Driving through New Brunswick, New Jersey can be challenging, as it is a bustling city and home to students, travelers, and commuters. Highways pass through the area, increasing traffic levels, and the large population of younger drivers makes the roads a little more difficult to drive. Because car accidents can occur at any time, it is important to know what to do in these circumstances. Moreover, drivers must understand preventative measures that can cut down on their chances of being involved in an accident.
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How Serious are Poor Road Conditions In New Jersey?
New Jersey tests poorly in all categories regarding road conditions. Although drivers may have well-maintained roads in their neighborhoods or side streets, the overall condition of roads in New Jersey is not ideal; unfortunately, these road conditions can cause problems for drivers. A study by the Reason Foundation ranked New Jersey last in the United States in overall road condition. The state also ranks 29th in structurally deficient bridges. This means that the three major bridges crossing the Raritan River may also make driving difficult.
In many other categories, New Jersey ranks 40th or lower, indicating that drivers are entering a busy road system that is not in the best condition for driving. For example, the state ranks 45th in urban pavement condition, 46th in urban arterial pavement condition, and 22 in urban fatalities. If drivers can use public transport, they may want to do so. In New Brunswick, there were three fatalities in 2019, two pedestrian deaths, but no drunk driving deaths. Although drivers should take steps to avoid accidents, they must be aware that congestion of this magnitude causes deaths every year.
These accidents cause almost $800 million in damages every year, according to a 2018 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These accidents involve motor vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Drivers must be extremely careful when leaving the house and make allowances for poor road conditions. If nothing else, drivers need an extra 15 to 30 minutes to drive at a reasonable speed and avoid all the poor road conditions they might find. Motorcyclists should be especially careful because they are not protected by the shell a car provides.
Why Does New Brunswick Have So Many Car Accidents?
New Brunswick is home to Rutgers University. Major county government establishments dot the landscape, and Rutgers brings traffic into the city because of students, faculty, and staff commuting every day. The Northeast Corridor train passes through the area, and the city is only about 20 miles from Manhattan.
The city educational system serves over 10,000 students who must get to school every day, attending classes in almost 25 different buildings. Aside from Rutgers, which boasts an enrollment of almost 70,000 students, the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and University Hospital, and Middlesex County College also host students every day.
New Brunswick contains part of the New Jersey Turnpike, US Route 1, and State Route 27. In addition, New Brunswick borders other busy outer suburbs of New York, including Somerset, Edison, Sayreville, and North Brunswick. Therefore, the city serves as a natural thoroughfare for drivers seeking the most direct route to their destination. Given that over 50,000 people live in an area of less than six square miles, it is understandable that congestion will be an issue. Visitors and residents must be aware of these realities before getting on the road.
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What Causes Car Accidents Around New Brunswick?
Car accidents occur because drivers fall into a routine, make poor decisions, or perform maneuvers that are a bit too dangerous. Although these problems are easy to solve, drivers must commit to making changes to how they drive. The following are common causes for car accidents around New Brunswick:
Distracted driving. Many accidents occur because drivers look at their phones, check their email, or dial while driving. In some cases, drivers may check their phones for directions, start conversations in the car, or even direct road rage at someone else. Distractions can take a driver’s attention off the road and any conditions that may emerge. Taking over 2,800 lives across the United States in 2018, distracted driving kills drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Parents can teach their teens to drive without distractions, and teens should think carefully about their actions before getting behind the wheel.
Drunk/impaired driving. In the United States, drunk driving is responsible for 29 deaths every day, on average, and about $44 billion in damages annually. Children are at risk in the same way as adults, and intoxicated driving occurs when drivers drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, take prescription medications, or do not follow the directions on their prescriptions.
A survey recently published by Zebra shows that over 37 percent of college students believe they can still drive after three or four drinks. Over 26 percent of women aged 18 to 24 have driven while impaired at some point. Nearly 56 percent of those responding to the survey did not use ridesharing services to avoid drunk driving.
Speeding. Driving too fast is a controllable issue that many motorists choose to ignore. Drivers speed because they know they can get to their destinations faster, but they do not consider how often they could be injured or killed because speeding has been an issue on American roads for many years. Because speeding killed almost 10,000 people in 2018, drivers should be more careful and watch their speed. When speeding, drivers can lose control of their vehicles easily.
Road rage. Drivers may experience road rage because traffic makes them late, or they speed to get to their next destination on time. Drivers are distracted while enraged, and they may speed to keep up with someone else. Certain types of accidents happen more easily because of road rage. A sobering statistic on road rage shows that it results in 30 murders a year and that eight out of 10 Americans were involved in a road rage situation in the 30 days preceding the study. Because of these findings, drivers must be aware of their emotions, calm down, and even pull over to cool off if necessary.
What are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents?
Avoiding car accidents is difficult when drivers do not know how these accidents happen. Drivers may well be distracted or speeding, but they need to know the sort of accidents that might occur. This is especially important when drivers make snap decisions without realizing the implications of those decisions. The following are the most common types of accidents drivers experience:
T-bone accidents. These accidents occur when drivers strike another vehicle at a right angle or close to a right angle. These accidents often occur at intersections when drivers roll through or do not see the stop light/sign. At times, drivers cause these accidents when turning right. The oncoming cars may strike at an oblique angle, or drivers turning left in an intersection may cause the same accident. Drivers should look carefully before turning, stop completely at an intersection, and slow down when passing through intersections in case a careless driver plans to turn without looking.
Sideswipe accidents. Sideswipes often occur when a driver strikes another vehicle broadly, pushing that vehicle aside. Some drivers cross the centerline and skid across the side of another vehicle. This accident often occurs when drivers linger alongside large trucks, and the truck driver does not see them. A small car could be stuck under a trailer, and large vans, box trucks, car carriers, or boat haulers may also sideswipe smaller vehicles they cannot see. Drivers should check their blind spots often and avoid areas that make it difficult for the other driver to see them.
Rollover accidents. Large trucks tip or roll when their loads are imbalanced, and SUVs or vans have a high center of gravity, which makes them a bit more dangerous to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that 90 percent of rollovers occur during a driver’s typical commute or drive around town, and 85 percent of rollovers are single-vehicle accidents. Approximately 40 percent of rollovers occur while the driver is speeding, and even drivers in smaller cars must slow down, as 75 percent of rollovers occur on rural roads.
Rear-end accidents. These accidents can range from simple fender-benders to major chain-reaction crashes. Drivers involved in slow-speed accidents must still receive medical attention because whiplash is common in these accidents. High-speed crashes often occur because of distraction or unexpected lane changes. For example, drivers who change lanes without signaling could be rear-ended by someone who could not stop fast enough.
Drivers in chain-reaction crashes often cannot make an emergency stop in the appropriate amount of time, and other drivers crash into one another until the pileup ends. These accidents can be dangerous, and they are often so violent that it is difficult to determine who caused the accident. Drivers must remember that liability in these cases can be difficult to assess, and several insurance claims could be filed as a result of these accidents. Reaching out to a lawyer allows the victim to determine who is to blame and how to recover compensation.
Head-on collisions. These accidents are often the most devastating and terrifying crashes. Drivers can be struck head-on when they cross the centerline, when someone else crosses the centerline, or when confused drivers turn the wrong way down one-way roads. In the most extreme cases, a driver might enter the highway going the wrong way. Some drivers do not pay heed to signs regulating traffic in construction zones, or they drive past flaggers attempting to control traffic flow.
Single-vehicle accidents. These accidents involve just one vehicle striking a tree, lamp pole, or power pole. These cars might crash into a barrier, or they might run off the road, strike a building, or hit another fixed object. For the most part, these accidents cause injury only to those inside the vehicle, but they can become much more severe if the driver is speeding or loses control of the vehicle in the process. Single-vehicle accidents may also occur because of a defect in the vehicle. In other cases, accidents occur because the roadway’s design is too dangerous for the populace, and the local municipality charged with designing and maintaining that road is liable.
- $1 MPedestrian Accident
- $845 KCommercial Truck Accident
- $275 KSlip and Fall Accident
What Types of Compensation can I Recover After My Car Accident?
Compensation after a car accident can help a victim return to a normal life, or a life that is as close to normal as possible. The purpose of a lawsuit is to help the affected parties believe they can move on, afford medical care, and deal with mounting bills they cannot pay because they cannot work. Victims can obtain the following types of compensation after a car accident:
Medical expenses: These expenses cover everything from the ambulance ride to the hospital to emergency care and visits with doctors. Someone suffering major injuries may require extensive medical care, and it is important that victims collect their medical records and receipts for evidence. Too often, victims leave the accident scene without receiving medical care and cannot prove they were hurt at that time. While the victim recovers, they may require counseling, physical therapy, medications, and a range of other services. A doctor or medical expert can provide a statement showing how much money is required for a full recovery, and the lawyer will use that information to file the lawsuit.
Lost income: Victims cannot pay their bills or support their families if they cannot work. Even if they return to work, they are missing money that they should have made. Lost earning potential is a completely different matter. Someone who cannot go back to work or who must change jobs is in a different position. These people deserve compensation for the difference between their prior earning potential and what they can now make.
Pain and suffering: Lawyers review the pain and suffering the victim endured as a result of the accident. This includes a loss of quality of life, lost relationships, and even lost familial support. For the most part, families cannot recover completely from these accidents, and this sort of compensation helps families stay together. The victim may also support their children, grandchildren, or other members of the family. The support they provide is often critical for the survival of a disabled sibling or adult child.
Punitive damages: These damages may be awarded if it is proven that the offending driver or entity was willfully negligent or malicious. New Jersey courts can award up to $350,000 or five times the amount awarded at trial. The state assesses these damages against the severe harm suffered by the victim; reckless disregard for life; the duration of the neglect or misconduct; concealment of those actions by the defendant; and the wanton, oppressive, or specific nature of the injury.
Wrongful death: Damages in a wrongful death case include burial expenses and administrative or probate costs for the victim’s estate. A lawyer should be consulted about which members of the family are eligible to file the lawsuit. Those eligible include spouses, children, and dependent parents, grandparents, and siblings. Other friends and extended family members cannot file suit because they are not dependents of the deceased.
Victims should speak with a car accident lawyer to learn how these circumstances apply to the case at hand. Although victims may believe they deserve all the compensation listed above, they cannot receive that compensation without a compelling case, evidence, and the support of a lawyer with experience in this field.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do to Help the Victim?
A car accident lawyer can help victims in a variety of ways. A lawyer explains what can be done to recover compensation. When a lawyer believes the case cannot move forward, they will explain the reason. All other accidents undergo a thorough investigation, with the lawyer looking for any evidence showing neglect on the part of another party. When filing a lawsuit, a lawyer can discover more information about the case and show that their client in no way caused the accident.
A lawyer will continue to build a case and start a settlement negotiation, hoping to keep the case out of court. Many parties may choose to settle because they do not want the case to drag on, as that can be expensive for both sides. If the case must go to trial, the lawyer prepares everyone for that eventuality. The case will continue on appeal if the outcome is not favorable for the victim, and a lawyer provides additional support as needed.
In short, victims need help from a lawyer who understands the process. Victims should allow a lawyer to take the lead to avoid delays or confusion, as the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in New Jersey is two years.
Car Accident Areas Served
New Brunswick Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Assist Motor Vehicle Accident Victims
After a car accident, you deserve vigorous representation that protects your rights and helps you to recover. The New Brunswick car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr assist both accident victims and bereaved family members. Our team helps 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 throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.