Car Accident Terms and Definitions

New Jersey Auto Accident Terms and Definitions

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, the language used by insurance companies and others who regularly address car accident injury claims and lawsuits may seem intimidating and difficult to understand. With a specialized personal injury lawyer advocating on your behalf, your exposure to the complexity of the legal process involved in settling these matters will be limited, allowing you to concentrate on recovering from your injuries and resuming your daily life. However, there are some common terms and definitions which may assist you in conversing with a personal injury attorney before you make your choice for legal representation.

When you or someone you love has been injured during an automobile accident, the steps that must be taken to obtain just compensation for your injuries can often seem like insurmountable hurdles. The attorneys at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh regularly represent clients in car accident injury lawsuits, providing the comprehensive and aggressive legal representation that is required to achieve a positive outcome. Contact our offices immediately at 732-440-3950 for a free consultation about your claim and find the information you need to move forward.

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New Jersey Car Accident Injury Attorneys: Legal Language to Know

Below is a list of some of the common terms used during the process of settling and/or adjudicating an automobile accident injury claim or lawsuit.

Actual Cash Value refers to the property damage and associated costs for repairing your vehicle after an automobile accident. Related terms include “market value,” which refers to the value of the car at the time of the accident, and “total loss,” which is used to identify a vehicle that cannot be repaired as a result of damage or if the cost of the repair would exceed the value of the car itself.

Burden of Proof relates to the individual or party who is responsible for establishing the validity of their claim after an accident. In cases involving car accidents, the plaintiff (the person bringing the claim or lawsuit) is assigned the burden of proof for establishing that the other party involved should be held liable.

Claim is the request that an individual files with his or her insurance provider to compensate for damages associated with a motor vehicle accident.

Liability refers to the individual who is responsible for causing the accident, often deemed the party who is “at fault.” In certain cases, this individual, or his or her insurance provider, is required to compensate the other party for damages.

Damages is a term applied to losses incurred as a result of an accident, including, but not limited to: medical expenses (cost of current and future medical care), rehabilitative treatment (continuing physical therapy, etc.), necessary future accommodations (i.e. a wheelchair or wheelchair access to one’s residence), loss of income (both past and future), costs to repair damage to personal property, the “pain and suffering” caused by the injuries, and one’s loss of enjoyment of life.

Negligence is a legal concept which applies when an individual intentionally or unintentionally behaves in a manner that causes harm or injury to another person. Negligent driver behavior can include running a red light, speeding, failing to yield, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Pain and Suffering encompasses a variety of effects that may result from an auto accident, including physical pain and discomfort, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, lack of energy, inability to engage in hobbies, and loss of appetite.

Policy is a written document established between an individual and his or her auto insurance company that outlines the coverage included under the agreement, as well as other conditions of the coverage and required premiums.

Settlement is a monetary sum paid to a plaintiff in order to resolve a claim or lawsuit without taking the case to trial. A related term is a “settlement release,” which, if signed, bars the plaintiff from bringing further legal action against the party offering the settlement.

Total Loss refers to a vehicle that either cannot be repaired or if the cost of repair would exceed the value of the car itself.


Understanding Your Car Accident Injury Claim in New Jersey

The law firm of Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh unites experience with compassion, with attorneys who serve as passionate legal advocates for each of their clients. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey or if you are a New Jersey resident who was involved in a motor vehicle accident in another state, contact us online or call 732-440-3950 as soon as possible for a free consultation.