New Jersey Municipal Vehicle Accident Attorneys
City Vehicle Collision Lawyers
Police officers, postal workers, firefighters, and other municipal employees are expected to show a reasonable level of care for citizens and fellow drivers. But unfortunately, distracted driving or carelessness contributes to municipal vehicle accidents every year.
There were 31,141 car accidents in 2013 in Bergen County alone, according to data from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. More than 5,700 people were injured in these car accidents, and 32 accidents resulted in death. The speed at which police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks are required to travel puts them at an increased risk for collisions.
Millions of children ride on school buses every day, not to mention the number of adults and commuters who travel by bus or train. Garbage trucks, utility trucks, snowplows, and other city vehicles travel the roads day in and day out, and the drivers are expected to drive carefully and protect the safety of others. Any municipal driver who fails to do so should be held accountable for the damage caused.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are committed to you and your case. The trial-proven attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are prepared to thoroughly investigate your claim and aggressively pursue justice for you and your family. If you or a loved one has been injured in a municipal vehicle accident, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today.
What Are Municipal Vehicle Accidents?
If your injury is caused by the negligence of an employee of the New Jersey government (or a New Jersey government agency), it is treated somewhat differently under the law. Municipal vehicle accidents can involve any state, county, or local government transportation, including:
- School buses
- Commuter buses
- Garbage trucks
- Utility trucks
- Law enforcement vehicles
- Fire trucks
After a municipal vehicle accident, you have 90 days to file a formal claim with the state government. After a formal claim is filed, you must wait six months to file a lawsuit. In this time, the government agency will typically reach out to you to resolve your claim.
At this point, it is especially helpful to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. A qualified trial attorney has the expertise you need to stand up to government agencies and ensure you are receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
What Injuries Are Common in Municipal Vehicle Accidents?
Car accidents can cause a large number of serious and even fatal injuries. Municipal vehicles, which are often larger and heavier, can deal even worse blows. Injuries from municipal vehicle accidents can include:
- Head injuries
- Brain damage
- Fractured hips
- Paraplegia/ Quadriplegia
How is Fault Determined?
New Jersey operates under a “comparative negligence” system. This means that you are not required to prove that the other driver was 100 percent at fault to win damages. You are only required to prove that the other driver was more than 50 percent at fault.
The compensation you are entitled to will be reduced by the amount of your percentage of fault. For example, say you have one brake light out on your car when you stop at a stoplight. A police car comes up too fast and rear-ends you while you are waiting for the light to turn green, causing $100,000 worth of injuries and damage. The jury determines that you are 10 percent at fault in the accident because of the broken brake light, so your total potential compensation will be reduced from $100,000 to $90,000.
Comparative negligence comes into play when a personal injury lawsuit makes it to trial (which represents a very small portion of personal injury cases). However, an insurance adjuster or competing attorney can bring up the principle of comparative negligence to argue for reduced damages during out-of-court discussions.
What Can You Win?
There are two types of damages awarded in personal injury cases: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are designed to compensate the injured for monetary and emotional damages, including:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and decreased earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
There are no limits on compensatory damages in the state of New Jersey.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for egregious conduct, and they are awarded only in cases of extreme negligence or intent to harm. Punitive damages are limited to $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages (whichever is greater).
Why Hire An Attorney?
City, county, state, and federal agencies have massive resources on their side. They retain expensive legal teams to fight civil lawsuits and absolve government officials of blame. Without an attorney on your side, government lawyers will try to drown your claim in paperwork or make it extremely difficult to prove your claim.
In addition, municipal vehicle accident claims move much quicker than a typical personal injury claim. Injured parties must give notice of the claim within 90 days of the accident when it involves a public entity, county, state, or municipal agency. (In other personal injury cases, you have up to two years to file a lawsuit.)
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have more than 80 years of experience fighting for clients against large insurance carriers, health care systems, and government agencies. We have a proven track record of success, including a number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.
We’ve handled a wide variety of car accident cases. We have fighting aggressively for our clients, and we have won a number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. We are certified civil trial attorneys and members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, so you can rest assured that your case will be thoroughly investigated and trial-ready.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
As our client, you can expect personalized service, clear communication, and thorough preparation. We pride ourselves on putting you first and responding quickly to your needs.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a municipal vehicle accident, call (201) 585-9111 or fill out an online inquiry to schedule your initial consultation. The consultation is free and confidential, and there are no attorney fees due until we win your case.