Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers
Atlantic City is a busy and sparkling metropolis that sits on the southern Jersey Shore. There is an expressway dedicated just to this city, and there are other roads that were designed to lead to Atlantic City in the summertime. There is an international airport feeding the coast, and there are several other vacation towns in the area. Longtime New Jersey residents might keep campers or vacation homes in Somers Point, Margate, or Ocean City. Not only that, but Ocean City is an extremely popular shore town that is close by.
Because of these conditions and much more, reach out to an Atlantic City car accident lawyer for assistance with any car accident case. Both benign and severe accidents deserve an investigation and possible lawsuit or compensation. Review these options before assuming that an accident is nothing more than bad luck. Oftentimes, these accidents are caused by the negligence of someone else and should be litigated to the fullest extent possible.
Is Atlantic City a Difficult Place to Drive?
Atlantic City is a difficult place to drive as taxis take gamblers, shoppers, and diners from one casino to another. The casinos sit on the water, and that forces an outflux of traffic that comes from the shore back into town throughout the day. Atlantic City is also attached to Ventnor City. These two towns practically flow together, and motorists will encounter drivers from the other side of the island. Since Atlantic City is an island, it must be accessed via bridges and causeways. There are not many options for ingress or egress.
As businesses have grown around the casinos, there is very little parking, and it is difficult to move around. When someone comes into Atlantic City, they are advised to park their vehicle and walk from a central location. Driving around a town filled with vacationers, gamblers, and confused tourists is dangerous. The city is busy most of the time, and conventions bring even more people into town over the course of a week or long weekend. Someone who is scheduling a trip to Atlantic City should check convention dates for the time they plan to be in the city. News reports from the summer of 2020 noted that car accident rates had risen to pre-pandemic levels. This indicates that drivers must still go to work, are not driving carefully, and have allowed stress to cause accidents.
How can I Avoid a Car Accident?
When drivers enter Atlantic City, they should be alert for drivers who are distracted, upset, and more. The most important thing drivers can do is remove distractions from the car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that over 2,800 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2018. Drivers are more distracted than ever, and they will continue to be distracted no matter how much advice they are given about their driving.
Distractions in vehicles extend to gamblers who have lost money, someone who is angry about their outcome in the casino, or someone who lost money when betting on a sporting event. Angry gamblers get in their cars, speed away, and cause accidents. Many times, these drivers are also intoxicated or tired from a long day in the casino. Anyone else in the city who is driving normally should slow down because traffic backs up quickly and the city has very few outlets. It is best to allow angry or aggressive drivers to pass because there is nothing that can change their behavior.
Tourists come through Atlantic City all the time in rental cars, and even vacationers who live in New Jersey might not have much experience driving in Atlantic City. Drunk or intoxicated driving might look like confused driving. Stay away from these drivers where possible and call non-emergency services to report these drivers.
When drivers arrive in the city, they should find a place to park, leave their vehicles, and walk. This is a simple way to avoid accidents and helps drivers stay off the road. Because Atlantic City is filled with hotel rooms, someone who has been out all night or is too tired to drive can get a room for the night. If possible, vacationers should rent a condo or apartment in the city so that they do not need to drive for the entirety of their trip. Ridesharing apps are also available.
What if I am Partying in Atlantic City?
Drunk driving laws in New Jersey are stringent, and drivers who are partying in Atlantic City must be careful as they could easily be cited or even arrested. Offenses and penalties include:
- A fine of $250 to $500
- Imprisonment for up to 30 days
- Forfeiture of the driver’s license until the mandated ignition interlock is installed
- A total of 12 hours detention in an intoxicated driver resource center
- An additional insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years
If someone has already had their license suspended and they are caught driving on that suspended license, they will face the following:
- A fine of $500
- Up to 90 days imprisonment
- One to two years of additional license suspension
- Mandatory jail sentences of 45 to 180 days for anyone who injures someone else in a DWI accident
- Revoked registration
Additionally, drivers must submit to a breath test in New Jersey. There is no way for a driver to say that they would like a blood or urine test at the jail or police station. After refusing a breath test, drivers face fines, license suspension that could total up to eight years for the third offense, and possible confinement in an intoxicated driver resource center.
Open container laws are also stringent. The fine for the first offense is $200. The second offense comes with a $250 fine or 10 days of community service. Reach out to a lawyer any time accidents occur as a crowded town with tourists, gamblers, and intoxicated individuals spilling out of the casinos, bars, or restaurants can be a hotbed for dangerous driving.
Can I be Cited for Distracted Driving in New Jersey?
Because of the high likelihood of distracted driving in New Jersey, the state has issued guidelines for all drivers. Drivers cannot handle their phones while driving. Headphones, Bluetooth, or application-specific syncing is required. Since Atlantic City is such a busy city, there is a law enforcement presence throughout the city. Handling a phone for just a moment while sitting at a traffic light could easily be caught by a passing policeman. A driver in this situation might have been drinking because they came to Atlantic City for a good time, and the situation can escalate quickly. It is best to hand the phone to someone else.
What are Some Common Car Accident Injuries?
Common car accident injuries are often easy to ignore because of alcohol and gambling-fueled euphoria in the Atlantic City area. Some accidents are so minor that drivers see little to no damage, have no desire to file an insurance claim, and part ways without so much as a word. All accidents should be addressed and documented as quickly as possible. Without evidence, a lawyer has little to go on when retained by the victim. The following injuries can be suffered in a car accident
Whiplash: Whiplash is an injury often overlooked by anyone who is involved in a car accident. These accidents can occur at speeds as low as five miles per hour where most people assume no injuries have occurred. Unfortunately, whiplash can cause neck and shoulder pain for many months after the accident. Someone who believes the accident was not serious will simply assume that these aches and pains are due to something else.
Head injuries: Head injuries are common in car accidents as motorists or passengers hit their heads on the dashboard, seat, windshield, or the seat in front of them. Head injuries often present as nothing more than a headache, but that could not be further from the truth. Victims could have a concussion, contusion, cuts, bruises, and more. Closed head injuries are difficult to see and must be diagnosed by a doctor using the appropriate imaging technology.
Cuts and lacerations: Broken glass from car accidents may cause further cuts or lacerations all over the victim’s body. An open head wound involves a laceration and should be treated as quickly as possible. Infections are likely, and further brain trauma may occur.
Broken bones: Broken bones get overlooked all the time as broken toes or fingers are often not taken seriously at the scene. Because these broken bones have not been diagnosed at the scene or emergency room, victims cannot prove that they were hurt at that time. Allow an EMT to examine every victim and recommend a visit to the hospital or doctor. Some people are more injured than they know, or the EMT may uncover other injuries that should be treated immediately.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is a common issue when victims recover from an accident. The trauma of a car accident may be so severe that drivers or passengers feel fear, physical symptoms, or even nightmares and sleeplessness because of the accident. Therapy is required when the victim must learn to cope with their feelings concerning the accident.
Review these injuries with a lawyer after an accident and collect evidence that may help with a case. Remember that lawsuits require evidence, and these injuries must be diagnosed by a doctor on the day of the accident or soon after. Waiting to file a lawsuit with no record of medical care makes it difficult for victims to recover compensation. Additionally, the statute of limitations in New Jersey is two years from the date of the accident. Filing a lawsuit quickly helps avoid delays or loss of evidence.
Who Should I Sue for Damages?
Suing for damages requires evidence and the ability to demonstrate that the defendant is the reason the accident occurred. A lawsuit will seek damages that equal all the money that was lost because of the accident. The victim has suffered greatly, and all their debts should be paid as part of the lawsuit. Finding the responsible party is part of the lawyer’s job. Drivers are most often negligent when causing accidents involving other vehicles. Something as simple as reaching for an item in the floorboard is negligent and can cause serious injuries or deaths.
Truck drivers are bound by federal laws that must be followed, including inspecting their brakes, driving with the appropriate rest, obeying the speed limit, and more. Trucking companies may be guilty of forcing their drivers into bad situations, and those situations are made even worse by a tightly packed Atlantic City road network.
Pedestrians in the city might walk in front of a vehicle when they do not have the right of way, or they may not yield to traffic when attempting to cross. If pedestrians have caused accidents, they can be sued just like another driver or entity. A police report is often required, along with evidence from the scene, because pedestrians are most often victims of car accidents. Proving that a pedestrian caused an accident requires legal assistance and an investigation.
Leasing companies can err just as badly as trucking companies if they have not cared for their vehicles. Construction companies must take care to keep their construction sites clean and properly marked. Debris in the road can cause accidents, or workers might drop debris from overpasses. Other businesses may also be responsible if they obstructed the roadway or allowed debris to enter the roadway, causing dangerous situations for drivers.
What Types of Compensation Do I Qualify For?
Compensation for these accidents can vary widely depending on what occurred. Victims may suffer only minor injuries, deaths may have occurred, or a long recovery may be required. Common remuneration for car accidents include:
Lost income: Because victims are no longer able to work, they must receive all the money they would have made otherwise. This type of compensation might include future earnings that could not be recovered. Some victims have their lives turned upside down by an accident, and they must be paid the amount of money they have lost.
Medical bills: Medical bills can stretch far beyond the original lawsuit date, and they should be calculated using estimates from medical experts. Medical experts can also submit statements that explain why the victim is disabled or unable to work. These expenses might include further surgeries, physical therapy, and medications. A victim who has been badly injured may need to consult with a specialist in another state, or they may need to be transported to an out-of-state facility for their care.
Counseling may also be required as victims experience PTSD. While this condition never truly goes away, the victim must learn how to cope and create a new support system that includes their therapist or a potential therapy group. Therapy might last for many years, and the victim may also require psychotropic medication to manage their symptoms.
Pain and suffering, loss of companionship, or loss of family support systems: The family dynamic often changes after an accident, and the defendant can be held accountable for irrevocable changes they have caused. Review everything that occurred after the accident as a lawyer will use this evidence to show how pain and suffering has occurred. A judge or jury must see that pain and suffering is part of the victim’s experience. Anyone can claim that they suffered, but a lawyer will build a compelling case that proves pain and suffering has occurred.
Punitive damages: These damages might also be allowed depending on the opinion of the jury or judge. If the family settles their case out of court, they cannot recover punitive damages. Victims and their families should review these options with their lawyer when deciding if they want to go to court or not. The state of New Jersey caps these awards at five times the compensatory damages awarded in the lawsuit or $350,000.
Review compensation options with a car accident lawyer so that the legal process becomes clear. Victims and their families cannot expect a massive payout simply because an accident occurred. Their lawyer will go to great lengths to learn the precise amount that the victim has suffered or been inconvenienced, indebted, or disabled.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Suit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is allowed if someone has died at the scene of the accident, immediately after the accident, or due to injuries sustained in the accident. Wrongful death lawsuits are very similar to personal injury lawsuits because they request the same types of compensation. Medical expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship are even more severe because someone has died. The wrongful death lawsuit can be coordinated by the lawyer with the dependents of the deceased or the administrator of their estate. In each case, these lawsuits must be filed on behalf of the estate to benefit the dependents. In most cases, the lawsuit will pay the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. Speak to a lawyer to learn who is eligible to file a lawsuit in these cases.
Can a Lawyer Help Me?
A lawyer can help anyone who has been injured in an accident or lost a loved one. Retaining a lawyer is the simplest way to begin an investigation and seek compensation. Families who are healing after an accident are concerned about how they will recover and find the money they need to move on. When retaining a lawyer, the lawyer begins collecting evidence that can be used to file the lawsuit and negotiate a settlement. Settlements can be reached when both sides agree that it is cheaper and more efficient to settle rather than going to court for a long period of time.
A lawyer can explain if settling or going to court is better. There are cases in which settlements are not cost-effective and the defendant is not paying for their negligence appropriately. In other cases, settling closes the case quickly and helps victims deal with debts left over from their accident. Lawyers are also willing to file appeals. They can help families who have had issues with their insurance companies, and they can even provide assistance if the victim is on disability or needs help with government subsidies.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Recover Compensation for Victims After a Car Accident
When you are hurt or lose someone dear to you in a car accident, contact the Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm. Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.