How Is Fault Determined After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you may be suffering from injuries, and your vehicle may be damaged, resulting in high medical and/or auto repair bills. New Jersey is a no-fault car insurance state, meaning, generally, you must first go through your insurance company to recover compensation for accident-related expenses; however, in some instances, you can pursue a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Modified Comparative Negligence State
When one person initiates a claim against the driver who caused the accident, the state follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means you can seek compensation for damages if you were not more than 50% at-fault for the accident. If a majority of the fault lies with the other driver, but you were partially responsible for causing the accident, your settlement amount will be decreased by the percentage that you were found liable.
After you file a claim, the accident must be investigated to determine the percentage of fault of each driver; this investigation is typically conducted by an adjuster for the other driver’s insurance company, your lawyer, and/or an accident reconstruction expert.
These individuals will look at a variety of factors, including:
The Police Report
When an officer is called to the scene of an accident, they will document details of the crash to include in their report. They may take pictures of the scene, interview witnesses, and take note of any other elements, such as skid marks. The report may also include the officer’s opinion of which driver caused the accident. When determining fault, the investigators will refer to this report, as it contains an official and unbiased view of the details.
The State’s Driving Laws
Fault can also be established by determining if the other driver violated a traffic law. Investigators may review traffic camera footage or phone records to see if the other driver ran a red light or was using their cell while driving.
Evidence Recorded at the Scene
Investigators will also look at the information you recorded, which is why it is essential to take pictures of the vehicles and the scene immediately after the collision.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another driver, trust your case to our experienced team. We have over two decades of combined experience handling these types of matters and have successfully obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for past clients. Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate the scene to seek just compensation on your behalf.
To discuss your case with one of our attorneys, call us at (201) 928-0300 or contact us online.