August 27, 2013
Determining Liability in a New Jersey Car Accident
In the aftermath of an auto collision of any kind, the parties involved and their insurance providers must determine who is at fault for the accident. Police at the scene of the accident will take a detailed report, witness accounts may be given and other information will be taken into consideration by the insurance companies of both drivers. Figuring out who is to blame for any damage caused by the collision can be a daunting task. Typically whoever is at fault ends up having to pay compensation for any injuries and restitution for any property damage.
There are two main ways that a person can be responsible for an auto accident: negligence and recklessness. The difference between these two terms is that negligence involves carelessly and unknowingly choosing actions that may result in harm, while recklessness is choosing to willfully commit an action that will most likely cause harm. Each driver’s actions are taken into account when deciding who was at fault. This ultimately determines who will pay damages, how much they are responsible for, and other factors. In the state of New Jersey, they take the Proportional Comparative Fault approach to coming up with eligibility for paying compensation. This means that the driver who is most at fault will not be entitled to receive any form of compensation, while the other driver with less responsibility in the matter can receive restitution depending on their level of fault. The cutoff for eligibility is 51%, meaning that if one driver is at fault for 51% of the accident, they are no longer able to seek damages. If both parties share the equal amount of fault, they both are eligible for compensation.
When actually figuring out how much each driver is at fault, insurers and any lawyers that are involved will look at police accounts, if there was any blatant negligent actions noted by law enforcement, which car hit the other, the type of accident and many other factors. In rear-end collisions the car in back is almost always at fault unless there are other extenuating circumstances. Blame for left-hand turn accidents are usually placed on the left turn driver, unless the other car was speeding, driving drunk or running a red light. Always check with a knowledgeable Morris County car accident lawyer before assuming anything about your case.
Contact the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm for experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys you can trust. With their team of Certified Civil Trial Lawyers, they have undergone rigorous testing and legal examination, proving their immense knowledge on the topic. For over four decades, they have passionately represented victims of car accidents, and a myriad of other personal injury claims. Included in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers®, Todd in 2011 & 2013 & 2014 he is seen as reputable, intelligent and highly-qualified legal representatives. Available to take calls 24 hours a day and offering services in English as well as Spanish, there is no case too complicated for their team to handle. Call their Morristown injury firm today for a free consultation and discover who is responsible for your car accident today!