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Attorney
Joseph A. Lombardo

A serious car accident can turn your life completely upside down.  While you’re struggling to recover from your injuries, you’re also left to cope with the emotional trauma from the accident, the debilitating costs of surgery and healthcare, and the added financial strain of missing time from work. If your accident was caused by a careless, aggressive, or distracted driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses.

Gloucester County car accident lawyer Joseph Lombardo has more than 20 years of experience handling complex car crash lawsuits and wrongful death claims.  If you’re an accident survivor, or if your loved one was wrongfully killed, he can help you fight aggressively for maximum compensation. To set up a free and confidential legal consultation, call Lombardo Law at (609) 418-4537 today. Your personal information will always be kept private.

Causes of Car Accidents in Gloucester County

Unfortunately, most car accidents happen because a driver was negligent, meaning that the entire accident could have been prevented if the driver had behaved differently. Drivers have the responsibility to make sure that they act safely for the sake of themselves and other drivers on the road. Common causes of car accidents in the United States include: 

  • Poor weather conditions – Drivers can’t control the weather. They can, however, control how they react to it. Snow, rain, wind, and fog can make it difficult to drive safely, but drivers can decrease the chance of an accident if they take proper precautions while driving, including driving slowly, keeping their lights on if necessary, and obeying traffic laws.
  • Distracted driving – The leading cause of car accidents in Gloucester County is distracted driving. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, playing music, and interacting with passengers are seemingly innocuous behaviors that can draw a driver’s attention away from the road, causing an accident that can have severe consequences for other drivers.
  • Reckless driving – Reckless driving should be taken seriously. Although driving recklessly can be fun for some drivers (or even a cathartic release for drivers that experience road rage), the potential consequences aren’t worth it.
  • Drunk driving – Driving while drunk is itself a crime, even if no accident takes place. It’s extremely dangerous to drive while drunk for both the driver and other drivers that share the road.
  • Failure to obey traffic laws and signals – Traffic laws exist for a reason. When drivers choose to ignore them, it can cause accidents for other drivers on the road. Drivers that change lanes without using turn signals, turn without using turn signals, drive above the speed limit, tailgate behind other drivers, and don’t stop at stop signs and red lights have a greater chance of being involved in a car accident with another driver.

In some car accidents, the cause isn’t the negligence of the driver but a defective auto part. For example, a tire may blow out, causing the car to veer into another lane and hit another driver. In this case, the accident is the fault of the company that sold the defective tire, not the driver.

This is a type of product liability case. To receive compensation through a product liability lawsuit, you and your legal representation will have to prove that a part of your car (or the car itself) was unreasonably dangerous, that a defect led to an injury, that the car was being used in the proper way, and that no major changes were made to the car since it was bought.

Types of Car Accidents That Happen in Gloucester County

Car accidents can happen anywhere, but they are especially likely to happen in New Jersey, which has a high population density and many major roadways. Residents of Gloucester County should be aware of the possibility of the following types of car accidents while they are driving:

Rear-End Collisions

When one vehicle runs into the rear part of another car, it’s known as a rear-end collision. This type of accident could be the fault of either driver; it could happen because the front car stops too abruptly or because the rear car is tailgating or driving too fast.

Head-On Collisions

This type of accident happens when the front ends of two vehicles collide into each other while traveling in opposite directions. These are some of the most catastrophic accidents.

Side-Impact Collisions

This type of accident is also known as a T-bone or broadside. They happen when one car impacts the side of another car while travelling in a perpendicular direction. They usually happen at intersections and can cause the car that’s hit to fold in on itself, leading to severe injuries for the driver and passengers.

Sideswipe

When the sides of two vehicles collide while they are travelling parallel to each other (either in the same direction or in opposite directions), it is known as a sideswipe.

Rollover

When a vehicle has a high center of gravity, it is prone to rolling over if it makes a sharp turn while traveling at a high speed. When it rolls over, it can impact other cars and become an obstacle for oncoming traffic, which can lead to more accidents.

Car Accidents with Special Circumstances

Some Gloucester County car accidents are straightforward, but many are not. In some accidents, extra considerations must be made to receive compensation for damages. They include:

Hit and Run

When a driver hits a person, piece of property, or car and then flees the scene before the victim can get their insurance information or find out how to contact them, it is known as a hit and run. On top of physical injuries and property damage, victims have to worry about finding the person who was responsible for their accident. With the help of an experienced car accident attorney, a victim can find out who is liable for their accident and then hold them responsible. If it is not possible to find the person responsible for the hit and run, an attorney may be able to help you get compensation through your insurance policy.

Accident with an Uninsured Driver

Drivers in New Jersey must have auto insurance, yet there are still many uninsured drivers on the road every day. If an uninsured driver is responsible for your car accident, getting compensation for your medicals bills, lost wages, and damaged property is more difficult. Under usual circumstances, compensation for these costs come from the driver’s insurance, but if they don’t have any, you may have to work with your own insurance. An attorney can help you through this process.

Accident with a Teen Driver

In some cases involving a teen driver, the teen’s parents can be held responsible if it can be proven that the parents knew their child would be a danger to the road and let them drive anyway.

Drunk Driving Accident

A drunk driver will usually face criminal charges. Sometimes they are ordered to pay restitution to victims, though victims can recover more compensation if they file a lawsuit. In these cases, the DUI conviction is a major piece of evidence used to prove the case.

Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in Gloucester County

Car accidents and other auto accidents can have devastating physical and mental effects on their victims.  Serious injuries commonly caused by car accidents include:

  • Bone Fractures — Pedestrian victims who are hit by cars can easily break their wrists attempting to break their fall. Many pedestrians also suffer leg and shin injuries from the first point of contact with the vehicle.  Vehicle occupants can break their noses from hitting the dashboard or seats in front of them, or suffer other bone fractures when their limbs become entangled inside the debris.
  • Severe Burns — Car engines can overheat and cause fires or explosions, which are further fed by the numerous chemicals and synthetic materials inside the vehicle. Occupants trapped inside can suffer extreme third or even fourth degree burns.  In addition to being financially costly and physically painful, facial burns and disfigurement can lead to major depression and reduced overall quality of life.
  • TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) — The CDC reports that traffic accidents are among the major leading causes of TBI, accounting for more than 14% of all cases over a four-year period. Depending on the severity of the TBI and which part of the brain is injured, victims may become paralyzed, suffer chronic pain, become incontinent, suffer vision or hearing loss, and lose their ability to speak, learn, and form memories. Some TBI survivors may require full-time medical care to perform basic daily tasks, or be forced to remodel their homes for better handicap access.

Other serious injuries commonly associated with car crashes include whiplash, road rash, concussions, and soft tissue injuries.  Some victims have to have a limb amputated after being trapped in the wreckage without blood circulation for a prolonged period of time.

Recovering Compensation for a Gloucester County Car Accident

To help cover the costs of medical treatment and other expenses after a car accident in Gloucester County, there are several different types of compensation which may be ordered in a personal injury or wrongful death case.  This includes compensatory damages, which are intended purely to compensate the plaintiff, and punitive damages, which are ordered to punish the defendant in cases involving extreme and exceptional negligence or recklessness.  Damages can be used to cover costs and losses stemming from the accident, including but not limited to:

  • Care Services
  • Funeral Expenses
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Loss of Parental Guidance
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Physical Therapy
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Surgery
  • Wheelchairs, Canes, and Braces

There is no “cap” on compensatory damages in New Jersey, meaning awards have no ceiling.  The state limits punitive damages to either $350,000 or five times the total compensatory damages — whichever total is greater.

The recovery limits on wrongful death cases are slightly stricter.  Unfortunately, family members and spouses of wrongful death victims cannot sue for emotional distress.  However, if you were traumatized by personally witnessing your loved one’s passing, you can file a separate claim based on the negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Even if you aren’t completely positive about whether you have a case or not, it’s very important to consult with an attorney sooner rather than later.  Under a strict law called the statute of limitations, New Jersey plaintiffs have only two years from the date of death or injury in which to bring a legal claim. In all but a few exceptional cases, missing this deadline means that the claim will be barred from court and will be unable to proceed any further.

Gloucester County Car Accident Lawyer Representing Crash Victims

There’s no time to waste after a car accident in Gloucester County. Get in touch with the Gloucester County car accident lawyer Joseph Lombardo as soon as possible if you or someone close to you was injured in a car accident in Gloucester County, New Jersey. The attorneys that work with the Lombardo Law Group are committed to fighting for compensation for their clients. Call them today at (609) 418-4537 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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