What Happens if I am Partially At-Fault for My Accident?
In many personal injury claims, it can sometimes be the case that the injured victim is partially responsible for their accident, and their resulting injuries.
This is especially true in cases of motor vehicle accidents like car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, accidents with a drunk driver, and accidents with an Uber or Lyft driver. Actions such as the injured party not wearing a seat-belt or speeding may have certainly contributed to the extent of the injuries they suffered, but were still not the root cause of the accident.
Many of our Passaic County personal injury clients come to us concerned about how their own partial responsibility may cause their personal injury claim to be dismissed, but the good news is that New Jersey personal injury law accounts for partial responsibility in the form of “comparative negligence”, allowing for partially responsible injury victims to still recover compensation.
Here’s how comparative negligence works in New Jersey personal injury claims.
Passaic County Personal Injury Claims and Comparative Negligence
The legal concept of comparative negligence basically states that parties who may have somehow contributed to their injuries by being partially at-fault can still recover compensation for their injuries when it is determined that they are 50% or less responsible for their accident.
One of the most common examples of this is when a driver is involved in an accident resulting from another party’s reckless or negligent actions such as running a red light, making an illegal turn, speeding, etc. However, the injured party was not wearing their seat-belt, and as such the injuries they sustained were noticeably worse than if they had been wearing their seat-belt.
However, as long as the injured party and their Passaic County personal injury attorney can prove that the accident and resulting injuries were at least 50% the other driver’s fault, the injured party who was not wearing their seatbelt can still recover compensation for their injuries.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect the Compensation I Recover?
Clifton Accident and Comparative Negligence Lawyers
When there is a question of multiple responsible parties for a given accident, the extent of each party’s responsibility will need to be determined. This will be through arugments presented by your Clifton accident and comparative negligence lawyer, the agreements they are able to reach with the insurance company and other involved parties, and potentially even a judge’s final decision as well.
As previously noted, as long as the injured party is found to be less than 51% responsible for their accident, they can still recover compensation through a personal injury claim. However, whatever compensation is ultimately awarded to that injured party will be lessened by the same percentage of fault they are found to have.
So for example, if you were not wearing your seat-belt, and as such are found to be 20% responsible for your accident and resulting injuries, any settlement you negotiate or verdict you are awarded by a jury will be decreased by that same 20%.
The Importance of Having an Experienced Wayne, NJ Personal Injury Attorney When Multiple Parties Are At-Fault
So while it is certainly still possible for you to recover compensation for your injuries even when you may be partially at fault for your accident, it is even more important in these situations to have an experienced Wayne, NJ personal injury attorney on your side than it usually is.
Every percentage point of fault you are found to have can decrease your personal injury recovery by thousands of dollars, compensation which you may need to cover medical expenses and lost income, and begin to rebuild your life after suffering a serious injury.
By retaining the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer, your attorney will be able to protect you from exaggerated claims of responsibility, help you to ensure that the truly responsible parties are held accountable for their actions, and that you recover the fairest compensation possible.
Contact Our Passaic County Personal Injury Law Firm Today
At The Law Office of Fredson & Statmore, our personal injury attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping clients to recover compensation for accidents and injuries in towns across Passaic County, including Wayne, Clifton, Paterson, and West Milford.
With millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts already secured for our previous clients, and a litany of positive reviews and client referrals, our track record of service and success speaks for itself.
Whether you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, a construction accident, a slip and fall, an accident on a poorly maintained or dangerous premises, injured by a defective product, or injured in any kind of accident resulting from the reckless or negligent actions of another party, even if you may have been partially responsible for that accident, our firm is prepared to provide you with the knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate legal service that you need and deserve in such critical matters.
To speak with our personal injury team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your accident, your injuries, and your options for recovering financial compensation, please contact us online, or through our Clifton, NJ office at (973) 777-8600.