Who should I speak to about my case?
Only your lawyers, their office staff and your treating doctors. After the initial report to your insurance company, any requests for a tape-recorded or signed statement should be referred to us for consideration. Although it is okay to allow the other person’s insurance company to appraise any property damage, NEVER speak to them about how the accident happened or about your injuries. SIGNIFICANT LEGAL RIGHTS MAY BE COMPROMISED BY MAKING STATEMENTS TO THE WRONG PERSON. Of course, do not sign any releases, agreements or other documents without first consulting with us.
How do I get my car repaired?
If you have collision coverage, you should contact your own automobile insurance company to arrange for an appraisal. Your insurance company will pay for the damage to your car, less any deductible. After your insurance company recovers its money from the other person’s insurance company, you will be reimbursed for all or part of the deductible.
If you do not have collision coverage, you should obtain a written estimate from a licensed auto body shop, even if your damage is a total loss. Send the estimate to our office and we will forward it to the other person’s insurance company. If the car is incurring storage charges, you should make arrangements to either repair or dispose of the vehicle as soon as possible.
Should I take photographs of the car?
Yes. Whether you have collision coverage or not, take photographs of the car and send them to our office. Good quality photographs can be obtained with a disposable 35 mm. camera. Take photos of the entire car from all angles, even areas that were not damaged, including the interior.
Can I get a rental car while my car is being repaired?
If you have rental reimbursement included in your automobile policy, you will be covered up to the limits of the policy. Typically, it will be $15-25 per day up to a maximum of 30 days, but the amount of coverage should be confirmed with your insurance company.
If you do not have rental reimbursement on your policy, we can make a claim for reimbursement against the other person’s insurance company. However, you will be required to pay for the rental first, typically on a credit card, and then the bill can be submitted for reimbursement. Also, you will be limited to a “reasonable” daily rate for a “reasonable” period of time, depending on the circumstances.
What should I do if I am unable to work due to my injuries?
You may be entitled to New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits. An application for these benefits can be obtained from your local unemployment office. The form will have to be completed by you, your treating doctor and your employer. You will then receive a determination of benefits letter from the State, explaining what benefits, if any, you are entitled to receive. Some employers and unions have a private plan in lieu of State disability. In those situations, your application will be processed by the appropriate office.
If it is determined that you are not eligible for State disability benefits, or the benefits are exhausted, or if the weekly benefits are less than No-Fault Benefits available to you, a claim for Income Continuation Benefits (ICB) should be made with your automobile insurance company under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. The amount of benefits you may be entitled to will be determined by the level of ICB purchased in the insurance policy.
Copies of any and all letters, forms, check stubs, copies of checks, etc. should be sent to our office so an accurate record of your wage loss can be maintained in our file. Any difference between the benefits you receive and your usual net earnings will be made a part of your claim/lawsuit.
What should I do with any bills, letters, forms, receipts, or other mail I receive in connection with my accident and/or injuries?
Send either originals (after making copies for yourself) or legible copies to our office. If an application or form requires your signature, complete and sign the document in all places indicated and send it to our office for review. If necessary, we will forward it to the appropriate insurance company or office.