What Are Your Rights When There’s More than One Driver at Fault?
It’s fairly common, especially when there are more than two cars involved in a motor vehicle accident, that more than one of the parties engaged in conduct that caused the accident. If you have been hurt in a multi-vehicle wreck, what are your rights and responsibilities? Will you need to name all parties as defendants? Will you have to allocate financial responsibility for your losses? What happens if you were partially responsible?
The Doctrine of Comparative Negligence
New Jersey has adopted the legal principle of comparative negligence (which replaced the old rule of contributory negligence). New Jersey is a modified comparative negligence state. That means that, in New Jersey, a person seeking compensation for losses suffered in an accident will only be allowed to recover damages if his or her fault was 50% or less. Accordingly, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the court will look first at the extent of your responsibility for the accident. If it’s greater than 50%, your lawsuit will be dismissed.
Suing Multiple Parties in New Jersey
New Jersey also has a law that allows an injured person to seek full compensation from any defendant who was at least 60% responsible for the accident. If the court fails to find any one party to have that degree of liability, all defendants must then pay their pro rata share. If, however, you are able to collect the full measure of damages from a single party, that party may seek reimbursement from other at-fault parties in a separate legal action.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn about how we can help you with a motor vehicle accident injury claim, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.