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Understanding Your Rights After An Accident

  • By: Lisa J. Pezzano
  • Published: July 4, 2024

Understanding Your Rights After an AccidentYou may be entitled to receive compensation if you were involved in an accident which was caused by the negligence of another person. Examples include motor vehicle accidents, slip/trip and fall incidents, injuries from dangerous products, negligent security resulting in criminal assaults, and negligent supervision. Such claims can be filed either in the state(s) where the parties reside or where the accident occurred.

Important Steps Following An Accident

If you are contacted by the other party’s insurance carrier after an accident and they wish to negotiate a settlement for personal injuries, it is crucial to consult with an attorney before signing any Release Agreement. Additionally, for motor vehicle accidents, report the incident to your own insurance carrier immediately to secure coverage for medical bills and vehicle damage.

Accidents At Work: Double Trouble

If the accident occurred at the workplace, you might have two potential claims: a negligence claim and a workers’ compensation claim. Barring exceptional circumstances, an employee cannot file a negligence claim against their employer. However, if a third party unrelated to your employer caused the accident, you may sue that third party for negligence in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation carrier will have a “lien” on your third-party claim for any benefits paid out. Compensation from a third-party claim is typically more generous than workers’ compensation benefits, so pursuing both claims is advisable if possible.

Why You Need A Lawyer (Yes, Really!)

Insurance adjusters can be sneaky! They might try to downplay your injuries or get you to say something they can use against you. Instead, let them know you’re not comfortable chatting without your lawyer and give them your attorney’s contact info.

Essentials Of New Jersey Personal Injury Cases

  • Plaintiff and Defendant: In New Jersey, the injured party is the “Plaintiff,” and the person or entity whose actions caused the injury is the “Defendant.”
  • Proving Negligence: The Plaintiff must prove that the Defendant failed to exercise reasonable care.
  • Comparative Negligence: If both parties are partly to blame, the Plaintiff cannot receive any award if their negligence was greater than 50% of the cause of the accident. The award will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the Plaintiff.
  • Proving Injuries: Injuries must be proven in court by a “reasonable degree of medical certainty,” typically through a physician’s report, supported by objective medical evidence of an injury (such as a positive x-ray, MRI, or CT scan).

Tick-Tock: Filing Deadlines

  • Personal Injuries: You’ve got two years from the accident date to file a Complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
  • Government Claims: If a government entity is at fault, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident.

What’s This Gonna Cost Me?

Good news! Most personal injury lawyers work on a “contingency fee” basis, meaning they get paid a percentage of what you win. In New Jersey, the standard fee is 33 1/3%, and it’s reduced to 25% for minors.

At Pezzano Law Group, we are committed to helping injury victims receive full compensation. Although insurance carriers are contractually obligated to pay legitimate claims, they are in business to collect premiums, not to pay claims. It is thus essential to seek the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and financial future.

Steps To Take After An Accident

  1. Medical Examination: Seek immediate medical attention to document injuries.
  2. Police Report: Obtain a police report to officially record the accident details.
  3. Inform Your Own Insurance Carrier: In a motor vehicle accident, your own carrier is responsible for the payment of medical bills, so must be informed of the accident.
  4. Legal Consultation: Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid mistakes and ensure proper claim handling.


Even minor injuries can turn into major headaches. Hiring accident attorneys can save you money in the long run. At Pezzano Law Group, we offer top-notch expertise and dedication. Don’t let the insurance company shortchange you—get the compensation you deserve! Call us to schedule your initial consultation today. If you don’t have a case, or it’s not worth the trouble, we’ll let you know.

Lisa J. Pezzano

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