Car Accident FAQ
A Millburn attorney who can guide you through the legal process
You’ve been in a car accident in Northern New Jersey. What happens now? You probably have a lot of questions and aren’t quite sure what to do next. Should you call a lawyer? Can you file a lawsuit? How are you going to pay your medical bills? The Leigh Law Firm, P.C. can help you get answers to help you figure out what to do next.
New Jersey car accident attorney David Leigh knows that dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be confusing and frustrating. He used to represent insurance companies and is familiar with the tactics they use to limit compensation. Now he helps the injured in Millburn and all of Essex and Union counties fight for the financial compensation they deserve.
Here are some common questions people have after a car accident:
- Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
- What is my car accident worth?
- What if the accident was partly my fault?
- Do I have to talk to the insurance company?
- Should I accept a settlement offer after a car accident?
- Can I sue for pain and suffering?
- How much will a car accident lawyer cost?
- How long will it take to resolve my car accident case?
- Will I have to go to court?
- How can I prove the other driver was negligent?
Attorney Leigh is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of his clients. He can guide you through the legal process every step of the way. Get answers to all of your questions and learn about your options for recovering compensation during a free consultation. Contact us to schedule a time that works for you.
Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
There is no requirement to have a lawyer when dealing with insurance companies about compensation for your injuries. But the insurance companies have lawyers. They handle claims every day and have the advantage when you file a claim. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible. Getting your own lawyer can help you fight for fair treatment. A lawyer can build a strong case for compensation and deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf. When faced with legal action, insurance companies often agree to negotiate a more favorable settlement.
What is my car accident worth?
There is no simple way to answer that question, as many different factors can affect how much compensation you receive. These factors include the type and severity of your injuries, the strength of your case, and insurance policy limits. A lawyer can give you a better idea of how much you can realistically expect to recover. In general, you can seek compensation for all current and future medical expenses related to your injury, lost wages if you couldn’t work, and other compensation such as pain and suffering.
What if the accident was partly my fault?
Under New Jersey’s modified comparative negligence system, you may still be able to recover financial compensation – if your percentage of fault is 50% or less. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in financial compensation, but your percentage of fault was 20%, you would recover $80,000. That’s why insurance companies often try to blame you for the accident. It helps them save money. An experienced attorney can investigate your crash to get the facts and prove the other driver’s negligence was mostly, or totally, to blame for what happened.
Do I have to talk to the insurance company?
If you are involved in a car accident, you are required to report the crash to your own insurance company. But just stick to the basic facts. You are not required to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. An adjuster from that insurance company may contact you and want to ask you some questions or get a recorded statement. They are just trying to get you to say something that can be used against you in your claim. Politely decline their request and explain you would like to get legal advice first. Then call an attorney.
Should I accept a settlement offer after a car accident?
An adjuster from the insurance company may contact you not long after the accident with a settlement offer. They may say it’s the best that they can do, but will promise quick payment. It can be tempting to accept this offer. Medical bills may be adding up and your financial situation may be getting stressful. Part of you just wants the whole thing to be over. But it’s likely that their offer falls far short of covering all of the damages you suffered. We encourage you to get legal advice before accepting any offer from the insurance company.
Can I sue for pain and suffering?
If you were hurt in a car accident in New Jersey, you have the right to sue another party for the economic damages you suffered. These include medical expenses related to your injury, as well as lost wages and property damage. Whether or not you can sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering depends on your insurance policy. If you have a standard insurance policy, you must choose from two options: “limited right to sue” or “unlimited right to sue.” The ”limited right to sue” option allows you to sue for pain and suffering only in certain circumstances. These include death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement or scarring, broken bones, loss of a fetus, and permanent injury. There are no such restrictions if you choose “unlimited right to sue.” A lawyer can discuss your options with you.
How much will a car accident lawyer cost?
If we represent you, our firm pays all the costs to move your case forward. There are no fees or other upfront charges that you need to pay. In fact, it costs you nothing unless we win. If we recover financial compensation in your case, our fee is a percentage of the recovery. If we get nothing, you owe us nothing. While we can’t promise results, we are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
How long will it take to resolve my car accident case?
It depends on many factors, as each case is different. If a case is fairly straightforward, it may be possible to reach a settlement in a matter of months. But other cases can be more complicated, and it may take a year or more to reach a resolution. If there is a lot of money at stake, the insurance company may be more aggressive in fighting your claim. And cases involving multiple parties can take longer to sort out. An attorney can review the details of your case and give a better idea of what to expect with your situation.
Most car accident cases end up being settled out of court. But it is possible that your case will go to trial and if so, you may be required to appear in court. A lawyer can talk about your options for recovering compensation and update you on the progress of your case. If you are needed in court, we can let you know what to expect and explain how the process works.
How can I prove the other driver was negligent?
Our firm investigates your car accident. We gather evidence, including evidence from any traffic or security cameras. Attorney Leigh carefully reviews accident reports and other documentation, and interviews witnesses. If needed, we consult accident reconstruction experts who can help us understand how the collision happened. We take nothing for granted and will build the strongest case possible to prove the other driver’s negligence caused the accident that left you hurt.