If you were injured in a car accident and are wondering whether it is too soon to call a personal injury lawyer, wonder no longer. In most crash situations, advice and assistance from a Trenton car accident lawyer cannot come soon enough.
A seasoned personal injury attorney from our firm could evaluate your case, determine whether you may be entitled to compensation, and help you take steps to collect and preserve important evidence even if your case settles before trial. We could also provide guidance on how to avoid taking actions and making statements that could jeopardize your claim while also working to establish liability by the at-fault party.
Types of Potentially Recoverable Compensation
The goal of the civil law system is to attempt to undo the accidental or purposeful harm done by one party to another. The “undoing” process typically amounts to a monetary amount paid by the party that bears responsibility or by that party’s insurance company. This monetary compensation for harm is referred to as “damages.”
Monetary damages may be awarded as compensation for various consequences stemming from a car wreck. A court may award you damages for bills from doctors and hospitals and to cover costs of medical needs anticipated in the future, and for modifications that may be required in your home or for extra assistance you may need as a result of injuries suffered in the car accident. These losses may be calculated quantitatively. A car wreck lawyer in Trenton could also help you pursue damages to offset lost income, both in the past and anticipated in the future.
Courts may also award damages to compensate for “non-economic” harm suffered. This may include financial restitution for any pain endured, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of favorite activities. In cases where a car accident was due to serious misconduct, which may include repeated episodes of drunk driving, a court may additionally award punitive damages designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.
Legal Limitations to Be Aware of
New Jersey state law sets forth some limits that are important to observe when seeking recovery for an automobile collision caused by another person. The statute of limitations for New Jersey may require auto accident plaintiffs in Trenton to file a claim for damages within two years of the date of the accident in most cases. This deadline may be extended in rare instances but is typically best to let an experienced Trenton car accident lawyer help ensure your claim remains valid based on that two-year limit.
Another statutory limitation comes from New Jersey’s comparative negligence rule. New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:15-5.1 specifies that if the negligence of the party seeking recovery contributes to the cause of the harm, the percentage of negligence attributed to that person would reduce the amount of the award he or she received.
Comparative negligence may not bar you entirely from recovering unless you are considered by the court to be more than 50 percent at fault. If you were held to be 30 percent responsible for making an ill-advised turn and the other driver were held to be 70 percent responsible for speeding, the maximum amount you could be awarded in damages would be reduced by 30 percent.
Get Help from a Trenton Car Accident Attorney
Proving that the negligence of another driver caused a car accident could be a complicated matter, so it may be wise to begin working as early as possible to obtain all available evidence. It may be important to avoid making any statement or answering any question in a way that could be misinterpreted.
If you were injured in a car crash, a Trenton car accident lawyer may be able to help you build a strong case for recovery. Call us today to set up a consultation.