Do I Need an Attorney for a Car Accident in New Jersey?
Many people like to handle their own legal issues, Whether it’s drafting a will using an online program or handling a DUI on their own.
However, making a car accident claim is more complex than either of those issues.
A lawyer can provide many important services, especially if you have serious physical injuries from the crash.Please contact a personal injury attorney to get started on your case.
Your Attorney Gathers Evidence
You will only receive compensation if someone else was negligent. Usually, this means that the driver who caused the accident did not operate his motor vehicle with enough care. If another driver wasn’t negligent, his insurance company will deny your claim.
In many cases, negligence is not arguable. If a driver ran a red light and slammed into you, then there is no question about liability. However, other cases are not clear cut, so you will need to:
- Identify witnesses and interview them about what they saw.
- Search for dash cam or surveillance video that might have captured the accident.
- Visit the scene of the accident to reconstruct it.
- Examine the vehicles involved for clues about how the accident unfolded.
This type of work takes time, which you might not have if you are trying to recover from serious injuries. Your attorney can pull together this evidence in a logical and compelling way.
A Lawyer Properly Values Your Injuries
The weeks following an accident can be scary, and you might be too injured to go to work. With no income, you have giant medical bills and wonder how you will keep a roof over your head.
It is very tempting in this situation to agree to the first settlement offer made. Many people immediately agree to too little money because scared and need cash now, so they sign on the dotted line.
This is a terrible mistake.
By working with a car accident lawyer, you can properly value your injuries. This will give you some idea of how much you should receive. Once you agree to a settlement, you’ll release the defendant from any future liability. You need to get a fair settlement now, and you have one shot to do it.
An attorney understands the value of medical care and lost wages. He also knows how much you can receive for things like pain and suffering or mental anguish. Don’t guess; trust a professional.
Your Attorney Negotiates with an Insurer
Insurers in New Jersey are known for being stingy. They don’t like to pay full and fair compensation, and only do so if the person on the other side holds out. This is where a lawyer can be very helpful.
After gathering evidence, your lawyer can draft a demand letter and submit it to the driver’s insurer. This demand letter should state how the driver caused the crash and why you deserve a fair settlement.
You can expect the insurance company to reject your request and make a much lower counteroffer. If you don’t know how to bargain, you might never get the insurer to increase their offer. Some insurers hold out, confident that an injured victim will fold.
By hiring an attorney for your car accident case, you won’t be misled into accepting a small settlement.
An Attorney Can Bring a Lawsuit in Court
Negotiations sometimes fail. If they do, your only chance to get compensation is to file a lawsuit.
New Jersey’s laws and regulations on lawsuits are complex and can take years to learn. If you try to file your own case, you might make a mistake, like filing in the wrong court or naming the wrong defendant. You might also take too long, since New Jersey’s statute of limitations gives injured motorists only 2 years to file a case in court. If you miss the deadline, a judge will dismiss your case and you’ll get nothing for your injuries. Hire an attorney for your car accident case so you file your case the right way.
Your lawyer will collect all evidence so that the jury can understand it. Do you know how to interview witnesses in court? A lawyer does.
An Attorney for a Car Accident is Surprisingly Affordable
Many people want to handle their own cases because they do not want to pay for an attorney. However, you should understand how car accident attorneys charge before deciding whether their services are worth it.
Most car accident lawyers in New Jersey charge on contingency. This means that the client does not pay any lawyer fees upfront. Instead, clients agree that their attorney will take a percentage of any financial recovery, such as a settlement or verdict. The standard percentages are 33-40%. If the lawyer does not get any money for you, then you don’t pay any attorneys’ fees.
Legal Representation You Can Trust
The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, has represented many injured car accident victims in New Jersey. We have negotiated with several large insurance companies, and we know our way around a courtroom.
If you want to discuss your case, contact our office today for a free consultation.