Car accidents can be life-altering events, causing not just physical pain but also emotional and financial stress. At Cuneo & Leonetti, our experienced Pennsauken car accident attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your rights and securing the compensation you need to recover. With a strong track record and a client-centered approach, we guide you through every step of the legal process, ensuring you’re not alone in this challenging time. Reach out to us today for a free consultation and take the first step towards reclaiming your life.
Common Types of Pennsauken Car Accidents
A Pennsauken car accident refers to any motor vehicle collision or crash that occurs in the Pennsauken area. Car accidents can range from minor fender-benders to severe, life-threatening incidents involving multiple vehicles, pedestrians, or even animals. These accidents can happen for various reasons including driver negligence, recklessness, weather conditions, mechanical failure, or road defects. The aftermath can result in not just physical injuries, but also emotional trauma and significant financial burden due to medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
Car accidents in Pennsauken, New Jersey, can occur in a variety of ways, each with its own set of contributing factors and consequences. Here are some common types of car accidents we often see at Cuneo & Leonetti.
- Rear-End Collisions: These are among the most frequent types of accidents and often occur due to tailgating or abrupt stopping. Injuries such as whiplash are commonly associated with rear-end collisions.
- Side-Impact Collisions (T-Bone): These occur when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another, often at intersections. They can result in severe injuries due to the limited protection offered by the side of a car.
- Head-On Collisions: These are often the most devastating types of accidents and frequently result in fatalities or severe injuries. They often occur on two-lane roads where a vehicle crosses the center line.
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents (Pile-Ups): These involve multiple vehicles and can occur on busy highways or in adverse weather conditions. Determining liability can be particularly complex in these situations.
- Hit and Run Accidents: In these cases, one driver leaves the scene without providing any contact information or waiting for law enforcement to arrive. This is illegal and can make obtaining compensation more complicated for the victim.
- Rollover Accidents: These are more common in vehicles with a higher center of gravity, like SUVs. Rollover accidents can occur due to sharp turns at high speeds or collisions with other objects and vehicles.
- Single-Vehicle Accidents: These involve only one vehicle and can occur for various reasons, such as driver error, weather conditions, or mechanical failure.
- Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Cyclists: These accidents often result in severe injuries for the non-motorized individuals involved and can occur in crosswalks, bike lanes, or sidewalks.
- DUI Accidents: Accidents involving alcohol or drug-impaired drivers often result in severe injuries or fatalities and may lead to criminal charges in addition to civil liability.
Common Causes of Car Accidents In Pennsauken, NJ
Car accidents in Pennsauken can be caused by a variety of factors. Understanding these common causes can help drivers be more vigilant on the road and can also be crucial for establishing liability in the event of an accident. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Distracted Driving: The use of cell phones, GPS, radios, or even eating while driving can divert attention from the road, leading to accidents.
- Speeding: Driving over the speed limit or too fast for road conditions can reduce a driver’s ability to steer safely, increase stopping distances, and make collisions more severe.
- Drunk or Impaired Driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications can severely impair judgment, coordination, and reaction times, leading to accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Rain, snow, fog, and ice can make roads slippery and reduce visibility, contributing to accidents.
- Reckless Driving: Actions such as tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, and ignoring traffic signals or signs can lead to collisions.
- Fatigue: Tired or drowsy driving can slow reaction times and impair decision-making, much like alcohol or drug impairment.
- Vehicle Defects: Mechanical failures or defects can also cause accidents. These could include brake failure, tire blowouts, or engine malfunctions.
- Road Conditions: Poorly maintained roads, lack of proper signage, and inadequate lighting can contribute to accidents. Sometimes, local or state government agencies may be held partially responsible for these conditions.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Lack of experience can lead to poor decision-making and risk-taking behaviors that can result in accidents.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs: Ignoring traffic signals is a significant cause of intersection accidents, often leading to dangerous side-impact collisions.
Car Insurance Requirements In Pennsauken, NJ
New Jersey law requires drivers to carry certain types of auto insurance coverage. Here are the general minimum insurance requirements in New Jersey:
- Bodily Injury Liability: This coverage pays for medical expenses, legal fees, and other costs associated with injuries to other people in an accident you caused. New Jersey requires a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability: This covers the cost of damage to another person’s property in an accident for which you are at fault. The minimum requirement is usually $5,000 per accident.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that your own insurance will cover your medical expenses regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The minimum PIP coverage required is usually $15,000 per person, per accident, although you can choose to purchase more coverage.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: While not mandated by the state, it is highly recommended to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage helps pay for your medical bills or property damage if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the full extent of the damages
- Optional Coverage: Many drivers choose to carry additional types of coverage for extra protection. These can include comprehensive and collision coverage, which pay for damages to your own vehicle, whether they occur in an accident or due to other factors like theft or natural disasters.
New Jersey’s “Limited” vs. “Unlimited” Right to Sue
New Jersey allows drivers to choose between a “limited right to sue” and an “unlimited right to sue” when purchasing an insurance policy. The “limited” option generally means you can only sue for pain and suffering under certain conditions, such as if you sustain a significant injury. The “unlimited” option removes those restrictions.
- Limited Right to Sue (Verbal Threshold): Drivers with a “Limited Right to Sue” insurance policy generally cannot sue the at-fault driver for non-economic damages like pain and suffering unless they meet certain injury thresholds. The injuries typically have to be severe, such as:
- Significant disfigurement or significant scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement
The “Limited Right to Sue” option usually comes with lower premiums, making it a cost-effective choice for many drivers. However, it also restricts your legal options if you’re involved in an accident.
- Unlimited Right to Sue (Zero Threshold): By choosing an “Unlimited Right to Sue,” the driver reserves the right to sue for pain and suffering for any injury, regardless of its severity. This option gives you broader legal recourse and can result in a higher settlement or court award. However, because this option expands the types of claims you can make, the insurance premiums are usually higher.
Statute of Limitations for Pennsauken Car Accidents
The statute of limitations for car accident claims in New Jersey, including Pennsauken, is generally two (2) years from the date of the accident. This means that you have two (2) years to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties for personal injury or property damage. Failure to file within this time frame usually results in the loss of your right to pursue legal action for compensation.
The two-year statute of limitations generally does not apply to claims you might have against your own insurance company for benefits under your policy (such as personal injury protection benefits). These claims are often subject to different deadlines and procedures specified in your insurance policy.
Contact Our Pennsauken Car Accident Lawyer Today
Don’t let the aftermath of a car accident overwhelm you. At Cuneo & Leonetti, we are committed to standing by your side through this challenging time, helping you navigate the complex landscape of Pennsauken car accident laws. Our Pennsauken personal injury lawyers aims to secure the maximum compensation you deserve, whether it’s for medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Time is of the essence due to the statute of limitations, so don’t delay. Contact our experienced Pennsauken car accident lawyers today for a free consultation, and take the first step toward reclaiming your life.