Asbury Park Car Accident Lawyers
Driving down the shore is a summer pastime and rite of passage for every resident of New Jersey. Crowded shore towns are a fun place to vacation with the family, but they present significant challenges for drivers. Accidents can happen at any time, and drivers must know how to respond. When driving into Asbury Park, New Jersey, it helps to know how to avoid accidents and what to do if an accident occurs. Driving safely in the region requires the full attention of drivers and the support of their passengers. Reach out to an Asbury Park car accident lawyer today when compensation is required after an accident.
Do not be afraid to file a lawsuit or seek remuneration when another driver’s negligence has caused an accident. Other entities might also be responsible for the accident, and they must be held accountable for their actions.
Why is Asbury Park so Busy?
Asbury Park is located near the northern tip of the Jersey Shore, just south of Raritan Bay. While every shore town is busy throughout the spring and summer, Asbury Park is a destination for music lovers. The New Jersey Music Hall of Fame is located in town. Another unique feature of Asbury Park is its location relative to the Garden State Parkway and NJ 57. As NJ 57 comes down the waterfront, it brings travelers from North Jersey and New York into town. The Garden State Parkway offers easy passage for travelers from throughout the state. NJ 18 has also been widened and converted into a proper highway that delivers more traffic to the area.
Even though the shore season ends in September, famous shore towns, such as Asbury Park, have steady motorist and pedestrian traffic due to the unique sights and local history. In short, driving through Asbury Park always requires attention and care.
How Often Do Car Accidents Occur in the Area?
Car accidents in New Jersey caused $9 million in medical damages and $798 million in lost productivity in 2018. While motor vehicles accounted for $469 million in damages, pedestrians accounted for $204 million in damages. The massive number of pedestrians on New Jersey streets speaks to how careful drivers must be. Busy shore towns simply make the problem worse as vacationers walk everywhere during the summer season.
Monmouth County experienced 34 accidents and 35 fatalities through December 2020 while New Jersey has seen an uptick in car accidents from 2018 and 2019 to 2020. Unfortunately, the Garden State Parkway is the most dangerous road in the state, with over 10,000 accidents in 2018. While this road does not pass through Asbury Park, it delivers many dangerous drivers to the area who have not yet crashed.
How can I Avoid a Car Accident Near Asbury Park?
Avoiding car accidents in Asbury Park requires thoughtful driving and planning. Visiting the shore during the summer is a fun time for the whole family but driving in shore towns is difficult. Drivers should park their vehicles at their hotels or find a parking space for the day. Leaving the car behind and walking is the safest thing drivers can do. If drivers cannot leave their vehicles behind, they must look out for the following:
Tourists: Drivers must be aware that many tourists in town do not know where they are going. These tourists drive slowly, do not know where to turn, and often cause accidents by pumping their brakes while looking for their final destination. Look out for anyone who appears to be lost, give them some space, or drive around them whenever possible.
Pedestrians: Pedestrians are constantly using the sidewalks and crossing the street. Families are often contending with small children wanting to get to the beach, and partiers will stumble into intersections without looking. Look out for anyone who is walking into traffic and stop for everyone’s safety. If a special crosswalk sign is blinking, stop and allow pedestrians to cross. If an intersection allows for a protected turn, ensure that pedestrians are not crossing. Drivers who have chosen to park and walk should be especially careful in the event of distracted drivers on the street.
Street acts and vendors: These are popular in the area, but they may sit very close to the curb. Because these acts and vendors are so close to the street, drivers should steer clear of the shoulder and avoid cutting corners. Additionally, parking on the street in New Jersey is commonplace. As many streets in Asbury Park are residential, homeowners and renters often park on the street. Look out for parked cars, especially at night when these vehicles do not have their lights on.
Seagulls: This type of bird is a persistent menace up and down the Jersey Shore. Anyone who has visited the shore knows that seagulls are everywhere. While seagulls often steal food from unsuspecting tourists, they also cross the street, fly very low, and even walk across parking lots. Drivers must be aware of where seagulls are located and slow down to avoid collisions. Stopping suddenly for a seagull might cause an accident and colliding with a seagull can cause major damage to any vehicle. Even worse, a swerving driver can cause a pedestrian or multi-vehicle accident.
Distractions: Aside from the unique challenges presented by a busy shore town, drivers must avoid distractions whenever possible. Set down cell phones, turn on Bluetooth systems that read map directions aloud, and focus on the road. While partying in Asbury Park is fun, drivers must focus on the road while everyone else in the car has a good time.
Drunk Drivers: Drunk drivers can fill the streets at night as bars close and large groups finish their dinners. Avoid drivers who appear to be impaired, sway from side to side, or start and stop erratically. Ask someone else to drive if it feels unsafe, and do not get behind the wheel while drowsy. Drowsy driving is just as harmful as drunk driving. Walk back to the hotel or condo whenever possible and remember that driving while intoxicated includes the use of illicit and/or prescription drugs.
Speeders: Most drivers use a major highway to get to the shore, and they must slow down before they enter a crowded shore town. Turn on headlights when it starts to get dark, and signal at every turn or lane change to avoid accidents.
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?
The terror of being involved in a car accident makes it difficult to know how to respond. Car accident victims are often dazed and unsure of what happens next. No one can be completely prepared for a car accident, but a few simple tips will help victims make the most of a bad situation. If the victims are injured, it helps if eyewitnesses assist with some of these steps at the scene. Even in a mild accident with little to no damage, victims should follow these steps in the event that compensation is required:
Call 911 for a police officer and emergency medical services: The police officer will write up a report and ask basic questions about the accident. Do not try to be too forthcoming. When the victim clearly did nothing wrong, they need not explain that they are innocent. Excessive explanation makes it seem as if the victim is trying to deflect blame to the other driver. Exit the vehicle and get out of the roadway to prevent further injuries or accidents. If victims cannot exit the vehicle, they should wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Take pictures and videos of the accident scene: This evidence explains to a lawyer what occurred. The lawyer was not there, and they only have documents and testimony as a frame of reference. Pictures and videos can even serve to disprove false testimony from another party.
Call the insurance company to report the accident: It is best to say nothing other than an accident occurred, a claim may be filed, and everyone is fine or receiving medical care. Insurance companies like to read into what they are told, and the carrier should not be given room for interpretation.
Seek medical care: Anyone who feels fine after an accident may believe they do not require medical attention. Because of this, victims assume all is well and go home. It is advised to accept medical care and go to the hospital if the emergency medical team insists. At the very least, EMTs on the scene can speak to any minor injuries that might have occurred. If victims are asked to visit their doctor the next day, each victim should call in the morning for a same-day appointment.
Obtain eyewitness testimony: Eyewitnesses often gather around the accident scene. If someone has pictures or videos, they should be asked to speak to the victim’s lawyer. Eyewitnesses might testify to what occurred during the accident, and they may have noticed wrongdoing on someone else’s part. Ask for a name, address, and phone number so that these witnesses may be reached by the victim’s lawyer.
What are Common Car Accident Injuries to Look Out For?
While accident victims are encouraged to receive medical attention, they must be aware of injuries that are difficult to diagnose. Common car accident injuries include:
Whiplash: This involves head and neck pain that often does not stop until months after the accident. When accident victims assume that they will get better, they make it difficult to prove they were hurt during the accident. Accept immediate medical care to determine if whiplash has occurred.
Cuts and scrapes: These injuries from broken glass are common, but cuts can become infected. Some lacerations are much deeper than the victim believes, and muscle, ligament, or tendon damage may persist.
Burns: Burns after a car accident require immediate medical care as they may be far more serious than the victim believes. Broken bones often present as chips or hairline fractures that do not bruise on the surface. A simple field exam from an EMT may reveal broken bones that should be treated as soon as possible.
Internal bleeding and/or organ damage: This may occur without any obvious physical symptoms. An EMT may believe that internal bleeding is possible, but they may send victims to the hospital for imaging and/or emergency care as a precaution. Organ damage can be even more severe and going to the hospital immediately may be the victim’s only chance for survival.
Head injuries: Closed head injuries do not involve any blood, but the victim might suffer from headaches, bruising, memory lapses, sleeplessness, and more. Going to the hospital for imaging and a proper diagnosis helps the victim recover as quickly as possible. Some victims may have a brain contusion that must be removed or suffer from a coup-contrecoup injury that crosses to the other side of the brain.
In each instance, a victim could go home with life-threatening injuries if they do not accept medical care. Assume that something could be wrong and take the advice of medical professionals seriously.
Who Caused My Accident?
Many other vehicles, people, or entities may be involved in an accident. Look at each accident differently as they involve differing levels of liability, inaction, or negligence. A variety of entities may be to blame, including:
Another driver: When another driver has caused an accident, they can be sued for all damages relating to the accident. The other driver, however, may claim that the victim is partly responsible for the accident. Under modified comparative negligence in New Jersey, the victim has their role in the accident subtracted from any judgement. Therefore, a victim who is 30 percent responsible for an accident totaling $100,000 in damages will only receive $70,000. If the victim’s fault is shown to be over 50 percent, they will receive no compensation at all.
A truck driver/trucking company: This party may be responsible for the accident if they did not properly inspect or operate their vehicle. The trucking company might not have serviced the vehicle or knowingly forced the driver to violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
Construction company: These vehicles enter and exit the road all the time, and they can easily cause crashes when they do not see other vehicles or drive recklessly. If the construction company negligently serviced its vehicles, it can be held liable. If the driver was negligent in operating the vehicle, they may be subject to a lawsuit. Moreover, the construction zone must be set up properly. When motorists cannot drive safely through a construction zone, they may seek compensation from the construction company. Something as simple as a missing speed limit sign is enough to cause a massive accident.
Boat carriers: These are a common sight near the shore, and these carriers might crash, sideswipe other vehicles, or lose their cargo. A local business might have made the road impassable, or it might have forced pedestrians onto the street, causing an accident. If a government agency has not marked the road properly, neglected crossing signals, or otherwise made the road too dangerous for driving, it can be named in a lawsuit.
How Do I Recover Damages After a Car Accident?
Recovering damages after a car accident is not a simple request for a large amount of money. Compensation requested after an accident includes all the medical expenses incurred by the victim or their family. Medical expenses often stretch far into the future, and they may be calculated by the attending doctor or a medical expert.
Damages after an accident may also include psychological treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD causes nightmares, sleeplessness, flashbacks, anxiety, and other symptoms that change the victim’s perception of driving and life in general. Victims may require counseling, but counseling does not have an end date similar to treatment for something like a broken leg.
A lawyer must calculate how much costs have affected the family. Additionally, a lawyer is tasked with figuring out the pain and suffering the victim or family has experienced. Punitive damages are also available, but they must be awarded at trial by either the judge or jury. In New Jersey, punitive damages cannot surpass $350,000 or five times the compensatory damages awarded at trial.
When an accident kills someone, the family may request that a personal injury lawsuit be changed to a wrongful death lawsuit. In this case, only the beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate may file a claim or receive payment. The executor or administrator may file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate, benefiting the spouse, children, or other dependents of the deceased. Burial costs and probate fees may also be included in a wrongful death lawsuit. While seeking to recover damages, victims and their families must be cognizant of the two-year statute of limitations for both personal injury and wrongful death cases.
When Should I Retain a Lawyer?
Retain a lawyer when it is clear that the other driver is responsible for the accident. If other people at the scene are looking for a lawyer, the victim also needs a lawyer. Calling a lawyer from the scene is often a good idea, and consulting with a lawyer soon after the accident helps move the legal process along. A lawyer should be retained even if the only issue is the insurance company. Insurance companies often deny claims based on incorrect information or simply out of a desire to save money. A lawyer can reach out to the insurance company and save everyone time.
When a lawsuit must be filed, a lawyer is the best person to collect evidence and determine fault after the accident. Lawyers will obtain a copy of the police report, investigate the accident scene, make phone calls, talk to eyewitnesses, and more.
Asbury Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Assist Car Accident Victims Near the Shore
When you are hurt in an accident near the shore, reach out to the Asbury Park car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC. We assist accident victims when they must recover compensation or seek the truth about their accident. Call us today at 732-660-1200 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, as well as Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve car accident victims throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.