Edison, New Jersey, takes its name from the famed inventor Thomas Edison, and it sits at the heart of traffic congestion in North Jersey. Drivers in the region should take great care when they get behind the wheel because they are confronted with the most-congested state in America, and they often do not realize how much traffic they will see.
Taking safety precautions is an important part of driving in New Jersey, as drivers face hazards throughout the day. Motorists should take steps to change ingrained driving habits and help teenagers learn to drive safely so that car accidents can be avoided. Creating a better environment for driving leads to safer roads for everyone.
Drivers should reach out to an Edison car accident lawyer when an accident occurs. Determining fault and seeking compensation are the best way for victims to deal with their personal injuries, losses, and property damage. Unique conditions in the region make driving more difficult than it would otherwise be, and someone moving into the area should be aware of the issues that might face them as they drive across North Jersey.
Recovering properly is the most important thing for every driver, passenger, or victim. Learning more about driving safely around Edison helps motorists protect themselves and their families. Additionally, learning a bit more about the region offers drivers insight that helps them remain safe.
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Why is Edison Such a Busy City?
Edison sits just to the west of Staten Island in the Raritan River Valley. Founded as Raritan Township in 1870 and renamed Edison in 1954, the population is approximately 100,000 people, making it the most populous city in Middlesex County and the fifth-most populous in the state.
Majesco Entertainment, Colavita, Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and Newegg all have a large presence in the city. Also, Zylog Systems, Boxed, and Bare Necessities keep their corporate headquarters in Edison. Large ethnic communities are located in the area, and young families often move to Edison because it is consistently ranked among the safest cities in the United States.
Interstate 95 crosses the southeastern portion of the city as it intersects Interstate 287. Owing to the unique makeup of the Interstates in New Jersey, Interstate 95 shares space with the New Jersey Turnpike as it passes through Edison. New Jersey Routes 18 and 27 pass through the middle of the city, and U.S. Route 1 parallels the New Jersey Turnpike.
Route 1 is one of the longest and most dangerous roads in the United States, and nearly 7000 accidents occurred in New Jersey on this road alone in 2018. Travelers from across America pass through Edison every day because there is a bit of nostalgia attached to Route 1. Additionally, the Route 1 interchange shared with Interstate 287 features two semi-directional loops that increase traffic flow, congestion, and surface street traffic in the immediate commercial and residential areas.
Exit 10 of the New Jersey Turnpike serves as a hub for trucks visiting distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities in and around Edison. The city features over 40 million square feet of commercial real estate, including Heller Park Edison and Kilmer Industrial Park.
Raritan Center Business Park is the largest commercial park east of the Mississippi River, and it sits close to the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, which hosts events throughout the year. A portion of the Rutgers University campus is located in Edison, adding school commuter traffic every day. Two high schools, two preschools, 10 elementary schools, and four middle schools also increase traffic on a typical weekday.
Does Edison’s Geography Impact Traffic Congestion?
The geography of Edison contributes to increased traffic flow and congestion. Edison sits close to Staten Island, accepting traffic from New York City every day, and it borders 10 other townships in two different counties. Traffic from East Brunswick, New Brunswick, Highland Park, Piscataway, Sayreville, South Plainfield, Woodbridge Township, Clark, Plainfield, and Scotch Fields passes through Edison. The township becomes a cut-through area for drivers hoping to reach New York city, Princeton, or Trenton.
Additionally, Edison surrounds another town. Edison and Metuchen are one of the 21 pairs of so-called doughnut townships in New Jersey. Owing to the unique nature of the New Jersey state code, townships can emancipate themselves from one another, leading to a referendum that saw Metuchen separate itself from Edison in 1900. Because Metuchen is surrounded by Edison, citizens must pass through Edison to get anywhere in North Jersey. Well over 12,000 people in Metuchen have no outlet other than to travel through Edison.
Additionally, the Garden State Parkway and U.S. Route 9 enter the region via the Driscoll Bridge, bringing more traffic across the Raritan River. Traffic also comes into the city, as both U.S. Route 1 and the New Jersey turnpike cross the river. Given its unique location, drivers must be prepared to encounter every type of traffic, accident, or driver.
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What Causes the Most Accidents in Edison?
Drivers in Edison must be mindful of all the things that can cause car accidents. Congestion in the area makes it difficult to drive, but motorists should try to avoid the following common causes of car accidents as much as possible:
Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a serious offense in New Jersey, carrying fines, possible license suspension, and an increase in insurance rates. In a report from AAA, over 25 percent of teen drivers admit that they sent texts while driving in the past month. Although parents should encourage their teens to avoid distracted driving, they must also model responsible driving.
Distracted driving can include eating, drinking, talking with one’s hands, or personal grooming. If a motorist drops something in the car and cannot retrieve it, they should pull over or wait until they reach a stop light or sign before trying to find it. If children in the car are fighting, parents must pull over before dealing with the youngsters.
Drunk/impaired driving. Drunk driving in New Jersey is on the decline, but it is still an issue for motorists in the most congested state in America. In 2017, there were over 10,000 drunk driving deaths, amounting to more than one accident every hour. Drunk driving can cause any type of accident given the lack of good judgment, depth perception, and reflexes that come with intoxication.
According to the State of New Jersey, 28 percent of drivers killed on the weekend were involved in alcohol-related accidents, whereas only 15 percent of those killed during the week were intoxicated. With young adults and teens accounting for half the cost of New Jersey traffic deaths in 2018, modeling responsible drinking, using ride-sharing apps, or bringing a designated driver reduces the incidence of accidents and/or deaths.
Speeding. Speeding is rampant in North Jersey as drivers make their way to destinations up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Moreover, motorists entering and exiting New York City often drive as quickly as possible to remain on schedule. Speeding can be especially dangerous in Edison as drivers dart in and out of Metuchen to reach other parts of the state. The layout of both cities effectively doubles the amount of traffic, making drivers believe they must speed if they want to arrive on-time.
Speeding makes driving more dangerous during any bout of inclement weather, and it also decreases the amount of control drivers can exert over their vehicles. Driving on wet or icy roads is inherently dangerous, and drivers on snowy roads often cannot see the layer of ice underneath. The impact of any crash increases the severity of the accident, the force exerted on every victim, and the likelihood that victims could be killed. It has been reported that 53 percent of drivers believe speeding is a normal part of driving. To avoid accidents, drivers should obey local speed limits, leave the house earlier than normal, and allow speeding traffic to pass.
Road rage. Road rage incidents can start with speeding or wild maneuvers that enrage other motorists. Although most drivers go home and complain to their families about these incidents, others attempt to take matters into their own hands. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around one-third of all car accidents involve some form of road rage. Whether or not the perpetrator exited their vehicle, they can easily cause an accident or terrify an unsuspecting motorist.
Aggression includes honking the horn, flashing the high beams, making rude gestures, and yelling at another driver. Something that seems benign on its face can escalate rapidly. Moreover, 66 percent of traffic deaths occur because aggressive drivers allow their emotions to get the better of them. In New Jersey, Jessica’s Law carries severe penalties for drivers who cause major injuries and are convicted of road rage, including three to five years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. If the incident results in minor injuries, the offending driver can spend up to 18 months in jail and pay a $10,000 fine.
What Types of Car Accidents are Compensable?
Car accidents are compensable as long as another party is guilty of negligence or misconduct. Therefore, drivers should seek the truth behind their accidents before giving up on compensation.
T-bone accidents. These accidents most often occur when drivers enter traffic or make turns without looking for other vehicles. A broadside collision such as this can be devastating for both vehicles, and drivers should slow down in intersections or when they see cars jutting into the roadway.
Head-on accidents. Accidents in which vehicles collide head-on are caused by drivers proceeding the wrong way down a road or crossing over the centerline. When it is obvious the offending driver did not make wise decisions, they can be held accountable for these accidents.
Sideswipes. Sideswipe accidents can occur as drivers change lanes or enter the highway. On narrow roads, cars might scrape against one another, or a driver might be forced off the road. In an even more frightening scenario, passenger cars might be sideswiped by large trucks, forcing the smaller vehicle under a large trailer.
Rear-end accidents. These accidents may occur at extremely low speeds in parking lots, in driveways, or in traffic. A high-speed crash of this type might crumple the rear of the vehicle, severely injuring backseat passengers. Tailgating, distraction, and emergency stops most often cause these accidents, but it is important that drivers always stop, call 911, obtain a police report, and seek medical care irrespective of the perceived severity of the accident.
Multi-vehicle accidents. Several vehicles may be involved in a multi-vehicle accident. A rear-end accident may push other drivers forward. An accident may stop in the middle of the road, forcing other vehicles to crash into the accident scene, skid off the road, or cause a completely different accident.
Although these accidents are compensable, the fault may lie with several different drivers. Insurance claims can stretch from one driver to the next, and it takes time for the police, accident reconstruction specialists, or lawyers to determine who caused the crash.
What are Common Car Accident Injuries that Victims Overlook?
Injuries suffered during car accidents range from mild to severe. Severe injuries require immediate medical care, but victims who leave the scene of an accident relatively unscathed may believe they do not need medical attention. This is not the case. Commonly overlooked injuries include the following:
Burns. Victims touch hot pieces of metal, suffer chemical burns, are scalded by steam, or suffer road rash when they skid on the pavement. These injuries may not seem all that severe, but they can deteriorate quickly. A burn can become infected, cause swelling, or impede other bodily functions.
Cuts. When victims suffer cuts or lacerations, they often need more than a bandage. Cuts might develop infections during the recovery process, or the victim might suffer more severe internal injuries. For example, a victim who suffers a severe cut on their thumb might damage the muscles or tendons that allow them to type, complete handiwork, perform skilled labor, or even hold a pencil.
Hearing and visual impairment. After an accident, victims may hear a ringing in their ears or experience blurry vision. The victim must seek medical attention because these problems do not self-correct in most cases.
Broken fingers and toes. Broken fingers and toes are easy to overlook if they do not bruise or cause the victim constant pain or discomfort. Going to the emergency room gives medical professionals the chance to diagnose broken bones, verify their diagnosis with imaging, and set the bones properly.
Internal bleeding. Victims cannot diagnose internal bleeding, but they may feel abdominal pain, chest pain, or experience severe bruising they cannot explain. Victims should allow an emergency physician to complete a physical examination to eliminate the possibility of internal injuries after a car accident.
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Can I Receive Compensation After a Car Accident in Edison?
Compensation available after car accidents covers a range of problems the victims encounter while hoping to recover. A victim cannot simultaneously recover from severe injuries and mount a legal defense. For this reason, they require a lawyer’s assistance when building a claim because the amount of compensation needs to be quite specific. In short, victims do not sue the responsible parties for round numbers such as $1 million.
As victims consider all their injuries and losses, they should collect as much evidence as possible. Additionally, available documentation explains why the victim is accruing medical debt, cannot return to work, or cannot obtain gainful employment in the future. Therefore, compensable damages after a car accident generally include the following costs:
Medical care. Expenses for medical care are compensated up to and including medical and psychological recovery. The victim received emergency care after the accident, and they are visiting doctors, still in the hospital, or face a lengthy recovery. Additional doctor visits, prescriptions, mental health counseling, and home medical aid may be required. A medical expert can also testify to the level of treatment required.
Inability to work. An inability to work leaves the victim without an income or the potential to care for their family in the future. Victims who cannot return to work are losing money until they can work again. Anyone who simply cannot work at all requires income replacement to survive. Victims who can go back to work may not have the capacity to earn that they did in the past. For example, a welder may not possess the fine motor skills to continue in their current position, and non-specialized jobs in the field pay far less money. A lawsuit aims to recover the difference between the victim’s earning potential and their current situation.
Noneconomic damages. These include everything that does not have a receipt or verifiable cost. Pain and suffering along with emotional distress are the most common noneconomic damages. Victims cannot submit a receipt for their pain and suffering, but they can explain how much pain they feel now that they have been hurt in a car accident. A victim cannot attach an exact dollar amount to their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression, but a lawyer can share their story and request compensation.
Punitive damages. Punitive damage claims require clear and convincing evidence as outlined under the New Jersey Punitive Damages Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.9. If the responsible parties were reckless, acted without regard for the victim’s safety, or exhibited malice, they may be liable for punitive damages. New Jersey caps punitive damages at five times the compensatory damages or $350,000.
Wrongful death. A wrongful death claim allows the dependents of the deceased to seek compensation. The executor or administrator of the estate can file the lawsuit, and money awarded goes to the beneficiaries of the estate. Compensation generally includes burial expenses, probate fees, lost income, and additional noneconomic damages.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Hiring a car accident lawyer helps victims determine if they may proceed with a claim and how much compensation they can recover. Lawyers complete an investigation that examines every part of the accident and who may be liable. Other drivers can be named in a lawsuit if they caused the accident directly. If a vehicle fails, the manufacturer may be sued for any defects uncovered during the investigation. If a large truck causes an accident, the trucking company or leasing agency can be held liable if the vehicle was not properly maintained. Construction companies, related businesses, or government agencies may face liability if their inaction causes an accident.
Additionally, a lawyer looks to settle the claim out of court. At this point, the lawyer will communicate with everyone involved in the case. Other lawyers, insurance companies, and even responsible drivers might reach out hoping to make a deal. Each of these entities must face the full legal process before the case closes.
If the case settles, victims receive compensation and move on with their lives. When the lawyer believes their clients can recover significantly more compensation at trial, they will present every piece of evidence in open court. Another option is a bifurcated trial. A bifurcated trial separates liability in the case from compensation, allowing the lawyer to show that multiple parties are responsible for the accident. During the second phase, a lawyer can seek maximum compensation for their client’s injuries and/or losses.
Car Accident Areas Served
Edison Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims Recover from All Types of Accident
If you were hurt in a car accident or lost a loved one, speak to the Edison car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Our team understands that your case is unique, and we will take the time to learn exactly what happened to you. We help victims receive the compensation they deserve and move on with their lives. Call us today at 732-537-8570 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.