Why your degree of fault in a car accident claim matters

While you can hold a negligent driver liable for the damages you suffered in a car accident, your level of fault will determine your potential compensation. New Jersey follows a modified comparative negligence approach when parties share responsibility for a crash.

It means that in order to understand whether you can recover compensation for the harm and losses you suffered you must first examine your degree of responsibility for the crash. Below is a more detailed explanation.

Your contribution should not exceed the other party’s

Before your car accident claim is settled, the parties involved are each allocated a portion of responsibility for the incident. Whether you can recover compensation for your car accident claim depends on your degree of fault; it must not exceed the other driver’s

Say you’re in a car accident where you share some blame with the other driver. Perhaps you were changing lanes without signaling, but the other driver was speeding. In such a scenario, if the investigation finds you 30% at fault and the other driver 70%, you’re still entitled to compensation.

Your contribution will diminish the compensation due to you

It’s not just about whether you can claim compensation. Your contribution to the crash also impacts the amount you will receive. The compensation due to you will diminish according to your assigned level of fault. For instance, if you were 30% to blame, you can only recover 70% of your damages.

Can you dispute your assigned level of fault?

If you think your assigned degree of responsibility for the crash was exaggerated or mistaken, you have the right to dispute and challenge it. This involves presenting evidence like eyewitness accounts, traffic camera footage or even expert testimony that might reveal a different angle on aspects overlooked by the initial assessment.

Reaching out for legal guidance can help ensure a more accurate representation of your involvement in the accident.

FindLaw Network

View All
Practice areas