Updated Nov. 20, 2023
What happens if you are injured in an accident and you are partially at fault? You may ask yourself if you can still sue and collect damages for your expenses, medical bills, and pain and suffering. As New Jersey lawyers, we are frequently asked these questions by those injured in car accidents and other types of accidents. Below are some tidbits of legal information about filing lawsuits and insurance claims when the claimant is partially at fault.
New Jersey Accidents and Comparative Fault
We are routinely in court on negligence/tort cases in Passaic County, Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Union County, and the surrounding areas. And there is an important general rule that governs all injury and negligence cases in New Jersey: Comparative Fault. This legal rule says that an injured person can still sue for their injuries if they are partially at fault, but their award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. However, if they are more than 50% at fault, then they are not entitled to collect any damages whatsoever. For example, if there is a car accident and the first driver is 10% at fault and the other driver is 90% at fault and the first driver has injuries that are valued at $100,000. The first driver will still win their case, but their damages will be reduced by 10%, so they will only collect $90,000. At a trial, the jury will be told appropriate instructions, and the jury must make the determination about percentages of fault. The jury will also be told that if they find that the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, then the plaintiff must lose the case.
Will Insurance Pay My Medical Bills if I am Partially at Fault?
Most people are very unfamiliar with how car and insurance companies work. They may have medical bills piling up or they need medical treatment and they aren’t sure whether their car insurance will cover the medical bills if they are partially at fault for an accident. In New Jersey, a person’s own car insurance (or their resident relative’s) is the primary insurance for medical bills, regardless of fault. This is known as the No Fault insurance system. Even if a person is 100% at fault and even if they are not driving their own car, their own insurance company will pay all of their medical bills for reasonable and necessary treatments of injuries caused by a car accident, up to the policy limit.
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer – Free Consultation With a Skilled Attorney
Remember, the insurance companies have teams of adjusters and attorneys who will do all that they legally can to avoid compensating injured people. We have been representing injured individuals and their families since 1922 and we are very familiar with dealing with their tactics. If you have any question or you or a loved one were injured, please do not hesitate to contact us for a 100% free consultation.
Raff & Raff, LLP
Attorneys at Law
30 Church Street
Paterson, NJ 07505
Tel: (973) 742-1917
Fax: (973) 742-2454