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It can take hours to free occupants in serious car accidents

In the aftermath of a car accident, it is a natural impulse for many New Jersey residents to want to get out of the vehicle. However, in some car accidents, occupants become trapped in the wreckage, and it could take hours for emergency personnel to free them. During that time, the medical condition of the trapped victim can continue to deteriorate.

For example, it took approximately two hours for emergency personnel to free the driver in a single-vehicle accident whose legs were pinned under the dashboard. The driver's injuries were considered to be critical. The same was said of a passenger who managed to get out of the vehicle, and was incoherently wandering around the accident scene. The front seat passenger suffered fatal injuries in the crash and died at the scene.

The vehicle had been traveling in the northbound lanes of the Palisades Interstate Parkway around 2 a.m. From what investigators have discovered, the driver lost control when the vehicle hit a rumble strip in the road. It spun around, at which time the driver's side impacted the guardrail on the right side of the roadway. It then rolled over onto its roof and slid into another tree. The vehicle was still upside down when it stopped moving.

The critically injured passenger and the family of the deceased passenger are most likely incurring significant financial losses as a result of this tragedy. Each retains the right to file civil actions against the estate of the driver in an attempt to receive restitution for those expenses and other damages typically incurred in the aftermath of car accidents. If a New Jersey court rules that the driver was negligent, monetary judgments against the estate may be ordered.

Source:, "One dead, two critically injured after car crash on Palisades Interstate Parkway in Englewood Cliffs", John C. Ensslin, Dec. 12, 2015

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