Different kinds of insurance coverage for drivers can be confusing to anyone not in the insurance industry. One area in particular that creates confusion is personal injury protection or PIP. This no-fault coverage protects you by paying for medical expenses and other costs, regardless of who caused the accident. But there are limits and conditions to the coverage. An experienced accident attorney can help you through the ins and outs of the policy and get the recovery you need after an accident.
Not Just Medical
PIP coverage pays for medical expenses, no matter who was at fault in an accident. It is the opposite of personal injury liability coverage; PIP covers you, while liability coverage pays for those in the other vehicle if you are at fault in the accident.
Further, PIP comes with an option of purchasing coverage for additional losses. If you buy the optional rider, the policy will also pay for lost wages and the cost of caregivers required while you recover. You can buy coverage for up to $250,000 in these expenses.
PIP coverage by its nature overlaps with a major medical policy. You can purchase it at a lower rate by making it secondary to any medical policy you have. However, it is not a good idea because in some cases your medical insurance company will have to be repaid out of your personal injury recovery while that never happens with PIP coverage. Furthermore, if you make PIP secondary, you may end up subject to large deductibles under the primary policy.
Right to Sue
While PIP coverage is no-fault, there are still times you can recover damages from the other driver rather than only relying on your insurer. PIP coverage generally only covers 80% of your medical costs. If the other driver acts intentionally or is clearly at fault, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit. Similarly, you can recover for particular levels of damage the other driver caused.
If you have been injured in a car accident, don't leave your recovery to the discretion of an insurance company. Contact Stern and Stern to get the compensation you deserve.
Many injuries after a car accident are obvious. Broken bones and bruises appear right away, and represent easy diagnoses even before you see the doctor. More insidious, though, are brain injuries. These injuries are less obvious when you incur them, but they create more long-term danger for you. If you have been in an accident, be on the lookout for signs of concussions or other traumatic brain injuries, and make an appointment to see an experienced car accident attorney.
1. Loss of Consciousness
If you lose time after a car accident, that likely means you have suffered a brain injury. This can fall anywhere from a few seconds to a matter of hours or days, with longer bouts of unconsciousness usually reflecting more severe injuries.
2. Mood Changes
Doctors understand now that mood changes, including increased anger, depression, or anxiety, often stem from physical issues in the brain. See a doctor if you experience these issues after your accident.
3. Aches and Pains
Your brain is command central for everything your body does and feels. If you suffer from headaches, general aches and pains, or increased fatigue after a car accident, you should get checked for potential brain injuries.
4. Sensory Overload
You may not feel the symptoms of a concussion for days or even weeks after your accident. It may creep in over time: you can't handle bright lights, or you suffer from nausea or balance problems. If you feel worse rather than better over time, you may have suffered a brain injury.
The symptoms of brain injury are less obvious and don't always manifest immediately. But these injuries can create damage that affects you for the rest of your life, and you deserve to be compensated when another driver causes your injury. If you have suffered a brain injury due to the recklessness or negligence of another driver, don't just wait and hope it gets better. Contact Stern & Stern LLP today to get the recovery you need and deserve.
When you get into a car accident, you know to call your insurer, to see a doctor, and to contact a personal injury attorney. But what about your own recovery? You may find yourself feeling stiff and sore, and it does not go away on its own. Recovery from auto accident injuries does not happen overnight. If you focus in on your recovery, though, you can improve and return to normalcy.
See a Chiropractor
Back and joint stiffness don't go away by themselves. Besides seeing a medical doctor to check for injuries, you should consider visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractic care has developed substantially in recent decades and works effectively on acute pain like you experience after an auto accident. A good chiropractor will help diagnose and treat spinal injuries you endure in the accident. Beyond that, he or she will identify stretches and exercises you can do to aid your recovery over time.
Ease Your Way Back
Perhaps the most important aspect of your recovery is patience. No one likes to be hurt. When you start to feel better, you want to do more, to make up for the time you've lost. But if you go too hard too soon, you risk the recovery you have made. Getting back to normal takes time. Rather than pushing ahead too quickly, hold back and focus on making slight improvements every day. Do this, and you create the best chance for a strong, stable recovery.
Put in the Work
Even though you don't want to go too hard, too fast, you do need to put in time and effort to improve. If you hold back, you risk letting your muscles atrophy, and you will feel worse instead of better. The slow, steady effort will sometimes feel frustrating or monotonous, but give it time. Your health and comfort are worth whatever time it takes you to get there.
If you have been in an auto accident, you need legal representation that you can count on, so you can focus on recovering. Contact Stern and Stern today to get the legal help you need.
Most people do not think of a parking lot as a particularly dangerous place. But with all of the cars moving in and out in such close quarters, a significant portion of accidents in New Jersey occur there. People can be distracted or just not paying attention, or other cars and shrubbery might obstruct someone's view while they leave a space. If you have had a car accident in a parking lot, you may need legal help to protect your rights.
Document What Happened
You should never admit any wrongdoing or liability when you get into a car accident in a parking lot. It is easy to fall into a trap of saying something was your fault, but you never want to give what amounts to a legal conclusion against yourself. Instead, focus on the facts. Write down what happened, and take pictures of the area and the damage caused. Find out if cameras are recording the scene, and arrange for a copy of any such recording. Liability will depend on the circumstances and the way events unfolded, as well as the law that will be applied to those facts. You should make sure the facts themselves are as clear as possible.
File a Police Report
When the accident results in any injury or property damage, you need to stay at the scene until you can file a police report. If possible, don't move the vehicles until you have a chance to get pictures and let the police investigate. State law mandates a report, and it also serves as a public record of what the accident involves. Any witnesses you can garner can also help you establish the facts, and avoid potentially having to use your word against the other driver's claims.
Contact an Attorney
If you have serious damage to your car or injury to yourself or others with you, you may be entitled to collect damages from the other driver. If you have endured a parking lot car accident, contact Stern and Stern today; we will help you protect your rights and get the recovery you deserve.
Most financial issues that stem from a car accident are settled through one or both drivers' insurance companies. The insurance system is designed to produce exactly that result. And because New Jersey is a choice no-fault state, the processing of claims is virtually automatic. Still, there are exceptions and exceptional circumstances that change the story--and even when there are not, you want a good car accident attorney to make sure you are getting the compensation due to you.
When you are in an accident, you report the accident to the police and then to your insurer and the insurer for the other driver. But insurance companies don't make their profits by paying out the maximum value for every claim. Rather, they will offer a settlement that might seem reasonable, but in reality, does not compensate you for all of your damages: physical damage to the car, medical expenses for any injuries you sustain, and any lost work time or other kinds of loss that you sustain.
For this reason, you want to consult a car accident attorney to talk through your accident and the damages you have sustained. The insurance company, whether it is yours or the other driver's, is not entirely on your side. Your attorney will represent your best interests.
Whether you have no-fault insurance or not, some injuries that you can sustain take you outside of the limits that no-fault would otherwise create. If another driver causes an accident and you suffer a "serious injury", including dismemberment, disfigurement, or permanent injuries, your no-fault insurance does not limit your recovery from the other driver.
When you are injured in a car accident, don't expect your insurer to protect your interests at the expense of its own. Contact Stern & Stern LLP to find a car accident attorney who will fight for the recovery you deserve.
When you get into an auto accident, no matter who caused the accident, insurance companies usually provide the damage payments. But in New Jersey, just like everywhere else, an insurer will try to limit the amount it pays out. For this reason, when the other driver causes the accident, you must be sure to document the accident and all of your damages and meet with an experienced car accident attorney before filing your claim to ensure you get fair compensation.
The Police Report
As soon after the accident as possible, you must make a police report. If no one is seriously hurt, you should do this at the scene of the accident. The report serves as an official record of the car accident, so filing immediately helps get all of the critical facts on paper. The insurance companies involved will also rely on the information recorded here as part of how it determines what kind of settlement to offer.
Reporting to Insurance
You should exchange insurance information with the other driver after the accident as well. If you are at fault, or if you carry no-fault insurance that covers physical damage to your car, you will file a first-party claim with your insurer. When the other driver is at fault, you will file a third-party claim with the other driver's insurer. Use the contact information and policy name and number you receive to start the process in motion.
Speak with a Lawyer
The insurance company will usually come back in a matter of days with an offer for a settlement payment. Importantly, that offer is designed to give as little as possible to settle liability. Your attorney is a critical resource in helping you understand all of your damages and determine your right to recover.
If in addition to property damage you have been injured in a car accident, don't depend on an insurance company to offer the reasonable compensation to which you are entitled. Before you accept any offer, contact Stern and Stern. We will help you get the recovery you deserve.
The death of a loved one changes your life forever. If you depended on someone who dies because of someone else's wrongful conduct, you are entitled to recover damages for that person's death. To do so, though, you must file under the New Jersey wrongful death statute within two years after the person dies. Unless you meet certain exceptions, failing to file on time eliminates your ability to recover. Thus, it is important to contact a wrongful death attorney right away to help preserve your rights.
Reason for Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations exist to ensure the legal process can be effective. Over time, memories fade. Witnesses might not remember the events as clearly if too much time passes. It also allows people to move forward; by closing the window on when a suit can be brought, the law allows people to move forward in their lives without fear of a lawsuit that can spring on them decades after an accident.
When the Statute Starts
Under the wrongful death statute, you must bring suit within two years after the person dies. Some laws provide statutes of limitations that start to run when you discover or should reasonably discover that an event has occurred. In a wrongful death matter, though, only those who depended on the deceased may recover damages, so this window for discovery would not make sense. Rather than starting to run when you find out a person has died, the wrongful death statute of limitations begins as soon as the person dies.
When the Statute Does Not Apply
The wrongful death statute does provide exceptions for a defendant who has been convicted of murder, aggravated manslaughter, or manslaughter in connection with the death. In these situations, the statute of limitations does not apply.
If you have lost a loved one due to the reckless or negligent behavior of someone else, don't wait and risk losing your right to collect damages. Contact Stern and Stern today to work toward the recovery you deserve.
If you are injured in a car accident, you have a million thoughts running through your head. Still, there is a process to follow to help protect your rights. The following seven tips can help you slow down and understand what to do after a car accident.
Take a moment to catch your breath. It is normal to feel anxious, even scared after an accident. Try to focus and get your mind and emotions under control before you get out of your car.
2. Get the Other Driver's Information
Your rights begin with understanding who is at fault. The other driver and his or her insurer will be responsible for damages when that driver causes an accident. If possible, get this person's name and the name of the insurance company he or she uses.
3. Talk to the Police
Any list of what to do after a car accident must include talking to the police. Wait at the scene until someone arrives, and give your account of what happened. The police report represents an official report on the accident, so the more detail you can provide, the better.
4. See Your Doctor
Once you are done talking to the police, protecting your health is paramount. See a doctor for a full examination. Any health damage you have endured should be addressed and will be part of the damages to which you are entitled.
5. Contact Your Insurer
Once you have taken steps to protect your health, contact your insurer. You are required by your insurance company policy to contact your insurer after an accident. If you have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance with your automobile insurance you must contact your insurer and fill out the appropriate application when they send it to you in order for them to pay your medical bills.
6. Collect Your Paperwork
Your medical records, the police report, and your notes from the accident all help you present your case to an attorney. Gather what you have.
7. See Your Attorney
No one understands what to do after a car accident better than an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Stern and Stern today to help you protect your right to recover damages.
When you ride in a taxi, you do not have control over your travel. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot take steps to avoid an accident when it occurs. You may be injured by colliding with the divider in front of you, or directly through the impact of a collision. Whether your driver or someone else caused the accident, New Jersey personal injury law provides ways for you to get the compensation you deserve. Make sure you take steps to get the information you need before you contact your lawyer.
Your Driver's Information
Your driver will have on display his or her license and information in the taxi. You should get this information, including that of the company for which the driver works. Regardless of who was at fault, your driver's insurance may contribute to the damages to which you are entitled. You could get injured because of the safety equipment in a taxi or the partition separating you from the driver, so the driving itself or the structure could cause your injuries. You need to be able to identify your driver to gain the full benefit that personal injury law provides for you.
You don't have control of the driving, but you do have control over reporting the accident. Make sure you contact the police and wait on the scene until an officer appears. You can then collect the reporting officer's information and explain what happened. The police officer will give you the information you need to get a copy of your report, which you will then bring to your attorney.
Pictures and Notes
If you are able, take pictures at the accident scene and jot down some notes. Personal injury law uses a combination of laws and facts to reach its outcomes. Your information gathered at the site helps you keep the facts at hand.
If you have been injured in a taxi accident, you need strong, experienced representation. Contact Stern and Stern to get the compensation you deserve.
When you lose a loved one, your world changes instantly. You need to cope with the emotional impact of the loss and figure out how to move forward. But what if someone else directly caused it to happen? In New Jersey, a wrongful death action is available when someone else's action or negligence causes your loved one's death. Your attorney will help you understand your rights and get the recovery you deserve.
Explain Your Relationship
In a wrongful death action, one of the first things your lawyer will want to understand is the nature of your relationship with the deceased. This can feel uncomfortable, but under New Jersey law, you must show dependence or an inheritance right from the estate. Understanding what your relationshipis serves as a threshold issue before you have a right to recover.
Understanding What Happened
Your lawyer will then want to understand what happened. Before you can recover for wrongful death, you must show that the person who caused it had and violated a duty of care to your loved one. This can include something as simple as a duty to drivesafely,or to provide proper maintenance to private property. But not meeting the duty must be related to how the person died.
Beyond the duty itself, your lawyer will want to understand the sequence of events that led to your loved one dying. This again is not an easy story to tell, but you must be able to show causation. For example, if someone's speeding did not create the conditions that caused the death, the fact that the person broke the law is not enough for you to recover.
Preparing Your Case
After your initial meeting, you should expect your attorney to continue gathering information. The road to a trial or even a settlement is long, and your lawyer will continue asking questions along the way, all to help prepare and earn the best recovery for you.
If someone else's actions or neglect have caused the loss of your loved one, don't leave your case to just anyone. Contact Stern and Stern today.
When you think of what an attorney does for you, you likely imagine a singularly focused person with a great deal of knowledge in a narrow area. In fact, this is far from the truth. Your attorney needs to know a great deal in several areas to represent you in an auto accident case. He or she must put it all together to deliver the results you need.
Injuries you suffer in an auto accident come from a combination of the impact you suffer and a chain of events that occur in your body. Your attorney needs to understand the injuries you suffered, and how and why they occurred. Causation is a key element to any personal injury case, so the attorneys must know how to demonstrate it in court and their filings.
Engineering and Physics
Beyond injuries, your attorney must understand the role the vehicles involved play in the accident. Each vehicle has an intricate construction and parts that work in combination to move, stop and steer, and to protect the drivers. The way everything works — or sometimes fails to work — plays a role in the damages and sometimes the parties to a suit. Mechanical engineering and physics thus play a key role.
Your lawyer serves as your advocate and your counselor. This means being able to work with you on your needs, as well as understanding the mindsets of the other party, his or her attorneys, the judge, and the jury members. A deft command of human psychology thus becomes necessary to navigate through an auto accident case, from your first consultation through trial.
Finally, beyond everything else, your attorney must be an expert in the legal system: the laws and regulations related to driving, insurance, and personal injury law; the rules of civil procedure that govern your case; and the rules of practice in the individual court.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need someone who can wear multiple hats to get you the best result. Contact Stern & Stern today to reach the recovery you deserve.
After an auto accident, the wait until your trial can feel like an eternity. The accident likely occurred months ago or more. The way you felt immediately after has subsided; some injuries have healed, and you've become used to dealing with those that haven't every day. But after all of that, you need to be ready to give your version of events to a jury. To do so, you must work with your attorney and prepare carefully for your day in court.
Review the Details
As your court date approaches, take some time each day to review your memories and your notes about the accident. The opposing attorney will try to trip you up and pick at anything that does not match deposition testimony, police reports, or eyewitness accounts. You need to make sure you recall precisely what happened, how and why. For you to remember under pressure on the stand, you need to be able to remember during the buildup.
Practice Telling Your Story
Beyond remembering, you need to be able to tell the jury what happened. Your attorney will practice with you, both in terms of letting you tell the story on direct examination and answering questions oncross examination. Don't get discouraged when you make mistakes; this is your chance to work out the kinks and prepare so that, when the time comes, you can talk smoothly about your auto accident. While you practice, make sure you ask questions as well, so you can feel confident in what you're doing at trial.
This is the hardest part. Jury members react to nervousness in unpredictable ways, so you cannot risk looking flustered. In the end, though, your jobisto tell the truth about the auto accident and let your attorney and the system work for you.
If you have been hurt in an accident, contact Stern & Stern to get the representation you need.