Being involved in a car accident is a scary experience. Your health and well-being should be your number one priority. You should always call 9-1-1 to report the accident and request medical attention, if needed. It is never a good idea to just exchange information with the other driver(s) and to simply leave the scene. A police officer will arrive at the scene of the accident to ensure each individual’s safety and will make a report of the accident. While many people are in a state of shock following an accident, it is important that you are as detailed as possible with regard to the facts and/or cause of the accident. If you believe the driver at fault should have received a traffic ticket, but was not issued one, you may have the right to file your own ticket against the other driver. This is especially important in New Jersey, as the percentage of fault for each driver could determine the total award of compensation allowed.
If you were injured in a car accident, many people ask, “Who will be responsible for my medical bills?” It depends on the type of automobile insurance coverage both you and the other driver(s) who were involved in the accident possess. If your automobile insurance provides you with Personal Injury Protection, also known as “PIP,” your medical bills should be covered up to the allotted amount reflected on your insurance declaration page. However, when obtaining auto insurance, it is possible that you may not have selected PIP insurance, but rather elected to use your private health insurance carrier. If the latter is the case, you must be aware that your private health insurer may have the right to assert a lien on any future settlement you may be entitled to. Moreover, if your medical bills exceed your allotted PIP amount, you may be entitled to have the negligent driver’s automobile insurance cover your continued treatment.
Another common question asked is, “The insurance company has offered me a settlement, should I accept it?” The answer is NO! If an insurance adjuster and/or representative from the negligent driver’s insurance company contacts you, they are NOT your friend. The insurance adjuster’s job is to save his employer as much money as possible. When speaking to an adjuster, these phone conversations will be recorded, as it is their intent to ask you a number of questions regarding the accident to help weaken any future claim you may assert. It is never a good idea to speak to and/or give a statement to any insurance company without first consulting with an experienced attorney.
If you have endured a serious injury as a result of a car accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and concerns, and most importantly, speak to the insurance representatives on your behalf. Retaining an experienced lawyer will allow you to focus on receiving treatment for your injuries, without any additional stress or concerns. Finally, in most personal injury cases, an attorney’s services are based on a contingent fee. This means that you should not have to pay any initial retainer fee and/or upfront costs for an attorney to take on your case.
Marc A. Sposato is a personal injury attorney at Triarsi, Betancourt, Wukovits & Dugan, LLC. If you were injured in a car accident and have questions regarding your rights and/or responsibilities, contact Attorney Marc A. Sposato at (908)-709-1700, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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