After a car accident in New Jersey, the parties involved typically exchange car insurance and contact information. The parties should then call their car insurance companies to report the accident. Details of the accident and injuries sustained, if any, are reported to the parties’ car insurance companies.
In most situations, if a driver or passenger was injured as a result of a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, the negligent driver’s car insurance company will call the injured car accident victim to get a statement about the accident and details of his/her injuries.
Most injured car accident victims do not know that they have no obligation to give a statement to the at fault driver’s car insurance company. As a result, they give a statement that may end up hurting their subsequent NJ car accident lawsuit against the at fault driver.
Giving Statements to the Negligent Driver’s Insurance Company Could Hurt Your NJ Car Accident Lawsuit
For example, assume that driver A was rear-ended at a NJ intersection and sustained spinal injuries, such as multiple disc herniations in his lower back, but does not realize the severity of his injuries immediately after the accident. The reason that driver A does not realize the severity of his injuries is because the symptoms from the disc herniations are masked by shock and overall pain he feels in his body. Further, in the emergency room, x-rays, which typically do not show disc herniations, were taken of driver A’s back. An MRI, an imaging study that shows disc herniations, was not done. Driver A was told to follow-up with his primary physician.
The day after the accident, the negligent driver’s insurance company calls and asks driver A to give a statement about the accident and his injuries. Driver A describes the pain in his back and throughout his body and says that with rest he should feel better.
Two days pass, the pain throughout driver A’s body improves; however, he starts to feel numbness and shooting pain down his leg. He sees his primary doctor who refers him to see an orthopedic doctor. An MRI is performed on driver A’s back, which shows several disc herniations in his back. One of the herniated discs is pressing on a nerve that is causing the numbness and shooting pain down his leg. Driver A requires intensive physical therapy and further treatment for the herniated discs.
Subsequently, driver A files a car accident lawsuit against the negligent driver. During the litigation process, driver A’s injuries are heavily contested by the defendant. Driver A’s statement to the defendant’s insurance company is used as evidence that his injuries are not that serious. Driver A’s statement creates a red-herring in his car accident lawsuit, that his injuries were not that serious.
Driver A can still prevail in his NJ car accident lawsuit. The severity of his injuries can be proven through medical records and physician testimony; however, his initial statement created an unnecessary hurdle.
Therefore, it is advisable for injured car accident victims to seek help from a NJ car accident lawyer immediately after a car accident if they are thinking about bringing a lawsuit. If contacted by the at fault driver’s insurance company, injured victims can tell the at fault driver’s car insurance company to contact their lawyer.
Related NJ Car Accident and Injury Legal Articles
- Recovering Damages in a New Jersey Left Hand Turn Car or Truck Accident
- Rear End Car Accidents on New Jersey Roads & Highways – Secondary Impacts
Help After Sustaining Injury in a New Jersey Car, Bus or Truck Accident. FREE CONSULTATIONS. 800.281.8695
If you were injured in a NJ car, bus or truck accident and would like to explore your legal options, call Philip T. Ciprietti, Esquire, an experienced car accident lawyer who has been helping injured car, bus and truck accident victims in NJ for over 35 years. Call 800.281.8695 for a free initial consultation.
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