New Jersey Comparative Negligence
In some personal injury cases, it is easy to determine who is at fault for injuries resulting from an accident, especially in cases involving a rear-end car accident or a driver who ran through a red light.
Unfortunately, not all cases are as straight forward and both parties may place blame on one another for causing an accident. In these situations, the New Jersey comparative negligence doctrine will apply.
You should consider contacting a reputable attorney if you were involved in an accident that caused serious injuries or involved multiple parties that could be held liable. Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the injured and helping them recover the compensation they deserve.
What is Comparative Negligence?
According to New Jersey Statutes Annotated 2A:15-5.1, fault for an accident can be assigned to multiple parties, including the injury victim. Liability for an accident and injury is assigned to each party in terms of a percentage of fault that each party had in causing the accident.
Even if an injury victim contributed to an accident, he or she is not barred from recovering compensation so long as the injury victim’s percentage of negligence or fault is not greater than that of the other party.
In order to obtain compensation, an injury victim cannot be more than 50 percent at-fault for causing the accident.
This rule can make it difficult to determine the amount of damages that should be awarded in a personal injury case.
N.J.S.A 2A:15-5.2 gives a judge and jury the power to determine the amount of liability each party had in causing an accident and the amount of damages that should be awarded based on the facts of the case.
This includes determining the amount of compensation an injury victim would be entitled to regardless of their negligence or fault. It also includes determining the extent of each party’s negligence in causing the accident in the form of a percent.
N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.3 allows an injury victim to recover the full amount of damages from any party that is at least 60 percent at fault for the injury. Any party that is less than 60 percent liable can only be held accountable for their percentage of the total amount of damages.
This means that an injury victim’s compensation award will be decreased by the percentage of fault he or she had in causing the accident that led to their injuries.
For example, if you were seeking $1,000 in compensation and were found to be 10 percent at fault for the accident, you would receive $900. Similarly, if you were 50 percent at fault, you would receive $500.
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