No matter how careful of a driver you are, other motorists may not pay attention. Their distraction endangers others and increases the odds of an accident. If a distracted driver collides with you, it’s important you know what steps you can take to receive the recourse you deserve.
Document the scene
After an accident, it’s crucial that you exchange information with the other driver and capture photos of the scene. By documenting any damage to your vehicle or injury to your person, your odds of receiving a fair settlement improve. If you’re injured, or if the damage to any vehicle involved is greater than $500, you will have to call the police. And you will have to file an accident report within 10 days of the crash, too, unless a law enforcement official writes one at the scene.
Make a claim
New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that it does not assign culpability to any motorists in a car crash. This statute stands even when a distracted driver hits you. Thus, any insurance claim you pursue after an accident must go through your own policy. By state law, motorists must purchase Personal Injury Protection to receive coverage for their medical bills after an accident. And your car insurance policy will cover any damage to your vehicle, unless the total amount exceeds its limit.
Consider additional damages
Your insurance policy may not offer adequate compensation for your damages. In this case, you may want to pursue a civil suit against the distracted motorist. You have two years after the accident to make your claim, and you will face a cap on any punitive damages you may receive. Yet, filing holds the other driver accountable for their negligence and may provide you additional relief.
Distracted drivers’ negligence puts other motorists at risk. If you’re hit by one, it’s crucial that you fight to achieve fair compensation. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help you do so.