New Jersey auto-car accident cases, like every other type of New Jersey personal injury claim, requires proof that another's negligence caused serious injury to the claimant, but they also involve their own set of special issues. Here's a list of the more immediate ones.
First of all, if you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a New Jersey motor vehicle accident of any kind, the police should have been immediately summoned to the scene to arrange for appropriate medical attention and investigate the cause of the accident. If you left or were taken from the scene for any reason before the police arrived and/or your injuries have not yet been evaluated by a medical professional, you should report the accident to the police and go see a doctor without further delay..
Next, someone needs to contact your New Jersey auto insurance representatives to advise them in the event of any damage to vehicles and, more importantly, to have them open up a New Jersey "PIP" file and assign it a file number.
"PIP" means Personal Injury Protection. Its part of what you pay for when you purchase New Jersey auto insurance. Its purpose is to cover you for your own medical expenses arising out of an auto accident, regardless of who was at fault, which is why it is sometimes referred to as "no fault" insurance. When you go to see your doctor or visit the hospital, you will be asked to provide the name of your auto insurance company, along with the policy number and "PIP" file number...
Speaking of insurance, there are two other components of your coverage that may have a bearing on whether or not you will be able to recover full compensation for a claim of personal injury arising out of the accident. These components should appear on the "declaration pages", or summary, of your insurance coverage, which is usually one or two sheets of paper listing the types and amounts of your coverage.
First, look for the word "threshold". If the summary says that you have the "lawsuit" or "verbal" threshold, it means that the accident and your injuries may have meet certain requirements before you are entitled to make a personal injury claim against the person responsible for that accident. On the other hand, if the summary says that you have "no" threshold or a "zero" threshold, it means that there are no right to make a claim is much less restricted.
Second, look for the amount(s) of your UM/UIM coverage. UM means uninsured motorist and UIM means underinsured motorist. This coverage may come into play in the event the person responsible for the accident has fled the scene, did not have insurance, or had an insufficient amount of insurance, to cover the value of your personal injury claim.
Another thing that you, your loved one or your lawyer should arrange to do right away is take photos of any damage to vehicles, and any evidence at the accident scene, before the evidence is removed, the damage repaired, or the vehicles are sent to the scrap yard. In some cases, the police and/or insurance adjusters will take their own photos, but its wise not to wait to find out.
Of course, in order for an experienced New Jersey personal injury and auto-car accident attorney to accurately evaluate the potential merits of your case, you should be prepared to tell him or her exactly when, where, and how the accident happened, and provide a copy of the police report, if possible.
Finally, you should be prepared to describe your injuries, disabilities and physical complaints to me in as much detail as possible.