Not all accidents are cut and dry when it comes to determining fault. There are times when the fault is both yours and the other entity, but that does not necessarily mean you do not have a personal injury claim. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania there is what is referred to as Modified Comparative Negligence, which is the system used to determine how much fault bars you from seeking damages for your accident.
The Modified Comparative Fault works on a 51 percent bar stipulation. What this means is that if you are found to be 51 percent or more responsible for your accident then you cannot seek compensation. If you are 50 percent or less responsible then you can still seek damages, but your award will be reduced based on your degree of fault.
For example, say you were found to be 10% responsible for your car accident and you were originally awarded $100,000 chances are this award would most likely be reduced by 10% to $90,000. There are many factors that could contribute to you being partially at fault. One example of this is say you are in a car accident that was caused by the other driver, but you were not wearing your seat belt—you would be partially at fault. This is because if you had been wearing your seat belt your injuries would not have been as severe.
Some other reasons that you may be partially at fault include:
- You saw the floor was wet, but there was no sign. You slipped and fell on the water. There should have been a sign so yes there is fault on the entity that owns the location, but if you saw it you should have made reasonable efforts to avoid stepping in the water.
- You were in a car accident in which another driver rear-ended you, but you were driving under the influence. The other driver caused the accident, but you hold some fault for dangerously choosing to drive while intoxicated.
- There is a box blocking your path of walking and you choose to try and step over it or get around it. The box shouldn’t have been there and it did create an avoidable hazard, but by choosing to attempt to bypass it you are assuming some risk.
These are just a few examples, but it is best to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer in New Jersey about the specifics of your accident. The attorneys at Console & Associates P.C. have been protecting the rights of accident victims for 25 years and are ready and able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 to set up your free, confidential consultation.