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How Negligence Impacts New Jersey Personal Injury Claims (Part A)

When you've been injured in a New Jersey accident caused by someone else's negligence, it helps to know you may seek compensation for your injuries. You can do this by filing a New Jersey personal injury claim. This action requires you to prove that the person you are suing directly caused your accident and resulting injuries. Before you get started in this endeavor, it helps to have a basic understanding of New Jersey's negligence laws.

An Overview of Negligence in a New Jersey Personal Injury Claim

New Jersey uses a variation of comparative negligence, known as the 51% rule
. This means that if you've filed a New Jersey personal injury claim, both the defendant's role in an accident - and yours - will be evaluated. Since many times an accident is a combination of two parties' negligence, you may both be found partially at fault.

In New Jersey, you must be found less than 51% at fault for the accident in order to collect any compensation for your injuries
. Additionally, the percentage to which you're found to be at fault will be deducted from any settlement offer you receive. 

For example, if you're found to be 25% at fault in a New Jersey personal injury claim and your settlement amount was $100,000, based on New Jersey's modified comparative negligence rule, the amount you would receive as your final compensation would be $75,000.  

An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney can work with you to collect and analyze the evidence from your accident to prove the other party's negligence and strengthen your claim for damages.

Proving Negligence in a New Jersey Personal Injury Claim

The role of a New Jersey personal injury attorney is crucial in proving negligence. Your New Jersey personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your specific accident, and explain both the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

Proving negligence typically involves 5 elements, which are listed below:

 

  • the defendant owed a duty of care towards you;
  • this duty of care was violated or neglected;
  • that without the accident occurring, your injuries would not have resulted;
  • the resulting harm directly caused your injuries; and
  • you can prove the injuries and damage caused by those actions.

 

The required duty of care may vary depending on specific situations. For example, lifeguards, doctors, teachers and nurses all have a different duty of care to exercise within their professions. If at any point they fail to respect these duties, their actions can lead to liability issues based on New Jersey personal injury claims. In another example, just by driving on the road you owe a duty of care to the vehicles around you to drive safely and follow local traffic laws. Violating these traffic laws would be an example of violating a duty of care.

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