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Law Offices of John Morelli
A Personal Injury Firm Serving All Of South Jersey

The Legal Process For Car Accident Cases

All 50 states have laws in place to deal with compensation for injuries from auto accidents, and each state's laws are different from the others. New Jersey is one of only two states to use the personal injury protection system, or PIP, which guides the handling of auto claims in the state.

Dealing With The Personal Injury Protection System

The personal injury protection system funnels the medical costs resulting from auto accident injuries through automobile insurance. After a car accident, auto insurance pays for victims' medical care out of PIP. Because of this, many auto insurance companies in New Jersey make it more difficult to successfully pursue a claim to avoid paying for expensive medical procedures and care. Insurance companies often see it as cheaper to fight a claim legally than pay for it out of PIP. This can leave an injured person in limbo for months as they wait to have medical care approved by an insurance representative they have never met and who often actually receives bonuses based on the number of claims they reject.

Recovering Damages

Not every injured plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for the injury. Besides the injury, the plaintiff must also establish, through credible and relevant evidence, that the defendant is legally responsible for his or her injuries.

To do so, the plaintiff must present proof of causation both in terms of actual, factual causation and with regard to proximate, or legal, causation. Whether a lawyer can establish legal causation depends on the facts and circumstances of the matter.

In some personal injury actions, legal causation may be established if the plaintiff can show that the defendant engaged in intentional conduct, meaning that the wrongdoer intentionally or purposefully harmed the plaintiff or knew that the conduct in which he or she engaged gave rise to a substantial likelihood that harm would result.

Negligence And Issues Of Fault

Other personal injury actions are based on a looser concept of fault called negligence. Under the negligence theory, a defendant is held liable for the results of actions, or inaction, when an ordinary person in the same position should have foreseen that the conduct would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others.

Still other types of personal injury actions are based on strict liability, which is a no-fault system under which liability may attach regardless of the fault of the various parties, including the plaintiff. Strict liability may be applied in product liability cases, such as when a manufacturer or seller of a defective product puts that product into the stream of commerce and users are injured.

The defendant can be held liable as a result of actions either taken or not taken. A driver who fails to stop at a red light and hits another vehicle, injuring the driver and/or passengers, is liable based on that negligent act, for example.

Likewise, a property owner who fails after a reasonable time to clear the ice and snow from the front steps of a business open to the public may be liable for this inaction if a patron falls and breaks a leg when attempting to enter the premises.

Put Experienced Representation On Your Side

When involved in a car accident, you need to take immediate action. From its office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the Law Offices of John Morelli has long provided representation for individuals injured in car accidents. Sadly, injuries can be serious, and collecting compensation can prove difficult. You can contact our office to speak with an attorney by calling 856-528-3205.

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