Will your driving mistakes affect your right to file a lawsuit?

Will your driving mistakes affect your right to file a lawsuit?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Uncategorized

Many New Jersey car crashes don’t always lead t serious or lasting injuries, but a small fraction of them do. People hurt in a crash can usually file an insurance claim. You can potentially make a no-fault claim against your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. You can also file a claim against the other driver’s coverage for losses that exceed your coverage and property damage costs.

If the other driver doesn’t have insurance or if you have losses that far exceed the coverage available, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit. New Jersey law allows those hurt by another person or a business through negligence or misconduct to seek compensation for verifiable financial losses after a crash.

If you made a mistake that contributed to the car crash, will that prevent you from filing a lawsuit? 

New Jersey has a nuanced view of fault for crashes

The assignment of fault after a car crash sometimes requires careful consideration. While there are certainly wrecks where it is obvious that one person is completely at fault, such as when a drunk driver goes the wrong way down a one-way street, there are other times when both drivers contribute to a wreck.

One driver may have had their phone in their hand instead of keeping their hands on the wheel, while the other may have failed to use their turn signal. In a scenario where both you and the other driver contributed to the crash, you can still bring a civil lawsuit against the other driver.

If the courts determine that they were 60% responsible or more for the wreck, you can hold them accountable for all of the losses you suffered. If the courts determine that their percentage of fault is less than 60%, you can claim that portion of your losses from the other driver.

The other driver has to prove your fault to reduce your compensation

If the other driver wants to claim that your contributory negligence affects what they should pay after a crash, they will usually need some evidence to support that claim. Unless the police report assigns partial fault to both drivers, you only have to worry about claims regarding your fault for the crash if the other driver uses that as a defense strategy in response to your lawsuit.

Reviewing the records of your motor vehicle collision can help you determine the right approach to a personal injury lawsuit related to the wreck.