Can You Still Recover Damages from Another At-Fault Person?
Often, when someone is hurt in an accident, there are many contributing factors. A car might turn in front of you while you’re speeding. Your injuries might be more severe because you weren’t wearing a seatbelt. You might be hurt by a defective product while using it for some purpose other than its intended use. If you engage in negligent behavior that contributes to your injuries, can you still recover compensation?
Comparative Negligence in New Jersey
In New Jersey, if you suffer an injury in an accident caused in part by another person, you can still bring a lawsuit to recover for your losses. However, the court will apply the principle of comparative negligence when determining the amount of your recovery. Under the concept of comparative negligence, the court first determines the full amount of your losses. It then establishes your degree of responsibility, stated as a percentage of liability. The court will reduce your damage award by the percentage of your liability. For example, if you incur losses of $250,000, and the court finds you 10% at fault for causing your own injuries, your award will be reduced by $25,000.
In New Jersey, which applies the principle of modified comparative negligence, you can receive compensation only if your percentage of liability is less than 50%. If you are more responsible for causing the accident than the other party, you cannot recover any damages at all.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after a motor vehicle accident, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton. Currently, all our client communications are by phone, text message, or online videoconference.
We handle all motor vehicle accident claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.