In New Jersey personal injury cases, the concept of comparative negligence plays a vital role in determining a lawsuit’s outcome. It is essential to understand what comparative negligence is and how it can affect your case when seeking compensation for injuries you have sustained due to someone else’s negligence.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal principle that comes into play when both the plaintiff (the injured party) and the defendant (the party alleged to be at fault) share some degree of responsibility for an accident or injury. The New Jersey Comparable Negligence Statute acknowledges that accidents can occur due to the actions or negligence of multiple parties. It allows a jury to allocate fault proportionally.
New Jersey follows a modified comparative negligence system, which sets a threshold beyond which the injured party cannot recover damages. In most cases, if the injured party is found to be more than 50% at fault, they are barred from recovering any damages. However, if the injured party is found to be 50% or less at fault, they can recover damages, but their award is reduced by their percentage of fault.
The Role of Comparative Negligence in Personal Injury Cases:
Comparative negligence is a crucial aspect of personal injury cases, as it affects the amount of compensation an injured party can receive. Here’s how it works:
- Determining Fault:
To establish comparative negligence, the jury must determine the percentage of fault assigned to each party involved in the accident. This will be based on the evidence presented during the trial. This can include witness testimonies, expert opinions, and other relevant information. The judge will modify the award for calculated damages based on the assigned percentage of faults.
- Impact on Settlements:
Comparative negligence also impacts settlement negotiations. When both parties share s responsibility, it can affect the willingness to settle and the settlement amount. Parties may negotiate based on their perceived strengths and weaknesses in the comparative negligence argument. However, the settlement agreed upon will not be decreased by percentage of liability.
It is essential to understand comparative negligence when pursuing a personal injury claim. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney who can evaluate the circumstances and assess fault. Contact UBFK Law today for the guidance needed to navigate the complexities of comparative negligence and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.