Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are unfortunately all too common around Atlantic City. In fact, if you drive long enough, an accident of some kind will almost certainly involve you. If you suffered injuries in a car crash, first seek immediate medical attention at a local hospital or emergency room, then consult an experienced Atlantic City car accident attorney.
Even if your car accident seems more like a fender bender, every accident is unique, and the injuries you incur may not prove noticeable at the outset. If a car accident injured you in any way, obtain skilled legal counsel. Do not hesitate to contact The Levin Firm today.
Our experienced legal team can investigate the circumstances of your Atlantic City car accident. We can then determine if you might assert a car accident claim seeking monetary compensation and damages against your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Our legal team will zealously represent your interests in front of insurance company adjusters, and if necessary, before a jury at trial. Reach out to our office today to learn more about how we could assist you with handling every aspect of your Atlantic City car accident claim.
Atlantic City Car Accidents
If a car accident injured you in New Jersey, your own car insurance—via your no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage—will cover you even if the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. Personal injury protection insurance, otherwise known as PIP, is highly efficient (in theory) at paying out for the medical expenses you incur.
PIP, however, won’t cover your non-economic damages. Pain and suffering, which is so often associated with significant car accidents, is one such non-economic element that PIP doesn’t cover. Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate you for all of the physical suffering, pain, and inconvenience that you had to endure after suffering injuries in your car accident.
Moreover, PIP insurance will not cover other types of non-economic damages, including compensation for loss of life enjoyment, loss of the ability to use a specific body part (in the case of a permanent injury that you suffered in the accident), and loss of spousal intimacy or consortium.
To pursue and recover these types of non-economic damages in your car accident, you may need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the other motor vehicle operator who caused your accident if the situation warrants it.
If someone else’s negligence injured you in a car accident, you no doubt feel overwhelmed. This is no time to take matters into your own hands. Allow the experienced Atlantic City personal injury attorneys at The Levin Firm to aggressively advocate for your claim’s most favorable resolution.
Our legal team welcomes the opportunity to negotiate with the insurance company’s adjuster in an attempt to get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. If that does not work, we could litigate your case on your behalf in the New Jersey state court system.
Taking Your Atlantic City Auto Accident Case to Court
If another driver’s negligence injured you in an Atlantic City car accident, your claim will probably go through your own car insurance company.
If, however, your injuries reach a significant level, you can bring a legal case against the at-fault party:
- If you lost a body part in the accident
- If you suffered significant scarring or disfigurement in the accident
- If you were pregnant and lost your unborn child in the accident
- If you sustained a broken bone in the accident
- If you sustained an injury in the accident that hasn’t healed—and that doctors don’t expect to heal
- If your loved one died in the accident or from injuries sustained in the accident
Every car accident is both unique and uniquely complicated. Discuss your claim with an experienced car accident lawyer who will help you explore your options and make the right decisions for you and your claim.
Our legal team can help you determine if you must pursue the claim with your own insurance company—or you might file a claim or lawsuit against the motor vehicle operator who caused your case, depending upon the circumstances. We can then help you pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve for your accident and injuries.
Atlantic City Car Crash Damages
Individuals who suffer injuries in Atlantic City car accidents often have to undergo a significant amount of medical treatment. Depending on the actual injuries the motor vehicle driver or passenger suffers in the accident, they might have to seek medical treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility. The accident victim may also need to undergo one or more surgical procedures, receive an injection or other pain relief treatment, or undergo physical therapy.
All of this medical treatment costs money, and accident victims often deal with piling medical bills and significant out-of-pocket expenses following their car accident. If that isn’t bad enough, some accident victims suffer such injuries that they cannot work for an extended time after their accident, losing a considerable amount of income.
Often, your PIP coverage won’t adequately cover all the damages you incur in a car accident. In such instances, you will need to pursue additional negotiations—or even litigation—to receive compensation for your losses. Typically, economic losses fall into these categories:
Medical expenses, both current and ongoing – When individuals suffer even minor injuries in a car accident, they often have to undergo medical treatment, ranging from a brief hospital visit to long-term care. This medical treatment can cost a significant amount of money.
In car accident cases that involve serious injuries, a doctor might determine that the accident victim requires some type of future treatment, such as surgery, to correct an injury. In that instance, the doctor would have to causally connect the need for surgery to the accident, and they may estimate the anticipated cost of the medical procedure the accident victim needs.
Lost wages – When individuals suffer particularly serious injuries in a car accident, they may need to miss time away from their work. Accident victims often require this time to attend doctor appointments and physical therapy visits. They might also simply need time to heal and recover from the traumatic injuries they suffered in their accident. In many cases, when accident victims are not working (such as when their job does not provide for sick leave), they lose a considerable amount of money. When this is the case, the accident victim might file a lost wage claim as part of their Atlantic City car accident case.
Lost earning potential – In some car accidents, individuals suffer injuries so severe that they can’t go back to their jobs. This is especially true if the accident victim works in the building or construction industry – or another job requiring physical labor – and suffers a permanent injury in the car accident.
When that is the case, the car accident victim might have to switch to lighter duty work—and in some instances, might need to switch careers altogether. The accident victim may also have to acquire new skills and undergo job training for them to gain employment in a different sector. When a car accident victim suffers a loss of earning potential due to injuries suffered in the accident, they could pursue a claim for loss of earning capacity.
If your claim is serious enough, these non-financial losses may play roles in your claim:
- The pain and suffering you endured
- The mental and emotional anguish you suffered (most especially if you have had to seek out counseling, psychological treatment, or psychiatric treatment following your car accident)
- Any loss of consortium (or marital companionship) that you encountered
- Any punitive damages against the negligent party
In most car accident cases, punitive damages are not recoverable. Punitive damages are only available in car accident cases where the at-fault driver behaved in a particularly egregious or reckless manner. Such may be the case if the driver who caused your accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
The primary purpose of awarding an accident victim punitive damages is to penalize the at-fault driver. A punitive damages award also sends an implicit message to other drivers to operate their vehicles safely and carefully when they are out on the road.
A knowledgeable Atlantic City car accident attorney can help you pursue the economic recovery and damages that you deserve following your accident. We can enter into settlement negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, and if the insurance company refuses to offer you favorable compensation, we can pursue litigation in the New Jersey state court system on your behalf.
Common Myths Associated With Car Accidents
People commonly associate plenty of myths with car crashes. Let’s separate the useful information from the less useful:
If I meet with an Atlantic City car accident attorney, I’ll end up going to court. Meeting with an experienced car accident attorney in no way means that your case will go to court and that you’ll incur exorbitant legal fees. In fact, consulting with a skilled car accident attorney means you will better protect your rights and increase your chance of receiving full compensation for your injuries.
In fact, if the insurance company sees that you are unrepresented in your Atlantic City car accident case, the adjuster may lowball the settlement offer. This is because, rightly or wrongly, insurance companies believe that unrepresented individuals will not know how to negotiate the settlement or take the case to court if necessary. The insurance company will not do you any favors.
Your car accident lawyer should prepare a court case in case your claim fails to settle, most claims settle out of court. Furthermore, your initial consultation with your car accident attorney is free. Your attorney will only receive a payment if you successfully receive compensation by way of a monetary settlement, jury verdict, or arbitration award.
My car insurance made a settlement offer, which means the offer should adequately cover my damages. This is a big one. Always keep in mind that your insurance company is in the business of making money and that—while it does cover you and must abide by legal and industry standards—its bottom line is always its top priority. Insurance companies make and keep their money by collecting premiums from their insureds and keeping as much of that money as possible in-house. However, insurance companies lose money when they have to pay out large settlements and jury verdicts. Insurance companies, as multi-billion-dollar entities, are not in the business of losing money.
It is rarely in your best interest to accept your insurance company’s initial settlement offer, which we can almost guarantee is a lowball attempt to get rid of your claim and leave you with no further legal options. The better course of action is to seek prompt legal representation for your Atlantic City car accident case.
A knowledgeable lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve. In many instances, it takes several rounds of negotiations between an accident victim’s attorney and the insurance company (or defense counsel) to get the settlement offer to a level that is both fair and worth accepting.
Even after some negotiating, certain insurance companies will still refuse to offer the accident victims full and fair compensation for all accident-related injuries. Some adjusters might even reduce certain medical bills, believing them to be unrelated to the accident. When that happens, an Atlantic City car accident attorney could file a lawsuit on the accident victim’s behalf and pursue litigation.
During the litigation phase of an Atlantic City car accident claim, the case can still settle at any time. However, if it does not, the parties could still take their case to a jury trial or binding arbitration. The ultimate decision-maker on whether to accept a pending settlement offer in an Atlantic City car accident case is the accident victim.
I didn’t notify my car insurance provider immediately, so I can’t proceed with my Atlantic City car accident claim. While you need to notify your car insurance provider after a car accident, injuries sometimes emerge with time and may necessitate filing a subsequent claim. Furthermore, your insurance company can’t require you to provide a statement about the accident before you’re ready or before you consult with a car accident attorney (who will help protect your claim).
What is important is that once you start treatment for your injuries, you treat continuously and do not stop treating until a facility formally discharges you. Insurance companies often hone in on significant treatment gaps in an accident victim’s medical records, as well as cases where accident victims unilaterally stop treating or discharge themselves from a treatment facility.
I didn’t seek medical attention immediately after the accident, so insurance won’t cover my injuries. Just because you didn’t seek immediate medical attention after a car accident does not mean that the car accident didn’t injure you. Injuries sustained in car accidents (and many other kinds of accidents) can manifest with time (from a few minutes or hours after the accident to a lapse of several weeks or more). If you think a car accident left you unharmed, seek medical attention anyway to identify and treat the serious long-term effects of injuries your car accident may have caused.
You can usually seek this initial medical treatment at a local urgent care facility or hospital emergency room. The treating doctor at this facility might make one or more recommendations for future care, and you must follow through with this recommended treatment. For example, the emergency room or urgent care center doctor might recommend that you promptly follow up with your primary care doctor or with a medical specialist, such as an orthopedist.
Atlantic City Car Accident FAQs
Car accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States, with an average of 6 million accidents each year. Car accidents account for 94 percent of transportation deaths and 99 percent of non-fatal transportation injuries. In New Jersey, there were 525 fatal crashes in 2020.
These accidents are so common that we sometimes take them lightly, calling them “fender benders.” But, a motor vehicle accident can involve far more than just damage to your car. It can cause injuries that have a tremendous impact on your life.
In car accident cases where an individual suffers a permanent injury, such as a traumatic head injury or some type of paralysis, the accident victim’s life (and often, the lives of the accident victim’s close loved ones) will never be the same. Although monetary compensation is often a poor substitute, it is the only means of compensating car accident victims for their injuries.
You may face huge medical and other expenses, as well as daunting personal challenges. If a car accident injured you, you may pursue fair compensation under the law. An Atlantic City car accident attorney can advise you of your legal options and guide you through the process. Contact the attorneys at Levin Firm today for more information about your legal options.
What are some common causes of Atlantic City car accidents?
Human error is one of the primary causes of car accidents. Unfortunately, we cannot control the actions of other drivers.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States include:
Speeding – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is a primary factor in accidents in the United States. It is a major factor in approximately a third of all traffic fatalities. In a recent year, speeding killed 9,378 people. When caught, speeders make all kinds of excuses, such as “I’m late” or “I just wanted to see how fast the car could go.” Some drivers were exceeding the speed limit. In other cases, they were driving too fast for road conditions. Speeding drivers may lose control of the car or reduce the time they have to react to sudden changes in traffic.
Distracted driving – Distracted driving was a reported factor in 8.5 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Two years before, 2,935 fatal distracted driving crashes took place. These accounted for 9 percent of all fatal crashes. Some crashes involved more than one distracted driver. Drivers who text while operating a vehicle are 23 times more likely to become involved in a car accident. New Jersey law prohibits the use of handheld devices while driving. Distraction can take many forms, such as eating, using the GPS, or changing radio stations—but it is always hazardous.
Driving while impaired – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious problem across the United States. Drunk driving crashes resulted in 10,511 fatalities in a recent year. Law enforcement agencies and others have worked to educate the public and reduce these accidents, but impaired driving still accounts for about 30 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Tailgating and aggressive driving – According to a survey, almost 20 percent of survey participants reported feelings of anger and aggression while driving. Some experienced anger every week, and 2.8 percent reported those same feelings every time they drive. Aggressive driving may consist of a driver honking the horn in anger, but it may be reckless driving such as tailgating or speeding. In some cases, the anger or frustration spills over into violence.
Drowsy driving – According to the National Sleep Foundation, about half of U.S. adult drivers say they sometimes drive when fatigued. Disturbingly, about 20 percent admit to falling asleep while driving sometime during the past year.
Fatigue impairs driving performance, judgment, and reaction time. Drowsy drivers report drifting into another lane, onto the shoulder, or crossing the centerline. About one in ten fatigued drivers run off the road. Some drivers are not aware they are sleepy. Others experience microsleep, which only lasts a few seconds but can lead to a deadly crash.
Failure to yield – These accidents happen when turning left, in an uncontrolled intersection, at a flashing yellow or red light, or when a driver enters the street from a private driveway.
Vehicle defects – Defective vehicles and components can cause accidents and injuries in two different ways: when the defective vehicle is the actual cause of the crash, such as a tire blow out; or when the vehicle defect causes more accident injuries than they would have experienced otherwise, such as a seatbelt failure. If the crash involved vehicle defects, the manufacturer and others in the distribution chain might have liability.
What injuries do Atlantic City car accident victims suffer?
Almost any injury can happen in a car accident, but common types of injuries include:
Whiplash – Accident victims often suffer from whiplash, which affects the neck, but may also affect the spine.
Back and neck injuries – These tend to be very serious injuries, resulting in long-term or permanent disability.
Head injuries – The victim’s head may strike the steering wheel or windows, resulting in facial cuts and bruises, but also in devastating traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic head and brain injuries often occur when the accident victim suffers a strong blow to the head that disrupts the brain’s ‘internal hardware.’ When the brain’s neurons and axons get severed due to a traumatic brain or head injury, the accident victim might suffer serious memory deficits and other short and long-term losses. In the worst-case scenario, a traumatic brain injury suffered in a car crash could cause the accident victim to experience a permanent comatose state or suffer death.
Internal injuries – These injuries may also go undetected at first, but they can be serious and difficult to treat.
Chest injuries – The impact may damage the victim’s ribs or internal organs.
Lacerations and burns – Cuts and bruises are painful but may also cause disfiguring scars that cause the accident victim to experience pain, shame, and embarrassment.
Broken bones – Broken bones are common car accident injuries and may require surgery or other long-term treatment. Even after the broken bone gets repaired, the accident victim might need to undergo physical/occupational therapy or other intensive treatment to get back to full functioning. In addition, the accident victim may have to undergo another surgery for the doctor to remove hardware, such as bolts or clamps, that they inserted in the accident victim’s body during the initial surgery.
Wrongful death – The family or heirs of someone killed in an accident might be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, the decedent’s surviving loved ones—and in some instances, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate—complete the filing. As part of a wrongful death claim, the decedent’s surviving loved ones might recover compensation for burial and funeral expenses, loss of the loved one’s companionship and advice, and loss of the loved one’s future income, assuming that surviving family members relied on that income.
The elements of a wrongful death claim are essentially the same as those in a regular Atlantic City car accident claim. Specifically, in a wrongful death car accident claim, the claimant must demonstrate that another driver violated the prevailing duty of care (such as by violating a traffic law or regulation), resulting in the accident that led to the decedent’s untimely death.
What are the insurance laws in Atlantic City?
New Jersey is a no-fault auto insurance state. This means that regardless of who is responsible for an auto accident, each driver will report the accident to and claim damages from their own insurance company.
If the other driver does not have insurance, it may complicate things. Your own insurance provider will cover initial costs, but if your injuries or damages are severe and exceed your policy limits, then you may need to go after the responsible driver with a third-party Atlantic City car accident lawsuit.
What does negligence mean?
The legal theory of negligence typically governs legal claims arising from motor vehicle accidents. Negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”
In other words, the driver who was at fault must have behaved unreasonably under the circumstances.
To establish negligence, you need to prove “the existence of a legal duty that the defendant owed to the plaintiff, defendant’s breach of that duty, plaintiff’s sufferance of an injury, proof that defendant’s breach caused the injury.”
Who may have caused my Atlantic City car accident?
Sometimes it is difficult to determine who is at fault in a car accident, but it is a critical issue. There may be multiple parties that contributed to the accident, such as more than one driver. A defective vehicle or hazardous road conditions may be responsible. In some cases, we might need to retain an investigator or accident reconstructionist to determine exactly who or what caused your accident—and how the accident likely occurred.
The police report contains the initial facts of the accident, including the date and time of the accident, weather and road conditions, a diagram of the site, and a listing of vehicle damage. It would list contact information for those involved and any witnesses. However, the report may not include a determination of fault. Even if the official police report states who was at fault for a car accident, this does not automatically mean that the person will be liable for the accident in a lawsuit.
The victim must prove that the other party was at fault for the crash. For example, a negligent driver who did not cause the accident would not bear responsibility for the crash. Unlike criminal cases, the standard of proof for this type of lawsuit is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Essentially, this means that the theory presented in your claim is more “likely than not.”
For more specific information about your potential legal claim, contact The Levin Firm today.
What is the typical Atlantic City car accident lawsuit process?
The process begins when you file a summons and complaint in court. These documents then must get served on the defendant.
To prepare for the trial, both sides have an opportunity to find out about the other side’s legal claims and defenses. This portion of the litigation process is known as discovery. During the discovery phase of litigation, you and your lawyer may need to answer written questions, called interrogatories, and supply various types of documents.
Those necessary documents may include:
- Copies of all of your treatment records and medical bills
- Copies of lost wage documentation from your employer
- Notes from your health care provider that authorize you to be off work for a certain time
- Photographs of the damage to your vehicle and your injuries
Your attorney may assemble a team of experts to determine what happened, who was at fault, and the extent of the injuries. Once the trial begins, both sides present evidence, and the judge or jury rules.
In the case of a jury trial, the jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues in the case. While liability—or fault—is an issue in some car accident cases, the main issue in most car accidents is that of damages, or how much money the accident victim plaintiff needs to recover for their injuries and losses.
The facts of every car accident are different. Many accident cases settle out of court. In these cases, the parties negotiate a settlement before trial. The courts also encourage alternative means of dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation, to resolve the case.
What compensation can I recover in an Atlantic City car accident case?
Serious accidents can be economically and personally catastrophic. If you suffer injuries in a car accident through the fault of others, you may pursue compensation, known as damages, for the injuries that resulted. The amount of damages depends on many factors, including the circumstances of the accident and the extent and impact of the injuries. Therefore, you should keep copies of all medical and financial records related to your injuries.
Damages vary widely but may include:
- The cost of current and future medical care
- Lost wages
- Lost or impaired ability to earn money in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damages
- Inability to perform household tasks or other daily tasks
- Physical and mental or emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- In some cases, punitive damages
How long do you have to file an Atlantic City car accident lawsuit?
If your injuries or costs exceed the compensation available through your insurance provider, then you may decide to file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. In New Jersey, in most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If this period passes, you may not seek compensation.
What should you do after an Atlantic City car accident?
- Get to safety. If possible, move to the side of the road or a safe area.
- You should always seek medical attention after an accident. Even if you do not feel injured, you may be in shock and not realize the extent of your injuries. Also, a medical record includes essential evidence when you file an insurance claim or Atlantic City car accident lawsuit.
- Call 911. Even if it is a minor accident, call the police. The police can document the scene and file an accident report, which may be useful later. When the law enforcement officers arrive, answer their questions truthfully, but do not apologize or blame yourself. At this point, you may not fully understand what happened.
- In New Jersey, the law requires you to report an accident, and it is against the law to leave the scene of an accident. If there is significant damage or passenger injuries, it is best to report it right away. Otherwise, you have 10 days from the accident to report the incident to the state using the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Motor Vehicle Accident Report.
- Exchange information. If possible, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Information collected should include the full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license and license plate number, type, color, and model of vehicle, and location of the accident.
- Document the accident. If possible, take pictures from several angles, showing the damage to all vehicles, license plates, any traffic signs or signals, the scene of the accident, and surrounding debris.
- Try to avoid giving statements to anyone other than the police or discussing the question of fault with anyone until you have had an opportunity to speak with a lawyer.
- Call an Atlantic City car accident lawyer at the Levin Firm.
- Contact your insurer or ask us to do that for you.
How can an Atlantic City car accident attorney help you?
Any car accident can leave you shocked and traumatized. Your car accident may involve complex legal issues. You may face mounting expenses while you cannot work—possibly all in addition to catastrophic injuries.
Resolving the matter may involve a long and difficult process involving medical records, billing departments, and insurance companies. Car accident victims usually have many pressing questions. Who is at fault? How am I going to pay my medical bills? What if I can never work again? They need help to deal with their current and future needs.
A dedicated Atlantic City car accident attorney can review the circumstances of your accident and advise you of your options. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an Atlantic City car accident, contact the compassionate attorneys at the Levin Firm without delay. For more information or your free consultation, call us at (215) 825-5183 or contact us online.
If a Car Accident Injured You, Contact Our Experienced Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers
Atlantic City car accidents can overwhelm you, and if you were in one, you know how difficult that is. The law and insurance companies can make car accident claims complicated, but you are not alone. Allow the skilled legal team at The Levin Firm in Atlantic City to help navigate your claim toward its most positive resolution. Our experienced and dedicated car accident attorneys are here to help, so please contact our office online or call us at (215) 825-5183 to discuss a possible claim for free today.
The Levin Firm | Atlantic City Office
2 Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ 08401