Any major car accident has the potential to leave the victim with serious injuries that completely change their life. But what’s just as bad is the fact that it is often incredibly difficult to be fairly compensated for your medical bills and other expenses. Dishonest insurance companies and difficult New Jersey laws both make it hard to recover damages, even if your injuries are incredibly severe.
If you’ve been injured in a serious accident, it’s important to know what to do in the days and weeks afterwards, as this can increase the likelihood that you’ll receive fair compensation. I’ll tell you what to focus on below, and discuss scenarios when you should get in touch with a Passaic County car accident lawyer.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Because New Jersey is a no-fault state, if you are injured in a car accident your first step after getting medical help should be to report your medical bills and other injury-related expenses to your insurance company. This is true regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
No-fault laws are in place to ensure that anyone injured in an accident can get prompt treatment and have their medical bills paid quickly by their insurer. The good thing about these laws is that they allow you to be reimbursed for many medical expenses right away, even if you caused the accident. The amounts covered by no-fault insurance depend on your policy limits, which can range between $15,000 to $250,000 per accident. In general, your insurance will cover the following types of expenses:
- Medical bills, doctor visits, medications, and recovery costs
- Lost wages: If you cannot return to work right away after a serious accident, you can be reimbursed for between $100 and $5200 per week.
- Essential services: If you need to hire someone to help you do tasks you cannot do due to your injuries, you can be reimbursed for up to $12 per day.
- Death benefits: If you die in the accident, your next of kin will be paid. The limit is usually $1000.
- Funeral benefits. Insurance plans also usually offer up to $1000 for funeral costs in the event of your death.
As you can see, with a serious accident many of these amounts may not cover what you actually need to heal. This is especially true if you have a basic policy with a low limit. In this case, working with a car accident lawyer in Passaic County can help you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. At Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli, we have been helping accident victims in the area for years, and have assisted many people in getting the compensation they need to recover, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are in need.
Refuse Lowball Offers from Insurers
Knowing that you’ll be compensated by your insurance company after an accident can be a relief, unless you discover that your insurance company is committed to paying you far less than you need to cover your medical bills and make a full recovery. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the problem has gotten even worse as financially struggling insurance companies make claims decisions based on their bottom line, not what is best for your health.
That said, if your insurer puts forth a lowball offer after a serious accident, don’t take it. If you do, it can lead to serious difficulties down the road: if you accept the offer and later discover you don’t have enough to cover your medical bills or other expenses, you’ll be out of luck.
If your insurer won’t negotiate with you after a low offer, don’t waste your time. Get in touch with a car accident attorney immediately.
Consider a Lawsuit for Pain and Suffering
As you may have noticed, pain and suffering are not included in the list of expenses that no-fault insurance covers, even though both are often par for the course after a serious accident. That doesn’t mean you can’t recover these damages, but in order to do so you’ll have to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Keep in mind that some policies have an unlimited right to sue, which means you can sue for pain and suffering regardless of your injuries. Others, including basic policies and what are referred to as limited policies, only allow you to file a lawsuit for pain and suffering if your accident results in one of the following injuries:
- Severe scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of a body part or fetus
- A displaced fracture
- A permanent injury that will not heal or function normally even if it’s treated
If you have reached the point in your case where you need to sue for pain and suffering, working with a lawyer is the best way to get a good outcome in court. Whether you are unsure if your injury qualifies you to file a lawsuit, or you have an injury that qualifies but need someone with experience to help you prove it in court, an attorney can be extremely helpful. These types of cases are hard to prove without legal expertise, and the good news is that most attorneys won’t ask you to pay unless they win your case.
Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli offers free consultations and we will review your injury case in detail to find the best way to proceed. We have assisted many victims of major car accidents and helped them recover the compensation they need to afford their treatment. We treat every client we work with like they are a part of our family. Please reach out to us if you are injured and in need of help from a legal team that cares.
To learn more about the specific steps you should take after your accident, get in touch with us at (973) 785-9522.