Many kinds of evidence can help you prevail in a New Jersey car accident claim. Some people think that the analysis is over once you show who caused the accident. However, that is not the case when you are seeking compensation for your injuries. The evidence for a NJ car accident claim needs to demonstrate every element of negligence if you want to prevail in your case.
A car accident attorney can walk you through the necessary evidence for a car accident claim in NJ and determine if you qualify to bring a lawsuit. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident in New Jersey, contact Glugeth & Pierguidi today to discuss your case.
Car Accidents in New Jersey: An Overview
Like any other U.S. state, New Jersey sees its fair share of car accidents. In 2020, New Jersey reported 550 fatal car accidents resulting in 587 fatalities. In 2021, the number of fatal accidents increased to 668, resulting in 698 fatalities. While some car accidents are unavoidable, others occur because one driver is operating their vehicle in a negligent manner. If a negligent driver causes an accident where you suffer injuries, they may be liable for your losses.
Proving Negligence After a New Jersey Collision
After a car accident in New Jersey, an injured party can recover losses from the driver who caused the accident if they were negligent. The injured party who files the lawsuit, called the plaintiff, bears the burden of proving negligence. Negligence is made up of four elements: (1) duty of care, (2) breach of duty, (2) causation, and (3) damages. You must prove each element to prevail in your claim. Different kinds of evidence can bolster proof of each element.
Duty of Care
The first element of negligence is proving the at-fault party owed you a duty of care to act as a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances. Proving this element is often straightforward in car accident claims because every driver owes others on the road a duty to operate in a reasonably safe manner. Thus, you simply need to show the at-fault driver was operating their vehicle on a public roadway to show they owed you a duty of care.
Breach of Duty
Once you prove the opposing party owed you a duty, you must show they breached that duty by failing to act in a reasonably safe manner. The at-fault party can breach their duty of care by failing to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. Examples of ways a driver may breach their duty of care include:
- Taking a video while driving;
- Eating while driving;
- Driving recklessly;
- Texting while driving
- Using social media while driving;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or
- Disobeying other traffic laws, signs, or signals.
In most cases, the judge will not just accept your word that the other party committed one of the actions listed above. You can offer evidence—like eyewitness testimony, surveillance footage, or police reports—to bolster your case.
Third, you must establish a link between the at-fault party’s breach, the accident it caused, and the harm you suffered in the accident. This element prevents a party from seeking compensation when an outside factor, like weather conditions, causes a crash. Additionally, the opposing party may claim you suffered the injuries before the accident took place, meaning they did not cause them.
A qualified personal injury attorney can collect information to show the connection between the opposing party’s actions and your injury.
The final element of negligence is proving you suffered losses due to the at-fault party’s breach. In other words, you must prove that you suffered harm and financial loss as a result of the responsible party’s negligence. If you did incur any damages in the accident—meaning you did not suffer any physical injuries or property damages—you probably cannot recover compensation through a personal injury claim. You can use information like medical bill invoices or repair bills to demonstrate the losses you suffered from the collision.
An experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer can compile information about your losses and calculate the approximate value of your car accident claim.
How Can an Attorney Help Gather Evidence for a NJ Car Accident Claim?
You typically need extensive evidence to establish every element of negligence and prevail in your claim. An attorney will prepare the New Jersey accident claim evidence by:
- Interviewing people who witnessed the accident,
- Requesting a copy of the accident report created by law enforcement,
- Gathering medical records,
- Locating surveillance footage from businesses near the accident scene,
- Compiling documentation of your financial losses, and
- Creating a strategy to emphasize the at-fault party’s negligence.
Our team at Glugeth & Pierguidi knows what it takes to recover compensation for clients injured in New Jersey car accidents.
If You Need Help Gathering Evidence for a NJ Car Accident Claim, Contact Glugeth & Pierguidi Today
Our founding attorneys, David Pierguidi and Jared Glugeth, have more than thirty years of combined experience advocating for injured victims. We have recovered millions of dollars for clients who suffered injuries in car accidents. Additionally, Jared was named to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars List, a rating reserved for lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Our primary goal is pursuing accountability and compensation for our injured clients. We know the tactics insurance companies use to bully victims into low settlement offers. An attorney at Glugeth & Pierguidi can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and obtain a settlement offer to adequately compensate you for your losses. Contact our office online or by phone today to schedule a free initial consultation. Our team will review the details of your accident and determine if you qualify to bring a legal claim.