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
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?
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 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.