There’s nothing fun about dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. Whether or not you were at fault, you’re bound to be stuck with hours worth of stress over the incident, particularly if there were injuries involved.
All of this stress probably has you wondering whether you ought to hire a lawyer; the answer is, it depends on the situation. Here are a few questions to ask in order to determine whether you need a lawyer.
Were You At Least Partially At Fault?
In New Jersey, something called “modified comparative fault” comes into play when there’s no single person at fault in a car accident. This means that if you’re suing the other party involved in the accident, but you had some blame in the accident, you’ll need to prove that the other party’s blame is significantly higher than your own from a financial standpoint.
In this case, a lawyer can be a hugely important asset. Your lawyer will know how to navigate this rule to your advantage and ensure that you get what you’re rightfully owed.
Was Anyone Injured?
Injuries are some of the most costly car accident associations because they result in so many additional costs. From medical bills to lost work, you’ll find that an injury costs you much more than just time and suffering. However, even if the other party was at fault and you were injured, you may not be able to ask them to compensate you.
New Jersey follows something called no-fault car insurance, which means that the injured party must consult their own insurance for compensation related to injuries from a car accident. There are specific instances where the other party can be asked to pay for some of these expenses, but you’ll want to consult a lawyer about what those are.
How Long Has It Been Since The Accident Occurred?
Sometimes the adrenaline of a car accident can prevent you from noticing the full extent of your injuries or damage to your vehicle. In fact, it can take a while before you’re able to calm down enough to notice these things, particularly if your car appears to be working fine but eventually malfunctions as a result of the accident.
There’s a statute of limitations to bring a car accident case to court in New Jersey, which usually maxes out at about two years. If you’re nearing that deadline, it’s certainly a good idea to enlist the help of a lawyer so that the process can be expedited.
Not every fender bender requires the help of a lawyer, but New Jersey has enough unusual laws related to car accidents that a serious crash will require a lawyer to be properly resolved more often than not. Call Pope Law in Newark, New Jersey and let us fight for your rights.