Liability for a Multiple Vehicle Car Accident
Determining liability in a multi-vehicle auto accident can be difficult. There may be several parties involved, each with their own degree of fault. This can significantly complicate filing an auto accident claim to obtain the compensation you need.
However, an experienced New Jersey auto accident lawyer will understand how to identify which parties were at fault for the collision to help you hold them liable for your injuries and financial losses.
To learn more, contact Lynch Law Firm, PC to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We will carefully review your auto accident claim to determine if you have a case. Below, we provide some of the factors our attorneys examine when determining liability in a multi-vehicle car crash.
Common Types of Multiple Vehicle Collisions
There are several types of auto accidents that commonly involve multiple vehicles. These include:
- Rear-end accidents: When one driver crashes into the rear end of another vehicle. This can cause a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles, causing the driver that was struck from the rear to crash into the rear of the vehicle ahead.
- Head-on accidents: This occurs when a vehicle crashes into the front of another vehicle. If this occurs at high speed there is a high risk of serious injuries or death.
- T-bone accidents: This occurs when a vehicle makes an unsafe turn and crashes into the side of another vehicle, often referred to as a “side-impact collision.” These types of crashes often occur at intersections when a driver neglects to stop at a stop sign or traffic light. The vehicle crashes into the side of an approaching vehicle and pushes it across the lane.
Determining Which Party is At Fault
It can be difficult to prove fault in a multi-vehicle accident. Each driver may have played a role in causing the accident and determining their degree of fault can become complicated.
Multiple parties may be liable for a percentage of the accident, including yourself. In this case, each driver is responsible for damages according to the percentage he or she is found at fault for the accident. When creating the accident report, the reporting police officer may note who is at fault on the report.
New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence Law
When multiple parties are at fault for a car accident, New Jersey uses the law of comparative negligence. Under this law, each party involved in the accident will be assigned a percentage of fault depending on their level of negligence in causing the accident.
The percentage each party is assigned will determine the amount of compensation they are obligated to pay you after the accident. For example, you may be injured in an accident involving two other drivers and file a $10,000 personal injury claim. One party may be found 60 percent at fault and the other is found to be 40 percent at fault. This means you will be owed $6,000 from one party, and $4,000 from the other driver.
You may still collect compensation even if you are also found to be at fault for the accident. New Jersey’s comparative negligence law allows accident victims to receive compensation as long as they are found to be less than 50 percent at fault. However, your claim’s value will be reduced by the percentage you are assigned. This means if you filed a $10,000 personal injury claim and are found to be 30 percent at fault, the maximum amount of compensation you can receive is $7,000.
Time Limit for Filing Your Claim
Each state imposes its own statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This acts as a time limit for you to follow for filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date on which your accident occurred. This means you have two years from the date of your car accident to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you fail to bring your case within this timeframe, you will likely not be able to recover compensation.
Contact Lynch Law Firm, PC Today
If you were injured in a multi-vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
To find out your legal options, contact Lynch Law Firm, PC’s New Jersey personal injury lawyers to discuss your claim during a free, no obligation consultation. We handle every aspect of your claim and will only charge you legal fees if we recover compensation on your behalf.
Call (800) 518-0508 to get started.