What seems like a random but unfortunate situation might actually be the grounds for a legal claim – and an attorney can help you find out for sure.
Think personal injury attorneys only handle car accidents and slip and falls? Then you’d be surprised at the kind of cases we can help you with.
Prescription Drug Addiction and Overdose
You might not associate a drug addiction or overdose with negligence. To most people, it may not seem like the kind of case you hire a lawyer for. But when that addiction or overdose began in a doctor’s office, it falls under the realm of medical malpractice law.
The problem is that many families who are coping with an opiate overdose death don’t realize that a doctor was the problem. They’re never able to get justice for their loved one or the answers that could give their family closure. That’s why, after handling a number of over-prescribing claims, we urge families who have lost a loved one to prescription drug overdose to at least talk to an attorney and get the facts about their legal rights.
Did you know that a cosmetic you used decades ago – like talc-based baby powder – could put you at risk of developing cancer?
Unfortunately, we consumers often know too little about the products we use in our daily lives – and the companies that produce those products sometimes keep it that way for their own financial gain. By the time we learn a cosmetic or other consumer product was hazardous, it’s often too late. The damage is done.
Cancer exposure due to a dangerous cosmetic is a form of personal injury known as products liability – and an attorney can help.
Dangerous Houseware Products
A crockpot that cracks suddenly in your hands, slicing your skin. A malfunctioning power tool that mangles fingers. When seemingly harmless household items fail in disastrous ways, these, too, can be the basis of products liability claims.
If your injuries are serious, don’t just throw the item away and resign yourself to covering the cost of the damage. Check with a lawyer to see if you have legal recourse against the company that manufactured the dangerous item.
An airborne recycling can struck a woman in the neck, knocking her to the ground. A stick thrown by a child, only to hit another kid right in the eye.
These might sound like freak accidents, the kind of shocking event that’s unpredictable and inexplicable. The odds against them happening – to anyone – are astronomical.
Yet they did happen. And they caused lifelong consequences for the people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
These might not seem like the kind of situations you can sue for, especially at first glance. After all, who would you sue – a recycling can? A stick?
But in these very real cases, our personal injury lawyers were able to find out precisely how these accidents happened. As it turned out, there were people – individuals and companies – behind these events. People whose careless actions caused the injuries.
The recycling can was only airborne in the first place because a recycling truck had propelled it into the air while lifting another can with its mechanical arm. What at first might seem like a random accident was really caused by the company that owned and operated the truck. We fought for this client in court and got her a jury award of $859,000.
As far as the stick that caused the eye injury goes, the individual who threw the stick appeared to be at fault. But we investigated further and learned that this stick, and a pile of other yard debris, had been left at the edge of the property for more than a month, violating town ordinances. Two people had allowed this to happen, setting the stage for the accident – the property owner and her landscaping company.
We knew this child’s life would never be the same after losing his eye, so we pursued claims against all three defendants to get him all of the compensation available. His case concluded with a $600,000 settlement.
If your or your family member’s injury involved an unusual circumstance like a prescription drug overdose, cancer exposure, a defective kitchen appliance or power tool, or a freak accident, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to face it alone. You might be surprised what cases we can help with or how much help we can be throughout your rehabilitation.
At the very least, it’s always worth talking your situation over with an attorney during a free consultation. After all, you have nothing to lose and possibly a lot to gain.
Today I am pleased to announce that Global Law Experts has selected Console & Hollawell for the organization’s Personal Injury Law Firm of the Year award.
The Global Law Experts Annual Awards
Every year, Global Law Experts recognizes the top law firms across the world.
The selection process takes months to complete. Through its own independent research and recommendations from more than 120,000 sources, Global Law Experts narrows down a shortlist of nominees. For the final awards decisions, the organization looks at factors like law firm reputation, client testimonials, and other legal rankings.
Personal Injury Law Firm of the Year is part of Global Law Experts’ Peer Choice category, which means other respected attorneys and law firms were kind enough to take the time to support us.
Our firm is thrilled to receive this honor from one of the most influential online legal resources across the world. Year after year, Global Law Experts strives to offer free and accessible legal assistance to the public and put those in need of an attorney in touch with lawyers they can count on. Having spent more than two decades working with victims of personal injuries, that’s a mission our firm can stand behind.
In an accident? Wondering what to do next? These 6 tips from experienced accident lawyers can help you navigate the complex process and get the medical care and compensation you deserve.
An accident can be stressful, but knowing what to do next can make things easier. These six simple tips are the same recommendations the award-winning attorneys at Console & Hollawell give our own family and friends after a car accident. Following these steps can help you start getting your life back on track sooner.
1. Keep calm.
Even a minor accident can send you into shock and get your adrenaline pumping. No matter how serious the injury is, try not to panic.
Take a deep breath. Assess the situation. Are you hurt? Is someone else?
Now it’s time to take the first step…
2. Call 911.
Whenever an accident happens, you should always call 911.
I know that many car accident victims are tempted not to call the police. When the property damage seems minimal and no one is so badly hurt that they need to rush to the emergency room, you might think that calling 911 is making the crash a bigger deal than it really needs to be. But that’s not true.
Just because the extent of the damage isn’t obvious right now doesn’t mean that there was no damage. In my two decades of handling accident cases, I’ve talked to countless victims who regret not calling the police.
Sometimes they are able to fix their mistake by reporting the accident after the fact. Other times, though, they also failed to gather important information from the person who caused the injury.
Without knowing the true identity of the driver, his or her contact information, or his or her insurance information, an accident victim might not have enough facts to file a police report. There’s no proof that the other driver caused the collision – or that another driver was even involved. If it turns out that the victim had suffered injuries more severe than few aches and pains, or that the damage under the hood or bumper was more serious than it appeared, the victim is out of luck.
So whatever you do, don’t let the other driver stop you from contacting the authorities. Calling 911 isn’t about getting the other driver in trouble, and it’s not a waste of time. It serves a number of purposes that could be important later, if it turns out that you need to make a claim. These include:
Documenting that the accident occurred
Possibly resulting in a police report that supports a theory of liability, or who is at fault for the crash
Bringing a police presence to the scene, which may be necessary for the safety of others in the vicinity
Bringing emergency medical services to the site so providers can assess the injuries
3. Gather Information.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, gather the information you will need as you deal with this accident.
Start with the other driver. You will need their name, address, vehicle, and insurance information. You can get these facts from an auto insurance card and a driver’s license. Note down the details on a piece of paper, or take a photo with your phone. You need to make sure you have information like the driver’s insurance company and policy number.
If there were any witnesses, collect their information, too. You want to get not only names and contact information, but their accounts of what they witnessed. After all, the collision doesn’t affect them personally. Their memories of what happened could fade long before you’re done dealing with the consequences of the crash.
If you have a smartphone or access to a camera, take some photos of the accident scene, the positions of the vehicles, and the damage they sustained.
4. Get medical care.
If your injuries are serious enough to require immediate attention, don’t be afraid to go to the emergency room. You’re not being neurotic or overanxious by doing so. You were involved in the kind of accident that can cause real and severe injuries. Getting checked out right away isn’t overcautious – it’s smart.
If it turns out you’re not badly hurt, you have peace of mind. And if your injuries are serious, just think how much worse they might become if you had waited days before you finally sought help.
Even if you don’t need emergency care, you should still get checked out. Call your primary physician for an appointment, but don’t be surprised if he or she won’t treat you. Many family doctors’ offices don’t have the necessary staff or procedures in place to handle the complexities of billing auto insurance companies.
If your doctor can’t help you, ask if he or she can refer you to a physician who does see accident victims – preferably one who accepts any health insurance policy you may have as well as billing auto insurers.
Because New Jersey and Pennsylvania are no-fault states, your own auto insurance company will be the one paying your medical bills – with your help, of course. So you need to let your insurer know that the accident happened and that you intend to seek medical treatment. This way, the insurer can open a claim for you and provide you with a claim number to give to your doctors.
Don’t go into too much detail about the crash at this time. For that matter, you don’t even have to say where you are injured, and you certainly shouldn’t try to guess what is wrong. Leave the medical diagnosis to your doctors, and focus on just getting a medical claim opened. There will be plenty of time later for your attorney – not you personally – to discuss the details of the accident with your insurance company.
6. Call an accident lawyer.
Think you don’t need a lawyer? So did many of the thousands of clients my firm has helped – at first, anyway.
Soon enough, they realized that they were really hurt, or that the medical bills they had to pay were really cutting into their families’ finances. For some, missing work and losing income was a wakeup call, while others got tired of the frustrating process of dealing with insurers and filling out endless piles of paperwork.
Ultimately, if your injuries were serious enough to affect your life, it’s worth making a call to an accident lawyer. It will never cost you anything to learn what rights you have, get your questions answered, and find out all of the ways an attorney can help you.
What information do you need to get? And what happens if you don’t get all of the right information while you’re at the scene?
First thing’s first – you need the other driver’s name.
Don’t just go by the name on the insurance card – remember, the person driving the car might not be the same person listed on the insurance card. It could be a covered family member or a friend who the owner gave permission to drive the car. When you begin the process of pursuing a car accident claim, you’ll need to know who was actually behind the wheel.
Names aren’t enough – and in the case of popular or common names, they might not be sufficient to help you identify the driver. You want to get the other driver’s address, as well. If you can, copy down the information from the other motorist’s driver’s license – or at least, snap a picture of the license with your cell phone.
A number of drivers worry more about getting the other motorist’s phone number than their address and insurance information, but this can be a mistake.
To pursue a claim and really get the compensation you deserve, you’ll have to go through the driver’s insurance company. You won’t be talking to the driver directly during this process.
If you make the mistake of trying to work things out with the other driver without getting the insurance companies involved, there’s always the chance that the at-fault driver might just stop responding when it becomes time for them to pay up.
Unfortunately, a lot of trusting drivers get burned this way. And if they have no information but the driver’s phone number, they may have a hard time ever getting any money at all for their injuries or even their car repairs.
Driving without insurance is illegal in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The driver who hit you should have written proof of insurance. Ask to see it.
You want to make a note of:
The insurance policy number
The name of theinsurance company
The numerical code representing the insurance company
The name of thepolicyholder
The policy effective date
The policy expiration date
You should also copy down the year, make, and model of the other driver’s vehicle as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN). If that driver has multiple vehicles on the auto insurance policy, you will need to identify which one was involved in the crash.
It may also help to note down the license plate number and even the color of the vehicle that hit you – because in the hectic aftermath of an accident, you might not be able to remember even the details you would usually notice.
You should be able to get information like the year, make, model, and VIN from the auto insurance card.
It’s also important for future reference to have your own vehicle information, especially if you’re not the owner of the car. Your own auto insurance card will provide information about the year, make, model, and VIN, if you’re unsure about that data.
It will also tell you the policy number of the auto insurance policy that covers the vehicle. You will need this information when you report the crash to your insurer – or, if you’re not a named insured on the policy covering that car, if you have to pursue a claim against the owner or driver of the car you were in.
Do you know what road you were on when the crash happened? What city? How about the time of the crash? The nearest intersection?
What damage did your vehicle sustain? The other driver’s vehicle?
You might be surprised how many accident victims don’t know this basic information – and how surprised they are to realize that they don’t have an answer to some of the first questions an insurer (or personal injury lawyer) will ask.
But after all, they’re in shock at the time of the collision. It can be difficult notice these facts, or to remember them later.
To make things easier for yourself, take a moment after the crash to jot down:
The city where the collision occurred
The road(s) where the accident happened
The nearest cross street and any other landmarks
The time of the collision
How the crash happened
Anything you think might be important to describing the collision later on
The damage to all vehicles involved – not just yours
If possible, take it a step farther – take pictures of the placement of the cars after the crash and of the accident scene. Also, if anyone witnessed the crash, make sure you write down the names, phone numbers, and statements of witnesses.
When police arrive at the car accident scene, they will take down your and the other driver’s information and use that to create a report of the collision. That report will be crucial when you begin pursuing a claim.
Note down what police department responded to your accident, the name of the officer, and any report number he or she may give you. Some police departments now issue cards containing this information. What’s important is that you know where and how to retrieve a copy of the police report once the document is complete.
Gathering Information on Accidents Other than Car Crashes
Of course, not every accident involves a motor vehicle. If you got hurt in a different kind of accident, like a slip and fall, a work injury, or a dog bite, it’s still essential that you gather the information necessary to pursue a claim. Otherwise, you’ll never get the compensation you deserve.
Get information about the property owner, including the individual’s or company’s name, address, insurance carrier, insurance policy number. Make a note of any individuals (such as employees at a business property) who assisted you after the accident or witnessed the event. If an accident or incident report is drafted, request a copy.
What If You Miss Something?
I know – this seems like a lot to remember. When an accident happens, there’s a chance you will forget to gather some of the information you need.
Fortunately, you can often get additional information after-the-fact. The police report will often include information about the time and location of the crash, the parties involved, and their vehicle and insurance information.
It’s always better to gather as much information as possible right off the bat – especially since a police report can take days, or even weeks, to prepare. You don’t want to wait that long to get your car fixed or your injuries treated.
But if you are missing some information, don’t give up hope. A car accident lawyer can still help you figure out your next steps and where to look for the information you need.
Find out how your car crash will affect you – and what you can do to minimize the impact of this accident on your life.
If you have just been in a car accident, it might be too soon yet to know exactly how this collision will affect your life. As you’re beginning to see how frustrating – even devastating – a car crash can be, you might wonder what other consequences to expect.
Life after a car accident can be tough. But you’re not powerless. By making the right choices and getting the right help at the right time, you can minimize the ways and the extent to which this car accident will impact your life.
One of the first concerns car accident victims have – often, even above their concerns about their own health – is getting their car fixed. After all, you need that car – your family needs that car – to get around. Without it, how can you get to work, take the kids to school, or even make it to your doctors’ appointments?
It’s understandable that you’re worried about the property damage. Who wouldn’t be?
Our car accident lawyers may be able to help you find out what options you have to get your car fixed, set up your property damage claim, and even arrange transportation services to get you to your medical appointments in the meantime. When we handle the personal injury portion of your car accident case, we’ll assist as necessary with the property damage claim as a courtesy to you.
Pain and Limitations
Sometimes, it’s immediately clear how serious your injuries from a car crash are. You may have visible damage, like severe cuts. You might feel pain right away. It might not take long to realize your limitations, like your inability to walk, stand, or stretch without pain.
But other times, that pain might be minor at first. When you’re still in shock, you might not notice it at all. Only once the pain gets worse and begins to interfere with your daily life will you realize how significantly this injury could affect you.
When you get hurt in a car accident, it’s always important that you get medical care. If your doctor won’t see you, or if you’re confused about who is supposed to pay your medical bills, we can help.
When an injury keeps you out of work, it can put your financial wellbeing at risk. Your family depends on your income, and this accident certainly wasn’t something you could have predicted and budgeted for. The longer you’re out of work, the more your injury threatens your financial stability. When you require months of rehabilitation to learn to walk again or you need a difficult surgery followed by a long recovery, you could be out of work for months or even a year – like some of our past clients have been.
We know that you can’t afford to miss a year of work. That’s why we pursue maximum compensation for all of our clients, including compensation for the wages they lose because of the accident and any future loss of earning potential. We have even helped clients get money damages that cover their missed overtime pay and gain sharing or profit-sharing benefits.
Healthcare Questions and Medical Bills
After an accident, it’s difficult to figure out how the process of getting the medical care you need will work.
Who pays for the bills?
What claim numbers and other information do you need to provide to your doctors’ offices?
What kind of specialists do you need to see, and how will you find doctors that treat accident victims when so many physicians don’t want to deal with the hassle of billing auto insurance companies?
What tests or procedures will you need to get pre-approval for? What doctors will your insurance company allow you to see? And what happens if your insurer denies you medical treatment?
What payments are you personally responsible for – and how will you afford them?
Then there are the medical bills themselves – piles of them, often with language that makes it unclear who owes, how much is owed, and why. Even with auto and health insurance, your portion of those bills can quickly climb to unaffordable amounts of money.
When you haven’t been hurt in an accident before, the whole process is confusing. But when you deal with car accident claims every single day, like our attorneys have for decades, you become familiar with the ins and outs of the claims process.
We’ll help you understand the basic process, any exceptions that could apply to your claim, and what your responsibilities are. We will make sure you’re able to get treatment and help you overcome obstacles like claim denials or unaffordable copays. We will keep track of your medical bills and ensure that they’re getting paid by the right parties – a task that’s harder than it sounds, but one that our in-house Personal Injury Protection (PIP) department is perfectly capable of handling for you.
The Hassle of Dealing with an Accident
One thing is for sure – even if you’re not seriously injured, dealing with a car accident is frustrating. There are insurance companies to contact, paperwork to keep track of, and requests for official statements. All you want right now is to be left alone to focus on getting better and getting your life back on track. The phone calls and paperwork become distractions – stressful and often time-consuming ones, at that.
The thing is, you don’t have to handle this hassle on your own. When you put your claim in the hands of a car accident attorney, dealing with the insurance company isn’t your problem anymore. It becomes your lawyer’s job.
Don’t worry – with insider experience working for the insurance industry, we know how to deal with your insurer, including what the insurance company is (and is not) allowed to do.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’re like many car accident victims, you might have the misconception that an attorney is only helpful later on in the process, when they get you a settlement or take your case to court. And while we do fight for results like high-value settlements, that’s not all we do.
Walk you through your insurance coverage so you understand who is responsible for paying what costs
Assist with a property damage claim – getting your car fixed or getting compensation for a totaled vehicle
Help find doctors with the experience and billing capabilities to treat you
Make sure that nothing – like a lack of transportation, language barrier, out-of-pocket cost or claim denial – stands in the way of you getting medical treatment
See that your medical bills are getting paid correctly
Handle all interactions with the insurance companies
Calculate all of your lost earnings and fighting for compensation
A car accident can impact your life in so many ways – but so can hiring the right lawyer. We may not be able to undo the effects the crash has had on your life, but we’ll do everything we can to make life after the accident as easy – and as close to “normal” – as possible.
If you would like to see how we can help you, call (856) 778-5500 today. The consultation is always free.
Find out whether a car accident will increase your insurance rates – and why the notion that pursuing a personal injury claim will raise your rates is a myth.
No question about it – you pay a lot of money for auto insurance as it is
New Jersey, in particular, is among the most expensive states in the nation to insure a car in. And the premiums in Pennsylvania aren’t exactly small change, either.
So it’s no surprise that, on top of everything else they have to worry about, many car accident victims worry about an insurance rate hike.
A car accident can increase insurance rates – often, by as much as 41 percent.
But that doesn’t mean your crash will raise your auto insurance rates.
Who Is at Fault?
If you weren’t at fault for the collision, it’s unfair for you to be the one paying for the consequences – and that includes higher insurance rates.
An insurance company can only raise your rates if the crash was what’s called a “chargeable accident.” In other words, the crash must be your fault. You don’t have to take my word for it, either. Objective research has shown that when you’re not at fault for the collision, “your payments shouldn’t be affected,” CBS News reported.
Some auto insurers even offer benefits like “accident forgiveness” when policyholders cause their first collision. But other insurance companies aren’t so lenient.
Your Driving History Under a Microscope
Even if you didn’t cause the crash, an accident can prompt your insurer to scrutinize your driving record more closely.
If you’ve already gotten tickets for speeding or breaking some other traffic safety law but you haven’t yet seen your insurance rates go up, you might now. Yes, even if those tickets have nothing to do with the crash.
Insurers price premiums based on the likelihood of having to pay claims. The more tickets and citations you have, the bigger the risk you pose, and the more you’ll have to pay for coverage.
Don’t Be Deterred From Pursuing a Claim
Fear of an auto insurance rate increase is a major reason why many accident victims never pursue a claim. But this fear is based on a misconception.
If the accident itself doesn’t cause your auto insurance rates to increase, pursuing a claim won’traise your rates, either. And if you did cause the crash, you won’t be able to pursue a personal injury claim, anyway.
But most policyholders don’t know this – and the insurance industry prefers it that way.
Car accident victims who choose not to pursue legitimate claims may think they’re avoiding an insurance rate hike. But all they’re really doing is preventing themselves from getting the compensation they deserve.
Please don’t do this. Even if your rates did increase, making the best possible physical recovery would be worth the cost. After all, your health is priceless.
But when making a claim has no effect on your rates, you’re losing out on the compensation you need to get better for no reason.
The insurance industry benefits from myths and misconceptions like these. That’s one reason it’s often so difficult to get a straight answer when you ask questions like, “Will my insurance rates go up?”
Your lawyer, on the other hand, wants you to understand your rights and the legal process. If you have questions about insurance after a car accident, we can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience working inside the insurance industry as well as in personal injury law, so we’re familiar with how insurers act – and what they don’t want policyholders to know.
Find out what NJ and PA laws say about reporting a car crash and what you should – and shouldn’t – do when you report a collision.
When an accident seems minor, you might be tempted not to report it.
After all, you don’t want to make a big deal out of nothing. The person who caused the crash might try to persuade you that you don’t need to involve the police so that he or she can avoid getting a ticket for violating traffic laws. You don’t want to be held up at the accident scene waiting for the police, and you can just get the other driver’s insurance information – right?
In the immediate aftermath of a crash that doesn’t cause life-threatening injuries, this logic may seem to make perfect sense. But when you fail to report an accident, you’re leaving yourself open to significant consequences.
If you notice pain or discomfort in the days that follow – a common situation – or if your car is more badly damaged than you initially realized, you’ll wish that you had reported the accident when it happened.
Accident Reporting Laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, reporting a car accident promptly isn’t just a smart thing to do – it’s the law. And breaking that law can cost you your driving privileges.
When Does a Car Accident Have to be Reported in New Jersey?
Damage to any car involved that amounts to more than $500 in repairs
Even a low-impact crash can cause some serious, and long-term, injuries that you might not know about until later. And even relatively minor cosmetic vehicle damage can still cost more than $500. That’s one reason why our car accident lawyers encourage drivers to report every car accident in New Jersey to the police when it happens.
If you don’t call the police at the time of your accident and you fail to file a written accident report after the fact, you could wind up losing not just your driver’s license, but also your vehicle registration privileges. This means not only can’t you drive yourself to work, school, or any of the other places you need to go, but you can’t even legally have someone else drive your car.
When to Report an Accident in Pennsylvania
When it comes to reporting accidents, Pennsylvania’s state laws are similar to New Jersey’s. Drivers are required to “immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice to the nearest office of a duly authorized police department” if the accident causes an injury, a death, or enough damage that the vehicle must be towed from the scene.
If the police come to the scene of the accident, they will usually prepare a crash report. Otherwise, the driver has five days to submit their own written report.
Reporting a collision is important, because it protects you in ways that, at the time of the crash, you’re probably not even thinking about yet.
For one thing, you certainly want to make it known that you stopped at the scene of the accident and provided any aid necessary – both of which are actions the law requires you to take, even if you’re not the one at fault for the crash. If the other driver decides to file a police report later, you don’t want to be accused of leaving the scene. A hit-and-run is a serious crime with serious penalties.
You also want to document the accident – and make sure that what’s documented is accurate. If you later learn that the property damage was more severe than you thought or realize that the pain you’re feeling isn’t just a little temporary soreness, you’ll need to go through your or the other driver’s auto insurance coverage – and the insurer will want to see the crash report.
If there’s no proof that the accident happened at all, don’t expect your or the other driver’s insurance company to shell out the money to pay for your medical treatment, car repairs, or other damages. Insurers are infamous for trying to get out of paying claims – and by not documenting the accident, you’re making their job even easier.
Don’t count on the other driver just paying you cash so you can avoid involving the insurers altogether. You’d be surprised how many accident victims we talk to who thought they could trust the promise of the at-fault driver – only to find that the driver gave them false contact information, or suddenly became unreachable, or even acted hostile when it was time to make good on that promise. Involving the insurance companies can certainly be a hassle, but it’s still a better choice than just hoping the other driver will step up and do the right thing.
Do’s and Don’ts of Reporting a Car Accident
Wondering what you should do when reporting a car accident? These quick tips can help.
Do call 911 for help. If someone is hurt, even slightly, having emergency medical personnel on the scene can be important.
Do wait at the scene until the authorities arrive – no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you’re scared, confused, or even at fault for the collision – staying at the scene and facing the consequences there is a far better option than facing criminal penalties for a hit-and-run.
Do think carefully about the information you provide the police. An accident can leave you feeling shaken and make it difficult to think and express yourself clearly. It’s okay to take a minute to calm down so you can tell the police what happened in the most accurate way possible.
Don’t discuss fault. When an accident has just occurred, you may not know yet precisely what happened to cause the crash, and you don’t want to volunteer to take the blame for something that’s not even your fault. If something occurred on the roadway that, for instance, forced you to stop short, say so. But don’t apologize or say the crash is your fault for stopping short – it’s most likely the other driver’s fault for not maintaining a safe following distance.
Don’t discuss your medical condition. You’re not a doctor and you haven’t seen one yet, so you really don’t know if you’re injured. Instead of saying that you’re “okay” when you’re really not sure, simply say that you’ll see a doctor to get checked out.
Don’t forget to gather your own information, too. The police report is important, but it could take several days before it becomes available – and you might need help sooner. Write down the other driver’s contact and insurance information, as well as the information of any witnesses to the crash. Take notes about what you remember. Photograph the accident scene and the damage.
If in doubt, always report a collision to the police. Failing to report a crash is a mistake that you might end up regretting.
Our firm is thrilled to announce that the Courier-Post named Console & Hollawell the Best Attorney in South Jersey yesterday.
In its Sunday, May 1st edition, Camden County-based newspaper Courier-Post published the winners of its 29th annual Readers’ Choice Best of South Jersey contest. We’re pleased to reveal that our firm received the Courier-Post’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Best Attorney in South Jersey award this year.
The awards are based on online and mail-in votes from individuals across the South Jersey region. This is our second year being named in the Courier-Post’s Readers’ Choice contest. In 2015, Console & Hollawell received a One of the Best Attorneys in South Jersey award from the publication.
We’re naturally honored to receive this recognition, but what’s most rewarding is knowing that our clients are the ones who made this happen. Clients and friends throughout the community put in the time and effort to vote for us – and that means a lot to the entire C&H team.
After all, our firm is always trying to make a difference in the lives of our clients, so the fact that so many of them voted for us is proof that we must be succeeding.
To all of our clients and friends who voted for us this year, thank you for thinking of us and taking the time to vote for us. If at any point you or a loved one needs legal help again in the future, we hope you’ll let us continue serving you.
Learn how to get your accident report sooner – and what we can do to help.
When you’re in an accident, documenting what happened is one of the most important steps you can take. But what happens after you file a report with the police or a property owner? How do you get a copy of that report and the crucial information it contains?
Getting Your Car Accident Report
The process of getting your car accident report depends on where the crash occurred.
If the accident took place on a toll highways like the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, or the Atlantic City Expressway, then you may need to contact the relevant highway authority.
If your crash happened on city or county roadways, it was likely a local police department that responded. Find your municipal or county police department in New Jerseyhere or in Pennsylvaniahere.
You’ll need to get your car accident report from the police department that responded to the collision, even if it’s far from where you live. Fortunately, many police departments now allow you to download the police report online or request a copy by mail.
In some jurisdictions, the responding police officer will give you a card with information, including their municipality, name, and perhaps a crash identification number. Otherwise, the officer might provide this information orally. If you can, write these details down – it could help you locate your police report later.
Things to Know About Getting a Police Report
Preparing your report can take some time – and how much time depends on who is in responsible for the report and how busy that police department is.The New Jersey State Police advised that you should wait at least 24 hours before attempting to obtain your crash report online, but it may take up to a week for that document to become available.The Pennsylvania State Police ask crash victims to wait 15 days after the accident before they submit a request for the report.Often, the responding officer can give you an estimate about when to expect your report to be available, if you ask.
You may have to pay. Many police departments charge a fee for attaining a copy of the police report – yes, even when the other person is at fault. Be prepared to make this payment. The fee is usually small, though it can be as high as $25.00 or more. Police departments typically charge a flat rate for a copy of an accident report, though some charge per page.
Your time with an online police report may be limited. If you get your police report online, be aware that your access to these documents may expire. The New Jersey State Police crash report service, for example, allows you access to the report for only 14 days from the date it is delivered to you via email. Make sure you save a copy in a safe place – otherwise, you could end up having to order another copy (and pay a second time).
The more you know, the easier it is to find your accident report.
Different crash report request systems work in different ways, but it’s always easier to find the report when you have all of the information available. Sometimes it’s a lot faster, too.For example, the New Jersey State Police crash report request service allows you to conduct a real-time search by case number or by last name, driver’s license number, or license plate number. However, the service warns that “requests based on crash details may take up to three months to be delivered.”
Getting an Incident Report
Not every accident involves a motor vehicle, or a police response. If you reported your slip and fall or other accident to the property owner or manager, that party likely wrote out an incident report detailing what happened.
Unlike the police, however, the property owner or manager isn’t a neutral party. The person who prepared the incident report may have twisted your statements, left out important details, or added in information that isn’t accurate in an attempt to minimize the responsible party’s negligence.
It’s a good idea to refuse to sign an incident report prepared by a commercial property owner – you have no obligation to sign the document, although the company won’t tell you so. However, it’s also a good idea to get a copy of the report so you know what the other side is saying about how the accident occurred.
You should be able to simply ask management for a copy of the incident report. But if the property owner refuses to comply, you might need to call in a professional.
We Can Help With Getting Your Accident Report
You don’t have to wait until you have a copy of the accident report in hand to get legal help. Every day, our personal injury attorneys talk to victims who haven’t gotten their reports yet – and we’re able to help.
So if you feel confident that the accident wasn’t your fault but don’t yet have the accident report to show it, that’s okay. We’ll listen to the details of what happened to you and figure out if we’re the right firm to pursue your case. If so, we can get the ball rolling early and even handle the process of getting your accident report for you – and we’ll never charge you extra for the time and effort it takes us to get that report.
If you’re having difficulty locating your accident report, or if you have your accident report but aren’t sure how to interpret the codes used on it, give us a call. We’re happy to help!
Do you know the 5 things you must do after a collision with an Uber car?
If you don’t take the right steps after a car accident – any car accident – you could hurt your chances of getting life back to normal. A misstep could prevent you from ever getting what you deserve in a personal injury claim or even making the best possible physical recovery. In a crash with an Uber vehicle, the situation is much more complicated – and the stakes can be much higher.
Here are the 5 steps you need to take right away after an Uber car accident.
1. Document the collision with the police.
A crash that seems minor at first can still cause serious injuries. But if you don’t call the police and document the accident with an official report when the collision happens, you might later have a hard time proving that the accident happened the way you said it did – or at all.
Even if the property damage seems minor, even if you think you’re only suffering a couple of mild aches and pains, call 911 after an accident. If you’re the passenger, insist that the driver stop and call, or make the call yourself.
When the police arrive, be sure that you’re providing accurate information. Don’t be afraid to pause for a minute if necessary to get your thoughts together – the shock of an accident can make it difficult to communicate what you really mean.
Make sure you mention any pain or discomfort you’re feeling, no matter how minor it may seem, to the police so it can be documented in the accident report. You would be surprised how many car accident injuries take hours, days, or even weeks to present the full extent of their symptoms.
2. Get the right medical care right away.
Your health is, without question, the most important thing after an accident. It’s important that you see a doctor right away – whether at the emergency room or your physician’s office. If your injuries seem at all serious, don’t take any chances – get medical attention immediately.
Keep in mind that your primary physician might not be willing or able to treat you after a car accident. The sooner you begin seeking medical treatment, the better you will be able to deal with any problems that arise.
Finding medical care after an accident isn’t always as easy as it should be. If you need help locating a qualified doctor in your area who has experience treating injuries that arise from accidents, let us know. We can do the legwork to find a physician for you.
Medical billing after an accident is complicated. Who is responsible for the medical expenses depends on a lot of factors, like whether or not you have auto insurance of your own and what choices you (or another party involved) made when setting up that policy.
Don’t let the billing questions stand in the way of getting necessary medical treatment. See a doctor now – then we’ll figure out and explain the insurance coverage for your specific situation.
3. Gather as much evidence as you can.
When you’re hurt and in shock, collecting evidence might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it’s important to document the facts of the accident as thoroughly as possible.
Take photos of the crash scene, including the damage to the cars and the placement of the vehicles after the impact. If you have visible injuries, photograph those, too. Be sure to get the other driver’s contact and insurance information, and make a note – mental or on paper – of the make and model of the car.
4. Let your own auto insurance company know about the accident, if you have one – but be careful.
Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are no-fault states, which means it’s your own auto insurance carrier who pays for the medical bills that arise from a car accident. Yes, even when the accident isn’t your fault. Even when you weren’t the one driving. Even if your car wasn’t involved in the collision at all.
Since paying for the medical expenses is legally your own insurer’s responsibility – and to get that process started – you need to notify your auto insurance company about the collision.
What you don’t need to do, though, is go into detail about matters like fault, your injuries, or your medical care. You don’t need to give a recorded statement. All the insurance company needs to know at this time is that you were in an accident and that you need to open your medical claim. Once you have an experienced Uber car accident lawyer on your side, he or she will handle the rest.
Be especially careful about giving information to the other insurance companies involved in the claim – Uber’s or a driver’s personal auto insurer. You don’t have a contract or agreement with this company, and you’re not obligated to give them information.
Past victims of Uber accidents have reported that the ridesharing company’s insurer reached out to them upon learning of the accident to ask for a statement – one that you don’t have to give. Your best bet is to get an Uber auto accident lawyer involved in your case early on and let him or her worry about dealing with these other insurers.
5. Hire an experienced Uber accident attorney.
Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are still fairly new – so much so that many states are still trying to figure out how (and even whether) to regulate them. So you may not find a lawyer who has already handled hundreds of claims involving Uber car accidents.
But what you should look for is an attorney with decades of experience handling car accident claims, from the most general to the most complicated.
A lawyer who has won high-value cases involving commercial vehicle crashes will already have insight into the challenges that can creep up in a case with multiple defendants and insurers – and how to solve those challenges so you still get the most money possible for your claim.
Ideally, you want a lawyer who works on motor vehicle accident cases every single day – someone who has thousands of successful cases under their belt, who can reliably tell you what to expect. Our attorneys, for example, handle personal injury cases exclusively, and motor vehicle accidents make up the majority of what we do.
If your attorney knows enough about the difficulties victims face after car accidents that he or she is willing to help you with getting your car fixed, getting your medical bills paid, and getting your outstanding medical debts reduced, even better.
Finding the right lawyer to handle your Uber accident claim doesn’t have to be a hassle – and it doesn’t have to cost you anything upfront. Call (856) 778-5500 today for your free case review.