There were nearly 277,000 reported auto accidents in New Jersey in 2019. More than 60,000 of these accidents resulted in injuries or death. There could have been hundreds more injured who never reported their injuries and were unable to file personal injury claims against negligent drivers. There is simply no way to know for sure.
Immediately after a crash — even what seems like a minor one — people involved typically experience a rush of adrenaline and a release of endorphins that can heighten the senses, mask pain, and help them remain calm. That physical reaction can potentially risk your health and prohibit your ability to make an injury claim against a negligent driver.
Any time you have been in a car accident, you should seek medical attention.
At Maran & Maran PC, I help clients from Newark and throughout counties in Northern New Jersey (including Warren, Sussex, Passaic, Essex, Somerset, and Hunterdon) pursue compensation for auto crash-related injuries. The first step is to seek medical care — It could potentially save your life and your claim.
New Jersey Personal Injury Claims
New Jersey is a no-fault state for auto accident claims. This does not mean that no one is assigned fault for a crash, but injured drivers must first exhaust their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and then meet certain requirements to be able to file a claim against the driver who caused the crash.
You must provide documentation of medical expenses, other damages, and of any of the following to pursue a claim against someone else’s insurance coverage:
Loss of a body part
Loss of a fetus
Death of a loved one
Reasons to Seek Immediate
There are three key reasons you should seek medical care immediately after even a seemingly minor car accident.
1. To avoid risking further injury or even save your life.
That rush of adrenaline may mask pain, making you unaware of your injuries. The endorphins make you feel calm and in control. Other injuries may not be immediately obvious, including soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, internal injuries, concussions or other traumatic brain injuries, and bone fractures. Even crashes that occur at low speeds can cause these injuries.
You should seek medical treatment at the scene of the crash or at an emergency room, urgent care center, or your doctor’s office immediately upon leaving the scene. You need to receive proper diagnostic intervention and medical treatment to determine the extent and severity of any injuries.
2. To discourage insurance companies from
using delay in treatment to deny your claim.
One circumstance insurers use to deny claims is whether you sought medical care immediately or within hours after the crash. If you did not, they will argue that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant treatment. They will use any significant lapse between the time of the crash and a medical provider visit to assert that you injured yourself in some other way and are blaming those injuries on the accident.
3. To obtain the medical documentation
you will need to substantiate your injury claim.
To make a claim for bodily injuries, you must have documentation from medical professionals that tie your injuries to the crash in their diagnoses. If your medical records do not reflect the crash as the cause of injury or aggravation of prior conditions, your injury claim may be denied.
How Maran & Maran PC Can Help
As you can see, seeking immediate medical care — even if you are not sure you have been injured — is vital to both your health and your potential personal injury claim. It is often difficult to document evidence to substantiate personal injury insurance claims, and it is even more critical to have such documentation in a no-fault state like New Jersey.
An experienced personal injury attorney is both your best offense and the best defense against insurance companies. An attorney will investigate the crash and gather all of the evidence needed for your claim.
At Maran & Maran PC, I have decades of experience accident victims can rely on to build a case and file a claim to help them seek fair compensation for their damages beyond their PIP coverage. I serve clients in the greater Newark area and across all of Northern New Jersey, including the counties of Mercer, Monmouth, Hudson, Middlesex, Union, Bergen, and Morris. If you need help with an accident claim, call my office now to schedule a free consultation.