Fatal Accident Claims in New Jersey
With more people on the roads every year and increasing speed limits on the highways, severe or fatal accidents are again on the rise. Since 2005, there have never been more than approximately 38,000 deaths from car accidents. In a new report released by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in January of 2022, 42,915 people were killed in car accidents in 2021. The fatalities include pedestrians, people riding bicycles, and motorcycles.
Up 13% – 16% were crashes involving senior citizens, pedestrians, large vehicles such as trucks and tractor-trailers, and accidents in urban areas. Data indicates a partial explanation is the increase in the number of miles driven (24.16 billion miles) in 2020 and 2.83 trillion in 2021. The more miles that are driven means the greater chance of a mishap.
As careful as one can be, there are times when an accident just happens. Fatal accidents are the worst scenario, and you don’t want to face losing a loved one in a deadly accident alone. With family and friends there to support you, you should also consider hiring an experienced New Jersey fatal accident lawyer from Cohen & Riechelson. With over 5 decades of experience in personal injury and wrongful death law, our attorneys will fight for accountability and compensation in your suit against the other driver(s), a government entity, a product manufacturer, or another party if there was wrongdoing.
If someone you love passed away due to a fatal accident in Pennington, Princeton, Hamilton, Lawrence, Hopewell, Ewing, or elsewhere in Mercer County or New Jersey, you may be entitled to seek compensation for damages. To get in touch with the distinguished injury lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson call (609) 528-2596 today for a free consultation.
Most Common Fatal Car Accidents in New Jersey
According to the National Highway Administration, the most common type of fatal crash is frontal impact accidents. Most vehicles involved were driving straight at the time. The others were going in a pronounced curve. The number of crashes where the car impacted against a stationary object is 11% higher than the impact against a moving one. Rear impact crashes are the second most common fatal crashes, followed by left side-impact and right side impact.
Prevailing Causes of Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents
Speeding is one of the most apparent factors of fatal car accidents. Speed limits are not decided arbitrarily. Engineers calculate the braking distance, maneuverability, and weight of the average vehicle to determine the safest speed for all drivers.
Another way too common cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents is distracted driving. We have so much to keep us busy that we may forget to drive. Texting, shaving, putting on make-up, looking at your phone, watching a movie or tv show while you go, taking selfies, eating, drinking, and yelling at other drivers are ways to get distracted while driving.
Aggressive driving and road rage are among the most dangerous behaviors a driver can exercise behind the wheel. The childishness of an angry driver could take the lives of those around them as they brake-check, swerve to cut other drivers off, speed, pass illegally, or change several lanes at once, putting their own life and others at serious risk.
Those who insist on unnecessarily driving in inclement weather put themselves and others at risk. Snow can quickly turn to ice, covering bridges and on and off-ramps, making patches of black ice that no one can see until their vehicle starts sliding. It is next to impossible to control a sliding vehicle, and it can smash into telephone poles or other cars on the road in seconds.
Types of Accident Injuries that can Lead to Death
There are two categories of fatal injuries: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Impact injuries are when the body is hit by a moving object or hits a stationary one. Impact injuries usually occur in head-on accidents; the principal damage is to the head and spine. A TBI (also known as a Traumatic Brain Injury) is caused when the head receives blunt force trauma, damaging the brain. The results of this accident can include memory loss, profound confusion, seizures, and loss of coordination. Sometimes organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys can receive trauma due to impact injuries which will cause internal bleeding, which could be fatal. Spinal injuries can cause paralysis, numbness, and tingling in hands and feet, loss of balance, and back or neck pain. A complete severing of the spinal cord could induce a fatal result.
Penetrating injuries include lacerations, open wounds, and pierced organs with internal bleeding. When vehicles impact, there is shattered glass and twisted metal everywhere. It is easy to get cut or stabbed, and glass from the broken windshield can embed itself into an eye or throat. Broken bones can pierce soft, internal organs or expose themselves on the skin’s surface, causing extensive bleeding and the opportunity for infection. A common injury from a broken bone is a broken rib which pierces the lung creating a pneumothorax and making breathing difficult. If Immediate action isn’t taken, the wound will be fatal.
Proving Liability in a Fatal Car Accident
You must seek out a personal injury and wrongful death attorney for trained and educated assistance with your fatal accident case as soon as possible. Family members can often sue on behalf of their lost family member. It is essential to start the investigation of the accident as quickly as possible because the longer you wait, the more probable the evidence won’t be available. Witnesses’ memories fade, sometimes, they move away, and drivers can also become unreachable.
Liability must be proven to win your fatal accident lawsuit. Proving liability requires an ABC approach. A. Does the driver have an obligation to behave in a particular manner while maintaining caution? B. Did the driver follow that requirement? C. How did their choice not to follow the requirement result in an injury or fatality? A direct link must exist from A to B and from B to C.
There is an expectation that all drivers are called a duty of care which means they are responsible for following the rules of the road. Your lawyer will seek to prove that the driver was negligent by not following the posted speed limit, failing to yield, passing a car on a double-yellow line, making a U-turn on a busy street, or taking selfies, among other forms of negligence on the road. The next course of action is showing that their negligence caused your family’s loss and injuries (to others in the car).
How Long do I Have to File a Fatal Accident Lawsuit in NJ?
The Statute of Limitations for a wrongful death claim means it can be made within two years of the accident date, but it isn’t a good idea to wait too long. These cases can be extensive and involve a great deal of work.
Recovering Wrongful Death Damages for a Fatal Accident in NJ
In New Jersey, a myriad of economic losses can be assigned and paid to the family of an accident victim who died as a result of their injuries. For example, compensation may include the decedent’s income to account for what they would have made for the family in the years to come. Economic damages may also include medical bills, funeral costs, loss of inheritance, and burial expenses. There may also be a financial recovery for loss of services and loss of companionship (also known as loss of consortium) for surviving spouses and children. Emotional distress damages are limited to certain exceptional circumstances.
Contact our Hamilton Fatal Accident Lawyers for Immediate Assistance with Your Loved One’s Claim
Fatal accidents generally occur when drivers make illogical choices that defy common sense. Those bad choices can lead to deadly accidents. If you lost a family member in a fatal crash less than two years ago, there is still time to hold the driver or another individual or entity who caused the accident accountable.
The lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to help you obtain a sizable verdict or settlement for a fatal vehicle accident case involving negligence in West Windsor, Lawrence, Trenton, Robbinsville, and throughout Mercer, Burlington, and Middlesex County. Our attorneys can spot an insurance company’s quick settlement offer a mile away. We have earned distinction and countless grateful clients for being excellent litigators and negotiators who want to give you the best opportunity for the compensation you deserve.
Contact our Hamilton office for a free consultation about your fatal accident case by calling (609) 528-2596 or reaching us online. We can review your potential claim, formulate a plan of action, and help you pursue justice and a better future for your family following your loved one’s death.