What if I am Partially at Fault in an Accident?

Our attorneys have the skill and experience to assist in recovery even if you are somewhat at fault in Hamilton Township, Trenton, Ewing and across Mercer and Middlesex County

What if I am Partially at Fault in an Accident?In many cases involving personal injuries, each party involved bears some responsibility.  People often think that they cannot recover if they are partially at fault. This is incorrect as you may be entitled to recover even if you are partially responsible for causing the accident.  

What makes a person legally responsible for an accident?

In most circumstances, a person can be deemed liable for injuries that resulted due to their negligent or reckless conduct that caused the accident.   For the most part, your attorney must establish that the responsible party did something, or failed to do something that a reasonable person would have done.  For example, if you are driving on a public road at the posted speed limit and you are t-boned by an oncoming truck because he failed to stop at a stop sign, the other driver is the negligent party.  

Most juries or insurance companies would find the driver of the truck to be negligent because he failed to do that which was required and what a reasonable person would do, which is to stop at the stop sign.  His negligence is established by the accident report, witness statements, and damage to your vehicle. More importantly, it is clear that the accident would not have occurred had he adhered to the motor vehicle code and stopped at the stop sign.  

However, what if you are partially to blame for the accident because you were speeding (going twice the limit) and did not yield or slow down at the intersection? It is possible that the other driver will establish that you are partially at fault in the accident, but it is unlikely that you will be barred from recovery. 

Can I recover if I am at fault?

Can I recover if I am at fault?As noted above, even if you are partially responsible for the accident, you can still seek recovery. Your responsibility is reviewed under a theory known as comparative negligence or fault.  In the example above, you may bear some responsibility in the accident, but it remains clear that the other driver is mostly at fault because he blew through the stop sign and t-boned you. The actual damage and location of the damage to the car proves that you were already in the intersection when hit.  Had the driver heeded the road sign and stopped, he would not have hit you. This means that he is mostly at fault. 

In order for you to be prevented from recovery, the other party would have to prove that you are mostly at fault.   In essence, the other driver must prove that you were 51% at fault in causing the accident and he is therefore not legally responsible for your injuries.  

Fundamentally, you are entitled to recover if the other person is 51% or more at fault.  This is not to say that you are without limitation in terms of recovery if you are partially responsible.  Your financial award will likely be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For instance, if the total compensation awarded is $100,000 and you are deemed 25% responsible, the award you receive will be reduced to $75,000 to reflect your percentage of fault.  

How can an attorney help me?

Experienced attorneys know what to look for and how to prove or disprove fault.  We have seen countless accidents that appear at first glance to be clear and limit recovery. Despite the general consensus of the case by all parties involved, we continue to investigate and uncover evidence establishing the other party’s responsibility in the action.  We fiercely protect your rights and advocate on your behalf whether through negotiation or trial. We leave no stone unturned in challenging responsibility and establishing negligence. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.  

Contact our East Brunswick and Trenton Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our staff of attorneys has experience in exploring options in a no-fault and comparative negligence law to ensure that drivers across Hamilton Township, Trenton, Ewing and across Mercer County receive their fair share of recoveries after an automobile accident that was not their fault.

To speak with our firm today and conduct a thorough case assessment regarding your auto accident and injury, please call us at (609) 528-2596 or fill out our online form today.

What Mercer County Cyclists Need to Know in the Event of an Accident

Serving Personal Injury and Auto accidents injured clients across New Jersey and Pennsylvania with offices in Trenton, Bensalem, and Philadelphia

What Cyclists Need to Know in the Event of an AccidentAny cyclist knows that sharing the roadway with motor vehicles can be dangerous.  Despite taking every precaution, such as wearing a helmet, obeying traffic laws, and wearing appropriate attire, accidents happen. If a driver caused your injuries and is at fault, you are entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and loss of past and future earnings.  Below, we will discuss some common causes of accidents involving cyclists and the negligent acts of others that may contribute to these accidents.

There are many causes of bicycle accidents.  Some accidents and injuries are due to rider error, while others are caused by motorists, objects in the roadway, and distractions. One of the most dangerous types of accidents that cause the most serious injuries involve motor vehicles.

Bicycle Accidents Caused by Motor Vehicles and Distracted Drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that thirty percent of all bicycle accidents occur with a motor vehicle. One of the main reasons for motor vehicle accidents is due to distracted drivers.

At any given time, if you pay attention to drivers as they pass by, you will see them talking on cell phones, eating, or playing with the radio. One of the most dangerous activities displayed by motorists is texting while driving. Studies have shown that one text will take a driver’s eyes off the road for at least five seconds.  Taking your eyes off the road for any length of time can cause major injuries and fatalities, but five seconds is an especially extreme amount of time when it comes to an unprotected cyclist.  Close your eyes, count to five slowly: Doing so demonstrates just how long five seconds really is.  One text could mean the difference between life or death for a cyclist.  Injuries caused by distractions are injuries that should never happen, as all drivers are required to pay careful attention to the roadway.  As a result, if a distracted driver causes an accident with a cyclist, the driver will be legally at fault and the cyclist may be eligible for financial compensation. While distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, it is not the only cause of collisions with cyclists.

Injuries to Cyclist due to Motorists Speeding and Failure to Obey Traffic Laws

Motorists can be at fault in other ways.  For example, in most residential neighborhoods in New Jersey, the speed limit is 25 miles per hour.   Motorists often disobey the posted speed limit and, in doing so, they demonstrate a lack of regard for the well-being of others. A driver has a responsibility to obey all traffic laws for his own safety, as well as for the safety of others on the roadway. Going over the speed limit can be considered reckless and careless in both civil and criminal court. If the motorist is taken to civil court, he or she would be at fault for something called operator liability. Similarly, drunk driving is yet another way in which drivers display reckless and careless behavior that may cause accidents and injury to cyclists.

Drunk Drivers Responsible For Cyclist and Pedestrian Injuries

Those that drive impaired or drink and drive are deemed to be operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner.  Anyone who drives impaired and causes injury to another will be liable for the injuries caused to another person because the court recognizes that, but for the drunk driving, there would be no injury.  For example, if you are riding your bicycle in the bike lane and a drunk driver swerves into your lane and hurts you, they are responsible. Evidence that the driver was impaired will serve as proof in a civil claim that the driver is at fault for your injuries and financial losses.

In the drunk driving example, it is easy to see how the driver would be responsible, but not all accidents involving cyclists are as egregious. Sometimes, they can be caused by simple mistakes made by drivers.  Often, drivers are hurrying from place to place and do not want to be slowed down by a bicyclist.  Sometimes, an accident is caused by something as simple as not giving a cyclist enough space or room to travel. Regardless, a driver is responsible if he or she fails to drive with reasonable care, thereby causing an accident.

Causes of Bike Accidents Not Involving Motor Vehicles

Contact Our Mercer County Cyclists Accident and Car Injury Attorneys TodayWhile motor vehicle accidents account for serious injuries to cyclists, they are not the only cause of accidents or injuries to cyclists.  There can be any number of reasons for cyclist accidents. For example, another cause of cyclist accidents is poor roadway conditions.  Potholes, loose or uneven pavement or objects in the roadway can cause cyclists to lose balance and fall.  Missing road signs or faulty signals can be to blame as well.  In other cases, the accident may have been caused by a faulty bicycle or part, meaning the manufacturer caused the bike to malfunction.

Whatever the reason for the injury, if you believe someone else is at fault, you should seek legal assistance.  Speaking with our experienced attorneys will help you determine the potential legal responsibility of another party and whether you may be entitled to a recovery.  While financial compensation cannot make up for the injuries suffered by you or a loved one, it can make a difference in your medical recovery and financial stability.

Contact Our Mercer County Injury Attorneys Today if Injured in a Bicycle Accident

There are many ways a bicycle accident can occur, and basically all of them can be devastating. If you or a loved one have suffered injury in a bike-related accident, contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer at The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson and discuss the particular details of your accident.

Reach out to our firm for a free consultation by filling our online contact application or through our Trenton, NJ office and calling at (609) 528-2596.

Charges Filed in Princeton NJ School Bus Crash

The driver of a vehicle involved in a serious school bus crash in Princeton NJ has been charged with multiple traffic violations.

According to authorities, the 26-year-old Morris Plains resident was driving a 2011 BMW 328i north on Route 26 when he rounded a curve and struck a school bus.

Police believe that the driver crossed a double-yellow line while rounding a curve on the highway just past Hutchinson Drive. The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle and struck the left front bumper of the bus, which was traveling south on Route 26. The bus was reportedly heading to Ewing, New Jersey.

Authorities said that the collision caused the bus to flip on its side. Meanwhile, the BMW spun out of control before coming to a stop.

Four people were injured in the accident: the driver of the BMW and three people who were on the bus. One of the people injured was a 16-year-old student at Rock Brook School. Everyone who suffered injuries was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, where they received medical treatment. Thankfully, no one suffered life-threatening injuries.

Princeton police and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office conducted a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the crash. It was eventually decided that the driver of the BMW should be charged with careless driving and failure to keep right.

At this time, police still do not know if excessive speeding played a factor in the accident.

For more information, access the NJ.com article entitled “Charges Filed in School Bus Crash in Princeton.”