Car Accident Attorneys Serving Fort Lee & All of New Jersey

A car accident is a traumatic and often devastating event. Vehicle accidents can have a huge toll on your health and well-being—everything from physical pain to emotional trauma to financial losses. Fortunately, the Fort Lee car accident lawyers at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. are here to guide you through the legal maze, helping you secure the compensation you need to recover and move forward.

In the state of New Jersey, an average of 1.89 people are killed daily by car accidents. In 2022, there were 221,259 car accidents; in the same year, 646 fatal car accidents resulted in 689 deaths, according to the New Jersey State Police. The state has nearly 40,000 miles of public open roads, adding up to one death per 56.9 miles.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, contact our experienced Fort Lee car accident lawyers online or call (201) 585-9111 today for a FREE case evaluation. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help you get the compensation you deserve for your emotional and physical pain.

NJ car accident lawyer

Case Study

MDL won a case for $7,000,000 for a 23-year-old alleged to have been running across a four-lane highway in the middle of a block and against a green light when struck by an oncoming motorist. She suffered a brain injury resulting in severe cognitive and motor impairment and a speech defect, leaving her totally disabled and dependent on caregivers.

Causes of Car Accidents

The cause of a car accident is not always apparent right away. However, many car accidents have preventable causes.

Driving While Drug or Alcohol Impaired

Driving under the influence is a major, devastating cause of car accidents. Of all fatal car accidents, 34% of deceased drivers and 27.2% of surviving drivers had consumed alcohol to some extent. Nationwide, drunk driving resulted in $68.9 billion in economic costs in 2019, not to mention the immeasurable emotional pain and heartache. Consuming alcohol, even in small amounts, decreases reaction time, dulls the senses, and affects judgment, vision, and alertness.

Operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.08 percent or greater is grounds for a drunk driving arrest. However, if you consume any amount of alcohol and your driving is negatively affected, you could be convicted of drunk driving. Every year, nearly 1.5 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. About one-third of all drunk driving offenders are repeat offenders, and it is estimated that thousands more impaired drivers are never caught.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is another major problem in the U.S. More than 8 people are killed and more than 1,100 people are injured every day in distraction-related crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of all car accidents in 2022, 11 percent were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

Distracted driving led to 3,308 fatalities in 2022, plus an additional 289,310 injuries. Of those injury crashes, 26,151 injuries resulted from cell phone use. Cell phone-related distractions caused 402 deaths in 2022 alone. Whether the distraction is visual, manual, or cognitive, distracted drivers are a major hazard on U.S. roadways.

Texting while driving is a particularly troubling type of distracted driving. At any given moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. Reaching for a phone, dialing, or texting increases the risk of crashing by three times. Texting causes a driver to take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds—if traveling at 55 miles per hour, 5 seconds is equivalent to traveling the length of a football field blindfolded.

Other causes of car accidents include:

Possible Injuries From Car Accidents

Depending on the type and severity of the accident, a crash can result in a variety of different injuries. While some are temporary, some accident-related injuries can be lasting or even permanent.

Brain Injuries

Brain and head injuries are a typical result of car accidents. The trauma and impact of a car accident puts the brain at risk for movement within the skull. If the victim’s head is hit or hits another object, it can cause a traumatic brain injury. Car accident victims are also at risk for other head injuries, like concussions, even if there is no visible sign of trauma.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are another common result of car accidents, and they can have severe, lasting effects. Mild neck injuries from car accidents include whiplash and neck strain. Car accident victims can suffer from a neck sprain, neck strain, cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve), or a herniated disk.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are the result of displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments tearing into or bruising spinal cord tissue. If nerve cells are damaged, communication between the brain and the rest of the body can be interrupted, resulting in a loss of feeling or function for the victim.

Back Injuries

Back injuries are a result of the impact and trauma of an accident. The impact of a crash can cause sprains, strains, fractures, disc injuries, lumbar radiculopathy, thoracic spine injuries, and lumbar injuries. Back injuries may not be immediately apparent and can cause long-lasting pain or discomfort.

Facial Injuries

Facial injuries can be caused by contact with a steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, car seat, side window, or shattered glass. Facial injuries include bruises, lacerations, dental injuries, and Temporomandibular disorders of the jaw (TMJ).

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries can occur after a jarring incident like a car accident. Common internal injuries include injuries to the kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, heart, or aorta. Fractured ribs can also cause punctured lungs or damage to other organs.

Psychological Injuries

Psychological injuries can develop after a car accident. Victims can suffer from emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, persistent anxiety, or depression, all of which have long-lasting adverse effects on many aspects of a person’s life.

Car Accident Compensation

In the aftermath of a car crash, victims may be entitled to various forms of compensation to help manage the financial and personal impacts. When seeking compensation, it’s crucial to understand the difference between economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages cover quantifiable losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, helping to reimburse direct financial losses. Non-economic damages address more subjective outcomes like pain and suffering, offering compensation for the intangible impacts of the accident.

Here are the primary types of compensation available:

  • Medical Expenses (including emergency services, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, etc.)
  • Future Medical Costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Modifications to Home & Vehicles
  • Costs for Assistive Technologies
  • Travel Related to Medical Appointments
  • Permanent Disability
  • Scarring & Disfigurement
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

This compensation aims to alleviate the financial burden on the victim, ensuring they can focus on recovery without the added stress of financial strain. It helps restore the injured party to the financial state they were in before the accident and provides recognition for the suffering endured due to another’s negligence.

Is New Jersey a No-Fault State?

Yes, New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that after a car accident, your own car insurance coverage (specifically your personal injury protection (PIP)) pays for your medical expenses, regardless of who caused the accident. This system aims to reduce the number of lawsuits, except in severe cases.

Under N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-4, drivers can choose between a basic and standard policy, affecting their right to sue for pain and suffering. This flexibility allows individuals to tailor their coverage to their specific needs and preferences regarding legal action against at-fault drivers.

Can You Sue in Fort Lee for a Car Accident?

In New Jersey, despite being a no-fault state, you can still pursue a lawsuit against the party responsible for a car crash under certain conditions. This is particularly relevant if the accident resulted in serious injuries that meet or exceed the state’s legal threshold, defined under § 39:6A-8. These thresholds include:

  • Significant Disfigurement
  • Significant Scarring
  • Dismemberment
  • Displaced Fractures
  • Loss of a Fetus
  • Permanent Injury
  • Death

If your injuries qualify, you can step outside the no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to seek compensation for pain and suffering, which is not covered under personal injury protection (PIP). This allows you to potentially recover greater damages than those provided by PIP alone, including full compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses.

Suing also becomes an option if the other party involved in the accident was driving recklessly, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if the accident was caused by egregious negligence. In such scenarios, proving the other driver’s negligence is vital, and retaining a skilled Fort Lee car accident lawyer can significantly enhance your ability to litigate and pursue appropriate compensation successfully.

Client Success Story
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I have been a practicing personal injury lawyer in New Jersey for over twenty years. I knew Michael Maggiano by reputation and when I was involved in an automobile myself I went to him to handle my case. I learned that the reputation was well founded and he has an outstanding law firm, very efficient and professional. He and his staff were always available and helpful during every step of the process and the resultant settlement was excellent. I could not recommend Mr. Maggiano and his firm more highly. Thank you to all at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi .

- Kevin Decie

Client Success Story
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I have been a practicing personal injury lawyer in New Jersey for over twenty years. I knew Michael Maggiano by reputation and when I was involved in an automobile myself I went to him to handle my case. I learned that the reputation was well founded and he has an outstanding law firm, very efficient and professional. He and his staff were always available and helpful during every step of the process and the resultant settlement was excellent. I could not recommend Mr. Maggiano and his firm more highly. Thank you to all at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi .

- Kevin Decie

Client Success Story
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Nothing but praise for Maggiano, DiGirolamo, and Lizzi. I have never seen such a fantastic display of teamwork at all levels of the firm. (As an aisde, everyone one who works at the firm was extremely courteous and kind – character traits that one would not typically associate with a law firm. )

Furthermore, the legal results brought about by Mr. Maggiano’s tireless litigation efforts on our behalf were very fair and just. If you ever find yourself in a car accident, be sure to consult Maggiano, DiGirolamo, and Lizzi.

- Haig Norian

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in Fort Lee, New Jersey?

The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a car accident in New Jersey is generally 2 years from the date of the accident. This limitation, outlined in § 2A:14-2, serves as a legal deadline to ensure that claims are made while evidence is fresh and witnesses’ memories are clear, thereby promoting judicial efficiency and fairness.

Adhering to this deadline is paramount, as failing to file within this period typically results in the permanent forfeiture of your right to seek compensation through the courts. Therefore, it is important to initiate your legal claim promptly. Consulting with a Fort Lee car crash attorney as soon as possible after an accident can help safeguard your rights and ensure that your claim is pursued promptly and effectively.

Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

Hiring an attorney after a car accident in Fort Lee can significantly influence the outcome of your case, especially under certain circumstances. Here are some scenarios where seeking legal counsel is advisable:

  1. Serious Injuries or Fatality: If the accident results in serious injuries or the loss of a loved one, an attorney can help navigate the complex legal and insurance issues that often follow.
  2. Disputed Liability: If it’s unclear who is at fault or if the other party disputes liability, a lawyer can help prove fault and protect your rights.
  3. Inadequate Insurance Offer: Insurance companies often propose settlements quickly to minimize payouts. An attorney can negotiate to ensure the compensation covers all medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
  4. Complex Legal Issues: Some accidents involve complex legal questions that only a professional can effectively handle, such as accidents involving commercial vehicles or government entities.
  5. Long-term Impact: If injuries from the accident are likely to have long-term effects on your quality of life and financial stability, an attorney can help secure compensation for future needs.

Engaging with a Fort Lee car accident lawyer early in the process ensures that your rights are protected and you are adequately represented, especially when negotiations become contentious or when navigating New Jersey’s laws.

Verdicts and Settlements

$6,200,000 - Motor Vehicle Crash

To a commercial truck driver who was struck by another truck driver while pulled off on the side of the road, resulting in disabling brain injury.

$1,700,000 - Motor Vehicle Crash

To a 50-year old housewife injured when her car was hit in the rear while stopped a traffic light.

$2,500,000 - Motor Vehicle Crash

To a middle-aged tax preparer injured when a New Jersey Transit Bus struck his car in the rear after exiting the Lincoln Tunnel requiring two back surgeries following diagnose of aggravation of pre-existing stenosis and a herniated disc leaving him permanently disabled from his career and in need of Life Care Plan.

Here’s How Our Fort Lee Car Accident Attorneys Can Help

Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, as seasoned Fort Lee car accident lawyers, bring a wealth of experience and a proven track record to your case. Here’s how we can assist you:

Understanding of Local Laws

We possess a deep understanding of New Jersey’s traffic and personal injury laws, which is critical for navigating the complexities of your case.

Thorough Investigation

We conduct comprehensive investigations to gather evidence. No detail will be overlooked, from accident scene photos to eyewitness accounts.

Strong Negotiation

Known for our tough negotiation skills, we advocate fiercely with insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.

Litigation Experience

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we have the trial experience to represent you confidently in court and will fight diligently for your rights.

Personalized Attention

We prioritize personalized attention and ensure you feel supported and informed throughout the legal process.

Choosing Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi means partnering with a team committed to achieving justice for you, allowing you to focus on recovery while we handle the legal complexities.

Frequently Asked Car Accident Questions

What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured in a Car Accident?

When you’ve been injured in a car accident, the steps you take can significantly impact both your recovery and any potential legal claims. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: It’s vital to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Even if injuries seem minor, some, like concussions or internal bleeding, may not show symptoms immediately. Early diagnosis can prevent complications and provide essential records for any legal action.
  2. Document Everything: Take photos at the scene if you can, including damage to your vehicle, any visible injuries, and the overall accident scene. Also, collect contact information from any witnesses.
  3. Report the Accident: Notify the police so there is an official report of the accident. This report can be vital for insurance and legal processes.
  4. Notify Your Insurance: Inform your insurance company about the accident, but avoid detailed statements or accepting blame until you speak with a lawyer.
  5. Consult a Car Accident Attorney: Contact a Fort Lee car accident attorney who can advise you on your rights and the best steps to take for your situation. A lawyer can help manage negotiations with insurance companies and ensure you receive fair compensation.
  6. Keep Records: Maintain a file with all accident-related documents, including medical bills, a copy of the police report, correspondence with insurance, and any other expenses incurred due to the accident.

Following these steps ensures that you are taking care of your health and protecting your legal rights after a car accident.

Should I Provide the Insurance Company with a Statement?

Speaking with a lawyer before providing any statements to insurance companies is advisable. Insurance adjusters may use your words against you to minimize your claim. An experienced attorney can guide you on how to communicate effectively with insurers and ensure that your rights are protected while still fulfilling any necessary obligations under your insurance policy.

If I Have Been Hurt in a Car Accident, Who Will Pay for My Treatment?

In New Jersey, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, your own car insurance policy will initially cover your medical treatments due to the state’s no-fault insurance system. Specifically, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is designed to pay regardless of who was at fault in the accident.

This coverage can include medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs. However, the extent of coverage and limits depend on your specific insurance policy terms. It’s essential to review your policy or consult with a Fort Lee car accident attorney to understand the full scope of coverage available to you under N.J.S. § 39:6A-4.

Can You Sue For Whiplash In New Jersey?

Yes, you can sue for whiplash in New Jersey if you demonstrate that the injury has significantly impacted your life. Under § 39:6A-8a, to pursue a lawsuit for whiplash or similar injuries, you generally need to prove that the injury meets the “limitation on lawsuit” or “verbal threshold” criteria, which often includes proving that the injury has had a substantial impact on your daily activities or has resulted in a permanent condition.

Can You Sue for Pain & Suffering in New Jersey?

Yes, you can sue for pain and suffering in New Jersey. The state allows compensation for both physical pain and emotional distress caused by an accident. However, to qualify for such damages, the injuries sustained often must meet the same thresholds of severity as mentioned with whiplash. These are outlined by the state’s limitation on lawsuit threshold (§ 39:6A-8a), which applies to certain auto insurance policies. Consulting with a skilled attorney can help clarify your eligibility for these damages.

Where Should I Take My Car To Get It Repaired?

You have the right to choose where to repair your vehicle after an accident. In New Jersey, insurance companies cannot dictate the repair shop you use; they are obligated to cover repairs from any reputable shop that returns your car to its pre-accident condition. This right ensures that repairs meet your standards rather than being solely cost-driven. Always select a licensed shop with positive reviews to guarantee quality workmanship on your vehicle.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Deciding whether to hire a lawyer after a car accident depends on several factors. If the accident involved significant damage or injuries or fault is contested, it’s wise to consult an attorney. A lawyer can handle negotiations, help you understand your rights, and ensure you receive fair compensation. Consulting a Fort Lee car accident lawyer is especially beneficial when dealing with complex legal issues or substantial financial impacts.

What Will This Cost Me?

Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis in personal injury cases, meaning we only get paid if we win your case. Our fees are a percentage of your settlement or court award, not hourly rates. This further aligns our interests with yours, as we are committed to securing the best outcome for you.

Partnering with experienced lawyers often results in significantly higher compensation. Even after fees, the financial benefit to you is substantial. We’re in this together.

What Do I Do With All the Medical & Car Repair Bills That Come in After the Accident?

After an accident, keep all medical and car repair bills organized and safe. These documents are crucial for your personal injury claim as they detail the expenses incurred due to the accident. Present these bills to your lawyer, who will incorporate them into your case to ensure you receive compensation that covers these costs. Your attorney can also guide you on handling ongoing bills while your claim is processed.

What If the Accident Was Caused By a Defective Car Part?

Automakers and parts manufacturers are responsible for supplying the public with safe and effective cars, trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs. If a vehicle defect resulted in or exacerbated your injuries, you have every right to seek full compensation.

Instead of filing a lawsuit against another driver, in this case, you would file a lawsuit against the company responsible for the defective part. These cases fall under the umbrella of product liability, in which manufacturers, designers, distributors, suppliers, and even retailers can be held liable for putting unsafe products on the market.

Keep in mind that product liability lawsuits are often complex and challenging to litigate—but that is not to say it can’t be done. Corporations maintain high-priced legal teams to fight defective product claims, so defective products cases must be handled carefully by a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.

Will I Have To Go To Court?

Most car accident claims are settled out of court. However, if the parties involved cannot reach a satisfactory settlement, going to court may be necessary. Your lawyer will handle all the negotiations on your behalf and will prepare for trial if required.

The decision to go to court depends on the case’s complexity, the injuries’ severity, and the insurance company’s willingness to offer a fair settlement. Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action to ensure your rights are fully protected.

Regardless of whether or not your case goes to court, hiring a Fort Lee car accident attorney with true trial experience is important. This will give you a stronger position at the negotiating table because the insurance adjuster or opposing lawyer knows you are ready and willing to take the case to court if you are not offered a fair settlement.

Contact Our Fort Lee Car Accident Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash due to another driver’s negligence, it is important to contact a skilled Fort Lee car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have over 80 years of combined experience in trial law. We have won several major car accident lawsuits, including nine verdicts or settlements of more than $1 million.

More importantly, we find constant inspiration in the resilience of our clients. We will fight for your rights and for justice in your case with courage and determination. You deserve to have some relief after the losses you’ve suffered.

Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi online or at (201) 585-9111 today for a FREE and confidential consultation. There are no fees until your case is won!