Welcome to Cuneo & Leonetti Law Firm, your trusted source for experienced and dedicated Camden car accident attorneys. We know that the aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic, stressful, and financially draining. Our team is committed to providing you with the experienced legal representation you need to navigate this challenging period. With a proven track record of success, we work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma. Don’t let the negligence of others dictate your future; contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us help you regain control of your life.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
- Distracted Driving: The use of smartphones, GPS devices, or even eating and drinking while driving can divert attention from the road, leading to accidents.
- Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions is a leading cause of accidents, as it reduces the driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or obstacles.
- Impaired Driving: Alcohol or drug use impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, significantly increasing the risk of an accident.
- Weather Conditions: Slippery or wet roads due to rain, snow, or ice can make it more challenging to control a vehicle, especially at high speeds.
- Reckless Driving: Aggressive behaviors like tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, and ignoring traffic signs and signals are common causes of accidents.
- Fatigue: Drowsy driving is a significant issue, particularly for those who work long hours or operate commercial vehicles.
- Vehicle Defects: Sometimes, the cause of an accident may be a mechanical failure in a vehicle, such as brake failure, tire blowouts, or steering malfunctions.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven road surfaces, lack of proper signage, or poorly designed intersections can contribute to accidents.
- Traffic Congestion: High-traffic areas, particularly during rush hour, increase the likelihood of accidents due to the sheer number of vehicles on the road.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs: Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous, as it can lead to severe T-bone or side-impact collisions.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Lack of experience can result in poor judgment calls, contributing to the likelihood of an accident.
- Blind Spots: Failure to check blind spots before changing lanes can result in a collision with a vehicle that was not visible in rearview or side mirrors.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Camden car accidents can range from minor fender-benders to more severe, life-altering incidents. The causes could be numerous, including but not limited to driver negligence, inclement weather, road conditions, or vehicle malfunctions. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Camden, you may need legal representation to assist with insurance claims, legal disputes, or to help you receive compensation for injuries and damages.
Some common types of Camden car accidents we see at Cuneo & Leonetti are:
- Rear-End Collisions: One of the most common types of car accidents, where one vehicle collides into the back of another. This usually happens due to sudden braking or lack of attention on the part of the trailing driver.
- T-Bone or Side-Impact Collisions: Occurs at intersections when one vehicle collides with the side of another. These can be particularly dangerous as the sides of cars generally offer less protection than the front or rear.
- Head-On Collisions: These accidents are often the most severe and occur when two vehicles collide front-to-front. They can result in fatal injuries and are often caused by impaired or distracted driving.
- Hit and Run: Unfortunately, some accidents involve a driver leaving the scene without providing information or assistance. These cases can be legally complex.
- Single-Vehicle Accidents: These involve only one vehicle and can be due to a variety of factors like poor road conditions, animal crossings, or driver impairment.
- Multi-Vehicle Pile-Ups: These are chain-reaction accidents often occurring on busy highways or in poor visibility conditions. They usually involve multiple vehicles and can be particularly chaotic and challenging for emergency services.
- Pedestrian Accidents: These involve a vehicle colliding with a pedestrian. Due to the lack of protection for the pedestrian, these accidents can often result in severe injuries.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycles are also common on Camden roads, and accidents involving them can have severe consequences due to the lack of protective barriers around the motorcyclist.
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Accidents involving commercial vehicles like trucks or buses can be particularly complicated due to additional regulations and the potential for more severe damage.
- Uber/Lyft Accidents: With the rise of ride-sharing services, accidents involving these vehicles have their own set of legal complexities, such as determining liability among multiple parties.
- Drunk Driving Accidents: Sadly, impaired driving continues to be a cause of many accidents, often resulting in severe or fatal outcomes.
New Jersey Car Accident Reporting Requirements
New Jersey has specific requirements for reporting car accidents. Here are some of the reporting requirements you might need to consider if involved in a Camden car accident:
- Immediate Reporting: If an accident results in death, injury, or significant property damage (commonly defined as exceeding a certain dollar amount, such as $500), it must be reported immediately to the local police, county police, or the New Jersey State Police.
- On-Scene Reporting: If the accident is significant and police arrive at the scene, they will generally complete an accident report. This report will contain important details about the accident, including parties involved, witness statements, and sometimes even diagrams or photos.
- Written Report: In some cases where the police do not come to the scene or the accident is relatively minor, individuals involved may be required to submit a written report themselves. This report, known as the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident Report (SR-1), may need to be submitted to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
- Insurance Reporting: Regardless of fault, you are generally required to report the accident to your insurance company. Failure to do so in a timely manner could result in complications with your claim.
- Additional Reporting: Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may also be required to report it to other entities. For example, commercial vehicle accidents may need to be reported to additional regulatory bodies.
- Legal Requirements: Failing to report an accident when required to do so can result in penalties, fines, or even criminal charges.
- Time Frame: While immediate reporting is often required for serious accidents, less severe accidents may have a different reporting time frame. Consult local or state requirements to ensure you are compliant.
- Obtaining a Copy: After an accident, it is generally advisable to obtain a copy of the police report for your records and for any potential legal or insurance proceedings.
Insurer “Right to Sue” in Car Accidents
New Jersey offers unique “Right to Sue” options as part of its auto insurance system. The state is a “no-fault” jurisdiction, which means that each party involved in an accident first turns to their own insurance coverage for medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault. However, New Jersey allows you to choose between two types of “Right to Sue” policies when you purchase your auto insurance: “Limited Right to Sue” and “Unlimited Right to Sue.” These options will influence your ability to take legal action against a negligent driver. Here’s what you need to know about each:
- Limited Right to Sue: This is the less expensive option and restricts your ability to sue the other driver for pain and suffering unless you experience one of the following:
- Loss of a body part
- Significant disfigurement or significant scarring
- A displaced fracture
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury (one that is not expected to heal to return to normal with further medical treatment)
- Unlimited Right to Sue: This option is more expensive but allows you more freedom to sue for pain and suffering for any injury, not just the severe ones outlined under the limited right to sue. This offers you greater protection but comes at a higher premium cost.
Understanding these options is crucial because they can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation beyond the no-fault PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits. Your choice at the time of purchasing your insurance policy can impact any future car accident claims you may need to make.
Statute of Limitations in New Jersey Car Accidents
The statute of limitations for car accidents in Camden, New Jersey is generally two (2) years from the date of the accident. This means you have two (2) years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party or parties involved in the accident. The same two-year limitation usually applies to property damage claims as well.
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations. For example, If a minor (someone under the age of 18) is involved in a car accident, the statute of limitations typically doesn’t begin to run until they reach the age of 18. Also, if your claim is against a governmental agency (e.g., if you’re filing a claim because of an accident involving a city bus), the time frame to file an initial claim may be significantly shorter, sometimes just a matter of months. Failing to file a lawsuit within the two-year period generally bars you from taking any legal action concerning the accident in the future. This could mean forfeiting your right to any compensation for injuries, damages, or other losses related to the accident.
Contact Our Camden Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Camden, the path to recovery—both physical and financial—can be complex and stressful. From navigating insurance claims to understanding your rights under New Jersey’s unique “Right to Sue” policies, every decision you make can have long-lasting consequences. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through this challenging time. The lawyers at Cuneo & Leonetti Law Firm are well-versed in Camden’s car accident laws and can help you maximize your compensation while minimizing your worries. Don’t navigate this difficult journey alone; time is of the essence due to statutes of limitations and other deadlines. Contact our Camden personal injury lawyers today for a consultation and take the first step towards getting the justice and compensation you deserve.