Pennsylvania & New Jersey Auto Accident Injury Lawyers
Offices in Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Cherry Hill, Atlantic City and Iselin
Page last updated: January 18, 2016
Fighting for the Best Outcome in PA & NJ Auto Accident Cases
- $9 million – Pennsylvania car accident resulting in paralysis
- $4.4 million – Restaurant liable for DUI car crash
- $2 million – Bucks County, PA driver suffered auto accident injuries when a tree fell onto his car
Car, bus, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents are an everyday occurrence in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Each day, innocent lives are turned upside down in a split second, due to the negligence and carelessness of another driver on the road, and accidents are on the rise.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of car accidents has risen over the last 10 years and is a leading cause of death for teenagers.
The top causes of car, truck and pedestrian accidents include:
- distracted driving,
- DUI/drunk driving, and
- careless driving (speeding, improper turning, etc.).
Distracted driving remains a serious problem in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Distracted driving includes anything that takes a driver’s eyes or attention off the road, such as cell phones, eating, talking to a passenger or changing the music. Using a cell phone to talk, text, etc., when driving is illegal in many states including New Jersey, Delaware and New York. In PA, however, drivers are permitted to use cell phones to make calls. Each year, 100s of people die due to distracted driving in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and 1000s more are injured.
DUIs/drunk driving is a major factor contributing to car accident deaths in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Car accidents caused by a DUI driver often peak during the holiday months and the summer months. Injured individuals often have legal rights against bars and restaurants for negligently serving alcohol to an individual who then causes a DUI car accident.
Drivers in PA and NJ often cause car accidents due to carelessness or mistakes, such as failing to yield the right of way, speeding or entering an intersection when it was unsafe to do so.
Auto Accidents – Legal Rights in PA & NJ
Individuals injured in auto accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are often entitled to make claims for financial compensation. However, the auto injury laws in PA & NJ are very complex.
Both PA and NJ are no-fault states. This means that individuals who are injured in auto accidents and are covered under a Pennsylvania or New Jersey auto insurance policy are eligible to make claims for medical bills and other losses like lost wages; this is without regard to fault. In other words, it does not matter whose fault the accident was. If you’re injured and need medical treatment or suffer certain financial losses, you make PIP (personal injury protection) claims under your own policy, not the other, at-fault driver’s policy.
Pain & Suffering – Tort Limitations
Auto injury laws in Pennsylvania and New Jersey may limit an injured individual’s ability seek financial compensation for their pain and suffering. Both states employ what is generally known as “limited tort” or “verbal threshold” laws (tort limitation laws). These tort limitation laws apply to every auto insurance policy issued in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. When it comes time to buy an insurance policy, the individual must select either “limited tort” or “full tort” in Pennsylvania or “verbal threshold” or “non-verbal threshold” in New Jersey.
Tort limitation laws limit an injured individual’s ability seek compensation for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver unless the injury falls into certain categories which are set by statute in both states. As a general rule, permanent injuries that affect a major body part of function often qualify, thus allowing the injured individual to seek pain and suffering damages from the at-fault driver. Both states have a long history of court cases which deal with these issues.
PA & NJ Auto Accidents – Travel To/From
Residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey often travel between the two states. Many residents of Pennsylvania vacation at the New Jersey shore; many New Jersey residents work in Pennsylvania. The laws get even more complex when a resident of one state gets injured in an auto accident in the other state. In these situations, the ability to seek compensation for auto injuries will depend on the facts, such as:
- who was driving,
- where the accident occurred,
- where the car in the accident was registered, and
- whether other car insurance policies apply.
Pennsylvania residents who are injured in auto accidents that occur in New Jersey are often surprised to learn that they are subject to verbal threshold law, even if they elected full tort on their Pennsylvania auto insurance policy. This is due to a special law in New Jersey known as the Deemer Statute. However, there are some exceptions and it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable PA and NJ auto accident lawyer.
About Our Pennsylvania & New Jersey Car Accident Law Practice
At Laffey, Bucci & Kent, our experienced injury attorneys are committed to providing quality representation and individual attention to their clients and their clients’ families.
Combined, our injury attorneys have over 40+ years of experience and are highly rated. Over the last 10 years, our attorneys have been rated as top injury lawyers by Super Lawyers magazine.
In auto accident cases, our lawyers prepare every case for trial by conducting thorough investigations, using experts when needed and working with the client to present the best case possible.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt or killed in an auto accident, contact our offices to get a free case review. Our auto injury attorneys handle car accident cases throughout the northeast area including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.