Most car accident events are stressful and complicated, so it is best to get the assistance of a legal professional. Sometimes, both parties are accountable for the cause of the collision. Under those circumstances, the legal concept of contributory negligence comes into play.
Contributory negligence means that the victim who suffered physical injury or personal property loss due to the accident may not be totally without fault, like if the victim was speeding and then was hit by another driver. In this instance, the injured car accident driver might be partially to blame for the severity of the damages.
In New Jersey, car accident victims may be surprised to discover that they might be considered partially responsible. However, this does not mean that they cannot recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Contributory negligence may lessen an insurance settlement or compensation awarded by the court, but it does not necessarily negate the possibility of recovering money after a tragic, costly wreck.
Responsibility and Contributory Negligence
States like New Jersey that lean on contributory negligence tend to use percentages to describe and pinpoint each party’s responsibility. For example, the driver of one vehicle in a car crash might be deemed 25 percent responsible, whereas the other driver is presumed to carry 75 percent of the responsibility for the event. These numbers are determined by considering all aspects of the collision.
For victims to receive any compensation in New Jersey, their contributory negligence must be 50 percent or less. This is known as modified comparative negligence. In other states, drivers may be able to recover damages even if they are 99 percent negligent, although the damages they are able to receive will be greatly reduced.
When a driver is seriously injured in a car accident and has mounting bills, the driver may want to immediately seek the services of an accident lawyer to attempt to recover as much money as possible from the other driver’s insurance. To help reduce a driver’s contributory negligence percentage, the lawyer will amass several pieces of documentation. Information collected could include photos from the scene, witness testimonies, police reports, and even surveillance videos from nearby cameras.
Using all the data at hand, lawyers and courts can better assess which party contributed to the crash. Obviously, plaintiffs want to have as little contributory responsibility as possible to recover as much as they can to better offset their bills and missed income. Attorneys well-versed in litigation and personal injury can be huge assets when navigating the legalities of contributory negligence as they have the background and experience to make informed client recommendations.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Understand the Intricacies and Complexities of Contributory Negligence
Has your life been greatly affected due to a car accident? If so, it is best to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer about your options. Our accomplished Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm will evaluate your case and will determine if you are eligible for compensation. Contact us online or call us at 609-926-3330 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we also serve clients in Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, Woodbury, and throughout South Jersey.