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Witness assists in New Jersey crash caused by traffic violation

For many people injured in car accidents, a witness can be a lifesaver. He or she may be able to help car accident victims and call emergency personnel when those involved are too badly injured to help themselves. But sometimes even a simple account of what happened can provide much-needed clarity after an accident, especially when only one driver -- or neither driver -- is aware of how the crash occurred.

A car accident in New Jersey last month sent both drivers to the hospital and to court for different driving violations. Thanks to the presence of a witness to the crash, the driver who was not at fault may have some more leverage in case he chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The accident happened late one night just before 2 a.m. last month. An SUV heading east was in the process of crossing an intersection when another vehicle, a small sedan, ran a red light and collided with the SUV. This caused the SUV to go over a curb and slam into a utility pole, according to a police report. Police gathered the information from the driver of the SUV, who told officials that the other driver had run the red light. The sedan driver said he couldn't recall what had happened, which may be true -- or he may have chosen not to admit fault.

Fortunately, even at that late hour, there was at least one witness to the crash, who told authorities that the sedan had run the red light. As a result, police issued a summons to the driver for failing to observe a traffic signal. But the SUV driver also received a summons because his vehicle apparently hadn't been registered.

Both men were sent to a hospital after the crash, one for back pain and the other for chest pain. Their orders to appear in court may add to that pain, but at least the driver who wasn't at fault has a stronger personal injury case, thanks to the help of the witness.

Source: NJ.com, "Two drivers injured, issued summonses in accident reportedly sparked by one going through red light," Michaelangelo Conte, Jan. 22, 2013

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