Motor Vehicle Accidents FAQs

Our Lawyers Respond to Motor Vehicle Accident FAQs

Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys give you the answers

You likely have many questions about your legal rights after a motor vehicle crash. The lawyers at Seigel Law draw on our experience since 1976 to answer your questions. We invite you to read our responses to these FAQs and then contact us for more information about your individual claim.

Learn the answers to your auto acc ident questions

Seigel Law is a premier personal injury recovery law firm. Call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. Our Ridgewood-based firm represents injured clients in the Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson County regions, and throughout northern New Jersey. Our attorneys schedule appointments at your home or the hospital if your injuries prevent you from coming to us. You do not owe us attorney fees unless we collect damages.

I was in a motor vehicle accident. Should I go to a doctor?

Even a seemingly minor fender-bender can result in serious injuries. Also, sometimes soft-tissue or head trauma symptoms do not manifest for several days following an accident. Visiting a doctor after an auto accident protects your health and your legal claim.

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How much is my personal injury case worth?

Our attorneys never predict results. In fact, if you talk to a law firm that makes promises about a dollar figure, realize that this is improper and highly unethical. Each settlement or jury verdict is based on the circumstances of the medical injuries.

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How do I know the damages caused by my car crash injuries?

You won’t know the full amount of your medical care costs and lost earnings until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). That’s why our firm would never rush you into accepting a quick settlement. The insurance company would like nothing more than to dangle a dollar figure in front of you and hope you go away. If you suffered a serious and permanent injury, you may need a lifetime of medical care and financial support. We help you get it.

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How soon do I need to bring my legal claim against the other driver?

New Jersey imposes a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for personal injury. However, we urge you to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible so we can start investigating your case immediately and take important steps to protect your rights.

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The accident wasn’t my fault. Won’t the insurance company handle everything?

Insurance companies keep their shareholders happy by paying attention to their bottom line. They have teams of defense lawyers who fight paying full and fair settlements. Most people who talk to us about their accident claims tell us they never thought they would have to sue to get a fair settlement. Standing up and fighting against a large corporation is difficult. Putting an experienced personal injury attorney on your side is your best option for recovering the money damages to which you are entitled.

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What if the insurance company offers me a check right away?

Once you sign the settlement, you waive your right to receive future compensation. To protect yourself, do not accept a settlement without first speaking with a qualified personal injury lawyer. Our law firm offers a free initial assessment of your claim, so there is no risk to find out if the settlement the insurance company has offered you is fair.

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What if I was partially at fault?

In New Jersey, courts rule on who was at fault and how much insurance liability should be assigned to each driver. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault, the other driver will still be responsible for 80 percent of your damages.

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I was the passenger, but the driver was 100 percent at fault. Can I seek damages?

Passengers are nearly always entitled to seek compensation, even if the driver was completely at fault. The only exception might be if you willingly rode with a driver you knew was legally drunk at the time of the accident.

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The other driver didn’t have insurance. Now what?

New Jersey law makes auto insurance mandatory, with minimum levels required for personal injury liability. Unfortunately, the law is often ignored. When a motor vehicle accident involves an uninsured driver, victims can seek damages from their own policies. But, suddenly, your own insurance company treats you like a hostile claimant. Even after paying premiums for years and keeping your driving record clean, you may have to fight aggressively to get the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.

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Are there parties other than the at-fault driver against whom I can take legal action?

You may have a cause of action against a third party who contributed to your accident. For example, if the driver who hit you was drunk, New Jersey’s dram shop laws may allow you to sue the bar or host who served the intoxicated guest. As a matter of course, our firm investigates whether you have a valid third-party claim.

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How much will it cost to file a lawsuit?

We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim. If we represent you, we do not charge attorney fees unless you win money from a settlement or jury award. Our fees are based on a percentage of your settlement or verdict. However, you will typically be responsible for some court expenses. You owe no money to our firm unless you recover.

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What should I expect to happen during my lawsuit?

There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter personal injury or wrongful death case. Every case is different. To determine whether your case is likely to result in compensation under New Jersey law, it is important to discuss your accident with an experienced lawyer.

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What kind of experience does Seigel Law have in the area of motor vehicle accident claims?

We were founded in 1976. We have been successfully handling car crash and other motor vehicle accident claims from the very beginning — including motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, boating, ATV and truck accident claims.

We have access to top medical professionals and experts to help prepare a strong, clear case for damages.

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