Even though a car crash only lasts for a second, the consequences of an accident can linger for weeks, months or even a lifetime. The catastrophic injuries caused from a wreck can burden you with unexpected medical bills and time away from work that you and your family can’t afford.
If you’ve been injured in a wreck, contact Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC today by completing the form on this page or calling (732) 617-8050 to schedule a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. We help accident victims throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth and Middlesex Counties.
Why Work with a Car Accident Lawyer?
Simple fender-benders that result in minor vehicle repairs and don’t involve any injuries often don’t require the counsel of an experienced car accident attorney. However, if you’ve suffered a serious injury, you’ll need a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer on your side who can help you pursue compensation for medical costs and lost wages.
It’s important to understand that insurance companies are in the business of profits, not expenditures. While they are happy to collect your premiums, most insurers will try their best to minimize your benefits following a car accident. They are notoriously difficult to work with and frequently make insufficient settlement offers, delay payments and deny claims unjustly.
In these situations, it is important to have a seasoned attorney protecting your rights and looking out for your best interests. For more than 25 years, the attorneys at Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC have represented victims of car accidents. We know the tactics insurance companies use, and we won’t back down until you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve. We have extensive experience with auto accidents involving a number of different vehicles and unique circumstances.
New Jersey Car Accident Law
New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that your own insurance company is responsible for covering all of your accident-related medical bills, regardless of who caused the wreck. This is why the vast majority – although not all – of insurance policies sold in New Jersey includes personal injury protection, or PIP.
If your insurance policy provides PIP, the expenses covered will differ depending on the potential PIP coverage limit you’ve chosen. Determining which costs your insurer will cover and which expenses are your responsibility can be a confusing and frustrating endeavor. We can help you navigate your policy and ensure that your bills are being paid correctly.
Auto Insurance Law
The Motor Vehicle Commission of New Jersey requires every vehicle on the road to have a current auto insurance policy. This helps ensure that once your insurance and the at-fault driver’s insurance are implemented, there is adequate coverage for you to repair or replace your vehicle, obtain the medical care you need and receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Of course, this can be challenging. A car accident lawyer can help you understand the policies involved, collect evidence to support your claim and pursue a fair settlement or litigation.
Comparative Negligence Law
The other driver’s insurance company may try to avoid paying you what you deserve by disputing the fault of their policy holder. In these situations, it’s crucial to have a lawyer who is experienced in crash scene investigations and can build your best case by gathering essential evidence.
In situations where fault is disputed, or where fault is shared, comparative negligence laws are in place to help you seek the money you deserve.
What to Do After a Car Accident
In the moments following your accident, you will likely be confused and frightened. The actions you take next can make the difference between a successful claim and an unsuccessful one, so it is critical to gain your composure and remember the following steps:
- Assess yourself and your passengers for injuries. Seeking medical care for injuries is of the utmost importance to your case and your physical well-being.
- Contact the authorities. Even in minor collisions, call 911 or contact local police immediately to alert them to the accident and request any necessary medical responders. The police can help to document the accident, determine who is at fault, maintain safety and acquire witness statements.
- Do not admit fault. Cooperate with the police and answer their questions honestly, but do not admit fault. Admitting fault to the other driver, the police or the insurance company can seriously hinder your case, even if the facts later prove otherwise. It is best to wait and let our attorney do the talking for you.
- Collect information from all parties involved. Speak with everyone involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers and witnesses. Exchange insurance information with the other driver, but do not speak to insurance companies right away; they may try to get you to admit fault or commit to not pursuing a claim.
- Take photographs. Fortunately, most cell phones provide the opportunity to capture photographic evidence anywhere, anytime. Take pictures of everything around the accident scene, including damage to your vehicle, street signs, traffic lights, deployed airbags and license plates.
- Call our accident lawyer. Contact Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC right away, before you contact your insurance company. We know how to communicate with insurers in a way that ensures you can file a suit if you’re interested. The insurance company may use certain language in an attempt to get you on record saying that you aren’t injured or that you won’t press charges. They want to avoid paying you, so they’ll use anything they can against you.
- Get evaluated by a doctor. Even if you don’t show any obvious signs of injury, it’s important to realize that some injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest any symptoms. Because of this, never admit that you are uninjured after an accident. Always visit a doctor for a thorough medical evaluation after your wreck.
- Don’t sign anything without your lawyer’s advice. Right after your accident, there will be several parties trying to get you to sign various documents. You may be in a state of shock and not fully realize what you are signing. Even if it’s from the police or insurance companies, never sign anything until our lawyer has had the opportunity to look it over.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Far too many crashes are the result of driver negligence. When someone is driving recklessly, they not only put their own lives at risk, they endanger the lives of everyone else on the road.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Failing to yield
- Following too closely
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, such as driving while texting or other cell phone use
- Aggressive driving
Defective vehicles or automotive parts are other examples of negligence that can lead to an accident. In these product liability cases, the responsibility could lie with the parties that either designed, manufactured sold the vehicle or faulty part.
Damages in a Car Accident Claim
As seasoned car accident attorneys, the lawyers at Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC are all too familiar with the personal devastation and financial burden an auto wreck can inflict on victims and their families. Some people’s lives are never the same. We fight every day for people who have been injured or killed because of someone’s reckless or careless actions.
We can help determine all of the potentially liable parties in your accident and pursue compensation for:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of work benefits
- Diminished earning potential
- Rehabilitation costs
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a car accident results in the death of a loved one, family members may be eligible to obtain compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, lost future income and other costs related to medical care through a wrongful death claim.
In certain situations, punitive damages are given to punish the defendant for gross negligence or intentional conduct that caused the injuries.
Why Choose Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC for Your Car Accident Case
Choosing the right lawyer to represent you can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case. A skilled attorney will be able to determine the right legal strategy for your case and take the most effective steps to prepare a personal injury claim.
At Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC, we are passionate about helping accident victims obtain the justice they deserve. We understand the complexities of car accident cases and the upheaval they can wreak on the lives of those affected.
Our legal team will conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim to determine the cause of the crash. We will closely examine:
- The scene of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Post-crash reports by police and other parties
- The driver’s documented history
Our car accident lawyers are distinguished not only by their experience and history of success, but by their compassion for those who have been injured by circumstances beyond their control.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a New Jersey car accident, contact our attorneys today online or at (732) 617-8050 to discuss your case for free. We proudly serve clients from Monmouth and Middlesex Counties and nearby NJ aeras. We work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid until you do.