Call for a Free Consultation : 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT

Recovering Compensation When You Were Partially at Fault

You May Be Able to Get Damages under New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence Rules

Recovering Compensation When You Were Partially at FaultYou’ve been in a motor vehicle accident or you were hurt in a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk or driveway. Maybe you didn’t come to a complete stop, partially causing the accident. Perhaps you saw the buildup of ice and snow and ignored it. Can you still seek compensation for your losses, if the accident wouldn’t have happened without your negligence? Maybe…

Contributory and Comparative Negligence in New Jersey

Before 1973, if you were injured in an accident, but the defendant could show that you contributed in any way to causing the accident, there was a good chance you wouldn’t recover anything. That’s because New Jersey used to follow the legal principle of contributory negligence. Under that approach, any wrongdoing by the injured party could prevent financial recovery. Not surprisingly, defense attorneys abused the principle, seeking dismissal of a personal injury claim if there was even the slightest indication of minimal carelessness or negligence. As a consequence, many individuals who committed acts of extreme negligence avoided responsibility for their actions.

In 1973, New Jersey legally adopted the principle of comparative negligence. With comparative negligence, the jury first determines the full extent of the plaintiff’s (person who filed the lawsuit) injuries. Next, the jury establishes the degree to which the plaintiff’s actions caused the accident, expressed as a percentage of liability. Then, the jury reduces the damage award, based on the percentage of liability.

For example, suppose you were injured in a car accident and your total losses were $500,000. The jury rules that you were 20% responsible for causing the accident and reduces the total damage award by $100,000 (20% of $500,000), awarding you $400,000.

New Jersey follows the principle of modified comparative negligence (as opposed to pure comparative negligence). That means that you can only recover a damage award if your liability for the accident is less than 50%.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

© 2019 karbasianlaw All Rights Reserved.
Concept, Design & Hosting by GetLegal's Practice Builder Team Sitemap | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy