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Initial NJ Auto Accident Injury Lawyer Consult: What to Bring

NJ Injury Attorney Consultation

Initial NJ Auto Accident Injury With Lawyer Consult: What to Bring

You have been injured in an auto accident in New Jersey.  You have asked around and found a few personal injury lawyers in the area.  You looked online to see the reviews of these personal injury lawyers and have selected one that you would like to consult with regarding your auto accident.  What should you bring to the initial consultation?

  • Declaration Page: It is very important to bring the declaration page from your auto insurance policy.  This will allow the New Jersey personal injury lawyer that you have selected to advise you on a number of things.  First, the personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you whether you have selected the limitation on lawsuit threshold.  The limitation on lawsuit threshold prevents those injured an auto accident from filing a lawsuit unless the injury falls into one of six categories.  These include: death, dismemberment, significant scarring, loss of a fetus, displaced fracture or permanent injury.  In addition to being able to identify whether the limitation on lawsuit threshold is applicable, the personal injury attorney will be able to advise you as to your coverage limits for medical bills and the amount potentially available to you should the other vehicle involved in the crash be uninsured.
  • Property Damages Photos: Pictures of your car following the accident are very important as well.  It gives the personal injury lawyer some perspective on how the accident happened.  It also allows the personal injury attorney to evaluate the nature and force of the impact.
  • Health Insurance Cards:  Whether you have Medicare, Medicaid, HMO,  or a PPO, it is important to bring your health insurance cards with you to the initial meeting.  Although your auto insurance company is primarily responsible for your medical bills, your health insurer may have already paid some of your medical expenses such as the hospital bill.  If Medicare or Medicaid paid medical bills related to the accident, they will want the money back from the driver that caused the crash.  This is true for some health insurance companies as well.
  • Police Report:  The police report is single most important document in any auto accident case.  The police report may be mailed to you or you may need to pick it up at the police station.  This is perhaps the most important document in any car accident case because it identifies the parties involved in the accident.  It identifies who claimed injury at the scene.  It provides a diagram as to how the accident happened.  It provides the auto insurance information for all of the vehicles involved in the accident.  If the police report is in your possession at the time of the initial consultation, it is extremely helpful to have for the initial consultation.
  • Medical Bills: Bringing the medical bills with you to the initial consultation accomplishes two things.  First, it allows your attorney to see whether it was paid and by whom.  In addition, it allows you attorney to see the name  and address of the doctor or medical facility that you have been treating with.

Any other documentation that you can find is important to bring with you as well but the materials listed above are the most important in any motor vehicle accident case.

The Sloan Law Firm handles auto accident cases in Union County, Morris County, Somerset County, Middlesex County, Essex County and throughout New Jersey.  If you have been injured in a New Jersey auto accident and would to speak with a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, call (908) 358-2938.  The initial consultation is always free.

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Understanding Your Auto Insurance Policy After a NJ Car Accident Injury

Car Accident Lawyer New Jersey

Injured in a Car Accident in NJ? Understanding Your Auto Insurance Policy

After a car accident in New Jersey, people often find themselves digging around the house to find their auto insurance policy.   Auto insurers issue what is called a Declaration Page with the policy.  Everyone understands collision coverage limits and the deductible associated with it.   But, what are these other acronyms?  BI? UM/UIM? PIP?

Bodily Injury Coverage

“BI” stands for Bodily Injury coverage.  This coverage is there to protect you in the event that you are sued by others for causing bodily injury in a car accident.  The dollar amount next to it represents your coverage limits.  Generally, there are two amounts listed.  The first amount represents the amount of BI coverage you have for each person that may sue you.  The second number is the amount you have for each accident.

So, let’s assume I got into a car accident in Cranford, N.J. In the other car, there are three people – 1 driver and 2 passengers.  Let’s also assume that next to the BI coverage, I had limits of 15/30.  If one of the people in the other car sued me, the most insurance coverage I would have would be $15,000.00.  If all three of the people sued me, the most insurance coverage I would have would be $30,000.00.  At this point, I may have a problem.  An experienced personal injury lawyer in Cranford, N.J. may come after my house on behalf of his or her client.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage

“UM/UIM” stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  This coverage is there to protect you in the event that you are injured in a car accident through no fault of your own and the driver responsible has no insurance or limited insurance.  Uninsured motorist coverage is pretty easy to understand.   Assuming, again, that I got into a car accident in Cranford, N.J., but this time it was not my fault.  However, the other driver had no insurance.  Let’s assume, again, I look to my declaration page and see 15/30.   The maximum amount that my auto insurance company would possibly reimburse me for my injuries (not including medical expenses) is $15,000.00.

Underinsured motorist or “UIM” coverage is a little trickier.  The concept is easy.  The other car had limited insurance so my insurance picks up where the other driver’s left off.  In practice, “UIM” coverage only comes into effect when the driver responsible for the accident had more coverage.  So, if both drivers in an accident have 15/30 in “UM/UIM” coverage, there is no underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage available to the injured driver not at fault.  The driver responsible has to have more.  The insurance company is only responsible for the difference.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

“PIP” refers to Personal Injury Protection.  This coverage is there to pay your medical bills in the event that you are injured in a NJ car accident.  The coverage amounts available for this coverage range from $15,000.00 to $250,000.00.  PIP is available to you regardless of whether or not you are at fault for the accident.  New Jersey is a no-fault state when it comes to coverage for your medical expenses.  It is also becomes primary when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident unless you select “health primary” on your auto policy application instead.

If you are ever hurt in a car accident in Cranford or anywhere in New Jersey, it is sometimes necessary to immediately consult with an experienced Personal Injury NJ Lawyer.  Attorney Daniel Sloan has many years of experience handling NJ personal injury cases.  If you have been injured in a New Jersey car accident and would like a free consultation to explore your legal options, you can reach the Sloan Law Firm at (908) 358-2938.  Thank you for reading.