Can I Recover Compensation Even if the Accident was Partially My Fault?
After an accident, most times an insurance adjuster or defense lawyer will tell you that it was your fault. They will blame you for the accident and for your injuries, even claiming that your injuries were pre-existing. Sometimes they may even convince you that it is true or it could be true.
But it usually is not.
Insurance companies train their insurance adjusters, usually at programs run by defense lawyers, on how to minimize a personal injury claim. This is a common tactic used to undervalue, undermine, and even deny an otherwise valid claim before a victim knows he or she has a claim. Then to look like a “good guy”, the insurance company will offer a nominal settlement amount to settle the case anyway after they told you it was all your fault.
Does not make sense, right?
We do not think so either! Nor does New Jersey law. A victim who has been injured in a personal injury case in New Jersey may still be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. This is because New Jersey is a modified comparative fault state.
What this means is that a victim will be entitled to recover the award minus his or her proportional amount of fault. For example, if a victim is awarded $100,000 and is found to be 15% comparatively at fault, the court will reduce the award to $85,000.
The “modified” part of comparative fault is that a victim may only recover an award so long as he or she is less culpable than the defendant. Meaning that, if a victim is awarded $100,000 but if found to be 60% at fault, the court may bar recovery of the entire amount.
Insurance companies and defense lawyers know this, which is why they work hard to minimize the amount of an award and fight to maximize your comparative fault. Do not let this happen. Retain an experienced personal injury lawyer in Middlesex, NJ to ensure that your rights to compensation are well-protected under New Jersey law.