New Jersey Insurance Policy and the Disclosure Law

In March 2020, a bill passed the New Jersey Senate that may change how accident injury claims are handled and liberate space from an otherwise clogged court system.

New Jersey Insurance Policy and the Disclosure LawThe bill, S-2429, paves the way for those injured in an accident that was not their fault to make informed decisions about their medical care. It also allows them to use informed discernment to decide how to proceed with an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Bill S-2429 requires that insurance providers disclose the coverage limits of their client’s auto insurance policies upon documentation-accompanied request by an accident victim’s attorney so that those seeking damages for injuries for which the insured client was responsible can make informed decisions about how to move forward with injury claims and medical care. According to the bill, a representative attorney must provide a request for disclosure to the liable party’s insurance provider and include the police report with all associated information and the name and last known address of the insured party. The insurance company then has 30 days to respond in writing, disclosing the policy limits of that client’s policy. The bill, having been passed by the Senate, has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.

As the law has stood before, an injured accident victim has had to move forward filing a claim to seek damages before knowing how much auto insurance coverage the liable party has. This means that in the case that the liable party’s insurance does not have the insurance required to cover the extent of medical expenses and damages that the accident caused, the victim will have to find a way to pay for their care out of pocket.

When is it necessary to litigate when most personal injury cases are settled out of court?

Litigation is often used as a last resort – when negotiations fail, or a settlement cannot be reached. It is also a way to fast track actions when the two-year statute of limitations a claim must be made is nearing arrival. But the initiation of a lawsuit has historically been the only way the victim learns the extent of the liable party’s insurance coverage. This creates a logjam in the judicial system for a simple yet essential piece of information to be obtained by the victim of an accident, sooner rather than later.

Retain an Experienced Bucks County Personal Injury Attorney TodayAnd clogging the court system with lawsuits that will likely end in settlement and never require trial does a huge disservice to those cases that truly do need to go to trial for justice to be served, given that they are backed up behind personal injury lawsuits filed to find relevant information but without a true trial in their likely sights. In the absence of having this relevant information that only the filing of a lawsuit can provide, a victim seeking damages to cover their medical care, damages that deserve compensation, must make decisions regarding their medical care without having relevant information, essentially acting blindly. What does this mean for their path forward?

A victim who does not have information on the liable party’s insurance limits is faced with numerous potential barriers to full recovery.

As discussed, the first is that they may seek medical care for which the responsible party may not be able to pay, given their insurance limits. To have to choose whether to undergo a restorative medical procedure based on the available funds is not fair, but it is currently the state of the insurance system. Another potential barrier is that a person who files an accident claim against the liable party’s insurance company, upon learning (later) that the party does not have the coverage to compensate damages fully, would then need to reevaluate and file a claim with their own insurance company under their Uninsured Motorist policy. If the injury victim had information on the state of the liable party’s policy coverage before the claim or lawsuit was filed, they would be able to file these two claims jointly, saving themselves time and having the information they need to make informed decisions regarding their medical care at imperative points early on in their injury, when such decisions may need to be made.

Retain an Experienced Bucks County Personal Injury Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our team of experienced family law attorneys is committed to serving our clients across Princeton, Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrence, and the greater Mercer County area in all matters of personal injury and accident law.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team today regarding your case, please contact us online or through our Trenton, NJ office at 609.528.2596.

No-Fault Auto Insurance in New Jersey

Trenton Car Accident Attorneys discuss New Jersey’s “No-Fault” automobile insurance system and what that could mean for you if you are in an accident.

Trenton Car Accident Attorneys discuss New Jersey’s “No-Fault” automobile insurance systemRegardless of how safe a driver, you are, accidents happen. Especially in densely populated urban areas and states with a high population relative to their size, such as New Jersey, being involved in a minor or major traffic accident is likely. Because even minor collisions can cause major harm to a vehicle or result in a long-lasting injury, automobile insurance exists to protect drivers from having to pay out of pocket for accidents in which they are involved.

So how do car insurance and accident claim settlement work in New Jersey? Read on to learn more about New Jersey’s “No-Fault” automobile insurance system and what that could mean for you if you are in an accident.

What is “No-Fault” Automobile Insurance?

Many states, including New Jersey, implement a “No-Fault” system of accounting for auto insurance. Under the “No-Fault” system, one’s own automobile insurance provider covers the expenses of any property damage or medical expenses rendered in a car accident, even if you were not the party at fault.

While a victim in a car accident can file an insurance claim against a third party for damages caused due to their negligence on the road, all initial expenses are immediately handled depending upon the terms of one’s own insurance policy. This means no wait time for an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit to be resolved before expenses are paid for. On the other hand, certain damages sought by personal injury lawsuits in other states, such as the less-tactile ‘pain and suffering,’ cannot be pursued under the “No-Fault” insurance system. An exception to this limitation is in the case that the intensity and long-standing nature of the personal injury caused by the accident are such that one is impacted for a long period of time; in this case, one can sue for pain and suffering as part of their personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Types of Auto Insurance in New Jersey

There are two types of auto  insurance in New Jersey under which all drivers’ policies fall:

Basic

Types of Auto Insurance in New JerseyThe Basic Auto Insurance Policy is a very scaled-down version that provides limited protection for drivers. It is best utilized by drivers who do not have a great deal to protect, such as material assets and familial dependents.

A Basic Policy covers property damage up to $5,000 per accident; and it includes Personal Injury Protection, which covers $15,000 per individual, per accident and up to $250,000 in the case of certain injuries, such as damage to the spine and neck. A Basic Policy does not include Bodily Injury Liability Insurance.

How are Personal Injury Protection and Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Different?

Personal Injury Protection covers medical expenses in the case that you or your passengers are involved in an accident. Regardless of whose car you are driving, your Personal Injury Protection will cover wages lost and any medical expenses sustained. On the other hand, bodily Injury Liability Insurance protects you in the case that you are sued for causing injury to a third party driver in the accident due to your negligence. Bodily Injury Insurance protects your personal assets if you are sued in a personal injury lawsuit.

Standard

The Standard Policy is a much more comprehensive policy than the Basic Policy, providing more options and protections for one’s assets in the case that they are responsible for an accident and are sued.

The Standard Policy includes property damage that ranges from a minimum of $5,000 covered to policies covering upwards of $100,000 in property damage. Personal Injury Protection, too, ranges in the Standard Policy options, from $15,000 per individual per accident as minimum coverage to $250,000 per accident.

Unlike the Basic Plan, the Standard Plan includes Bodily Injury Liability Insurance and offers coverage options. The most bare-bone option for Bodily Injury Liability Insurance in the Standard Policy covers $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident; maximum coverage is $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.

If you have been injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, it is important that you file a claim within two years of the accident; according to New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations, a lawsuit filed after the two-year mark may not be heard by a judge.

Get in Touch with a Mercer County Personal Injury Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our personal injury attorneys are experienced in supporting our clients across Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area recovering the damages they have sustained as a result of the negligence of another driver.

To schedule a consultation with our team today regarding your accident, please contact us online or through our Trenton office at 609.528.2596.

Dealing With Degenerative Disc Disease From a Car Accident in New Jersey

With over 40 years of practicing personal injury matters, our firm is ready to help you.

Dealing With Degenerative Disc Disease From a Car Accident in New JerseyDid you know that back and neck injuries are the most common health problem in car crash victims?  Hospital bills, tests, x-rays, medications, and physical therapy can cost a fortune and leave you stressed about your health concerned with how you are going to pay for your recovery.  Car accidents, unfortunately, are very common in New Jersey with 278,413 in 2018 alone. Receiving excellent legal advice to navigate the complexities of getting you the settlement to which you are entitled is of the utmost importance as those bills start adding up.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

In spite of its name, degenerative disc disease is not a disease.  It is a natural occurrence that comes with aging.  The flexible discs of soft tissue between the vertebrae in your neck and back are what permit you to flex and bend your body.  Over time, those discs become worn and no longer give you as much protection as before.

In its beginning, disc degeneration may cause no pain or other symptoms such as tingling or numbness in the hands, legs, and feet.  But once the condition progresses, usually with age, pain can be debilitating,  radiating down the arms, shoulders, spine, or upper thighs and causing weakness in the legs and back. Sometimes the pain is so intense that a person cannot continue with their daily activities.  Muscle spasms in the neck or lower back are caused when the body attempts to stabilize the vertebrae and can occur without warning. Pain may increase when sitting, bending, lifting, standing, walking, or twisting.

How can a car accident affect degenerative disc pain?

Degenerative disc pain can start when a major or minor injury leads to sudden unexpected back pain, or it can present as minor back pain that worsens over time. The most significant risk is a herniated disc (also known as a bulging disc).  When the rubbery disc between the vertebrae of the cervical and spinal areas is torn or damaged, it can allow vertebrae to grind together causing discomfort.  It can also press on nerves which then causes pain, muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness.

Frequently, a sudden stop or hard collision can result in a herniated disc, especially when the victim had preexisting degenerative disc disease.  By age 40, 50% of patients are diagnosed with spinal arthritis or degenerative disc disease. The existence of this condition prior to the accident does not mean the accident victim does not have the right to a compensation claim for injury.  You may simply need an attorney to help strengthen your case.

Why do I need an attorney if the accident wasn’t my fault?

Car accident victims, according to an Insurance Research Council study, receive 3.5 times more in settlements with legal counsel than those without.  Of course, the settlement will depend on several factors such as the medical treatment required for your condition and the severity of the accident.  You must show that the accident contributed to your present condition, making it worse than before.  Medical records showing diagnostic procedures such as tests like an MRI, CT scan, and x-rays can be used to support your claim.

Some of the points considered in a settlement are:

Lost wages

-Diminished future earning capacity

Pain and suffering

-Loss of quality of life

Punitive damages

Wrongful death

-Past and future medical expenses

How can my Attorney Help me?

From the moment you contact us, we are gathering the information we need to obtain a fair settlement for you.  We will run a full investigation, talking to witness, getting video footage, consulting expert witnesses, and inspecting the vehicles.

There are a lot of documents that need to be filed after a car accident to the insurance company, the courts, and any other lawyers involved in the case. This includes applications for medical benefits through a car insurance policy. We are able to ensure that all of the required paperwork is properly managed.

It is a given that many insurance companies will contest the overall amount of damages and liability in car accident cases, so if this occurs, we are ready to take the claim to court and fight for you.  They are interested in their bottom line and keeping as much money as they can in their pocket. Our job is to do our best to get you a fair settlement for your damages and pain and suffering.

Contact a Mercer County Personal Injury Attorney Today

It is a myth that degenerative disc disease is a preexisting condition that cannot come from auto accidents. While most cases do arise naturally due to age, it is possible to acquire or worsen degenerative disc disease from accident-related injuries. More commonly, a car accident can exacerbate the symptoms of preexisting degenerative disc disease, causing problems you never experienced prior to the wreck.

If you are suffering from symptoms of degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc after a car accident in New Jersey, The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, we are here to help you please contact us online or through our Trenton, NJ office at 609.528.2596.

Auto Accidents in Company Vehicles: Who is Responsible?

Injured in a work-related car accident? Contact our Trenton, East Brunswick, Bensalem, or Philadelphia Offices to Collect Fair Compensation for Your Medical Expenses

Auto accidents in company vehicles: Who is responsible?If you have been in a car accident and you were driving a company vehicle or driving for work, you may wonder if your employer is responsible for compensating you for damages or injury. While most accidents occur on personal time and involve only you and the other involved driver, an accident that involves work-related transportation complicates matters. Read on to learn more about whose responsibility it is to cover expenses in the case of a work-related car accident, so you can be sure you receive the treatment and full compensation you deserve.

Injured Traveling to and from the job

If you are traveling to or from work and are involved in an auto accident, the generally held precedent is that your personal insurance must cover expenses and damages. This only applies if you are at fault for causing the accident; if another driver is at fault, their insurance is responsible for covering all damages and medical expenses. If this is the case, it is recommended that you hire a personal injury attorney to handle your claim and support you in receiving full recovery for your losses and out-of-pocket expenses during the recovery process. The one exception to this precedent is the case in which your automobile is required for your work, and as such, as soon as you begin the commute to work, you are on the job. If you were at fault for an accident on the way to or from work but your car is a required tool for your job, contact a member of our team today to learn who may be liable for covering accident expenses and options for your next steps.

Hurt Driving a Company Vehicle

If you were driving a company vehicle and were at fault for an accident, it is likely that the company’s insurance will cover all expenses, and your personal insurance will not be affected. If you are injured in the accident, it is imperative to keep records of all medical expenses paid out of pocket to submit to the company’s insurance for reimbursement.

Driving a company vehicleThere are a few exceptions to this. If you were driving the company car but you were driving for personal reasons, your company can denounce liability and claim your full responsibility in the case of an accident. A company can also denounce liability if you were partaking in illegal activity in the car or an illicit activity such as consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel of their company property. If your company claims nonliability for an accident while you were driving their vehicle and you can claim that the company was negligent in properly maintaining the car, this is very serious and you may be able to recover damages. For this type of claim, you will definitely want the support of an accident lawyer.

Again, if you are in an accident with someone else who is driving their company’s car and are not at fault for the accident, you need not worry. Focus on recovering in body and mind after filing a claim with your personal insurance company, keep close records of any immediate out-of-pocket expenses incurred, and seek the support of a personal injury attorney. You can expect to recover all the damages and expenses caused by the accident.

Injured in an Accident Using your Personal Vehicle for Work

If you are at fault for an accident while driving your own vehicle, but your business driving was directly related to work, your company may be liable to cover damages. As noted above, this generally does not apply to the commute to and from work; however, running errands for work at the direct request of your company could mean company liability for any accident that takes place during that time.

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, your safety and health are first priority. Seek medical attention immediately if you are injured in a collision, even if the pain isn’t immediately evident. Because of the stress response of the body to a trigger such as a collision, it may be hours or even days before cortisol and other stress hormones lower, inflammation subsides, and your body is able to show you where it may have been thrown out of alignment. Contact a personal injury or accident lawyer to support you in the process of recovering the full extent of damages you deserve for the accident.

Contact a Mercer County Commercial Car Accident Injury Attorney to ensure a fair outcome in your case

At Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson, our accident attorneys are experienced in facilitating insurance claims between our clients across in Trenton office, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, New Brunswick and across Mercer County. and the companies whose vehicles they were driving when the auto accident occurred.

Our direct approach is intentionally designed to ensure that our clients receive the full representation and financial compensation they are merited, so they can recover from the accident and get back to work healthy and well.

To meet with an experienced member of our firm today regarding your accident, please call (609) 528-2596 or go online to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with a personal injury lawyer.

Slip and Fall Claims Attorneys Helping Clients In Mercer and Middlesex County

Advising clients facing slip and fall-related injuries across New Jersey in Hamilton Township, Trenton, Ewing and across Mercer and Middlesex County

Slip and Fall Claims Attorneys Helping Clients in Mercer Middlesex CountyNew Jersey winters are a cold, wet, wild ride. During winter, you must be especially careful when walking so as not to slip and injure yourself, but such falls can happen at any time and in any place. Dangerous conditions are not limited to the icy outdoor conditions New Jersey is subject to during winter, such as on sidewalks and in car parks; in fact, snow, ice, and rain can make their way indoors and turn any surface into a danger zone. Downpours at all times of the year seep underneath the doors of many businesses, turning their front lobbies into a puddle spelling disaster.

Falls are responsible for more than eight million hospital visits to the emergency room, which accounts for more than one of every five visits, according to the National Floor Safety Institute.

New Jersey law holds that business owners are responsible for maintaining the grounds of their property, internally and externally. This includes ensuring that slippery conditions do not exist, no matter the weather outside. If someone slips and falls on a business’s property, it is likely that the victim may have rights to personal injury compensation or other damages. This type of ‘slip and fall claim’ requires the expertise of a personal injury lawyer. Representation by a personal injury law firm ensures that the victim will receive the full and rightful compensation for injuries sustained as a result of the negligence or dangerous conditions of the business’s grounds, and of its management.

What is a slip and fall claim?

A slip and fall claim is filed to seek recovery for injury or damages occurring due to unsafe conditions on a business’s property. Many slips, trips, and falls that happen on business property are due to fraying carpet and slippery linoleum flooring. Injuries occurring as a result of a slip and fall can be serious, including injury to the head, neck, back, spinal cord, and hips, and traumas or fractures of many kinds. Such a fall could even cause trauma to the brain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in New Jersey in 2016, falls, slips or trips resulted in the deaths of 26 people.

Most Common Injuries Associated With Slip and Falls

Of slips and falls, the National Floor Safety Institute reports that fractures are the most prevalent serious result of slips and falls that occur in one’s workplace, injuring 5 percent of those injured in a fall. And among people over the age of 65, 87 percent of all fractures happen as a result of falls, which are also the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injuries among the elderly.

Delayed Symptoms and the Importance to File a Claim After a Trip and Fall Accident

Even if at first appearing mild, these types of injuries can keep someone from being able to work for extended periods of time as symptoms begin to show themselves after the initial stress functioning has subsided. As such, it is important to file a slip and fall personal injury claim if you feel you may have been injured due to slippery conditions. A victim is responsible for filing a claim within two years of the accident to be able to seek damages. In the meantime, it is important to keep documented reports and receipts of medical expenses incurred as a result of the injury, as well as a detailed case file.

When will a property owner be held legally responsible for the accident?

A property owner will be held legally responsible if any of the following conditions are present when an accident occurs:

  • it can be proven that the property owner knew about the dangerous condition and did not remedy the situation;
  • the property owner or an employee personally caused the danger; or
  • the property owner and employees did not notice the dangerous condition, though it was an obvious and apparent danger.

If the property owner is found to meet any of the above conditions, they will be legally responsible for covering all injuries and damages claimed as a result of an accident on their property.

Contact Our Mercer County Slip and Fall Lawyers Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our experienced attorneys are well poised to help victims of slips and falls across Hamilton Township, Trenton, Ewing and across Mercer County, and ensure that you recover your fair share of damages for any injuries sustained in the accident.

We pride ourselves on our integrated approach to protecting the legal rights of victims no matter the extent of their injury. To contact a member of our highly skilled personal injury law team and schedule a personal consultation, please call (609) 528-2596 or fill out our online contact form.