How Does Comparative Fault Work in a Motorcycle Crash in New Jersey?
Were you involved in a serious motorcycle crash in New Jersey? It is crucial that you are able to secure the compensation that you need to pay bills and move forward with your life. You cannot rely on an insurance company to look out for your best interest. Insurers use a wide range of strategies to try to limit settlements—including raising comparative negligence. Here, our Monmouth County motorcycle accident lawyer provides an in depth guide to how comparative fault works in motorcycle crash claims in New Jersey.
Comparative Negligence: Defined
Comparative negligence is a legal principle used for the determination of fault in personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents claims. It is a principle that recognizes that multiple parties may share liability for the same accident/incident. In these cases, liability will be apportioned among the involved parties based on their respective degrees of negligence (fault).
New Jersey is a Comparative Negligence State
New Jersey is a comparative fault jurisdiction. Under New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. § 2A:15-5.1), each party to a motorcycle crash is liable for their share of the blame. In effect, this means that an injured motorcyclist can still recover damages if they are partially at fault, so long as their degree of fault does not exceed the combined negligence of the other parties involved in the accident. The amount of damages awarded will be reduced in proportion to the injured party’s percentage of fault.
Understanding the Effect Comparative Negligence through an Example
To illustrate how comparative negligence works in a New Jersey motorcycle accident, consider the following example: A motorcyclist is involved in a collision with a car in Monmouth County. An investigation revealed that the motorcyclist was speeding. However, the driver of the car failed to signal before making a left-hand turn.
The motorcyclist sustained $30,000 in total damages. At the same time, they were assigned 20 percent blame for the crash. In this scenario, the injured motorcyclist would be liable for 20 percent of their own damages. In other words, they would be liable for $6,000 of their own damages. The motorcyclist would still be able to pursue compensation for the remaining 80 percent ($24,000).
Injured Motorcyclists Deserve Full and Fair Compensation
Despite the comparative negligence rules in New Jersey, injured motorcyclists still deserve full and fair compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. If you were hurt in a crash, you need representation from a skilled, experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Monmouth County Motorcycle Accident
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our Monmouth County motorcycle accident lawyers are aggressive and experienced advocates for injured riders. If you have any questions about comparative fault, we are here to help. Call us now or contact us online for your free case review. From our Monmouth County law office, we represent injured motorcyclists throughout New Jersey.