Heymann & Fletcher

10 injured, 1 critically, in New Jersey auto accident

Paying attention to everything that is in front of and otherwise within the eyesight of a driver is an important practice to which every New Jersey driver should adhere. Anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road can cause or contribute to an auto accident. Potential distractions include using a mobile phone, eating and even falling asleep while driving.

According to the New Jersey State Police, a man driving a Ford van was carrying passengers that had spent some time at the Jersey Shore, where they attended events. The van occupants, all members of the same church, were on their way back to their nearby state when the accident happened. The crash took place east of Elmer on U.S. Route 40 shortly before 5:30 a.m.

The driver was transporting the nine passengers back to Maryland when he apparently fell asleep behind the wheel. The van veered off course and struck a utility pole before flipping over and landing upright, injuring all 10 people. Unfortunately, some of the passengers were thrown clear from the vehicle. The five most seriously injured were transported to one hospital, including an expectant mother who delivered her baby even though she was critically injured herself. The remaining five were taken to a second hospital to be treated for injuries that were initially characterized as minor.

Recovery could be a long process for some of the people hurt in this auto accident. All of them may incur escalating medical costs as well as lost income while they focus on surviving the tragedy. Each injured passenger has the right to pursue a personal injury claim for monetary damages. Those claims would likely be filed against the driver as well as the owner of the van, which may have been the church. Each claimant will need to prove that the driver negligently caused the crash, and the evidence gathered by the New Jersey State Police may assist them in that regard.

Source: nj.com, "Upper Pittsgrove van crash hurts 10, critically injured woman gives birth", Bill Gallo Jr., April 15, 2014

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