New Jersey: Lowest in Accident Deaths, But Thousands of Injuries Still Occur
A report from the National Safety Council in May 2013 found that New Jersey has the lowest rate of deaths in the country from accidents. This includes the totality of deaths due to car accidents, unintentional drug and alcohol overdoses and slip-and-fall incidents. Remarkably, the low auto accident death rate is attributed to traffic congestion and population density, according to the NSC.
But that doesn’t mean you’re home free as either a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle in the Garden State. The state Department of Transportation reports some sobering statistics from just one year (2011):
- 106 fatalities
- 339 major injuries
- 15,924 minimum to moderate injuries
- 63,517 incidences of property damage (vehicles)
In each of these scenarios, there is likely one driver either completely at fault or predominantly at fault. In some cases, poor road design or temporary re-routing might be at fault. Even in inclement weather, a driver may be found responsible for an accident when he or she drives with inadequate caution.
Protecting yourself is an important reason why anyone involved in a traffic accident should take essential steps in the immediate aftermath of an accident. If anyone is injured, by all means seek immediate medical attention. This is not only necessary for your health, but an important part of documenting the extent of injuries that might later become a key factor in a liability lawsuit. A police report should always be filed to provide similar critical documentation — never allow another driver to convince you to handle the case “off the books.”
When you contact an auto accident attorney in the aftermath of an accident, you are being smart and proactive for two reasons. One is to gather critical evidence that might help you pursue appropriate compensation for your injuries and property loss. But the second reason is to fend against claims of an “intervening cause,” where the defendant in a lawsuit may claim you shared some fault. If the defendant successfully makes such a claim, it could reduce the damage award you would otherwise receive.