representing a wrongful death client.
Grief is an overwhelming emotion. As wrongful death attorneys, we understand the difficult process of saying goodbye to your loved one. If you lost someone close to you due to the reckless actions of another person, contact us today.
Are there ways in which I can help my case?
There are ways to help your case, even from your hospital bed. If your injuries allow —and your smartphone survived the accident—your phone may contain accident scene photographs and video.
The contact information for witnesses and other pertinent information can help your lawyer build a strong case on your behalf. The urgency to produce such information is because the more time that passes, the greater the chance of information becoming lost or witnesses moving away.
If you cannot find your phone or if your injuries are too severe for you to gather evidence, your lawyer can work to find it. The goal is to gather as much information as possible as soon as possible. Interviewing witnesses while the accident remains fresh in their minds helps build a strong compensation case.
Careful consideration of what you share and who you share it with is also important for your case. Sharing confidential information with others may result in others misinterpreting what was said and what actually happened.
The instant age of communication and social media leaves accident victims prone to false blame by insurance companies. If an insurance company attempts to blame you for the accident, refuse to speak with its representatives and refer them to your lawyer instead.
Insurance companies are skilled at what they do. They want to protect their best interests and company profits. If an initial settlement offer seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Prevent the misstep of accepting less than the full cost of your injuries, and let a member of our team fight on your behalf.
How can Jacoby & Meyers LLP help me?
A New Jersey car accident is something that you never expect to happen to you. Defensive driving can only protect you to a certain extent. If a driver near you engages in reckless behavior, it only takes a second for an accident to occur.
The second your accident happens is the same second that the statute of limitations clock begins to tick. The law considers the moment of injury or death as the starting point for your civil case. This means that the moment you suffer injury is the moment the two-year timeframe begins for the pursuit of compensation.
Twenty-four months seem like a long time—unless you suffer a serious injury. Time can pass quickly, and before you know it, the statute of limitations passes. The danger of such a situation is that you generally may not pursue compensation after the expired date.
Making the most of your pursuit of compensation is vital to protecting your financial future. A lawyer from our team can get to work on your behalf by gathering the information that we need to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Get Help From Jacoby & Meyers LLP Today
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we understand New Jersey law and how it applies to car accidents. We focus our practice on personal injury and wrongful death cases, and we work hard to provide accident victims with the best outcome possible.
While compensation is never guaranteed, we are proud of our past success in helping accident victims secure compensation. Whether it was an out-of-court settlement or a jury award, our results speak volumes.
The outcome of your case may differ and will depend on many factors. Discussing your case with a team member is an important first step toward determining whether to pursue a claim.
A traumatic car accident can leave scars that last forever. Physical and emotional scars due to the careless actions of another person’s reckless actions demand accountability. The person responsible for your harm may try to blame you for the accident. Protect yourself and your best interests by reaching out to a member of our team today.
A friendly and helpful member of our team is standing by to help you. A car accident resulting in serious injury or death is traumatizing and expensive. If you suffered harm or lost a loved one, and the responsible driver was negligent, we can help you. Get the help you need from Jacoby & Meyers LLP today.
Edison, NJ 08817
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I’m really grateful for the settlement my lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers helped me to obtain. I was badly hurt when another driver crashed into my card. The driver was careless. My team at Jacoby & Meyers didn’t let the reckless driver get away with it. I’m really glad I made the call to Jacoby & Meyers and would suggest anyone hurt in a car crash do the same.”
Review by: Jose V.
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