Who Is Liable in a Car Accident in New Jersey?

Date: June 14, 2023

After a New Jersey car accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. First, you must prove that someone else was more to blame for the car accident. Without that showing, you may not be able to be paid for your injuries. An experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer can help gather the evidence that can prove liability and put you in a position to negotiate a settlement.

How Is Fault Determined for a Car Accident?

You may win your case by showing that the other driver was negligent. In your car accident case, negligence is a term with a definite legal meaning. Specifically, a driver is negligent when they have acted unreasonably under the circumstances, leading to injuries and losses.

Here are some examples of negligent actions that can lead to a car accident:

  • Rear-ended a car in front of you.
  • Running a stop sign or red light.
  • Speeding.
  • Distracted driving.
  • Making an illegal turn.
  • Failing to check blind spots before making a turn.

Comparative Negligence in New Jersey

There is a possibility that both drivers could share some of the blame for the car accident. For example, one driver may have made an illegal turn while the other was speeding. Your financial recovery would be reduced by your percentage of fault. Further, you would be ineligible for compensation when you are more than 50 percent to blame for the accident.

Common Scenarios and Liability Determination

Here are some common car accident scenarios, along with who may be responsible for the crash:

  • In a rear-end car accident, the rear car driver is usually to blame for the crash.
  • In an intersection car accident, the driver that failed to yield the right-of-way when required will likely be responsible.
  • In blind-spot accidents, the driver not established in a lane would generally be liable.

Liability depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual situation. For example, the front car driver could be liable in a rear-end crash if they stopped suddenly in front of the other car.

Evidence and Investigation of a Car Accident

As the claimant, you have the burden of proof in a car accident case. You must prove that your allegations are trustworthy by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that your facts are more likely than not to have happened. If you cannot show this, you will likely not get compensation.

You prove facts by gathering evidence that shows what happened. Here are some forms of evidence that can help prove your case:

  • Eyewitness testimony from people who saw the accident. Objective third-party testimony is perhaps the most helpful form of evidence.
  • Pictures from the scene of the accident.
  • The police report, which can be used in an insurance claim, but would be inadmissible in a trial.
  • Traffic or dashcam footage.
  • Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert.

The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer After a Car Accident

You may not be compensated for your car accident injuries if you do not have the necessary evidence. However, you would begin to lose evidence quickly.

An experienced lawyer can investigate the cause of your car accident and work to assemble the proof that is necessary when you file a claim or lawsuit. Then, they may negotiate compensation with the insurance company or take the case to trial if necessary.

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Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer at Kitrick, McWeeney & Wells, LLC Today

New Jersey car accident lawyer at Kitrick, McWeeney & Wells, LLC can investigate your car accident and advise you whether you may have a valid claim for financial compensation. Our lawyers can advise you on your legal rights and fight for compensation on your behalf. You can schedule a free initial consultation by messaging us online or by calling us at 732-800-9474. Located in Manasquan, New Jersey, we serve clients in and around Middlesex County, Atlantic County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County.