Understanding Negligence Laws in New Jersey
Experienced Bergen County lawyers help you recover compensation for personal injury
An accident can leave you seriously injured and in need of compensation. Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg help you secure the compensation you need when your accident was caused by the negligence of another. We have decades of experience in all types of injury cases, including helping clients recover fair settlements through tough negotiation with insurers and strong courtroom advocacy in personal injury litigation.
How do you prove fault under New Jersey negligence laws?
To collect on a personal injury claim in New Jersey, you usually must prove the person who caused the injury was negligent and did not exercise reasonable care. You must prove certain essential elements, such as:
The person who caused your injury owed you a duty.
The person failed to carry out that duty.
You suffered damages.
The other person’s failure caused your injury.
People in different circumstances have different duties of care. For example, drivers have a duty to drive safely and obey the rules of the road, while property owners generally have a duty reasonably to maintain their properties or warn of known dangers that cannot be remedied.
New Jersey law has become stricter in recent years, requiring victims to demonstrate a serious injury. While injuries do not have to be life-threatening, a victim must have an injury backed by real medical evidence to win a personal injury lawsuit.
How comparative negligence works in New Jersey
New Jersey is one of many states in which the law considers comparative negligence. Under New Jersey’s modified comparative negligence system, each person is assigned a degree of fault in the cause of an accident. If you were injured, you may collect damages from a negligent party, even if you were also negligent as long as your negligence was 50 percent or less. However, if you are 51 percent at fault, you cannot recover damages. For example, if you were determined to be 50 percent at fault and your damages were $50,000, you could still receive $25,000.
The degree of fault is determined by an insurer or judge or jury based on an investigation and the evidence presented. In auto insurance claims, the insurance company determines fault when you file a claim against another driver who you believe caused the accident. An insurer may consider such things as the primary cause of the accident, if either driver had a greater duty of care and if either driver may have avoided the accident. Under New Jersey no-fault accidents law, you can also to choose to recover compensation directly from your own insurer without consideration of fault. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg can advise you about the merits of your case, especially when comparative negligence and multiple parties are issues.
What is my claim worth?
Under New Jersey law, the person who injured you is responsible for a broad range of economic and noneconomic damages, including:
Past, current and future estimated medical expenses
Time lost from work, including time spent going to medical appointments or therapy
Property that was damaged, such as your vehicle
The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you could not do them
Permanent disfigurement or disability
Your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, fright, shock and any interference with your family relationships
Physical pain and suffering
Change in future earning ability because of the injury you suffered
Any other costs that resulted from your injury
When you are awarded a sum based on these damages, the sum may be reduced if your negligence contributed to the accident.