New Jersey and New York are no-fault insurance states, which means your own insurance company is responsible for compensating you for injuries in an accident under Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. However, if your injuries are severe PIP coverage may not be enough. And, if the other driver was negligent and at-fault for the crash, a claim against their coverage or lawsuit may be warranted. In this blog post, we’ll review key ways to prove negligence after a car accident and improve your likelihood of a successful claim.
Negligence and Car Accidents
If you were seriously injured in a car accident and the other driver was negligent in their behavior or actions, you may have grounds for a claim against the at-fault driver. Negligent behavior behind the wheel comes in many forms. Examples of behavior leading up to the car accident that could indicate the drive acted negligently include:
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failing to obey traffic signals or signs
- Driver fatigue
- Driving aggressively
If there is sufficient evidence proving negligence on the part of any of the drivers in the accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in car accident claims to discuss your case.
How to Prove Negligence in a Car Accident
Solid and abundant evidence that is essential to proving the other’s driver’s negligence. Oftentimes, cases with a plethora of solid evidence can be resolved more quickly than one that lacks much backup to the claim. You may also need evidence to prove how you may or may not have contributed to the accident. New Jersey and New York are comparative negligence states, which means your recovery of damages from another driver may be reduced depending on your own degree of fault.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
Your first priority in the immediate aftermath of a car accident should be to seek medical treatment for any injuries. Only if it’s possible and safe to do so, try to gather evidence at the scene of the car accident such as:
Taking photographs. Using your phone to take pictures of the accident scene is a good way to gather evidence after a car accident. Take as many pictures as needed of damage to all vehicles involved, road conditions, weather conditions and your injuries.
Contact information. By collecting contact information, you’re not only complying with the law, you’re also putting yourself in the best possible position to be able to file a claim and recoup losses from the accident. There are three types of information that will be important to try to collect after a car accident -- contact information for all other drivers, passengers and witnesses; vehicle information; car insurance information.
Video and Electronic Evidence
Between cameras positioned around the scene of the accident and evidence that may be available from the vehicles involved, video and electronic evidence can be critical to proving negligence in a car accident.
Video footage. Cameras are everywhere these days. Many New York and New Jersey buildings have cameras that may capture parts of an intersection; some traffic cameras record or take photographs of intersections.
Dash cams. Nowadays, people fit their cars with dash cameras which can come in handy when a car accident occurs. Newer car models are equipped with exterior and interior cameras, some even with 360-degree views, that can capture exactly what was happening at the time of the car accident.
Under New Jersey law, if a driver is involved in a car accident, he or she is required to report it to law enforcement if the crash involved more than $500 of property damage. In New York, the threshold is $1000 worth of damage and/or any injury or fatality.
You or your car accident attorney can request a copy of the report from the state police or the municipality in which the accident happened. After a car accident, it's a good idea to request a copy of the police report for review. You may be able to correct any errors or point out inaccuracies.
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Know How to Prove Negligence
Personal injury attorneys who specialize in car accident claims, like the attorney team at Brandon J. Broderick, have the experience to gather evidence to bolster your claim and maximize your compensation. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident due to another driver's negligence, it's in your best interest to review your case with an attorney.
Get a Free Case Evaluation Now
Pursuing a legal claim for a car accident may seem like a daunting task but we encourage you to consider allowing our team of attorneys at Brandon J Broderick to help you through the process. Without representation and a skilled negotiator on your side, the insurance company can offer you a lowball offer that barely covers any of your needs and may even refuse to cover some of the damages. You may be left having to pay for the costs of your injuries on your own.
Contact us today and let us turn your setback into a comeback. We offer free case evaluations and work on contingency fees. You owe us nothing unless we win your claim.