More than 283,000 car accidents occurred on New Jersey roads in 2013, leading to 506 traffic-related fatalities. Nationwide, highway deaths increased to 33,561 in the year 2012, representing the first increase in seven years. The problem of reckless driving is certainly a national one, and it poses a serious threat to those on the road in New York and New Jersey.
Traffic lights, warning signs, road signs, and guide posts all play a major role in keeping traffic flow organized and keeping drivers safe. But unfortunately, far too many drivers choose to ignore or disobey these signals, leading to serious car accidents. When reckless driving causes a crash, the driver at fault could face a number of penalties, fines, or tickets from the state, as well as open themselves up to liability for a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by reckless driving, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today. Our personal injury lawyers have proudly served the injured of New Jersey and New York since 1974. With more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, we have the skills and resources to stand up to insurance companies and fight for compensation on your behalf. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have collected more than $300 million for clients both in and out of the courtroom, including:
- $10 million for a car accident victim who suffered a severe brain injury and visual impairment after being thrown from a vehicle
- $2.8 million for a car accident victim who was struck by a negligent driver, leading to serious injury and a total knee replacement
- $1.7 million for a 50-year-old driver who was rear-ended at a stoplight
- $1 million for a 42-year-old auto mechanic who was injured by a tow truck backing up
- $750,000 for a car accident victim who suffered a lower back injury and post-traumatic stress disorder
Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one our legal representatives today. Your initial consultation is free, and there are no fees due until we win your case.
Types of Reckless Driving
All New Jersey drivers are subject to the New Jersey Vehicle Code, found in Title 39 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes. The New Jersey Driver Manual, available online, offers a simplified version of these rules and regulations for drivers.
When a driver violates one of these “rules of the road,” it poses a serious danger to others on the road, and it can open the reckless driver up to liability for injuries caused. Reckless actions include:
- Driving under the influence
- Texting while driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to adjust for weather conditions
- Failure to obey traffic signs
- Failure to stop at a stop sign
- Running a red light
- Failure to yield when required
- Failure to slow down for a construction site
- Failure to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights
- Failure to pull over for emergency vehicles
- Failure to merge safely and at the appropriate time
- Driving too slowly (failure to keep up with the flow of traffic)
- Passing in a no-pass zone or when it is unsafe to do so
However, this is not a complete list of driving activities that could be considered reckless. Any actions that violate New Jersey driving laws constitute reckless driving and, if the action leads to a car accident, could open the driver up to liability.
Speeding is a minor decision that can have serious consequences. Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents, and it was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes in 2011. Nearly 10,000 lives were lost to speeding-related crashes in 2011, and the annual cost of speeding-related collisions is upwards of $40 billion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of the 627 fatal car crashes in New Jersey in 2011, excessive speed was a factor in more than 170 of them.
Far too many drivers treat speed limits as friendly “reminders” or guidelines, but the truth is, these posted speed limits save lives. When drivers are in a rush or disregard the speed limit, they reduce their ability to stop safely and react to sudden maneuvers. Speed limits are in place to protect drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike, and they are meant to stop drivers from making dangerous decisions behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a high-speed accident, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have more than 80 years’ worth of experience fighting for the injured in New Jersey. We have successfully collected more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we have the resources and experience to fight for you. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
If someone’s reckless driving caused an accident that injured you, you could have grounds for a personal injury case. Filing a personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for your injuries, as well as other losses.
Compensatory damages, which are designed to reimburse the plaintiff for losses caused by the accident, include compensation for financial, physical, and emotional losses. Compensatory damages in a reckless driving case can include compensation for:
- Medical treatment: includes hospitalization costs, ongoing treatment expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any expected future medical expenses
- Lost wages: compensation for wages lost while out of work due to the injury, as well as decreased earning capacity in the future if the injury will continue to affect the victim
- Loss of enjoyment of life: covers loss of enjoyment of day-to-day activities, recreation, hobbies, and exercise
- Pain and suffering: the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident, including the pain of the physical injuries and ongoing emotional trauma
- Wrongful death: compensation for the family or estate of someone killed by a negligent driver
There is no limit on compensatory damages in the state of New Jersey. In other words, as long as you have proof for the monetary amount of damages suffered, you are entitled to recover the full amount in a personal injury case.
However, it is important to note that New Jersey operates under a type of “comparative negligence” system. With comparative negligence, each driver is assigned a certain portion or percentage of fault in the accident. Under the New Jersey system, the injured person can win damages as long as his or her negligence in the accident was not greater than the other driver’s negligence. In other words, the injured person could be partially responsible for the accident and still win money in a lawsuit—so long as the injured person was not more than 50 percent at fault in the accident. The total amount of damages awarded will be adjusted based on each party’s level of fault.
For example, say John was stopped at a red light at 1 a.m. with one brake light out. Edward is barrelling toward the intersection at 20 mph over the speed limit, distracted by an email on his phone. Edward is unable to stop in time and hits John’s car, causing $100,000 worth of damage and injuries to John and his car. The court (or insurance adjuster, depending on the circumstances) finds that John is 10 percent at fault for not having two functioning brake lights and Edward is 90 percent at fault for speeding and driving while distracted. John is now eligible to recover up to $90,000, a 10 percent decrease from the original $100,000 in damages.
Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are here to help you recover your losses. With more than 80 years’ worth of experience fighting for the injured in New Jersey and New York, we have the resources and experience to fight for you. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, using our resources to interview witnesses, collect police reports, and obtain medical evidence. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of a negligent driver, contact us today for a free consultation. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers.