Car accidents often cause serious injuries, sometimes including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, scars, and disfigurement. If you were hurt in a car crash that was the fault of someone else, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to pursue your damages. At Siegel & Siegel, our Middlesex County car accident lawyers help victims assert their right to compensation for costs and losses such as medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, household services, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and pain and suffering. We also represent people seeking a motor vehicle collision attorney in Mercer County and surrounding areas.Assert Your Rights Following a Car Accident
Most car accidents could have been avoided by using reasonable care. If you are injured in a collision and believe that another driver was responsible, you will likely need to prove the driver's negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. "Preponderance of the evidence" simply means that it is more likely than not that your version of events is true. Negligence is established by showing that another driver owed an obligation to operate their car using reasonable care, failed to meet that duty, and thereby caused your injuries.
In some cases, drivers fail to follow safety laws. When this happens, it may be possible to hold a driver responsible for your damages under a theory of negligence per se. This applies when a driver commits a violation of a safety law or regulation, and the violation causes harm of the type that the safety law or regulation was designed to prevent. It is often a useful theory for plaintiffs because it usually takes the discussion away from the issue of establishing liability (which is already established by the violation of the safety law) and focuses the dispute on the amount of damages.
What if you were partially to blame for a car accident? New Jersey follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, whereby a plaintiff's recovery is reduced in proportion to their degree of negligence. However, their right to damages is barred altogether only if their negligence is greater than the combined negligence of all of the defendants, or more than 50%. To avoid having your damages unfairly reduced, you should consult a car accident attorney in Middlesex County who can fight for your rights.
Many accidents are the fault of multiple drivers. For example, suppose that an aggressive driver runs a red light, while another person is texting while driving and needs to swerve into an car that is illegally idling or double-parked on the side of the road. In this situation, the jury will usually determine each party's degree of fault for the accident and assign that party a percentage of the total fault.
In New Jersey, a defendant who was 60% or more at fault for an accident will be jointly and severally liable for all of the plaintiff's damages. Any defendants that have less than 60% responsibility are only responsible for their share of the damages. For example, if the double-parked driver in the situation above is found to have been 10% at fault, they will need to pay only $20,000 if the damages are $200,000. However, if the aggressive driver is 75% at fault, and the damages are $200,000, they may need to pay the full $200,000. (Then, that driver could seek contribution from the other defendants.)
Being able to hold a single defendant jointly and severally responsible matters because it makes things easier for a plaintiff if one of the people involved in a multi-vehicle collision was an uninsured or underinsured driver, or a driver lacking the ability to pay a judgment. The law helps victims by putting the burden on the driver who was most at fault for causing an accident to chase down other at-fault drivers for contribution, rather than forcing the victim to go through this process.Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Middlesex County or Beyond
Car accidents happen all too often and may change a victim’s life forever. Our firm may be able to help you recover compensation. We represent people who need a car crash lawyer or a truck accident attorney in Plainsboro, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and West Windsor, as well as other areas of Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Union Counties. Contact us online or call us at 609-799-6066 for a free consultation with a Middesex County car accident attorney.