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Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Car Accidents

Proudly serving all of New Jersey

Our aggressive New Jersey car accident attorneys are unafraid to take on even the biggest insurance companies. They may try to get you to jeopardize your claim, but we won't let them. With our legal team your side, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected and that you'll have more than a fighting chance at a full and fair settlement.

At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we place open communication and individual attention among our highest values. Our clients know that they can talk to us whenever they have a question or a concern. If you want to speak to one of our legal associates about your case, please call (609) 240-0040 for a free, comprehensive consultation.

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1. How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit after a New Jersey car accident?

A: The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years in New Jersey. It is highly advised that you do not delay contacting a New Jersey car accident attorney who can file your claim and start working on your case.

If the liable party is a state authority or employee, you must file a special notice with the approved government entity within 90 days under the New Jersey Tort Claim Act. If you fail to do so, your case may be dismissed and your claim, barred.

Other time limits may apply to accidents with specific circumstances. Again, it is important that you contact an attorney so your claim can be filed in a timely fashion.

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2. Will a past record of accidents or insurance settlements have any negative impact on my NJ car accident injury claim?

A: In most cases, no.

However, the insurance company may dig up your record and attempt to use the information to discredit your claim. To counter this, you must tell your attorney about everything that is on your permanent record, including bankruptcies, family law issues, and criminal convictions. That way, your attorney will be prepared for whatever the insurance company throws at you.

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3. Will the liable party’s insurance cover my medical bills and other damages that resulted from the car accident?

A: In New Jersey, the victim’s insurance company pays for medical bills and a portion of lost wages, no matter what. However, the at-fault party and his or her insurance company may be sued for long-term damages like pain and suffering.

Do not forget to apply for "personal injury protection" (PIP). PIP allows you to receive coverage from your insurance company for medical bills and other expenses without any attached rate hikes.

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4. Can I use the outcome of the municipal traffic court case to support my injury lawsuit?

A: No. A municipal traffic court conviction cannot be submitted as evidence in a civil lawsuit since civil cases go by different standards of the law than municipal court cases. However, if you provide testimony in both cases with many inconsistencies between them, this may be used against you to weaken your claim. Confer with your attorney.

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5. Should I file a small claims suit to get compensation for my wrecked vehicle?

A: The answer is an emphatic no. A New Jersey law called "Entire Controversy Doctrine" permits individuals to file only a single lawsuit for any incident. If you file a small claims suit, you may miss out on a much bigger reward from a personal injury lawsuit.

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6. How should I handle the insurance companies after an auto accident?

A: It is okay to talk with your own insurance company, but when it comes to the insurance claims adjustor for the liable party, the less you say the better. Always consult with your attorney before speaking with the other insurance company or signing anything from them.

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7. The other driver does not want me to call the police. Should I do so anyway?

A: Yes. A police record can act as evidence for your claim. Remember, the more information you can collect, the stronger your claim case will be. Exchange information with the other driver(s) and the police, take pictures, make notes, but avoid saying anything that may be used against you.

If the police report contains any errors or its conclusions are not satisfactory, file an amendment. An attorney can help you with this.

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If you have any questions which haven't been addressed in this page, feel free to contact our Princeton office for answers. You may also start a live chat with one of our legal staff or fill out an online contact form.

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The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over twenty five years.

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