Sometimes, the insurance company may claim you are partly or completely to blame for your car accident injuries. If they are correct, it may reduce your financial recovery or eliminate it. Your lawyer may need to defend your actions while they also argue that someone else was to blame for your injuries.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence is a legal defense that claims that you were partially or completely to blame for the accident. The effect is that the responsible party would be considered somewhat less responsible; thus, they would need to pay you less for your injuries.
Causation is a part of proving negligence in a personal injury case. This involves whether or not the defendant’s wrongful actions caused your injuries. The theory behind comparative negligence is that your actions may have caused some or all of your injuries.
The Different Types of Negligence
Here are some different comparative negligence rules that are used in various states:
- Pure contributory negligence is when a plaintiff is barred from recovering at all if they bear part of the blame for their accident injuries.
- Modified comparative negligence is when a plaintiff cannot recover if they bear a higher proportion of fault than the other party. Their percentage of fault is deducted from their overall compensation award.
- Slight/gross negligence is when a party can recover only when their negligence is “slight.”
The insurance adjuster will review the actions of both drivers in the immediate time frame leading up to the crash. They will assign each driver a percentage of fault. In some cases, responsibility is clear-cut.
The Comparative Negligence Rules in New Jersey
New Jersey uses a modified comparative negligence rule. Under New Jersey law, you cannot get a settlement check for a personal injury if you bear more fault than the responsible party. For example, you will likely be barred from recovery if you bear 51 percent of the blame for what happened. If you are partly to blame for the accident, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage you are to blame.
Get Legal Help From Our New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Kitrick, McWeeney & Wells, LLC
If you have been injured in an accident, our New Jersey car accident lawyers at Kitrick, McWeeney & Wells, LLC can stand up for your legal rights. Call us today at 732-920-8383 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Manasquan and Brick, New Jersey, we assist clients in Middlesex County, Atlantic County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County.