If you are a New Jersey resident injured in either a car accident or a slip-and-fall incident, you may want to understand how the state’s Comparative Fault Act might affect any planned or upcoming court case. The New Jersey Judiciary notes that any judge who believes the fault of the accident lies with both parties must compare the percentages for each, and the numbers will affect the outcome of the case.
Taking steps to understand this law may assist you with a personal injury case and how it and the details of the case may coincide to impact the trial’s outcome.
What Comparative Fault entails
New Jersey’s Comparative Fault Act (or sometimes called the Comparative Negligence Act) deals with the degree of fault each party may take on when it comes to the accident in question. A variety of factors could affect the degree of fault, including:
- Details of the police report
- Eyewitness accounts of the accident
- The decision of the judge presiding over the case
Judges determine Comparative Fault percentages, and they are usually divided in a way that equals 100%, or the totality of the negligence involved.
How Comparative Fault affects you
The New Jersey Comparative Fault Act can affect your personal injury case in a variety of ways. For example, if a judge finds that you were equally or more at fault for the accident that injured you, then you are unlikely to collect the damages you seek. If the judge finds that you were less at fault than the defendant, then it is likely you can continue with your case.
Both you and the defendant in the case may question the percentage of negligence the judge applies to you. While this is your legal right, it may have little impact on the outcome of the case.