According the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were over 257,000 car accidents in New Jersey in 2009. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 583 of those accidents were fatal. New Jersey law provides victims of car accidents a means of obtaining compensation for their injuries. If you are involved in a car accident in New Jersey, following a few simple steps can help protect your rights and prevent additional injuries or damage.
1. Get off the road. If the accident is minor and it is possible, pulling your vehicle off the road and out of traffic can help prevent additional injuries or damage to your car. If you cannot move your vehicle off the road, turn on your flashers.
2. Check to see if anyone is injured and call the police. No matter how minor the accident, call the police. This will help ensure that your rights are protected, claims are paid in a timely manner, and no criminal charges are brought against you for leaving the scene of an accident. If anyone is injured, ask for an ambulance.
3. Exchange information with the other driver. You should get the name, address, insurance company name, policy number, license number, and phone number of anyone involved in the accident. Provide this information to them as well.
4. Gather witness information. Talk to any witnesses present at the scene to determine what they saw, and write it down. Get all witnesses names, addresses, and phone numbers. You may need these witnesses later to help you prove your claim.
5. Do not accept blame for the accident. Describe what happened to the police as best you can, without accepting blame. If the other driver is at fault and claims not to be, write down exactly what he or she says happened.
6. Take pictures of the scene and your vehicle. Get photographs of your vehicle and any others involved in the accident from every angle. It is always a good idea to carry a disposable camera in your glove compartment.
7. Call your insurance company and report the accident. Contacting your insurance company as soon as you can after the accident will ensure that the details are fresh in your mind, and will help expedite your claim.
8. Seek medical attention right away. Injuries from car accidents may not be immediately apparent. See a doctor and let them know that you were involved in an accident. You want to ensure that any injuries are documented as soon as possible so if you become involved in litigation it cannot be argued that your injuries were caused by something other than the car accident.
9. Obtain a copy of the police report. Police reports are generally available within 24 hours and can be obtained from the police department for either free or for a small copy fee. You may want to call ahead to ensure the report is ready and you know where to go to get a copy of it.
10. If you have been injured as a result of a car accident in New Jersey, contact a personal injury attorney right away. Your time to file a claim is limited. An experienced attorney can help ensure that you are fairly compensated for all of your injuries.
If you need to speak with a lawyer, contact our law office in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Call us at 201-585-9111, or contact us today with our quick inquiry form.