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.

In the state of New Jersey, an average of 1.6 people are killed daily by car accidents. In 2012, there were a total of 284,062 car accidents; the same year, there were 553 fatal car accidents that resulted in 589 deaths, according to the New Jersey State Police. There are nearly 40,000 miles of public open roads in the state, adding up to one death per 66.6 miles.

If you or a loved one was injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help you get the compensation you deserve for emotional and physical pain.

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 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 under the influence is a major, devastating cause of car accidents. Of all fatal car accidents, 28.7 percent of drivers had consumed alcohol to some extent, according to New Jersey police data. Drunk driving has cost New Jersey taxpayers more than $1 billion, plus immeasurable emotional pain and suffering. 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. More than 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. About one-third of all drunk driving offenders are repeat offenders, and it is estimated that only one arrest occurs for every 772 drunk driving occurrences.

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Client Success Story

It was a pleasure having Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi take on my case. After a car accident left me jobless for several months, they helped get me back on my feet. They went above and beyond the call of duty!

- Mike Sloan

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Client Success Story

The Office of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have been so helpful in my case that I just wanted to stress to anyone needing an attorney who has been in an accident that this office is the best. From the beginning of my case I was treated as number one. Mr. Maggiano and staff always kept me informed of the entire process of my case. I even had a driver, Juan, from their office, take me to my medical appointments because I no longer have an automobile. It just made me feel so much more relaxed. This is a law firm makes you feel right at home as soon as you come in. There were many times that I had questions and I would speak to Mariel, Mr. Maggianos’s paralegal and she would always be there to help

- Kenneth Gadsden

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Client Success Story

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

Distracted driving is another major problem in the U.S. More than 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured every day in distraction-related crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of all car accidents in 2011, 10 percent were reported as distraction-affected crashes. Distracted driving led to 3,331 fatalities in 2011, plus an additional 387,000 injuries. Of those injury crashes, 21,000 injuries were a result of of cell phone use; cell phone-related distractions caused nearly 400 deaths in 2011 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 his or her 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 and head injuries are a common 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 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 herniated disk.

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

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 they can cause long-lasting pain or discomfort.

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 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 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 negative effects on many aspects of a person’s life.

Contact an Experienced Injury Lawyer

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

Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111. Your initial consultation is always free and confidential, and there are no fees until your case is won.

Verdicts and Settlements

To a driver who crashed into the side of a truck that had pulled into his path, resulting in multiple surgeries to his right knee including total knee replacement.

To the estate of 26 year old Chinese exchange student in country for 4 years struck while crossing street in front of college while in crosswalk. Argument was that decedent suffered pre impact terror and likely realized she was about to be struck and killed.

To 84 year old man that was sideswiped by moving car as he entered street to open his car door.  He initially had no complaint of pain and refused emergency room 2 weeks later while visiting his family doctor an X-ray was done as a precaution and found a vertebral fracture and he had emergency surgery $250,000 was maximum available coverage.

Frequently Asked Car Accident Questions

What should I do if I have been injured in a car accident?

No matter how slight the injury may seem, it is extremely important to seek professional medical help. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding, may not be apparent right away after an injury, so it is vital to have a proper medical examination.

In addition to preventing further medical complications, seeing a doctor right away will help your personal injury case. It is very helpful to have detailed medical records from right after the accident, and seeking medical attention immediately will help to show that your injuries were serious.

If I have been hurt in a car accident, who will pay for my treatment?

The person responsible for the accident (or his or her insurance company) will be responsible for paying for the damage to your vehicle and your medical treatment. In some cases, your personal insurance carrier will also be involved in paying your medical claims.

Where should I take my car to get it repaired?

It is up to you to decide where to take your car for repairs. Do not allow insurance companies to bully you into thinking you must take your car to the shop offering the lowest bid; you are entitled to have your car repaired to the same condition it was in before the accident.

Do I need a lawyer?

It is highly beneficial to get a legal opinion on your rights and responsibilities as pertaining to the accident. It is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable attorney review the facts of your case before deciding what course of action to pursue—especially if the other driver’s insurance company is offering you a settlement.

An experienced car accident attorney can recommend appropriate medical treatment, negotiate a replacement car, and negotiate a fair and full settlement with the insurance company. This settlement should take into account all of your damages, including your pain and suffering, and having a respected personal injury attorney on your case will spur the insurance company to take your claim much more seriously.

Where should I take my car to get it repaired?

It is up to you to decide where to take your car for repairs. Do not allow insurance companies to bully you into thinking you must take your car to the shop offering the lowest bid; you are entitled to have your car repaired to the same condition it was in before the accident.

What will this cost me?

In a personal injury case, your attorney is only paid if your claim is successful. Under this model, the attorney’s fee is simply a percentage of your damage award. If you are awarded nothing, you will not have to pay your attorney anything.

Keep in mind that using an experienced attorney can actually increase the amount of financial compensation you receive in a civil lawsuit, so even after the attorney’s fee is paid, you will have more money in your pocket than if you attempted to represent yourself.

What do I do with all the medical and car repair bills that come in after the accident?

Talk to your attorney about the bills. He or she can negotiate to have them paid by the insurance company directly, or in other cases, have them postponed until after your case has been resolved. Don’t let the bills worry you.

What if the accident was caused by a defective car part?

Automakers and parts manufacturers have a responsibility to supply 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 premises 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 difficult to litigate—but that is not to say it can’t be done. Corporations maintain high-priced legal teams to fight defective products claims, so defective products cases must be handled carefully by an experienced personal injury attorney.

When should I file my lawsuit?

There is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases in New Jersey. In other words, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Failure to file a claim within two years means you will forfeit your right to compensation for your injuries.

With this in mind, it is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney right away, especially if the case involves defective car parts. Corporate attorneys and insurance companies aggressively fight products liability cases because a successful case can open up the door for similar cases and cost the seller a large sum of money. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced products liability attorney who can obtain engineering reports, develop models or graphics of the product, take detailed statements from witnesses or government representatives, and thoroughly investigate your claim.

Even if the claim does not involve defective car parts, it is in your best interest to be proactive. The sooner your attorney can start on the case, the better chance he or she will have of preserving important evidence and mounting a successful case.

Will I have to go to court?

The vast majority of car accident claims never see trial. Claims are usually put to rest in settlement negotiations or negotiations with insurance adjusters before a court date is ever scheduled.

However, sometimes it is necessary to take a car accident claim all the way through the court process. Perhaps the two parties can’t agree on the exact cause of the accident, or maybe they cannot agree on what constitutes “fair compensation” for the victim’s injuries.

Regardless of whether or not your case goes to court, it is important to hire an attorney who has true trial experience. This will give you a stronger position at the negotiating table because the insurance adjuster or opposing attorney knows that you are ready and willing to take the case to court if you are not offered a fair settlement.