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In New Jersey, personal injury laws recognize that in car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, and pedestrian accident cases, there is usually more than one factor which lead to the accident and any resulting injuries. For example, New Jersey personal injury laws account for an accident wherein one driver recklessly ran through a red light, struck and injured another driver, but the driver who suffered the injuries was not wearing a seat-belt, thereby increasing the severity of injuries sustained.

The law that accounts for multiple contributing factors is what is known as comparative negligence. It allows for individuals who are partially at fault for injuries sustained in an accident to still seek compensation for their injuries in personal injury court, while at the same time reducing the total compensation awarded based upon the percentage of vault the victim is determined to have. Here's how comparative negligence works in New Jersey.

Morris County Personal Injury Lawyers Help You Negotiate Percentage of Fault

The first step taken when it is determined that the victim may have been partially responsible for the accident is to determine the exact percentage of fault each party has. Most often, the insurance companies involved will hire an investigator to collect evidence regarding the accident, and then present their findings. The parties involved then negotiate to assign fault to involved parties. If an agreement can be reached, compensation will be awarded based upon the percentage of fault it is determined each party has. So for example, if you were not wearing your seat-belt and were injured in an accident by a reckless driver, it may be determined that you have 20% of the fault in the accident, and the other driver has the rest. So if you were to be awarded $500,000 for your personal injury claim, you would instead be awarded $400,000, 20% less than the total amount.

If however, an agreement cannot be reached regarding how much fault each involved party has, the issue must then be decided in court. A judge will listen to the different parties and the evidence they provide, and then assign his or her own percentages of fault.

While any time you are pursuing a personal injury claim it is important to have an experienced Morris County personal injury attorney to represent and fight for your interests, it is especially important when percentage of fault is being determined. Even a 5% difference of fault assigned represents quite a large sum of money, money which you need to pay for medical expenses and ensure your family's future.

Majority Responsibility and How it Affects your Personal Injury Case

One important idea to understand when pursuing a personal injury claim is that of majority responsibility. New Jersey law states that you are allowed to seek, and recover, damages for your injuries so long as you are not more at fault than the parties you are seeking compensation from. If you are found to be 51% responsible for the accident and the injuries you sustained, you will not be able to pursue a personal injury claim. This is another important reason to retain an experienced Morristown personal injury attorney when you are considering filing for a personal injury claim. Your attorney can protect you from over-exaggerated claims of responsibility by the opposing insurance company, and ensure that even if you were partially responsible for the injuries you sustain, you are still able to seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Contact A Morris County Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of an accident because of another parties irresponsible or reckless actions, you will most likely wish to seek compensation for the injuries you have sustained, and the effects the injury has had on your day-to-day life. Even if you are unsure if you have a claim or not, it is important that you speak to an experienced Morris County personal injury attorney as quickly as possible, as New Jersey's statute of limitations only gives you a limited amount of time to file your personal injury claim.

At The Law Office of Smith & Doran, we have extensive experience handling accident and injury cases of all kinds. Founding partner Robert A. Smith personally handles all personal injury cases. Robert Smith is a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney, signifying his dedication to and experience in the area of personal injury and civil law. Robert Smith believes in open and honest communication with his clients, and seeks to keep clients involved and informed in any case he is handling for them.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our personal injury team featuring Robert A. Smith regarding your case or possible case today, contact us online or through our Morristown office at 973.261.6254.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
Fax: 973-292-9168
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