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Police Reports and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Can You Recover Insurance Benefits or File a Personal Injury Lawsuit If Police Don’t Come to the Scene of the Accident?

Police Reports and Motor Vehicle AccidentsIt’s long been assumed that the first thing you do, in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, is call the police, so they can come to the scene of the accident and prepare a report. In fact, it’s a common belief that, without a police report, you can’t file an insurance claim. Is that true? Can you file a personal injury lawsuit after a car wreck if you don’t have a police report?

You Don’t Need a Police Report to Collect Insurance or Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

You should contact the police as you are required to report the accident to them if the accident involves injury, death or property damage in excess of $500. Furthermore, a police report provides evidence to support your claim in either instance. However, there is no legal requirement that the police come to the scene and prepare a report in order for you to qualify for either insurance benefits or compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

Your right to insurance is for a covered loss. If you can prove your loss is covered, your insurer is legally bound to reimburse you, provided your premiums are up-to-date and you haven’t violated any provisions of the insurance policy.

To recover a monetary award in a personal injury lawsuit, you must show that the otherdriver acted intentionally, recklessly, or negligently, thereby causing an accident in which you suffered actual losses. Most motor vehicle accident claims are based on allegations that the other driver engaged in unreasonable behavior and was therefore negligent. While a police report may include information that helps establish negligence or carelessness, such conduct can also be proven through the testimony of eyewitnesses and others.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. We can schedule a conference by phone, text message, in person or online videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

An Expired or Suspended Driver’s License

Will It Affect Your Right to Compensation After an Auto Accident?

An Expired or Suspended Driver’s LicenseWe all make mistakes—maybe we forget to renew our driver’s license, or we get too many points and lose our driving privileges. What happens if we decide to drive anyway and are involved in a motor vehicle accident, one where we’re not at fault? Can the person who caused the accident argue that we’re not entitled to any compensation because we weren’t legally on the road at the time? The answer is no.

The Legal Principle of Negligence

Most personal injury lawsuits are based on the legal principle of negligence. To recover compensation under a claim of negligence, you must show three things:

  • That the defendant (the party who allegedly committed a wrongful act) was not acting as a reasonable person would at the time of the accident;
  • That the failure to act reasonably caused the accident; and
  • That you suffered actual losses as a result of the accident.

The Concept of Comparative Negligence

As discussed in previous blogs, New Jersey has adopted the principle of comparative negligence in personal injury claims. With comparative negligence, the judge and jury look at the actions of both parties and can reduce the amount of compensation to an injured person if he or she engaged in conduct that contributed to causing the accident. For example, if one party to a motor vehicle accident runs a stop sign and the other party is speeding, both parties may have some liability.

Courts in New Jersey have never recognized driving on an expired or suspended license to be a form of comparative negligence.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment. We are currently communicating with clients by phone, text message, or videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

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