Legal counsel isn’t always necessary after being rear-ended, but specific circumstances can make a seemingly straightforward claim a complicated matter. An experienced car accident attorney has the knowledge and qualifications to protect your interests after a rear-end crash.
Even if you live in no-fault insurance states like New Jersey and New York, you will likely benefit from a legal advocate. Many motorists think that filing an accident claim on their own is a simple affair. However, dealing with insurance companies is anything but easy. Skilled attorneys are familiar with insurance companies’ tactics and know how to secure the compensation rightfully owed after a collision.
Even no-fault insurance can be complicated
All motorists in no-fault states are required to insure themselves against damages and injuries resulting from accidents. The purpose of no-fault insurance coverage is to minimize litigation and take liability out of the equation. If you are rear-ended by another driver in New Jersey or New York, you would turn to your insurance to cover accident-related expenses– regardless of who is at fault. This is part of Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers a certain amount of lost income, medical expenses, and other reasonable costs.
While the claims process for PIP seems simple, there are eligibility requirements, deductibles, deadlines, and limitations. The system is usually much more efficient than suing another driver for car accident damages, but there are downsides. Your insurance carrier may dispute certain parts of a claim for minor technicalities. In fact, some people have had to take legal action against their own insurance after being unfairly denied no-fault benefits.
Were serious injuries sustained?
A rear-end accident at low speeds is unlikely to result in serious bodily injury, but those that take place on the interstate and highways are an entirely different story. It’s always a smart idea to get legal help if your injuries will potentially exhaust no-fault benefits. Generally speaking, only injuries that are considered serious impairments qualify victims for legal action. This includes fractured bones, amputation of a limb, permanent disfigurement, loss of a fetus, and scarring.
The car accident lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman can determine whether your accident is compensable under this threshold, allowing you to seek damages for pain, suffering, and other non-economic losses in a personal injury lawsuit.
Recoup the entirety of your losses
It’s almost always assumed that the rear driver is at fault for these collisions. But that’s not always the case. Although the driver who hit you may have been following too closely, you may be partially to blame if your tail light was broken or you failed to signal a turn or lane change.
If your vehicle’s brake lights weren’t working, or you stopped on a busy road for no valid reason, you may be held at least partially accountable for being rear-ended. It is precisely situations like these where having a lawyer is invaluable. Your attorney will understand contributory negligence doctrines in New Jersey and New York, where liability is assigned in terms of a percentage of fault to each party.
A lawyer can help you recover compensation from the rear-ending driver by building a strong claim that shows their actions or behavior were negligent. Even the most minor fender benders can become an uphill battle as adjustors try to minimize settlement payouts and shift blame. Without an attorney in your corner, the insurance company can delay claims under false pretenses in the hopes of getting you to accept a lower settlement just to get closure.
Contact us for a free consultation
While you don’t always need a lawyer after being rear-ended, it’s a great way to safeguard your rights in accidents that are more serious. The legal team of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman knows how to navigate the legal system and help car accident victims in Bergen County, New Jersey, and Rockland County, New York. Reach out today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.