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Determining Fault in a New Jersey Car Accident

When a car accident results in injuries, it is crucial to determine what happened and who was at fault for the crash. Determining fault is a key factor in getting fair compensation if you were hurt in an accident someone else caused. Doing so, unfortunately, can be challenging, particularly when the facts of the crash are disputed.

With fair compensation for your injuries and property damage on the line, it is critical to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you. The right lawyer and legal team on your side can perform an investigation, determine fault, and evaluate and seek a fair amount of compensation.

At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C, we understand that New Jersey car accident cases can be challenging, especially if the other party refused to accept responsibility. We have the skills and resources necessary to handle your case and seek the compensation you’re owed.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

While some at-fault drivers will immediately accept responsibility for a crash, assigning fault is not always that easy. Sometimes the facts of the crash will be disputed, or the other party simply might refuse to admit that they made an error or were otherwise responsible for the collision.

When this happens, you’ll need an experienced accident attorney to help you determine what really happened and prove that the other party was liable. Keep in mind, that insurance adjusters for the other side will also be investigating the accident, and will likely be looking for any evidence that might suggest that you were at least partly to blame.

Evidence that can help determine which driver was at fault for a crash will often include:

  • Police report (though police don’t determine civil liability)
  • Photos of the vehicles and the surrounding scene
  • Medical records
  • Eyewitness accounts
  • Cell phone records
  • Blood and urine tests of both parties, checking for alcohol or drug abuse
  • Any available surveillance footage
  • Electronic data recording (or “black box” information)
  • Testimony from crash reconstruction experts

What to Do After a Car Accident When It’s Not Your Fault

In the aftermath of an accident, it’s normal to feel shocked, confused, and overwhelmed. There are some crucial steps, however, that can be immensely helpful for protecting yourself and proving that the other party was at fault.

Immediately following a car accident, it’s essential to do the following, if your condition allows:

  • Take photos of the crash site, including pictures of your vehicle, the other party’s car, the road itself, and any other images that can help explain the situation and illustrate your lack of fault.
  • Gather reports and contact information from any eyewitnesses. Even if it’s just a quick description of what they saw, that eyewitness report can make a massive difference in determining liability.
  • Write down everything you remember about the incident, from the moments following up to the crash to the immediate aftermath.

These quick steps can make a real difference in determining who was at fault in your car accident.

What to Do If You Are at Fault for an Accident

New Jersey follows a modified comparative fault negligence doctrine. This means that you cannot collect damages if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. If you are 50 percent at fault or less, you could still be entitled to compensation in proportion to your degree of fault.

Even if you think that you might be at least partly to blame for the crash, it’s important that you stay calm. Avoid taking any blame, apologizing, or discussing what you were doing prior to the accident. Keep all communication to a minimum until you can talk to your personal injury lawyer about the next steps to take.

Collect any evidence you can, including photos and contact information for any eyewitnesses. Then, call your insurance company, but be careful not to make any official statements on how the accident occurred. Finally, consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your rights and legal options.

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue?

New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. You have exactly two years from the date of the accident in which to file a claim. If you miss a deadline or don’t file paperwork before that date, you will lose the opportunity to ever recover damages from your accident. Only very narrow and rare exceptions could extend the deadline.

Retaining a New Jersey car accident lawyer is crucial in ensuring that you follow the correct timeline and don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve.

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

While you are not required to get a lawyer after a car accident that wasn’t your fault, retaining an experienced car accident attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. A lawyer can help you to gather evidence, build a strong case, and seek a full and fair settlement.

An experienced lawyer can help you stand up to the insurance companies. After an accident, a representative from the insurance company will most likely approach you and offer you a one-time, lowball settlement. This amount will most often be much less than what you are actually entitled to receive. The insurance company wants to protect its revenue, and that means shelling out the least amount of money possible. It’s so important that you decline any offer the insurance company makes you until you speak to an attorney.

On average, people who retain a lawyer get three times more in compensation than those who attempt to handle their case alone. At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C, we want to help you pursue the most compensation you can to cover your medical expenses, car repairs, lost wages, and whatever else you might face after a car accident.

Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys for Help After a Crash in New Jersey

At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C, we’ve been delivering results since 1981. We have the trust of our community because we treat all of our clients like they are our most important client and work tirelessly on each and every case.

We have secured over $1 billion in settlements for clients from New Jersey and New York and continue to win cases every single day. Not only that, but we offer a free and completely confidential initial appointment, at which we will familiarize ourselves with the details of your case and determine how best to move forward. Call us today or contact us online.

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Since 1981, the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon have been delivering results for our deserving clients. We are solely committed to helping injured individuals, never representing corporations. No matter how large or small your personal injury case is, you can trust that it is important to us.