Bumper-to-bumper traffic, on roads that were never intended to handle their current volume, means multi-vehicle accidents are entirely too common in the Garden State. The Levin & Malkin team handles almost too many of these cases to count.
There are three things we wish all New Jersey drivers knew about multi-car accidents: the importance of reporting the accident to the police, how your insurance handles multi-car accidents, and the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after such an accident.
Legal Duty To Report The Crash
Under New Jersey law, you are required to report any vehicle accident that results in injury or death, or that causes more than $500 in property damage. This damage threshold is so low, even the slightest bit of damage will put you over that limit.
Aside from being a legal requirement, reporting an accident is important for two other reasons.
First, you may not be thinking clearly after an accident. You may be injured and not realize it, or just really angry. Calling in the police to help you manage things helps ensure that nobody who needs immediate medical attention drives off. The cops can also provide a buffer between you and the other drivers when tempers are high.
Second, the accident report the police will file often contains information that will help you make your case when you are seeking compensation from your insurance company or filing a lawsuit.
No-Fault Rules Still Apply
The more vehicles are involved in an accident, the more difficult it can be to figure out who caused what damage. This is one of the reasons why New Jersey policymakers decided we should be a no-fault state.
In a no-fault state, each person injured in a car accident must seek reimbursement for their medical expenses from their own insurance. This ensures that everyone involved in a car accident is able to get the medical treatment they need regardless of their culpability or wealth.
When you were purchasing your insurance policy, you decided how much coverage you wanted to have when you set your personal injury protection or PIP limits. PIP covers medical treatment and equipment and financial losses you suffer as a result of your injuries up to your policy limit. Working with someone on the Levin & Malkin team can ensure that you don’t get lowballed when your insurance company is forced to pay out.
Our experienced attorneys can also advise you if filing a lawsuit to seek additional compensation beyond your PIP limits is a possibility. New Jersey law limits these sorts of lawsuits, so it is important to talk to an experienced attorney who can determine if you have a viable case.
Limited Amount Of Time To File A Lawsuit
If you are able to file a lawsuit to seek additional compensation, you have just two years from the date of the accident in order to do so. This time limit is set by New Jersey state law. The legal name for this is the statute of limitations.
Once the statute of limitations runs out, you will be barred from filing a lawsuit. This may seem unfair, but the law exists in order to speed justice and make sure lawsuits are brought before the people involved move on and all the evidence disappears or is forgotten.
Millions Won For Our Clients
Over the years, the experienced car accident attorneys at Levin & Malkin have won millions of dollars for our clients. If you have been involved in a multi-car accident in Bergen County or elsewhere in Northern New Jersey, and you need help navigating the post-accident mess, please contact our office in Hackensack to schedule a free meeting with our experienced team of attorneys.
Posted in: Car Accidents