Monmouth County New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Common injuries after a car wreck might take time to appear

People often focus on the immediate symptoms that they notice after a car crash. What they might not realize is that there are some problems that can appear in the days and weeks after the crash. These can be just as serious as those present at the scene of the wreck.

Knowing what to watch for in the period after the crash can help determine whether you need medical care of if you are able to manage the symptoms on your own. Many of the most common injuries do need to be checked by a doctor, so make sure you are being vigilant after the incident.

Alcohol continues to claim lives on New Jersey roads

During the holiday season, it is not uncommon for residents in New Jersey to enjoy a multitude of celebrations. Company holiday parties, family gatherings and more have become hallmarks of this time of year. Unfortunately, these events commonly see a high number of people consuming multiple alcoholic beverages and then grabbing their keys to drive home. Drunk driving continues to be a problem in New Jersey as shown by statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the five years between 2013 and 2017, alcohol was a contributing factor in 25 percent of all vehicular fatalities in Monmouth County. There were 214 people killed in car accidents in the county during this time, 54 of which died in drunk driving wrecks. This is actually more deaths than in any of Monmouth County's neighboring counties. In Middlesex and Burlington Counties, 50 and 46 people were killed in accidents involving alcohol, respectively. Ocean County was the location of 38 drunk driving deaths and Mercer County the location of yet another 28.

Are men more likely to get a DUI?

It is a common belief that men are more likely to get a DUI than women. Of course, any drunk driver on New Jersey roads is a bad thing. However, understanding who is most likely to do it can help officials find ways to stop them from doing it.

Guardian Interlock says studies do prove the common belief true, and most drunk drivers are men. However, the number of women getting DUIs is rising. The percentage of women arrested for DUI rose 15 percent from the 1980s to the early 2010s. This is not a trend anyone wants to continue.

What do you need to know about pain and suffering damages in NJ?

If you sustained injuries in a car accident in New Jersey, you may wonder if you can collect damages for pain and suffering and, if so, if the state will limit those damages. Briefly put, yes, you may pursue compensation for pain and suffering and no, the amount of compensation you can receive is not limited. However, as with all matters of the law, nothing is cut-and-dry.

According to FindLaw, because it is difficult for any judge, juror or medical provider to put a cost on pain and suffering, and because jurors are often easily swayed by emotional stories, courts fear that jurors will abuse non-economic damages and award over-the-top verdicts. After all, it is not unheard of for jurors to assign awards that are significantly higher than the actual economic damages that occurred as a result of the accident. As a result, most states limit the amount in damages injured parties may receive. Some states limit recovery only to individuals who sustain physical injuries and whose pain and suffering is literal. Fortunately for New Jersey accident victims, New Jersey does not put a cap on non-economic damages.

Prepare before you drive in the snowy weather

Driving in the winter months are often a challenge in states like New Jersey that tend to see plenty of snow and ice. Not only do you have to worry about how your vehicle is going to fare in the cold weather, you also have to think about the road conditions. There are many things that can impact your safety during this time of year.

Getting ready for a drive begins long before you ever start your vehicle. By ensuring that it is ready for the road and that you've brushed up on some basic driving tips, you can help to improve your safety.

Driving during the first snowfall of the season

For people who live in colder parts of the country, snow is a major concern when it comes to traffic accidents during the winter months. Moreover, there are a number of times when the risk of an accident caused by snowfall is especially high, such as blizzard conditions and the first snowfall of the season. When it first snows, there are multiple reasons why drivers may have a higher chance of crashing, from those who moved to the area earlier in the year and lack experience driving in the snow to drivers who forget to drive safe when road conditions are less than ideal.

Some drivers get in the habit of driving at a particular speed to get to their destination on time, and they may be thrown off by unexpected snowfall. As a result, they may find themselves in a rush and driving way too fast on the road. While heading around a turn, or trying to drive up a hill, they may lose control of their vehicle and collide with another driver. Even small amounts of snow on the road can lead to a crash and road conditions may vary considerably from one day to the next.

What is dram shop liability?

Assigning liability for drunk driving accidents in Monmouth County might seem fairly straightforward: the intoxicated driver that hit you is responsible for their actions. Yet what about those parties that may have contributed to them becoming drunk? Without having been furnished with alcohol, a strong argument may be made that the driver that hit you would have never been in position to do so in the first place. At the same time, others might claim that establishments are not responsible for the actions of their patrons. 

The latter assertion may be true only to a certain extent. New Jersey has joined a number of other states in establishing its own "dram shop law." These laws are meant to assign liability to restaurants, bars or clubs where a driver became intoxicated before causing an accident. Such laws might cause many to question why an establishment would serve alcohol at all. Yet dram shop liability may not apply to every case involving drunk driving. 

Potholes and motor vehicle wrecks

With winter around the corner, people in some parts of the country are likely thinking about ice, snow and other weather-related hazards on the road. However, even when weather conditions are ideal there may be a number of threats to the safety of all drivers and those riding in their vehicles. For example, some roads have a pothole problem, and these potholes can lead to an accident in various ways. It is important to be careful of potholes when you are driving and realize how they could lead to a crash.

First of all, potholes can lead to single-vehicle accidents if a driver loses control of their vehicle after unexpectedly driving over a pothole. Some accidents may involve a car rolling over or veering off of the road and hitting a tree, for example. Aside from the risk of a rollover accident or a crash which only involves one vehicle, potholes can also lead to a collision which involves a number of vehicles. For example, a driver may hit a pothole and cross over into another lane. Or, a driver may cause an accident while trying to avoid a pothole.

What is the first-time drunk driving penalty?

Driving under the influence of alcohol puts you in danger and endangers everyone else on the road. New Jersey has set laws about what will happen to you if you get convicted of a DUI. To begin with, if you drive and your blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher, then you are driving under the influence, according to the Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

The penalties you face get stiffer with each subsequent DUI conviction. However, if you face your first offense and your BAC was 0.08-0.09 percent, you will have to pay an insurance surcharge of $1000 annually for three years and a fine ranging from $250-$400. You may also have to go to jail for up to 30 days, spend at least six hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and have your license suspended for three months. If your BAC is .10 percent or more, the fine jumps to between $300 and $500 and your license suspension is for at least seven months and up to one year.

Can technology eliminate distracted driving?

Distracted driving is a growing problem throughout the world and it's largely the result of addictive smartphones. Indeed, if you look around at the traffic around you while driving, you'll no doubt catch countless drivers with their noses buried in a smart device.

Perhaps, if technology caused this problem, it could also be the solution.

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