It is sometimes easy to determine who is a fault for causing a motor vehicle accident. Other times responsibility for causing an accident is harder to determine and more than one driver may share in the fault. This is true even in one or two-car accidents, and becomes even more likely in accidents involving three or more vehicles.
Establishing who is at-fault
Your personal injury attorney and the different insurance companies of the parties involved may look at several factors when determining and assigning liability. These include:
- Road and weather conditions at the time of the crash
- Accident location
- Electronic data from recording instruments
- Driver actions
- Any violations by drivers of traffic laws at the time of the crash
- Witness statements
- Actions by law enforcement (i.e. handing out tickets to drivers)
- Type and location of the vehicles’ damages
- Accident report information
When you are partially at-fault for a car crash
Many times, more than one driver makes a mistake in a multiple car accident. For example, one driver may be speeding while another driver glides through a stop sign with a rolling stop. Both drivers’ actions contribute to the crash. In this case, an insurance company must determine the distribution of liability. This falls under the banner of comparative negligence law and is applicable in the state of New Jersey.
Comparative negligence law in New Jersey may affect your claim for damages. New Jersey law states that an injured person cannot recover for their injuries if they are more than 50% responsible for the accident. However, you can recover for your injuries if the other party or parties were negligent and you are found to share 50% or less of the responsibility for the occurrence of the accident.
In line with New Jersey’s comparative negligence law, if you carry a certain percentage of fault for a car crash, you may still be eligible to secure a certain amount of compensation. The percentage of your responsibility for the crash will reduce the percentage of the injury settlement or jury award. As an example, if you file an injury claim against the other driver’s insurance company and that company determines you are 30% fault for the crash, you may receive an award or settlement reduced by 30%. If you are found more liable for the accident than the other driver, you will receive no financial compensation.
If you have sustained injuries in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, our NJ car accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP want to help. Our goal is to help you secure the compensation to which you are entitled for your losses. To arrange a free case review at one of our offices in Read to Bank, Toms River, or Edison, call us today at 732.777.0100, or leave us a message through our contact form.