If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you’re probably ready to fight for the compensation that you deserve. After all, you’ll need that money to help offset any incurred and expected medical expenses and lost wages, not to mention to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
But while you might be chomping at the bit to aggressively pursue your claim from an offensive standpoint, you also need to be prepared to defend your own driving. Why is that? New Jersey’s comparative negligence law.
What is comparative negligence?
Comparative negligence means that a judge or jury, whoever is hearing your case, will assign fault to the parties according to the facts presented. Then, the plaintiff’s financial recovery is reduced by the percentage of fault that is assigned to him or her. Therefore, a $100,000 award can be reduced to $60,000 if the victim is found to be 40% at fault for the accident. That reduction can have a tremendous impact on one’s ability to secure the financial stability and medical treatment needed in both the short and long-term.
It’s also worth noting that New Jersey law prohibits the recovery of compensation if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault. So, defending your own driving could be key to the ultimate outcome of your case.
Be prepared to protect your interests in your personal injury case
Many people who succeed on a personal injury lawsuit are able to do so because they are adequately prepared. They have gathered the evidence that they need to prove their case, and they’ve anticipated the defense’s arguments and crafted counterarguments that protect their own interests. You need that kind of legal strategy if you want to maximize your chances of success.
Therefore, if you or loved one has been injured in a car accident, it is important to do everything you can to build holistic and effective legal arguments that are based on the law and the facts at hand.