As a New Jersey motorist, understanding state vehicle accident laws can help you gauge your options if you find yourself involved in a car wreck. One such law, known as comparative fault, can particularly affect any personal injury case you pursue.
According to the New Jersey Law Journal, a law known as the New Jersey Comparative Negligence Act states that judges presiding over any personal injury case, including those stemming from car accidents, must determine the percentage of fault for each person involved. The amount of fault determines how much compensation you can collect, if any, and there are several details about this law you may want to keep in mind as your case moves forward.
Comparative fault percentages
When a New Jersey judge gauges comparative fault, he or she uses the facts and details of the case to assign a percentage of fault to both you and the defendant. These are usually based on several factors, including:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- In-court testimony
Once the judge gathers all the pertinent information, he or she will assign fault that equals 100% for both parties.
The percentage of fault you receive could affect your options for financial recovery. For example, if the judge finds you 40% or more at fault, you may receive significantly less compensation. Some factors that can affect fault may include distracted driving, whether you disobeyed a traffic sign or failed to yield the right of way.
The New Jersey Comparative Negligence Act is often important in personal injury cases where the defendant files a countersuit. This includes claims of personal injury and property damage.