NJ car accidents

Can I Bring a NJ Car Accident Lawsuit if I Was Partially at Fault?

While the primary focus after a New Jersey car accident is almost certainly on your physical recovery. At some point, you may realize that the accident is taking a financial toll on your family, as well. Through a car accident lawsuit, you can pursue a claim for compensation against the party or parties responsible for the accident. However, under New Jersey law, there are special rules that come into play if you bear some responsibility for the collision. Read on to learn more about recovering financial compensation for a car accident when you are partially at fault. 

New Jersey Follows a Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

New Jersey law relies on the doctrine of modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to personal injury cases, including car accident cases. This rule recognizes that multiple people can contribute to an accident and sets out a way for partially at-fault drivers to recover for their injuries. 

Under this rule, if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. However, your compensation may be reduced proportionally to your degree of fault. However, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you may not be eligible to recover any damages. For example, if the court determines that you were 30% at fault for a car accident and the other party was 70% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 30%. However, if the court determined you were 55% at fault, you wouldn’t be able to recover anything. 

Factors that May Affect Your Ability to Recover Compensation

Several factors can influence your ability to recover compensation in a car accident case in New Jersey. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Fault and Liability: New Jersey follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that your compensation may be reduced if you are found partially at fault for the accident. If you are deemed more than 50% at fault, you may not be eligible to recover damages. 
  • Insurance Coverage: The insurance policies of the parties involved, including your own insurance coverage, can impact the amount of compensation you can receive. New Jersey requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which can affect your ability to pursue damages through a lawsuit.
  • Seriousness of Injuries: The severity of your injuries and their impact on your life, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, will play a significant role in determining the compensation you may be entitled to.
  • Evidence and Documentation: Strong evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and documentation of damages (e.g., repair bills, medical bills, and proof of lost income) can strengthen your case and support your claim for compensation.
  • Statute of Limitations: In New Jersey, there is a limited time frame within which you must file a car accident lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file within this timeframe can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.
  • Legal Representation: Having an experienced car accident attorney can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation. A skilled attorney can navigate the legal complexities, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights in court if necessary.

These factors, among others, can all influence the outcome of your car accident case and your ability to obtain fair compensation for your losses. An attorney can help you better understand your rights to pursue a partial fault car accident lawsuit.

The Importance of Consulting with a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer

Consulting with a New Jersey car accident lawyer is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, a lawyer with specific experience handing car accidents cases understands the intricacies of New Jersey’s laws and how to successfully situate a claim. They can provide invaluable guidance on your rights and the steps you need to take to protect those rights.

Additionally, a car accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims. Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they often try to minimize payouts or shift blame onto you. An experienced lawyer can handle communications with insurance adjusters, negotiate settlements on your behalf, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Moreover, a lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records to support your claim. They can also work with accident reconstruction experts, if needed, to strengthen your case.

Furthermore, in the event that negotiations with insurance companies do not lead to a satisfactory outcome, a car accident lawyer can represent you in court. They will advocate for your rights before a judge and jury, presenting a compelling case to secure the compensation you deserve.

Have You Been Injured in a New Jersey Car Accident?

If you or someone close to you has suffered injuries in a New Jersey car accident, contact the Lakewood personal injury firm of Bathweg, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. The attorneys at our firm have decades of experience representing clients in all types of motor vehicle collisions. We understand the New Jersey car accident laws and car accident lawsuit process better than just about anyone and are immediately available to meet with you to discuss your case. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our office at (732) 363-0666. We will not bill you for our services unless we recover monetary damages on your behalf.