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How does auto accident liability work in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2020 | Car Accidents

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an auto accident, you may worry about paying medical bills and covering expenses if you cannot work. When another driver caused the accident, you may be able to recover financial damages from either the motorist or his or her insurance company.

Learn more about filing a claim for car accident injuries in New Jersey.

Recovery through insurance

After an auto accident injury, a driver in New Jersey can file either a first-party claim with his or her own insurer or a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If you believe that the other driver caused the accident and you opt to file a third-party claim, the insurer’s claims adjuster will conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine whether you hold any fault for the accident and the extent of your damages related to the accident. The insurance company must contact you within seven business days to inspect your vehicle and within 10 business days of receiving a claim.

Based on this information, the insurance company will either reject your claim or offer a settlement amount. When the other driver does not have insurance, you can seek coverage from your own uninsured motorist policy. You can also sue for damages.

Filing a personal injury suit

If you receive a claim denial or the settlement offered does not cover the full extent of your lost wages, medical bills and other associated costs, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages. With this route, the judge or jury will decide who bears fault for the accident and determine the settlement amount.

Comparative negligence

New Jersey uses the comparative negligence standard to determine auto accident fault. This means that if you share partial fault for the accident, you can collect damages if the other party is at least 51% responsible for the incident. The insurance company or the court will reduce your damage settlement based on your fault percentage.