The comparative negligence laws are different in New York than in New Jersey, but you can still sue a driver who caused a car accident in both states– even if you were partially at fault. However, the damages you can recover from the negligent driver will be reduced in proportion to your fault.
Establishing the level of your fault and minimizing your contribution to it requires the skills of a car accident lawyer. They will have the knowledge and experience with a state’s specific laws and their application in lawsuits. At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we have represented victims in New York and New Jersey for more than 45 years. We know how to use the facts in each case to demonstrate an injured party’s lack of fault for an accident, which allows them to recover maximum damages.
What are the differences between the New York and New Jersey comparative negligence laws?
In New York, a car accident victim can recover damages from a negligent party regardless of the victim’s contribution to the accident. So even if they were 80% to 90% responsible, they could still sue. Their damages will then be reduced by 80% or 90%, or another amount that the jury will determine.
In New Jersey, they can recover damages only if they were not more than 50% responsible for the accident. If a jury decides that a victim was more than 50% responsible, they will not be entitled to recover any damages.
Who determines each party’s relative fault in a car accident?
Each party’s respective fault is determined by a jury in a car accident lawsuit. In making this determination, they look at the facts that the injured party’s car accident attorney uses to describe it. Their skill in persuading the jury is often the most critical element in the victim’s ability to recover the largest damages award that they are entitled to receive.
In which state does an injured party file a personal injury lawsuit?
A victim can sue a negligent driver either in the state where the accident happened or in the state where the driver resides. Regardless of where the lawsuit is filed, the laws of the state where the accident happened will apply. If the negligent driver lived in New York and caused an accident in New Jersey, the victim can file a lawsuit in New York.
However, New York’s more favorable comparative negligence law will likely not apply. Instead, New Jersey’s more limited law will apply, and if the victim is more than 50% at fault, they would not be entitled to recover damages.
How can an accident victim improve their opportunity to recover damages if they were partially at fault?
The recovery of damages in every lawsuit will depend on the specific facts of the accident. You should do as much as you can to record those facts, including filing a police report, taking photographs of the accident scene, getting contact information from eyewitnesses, and seeking prompt medical attention for any injuries. You should also retain a personal injury attorney as soon as is possible– before those facts begin to dissipate.
Contact us if you’ve been injured in an accident
The attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, & Graifman have the knowledge and experience to use the facts in every case to their client’s best advantage, even if the client was partially or even predominantly at fault for causing it.
Please see our website or call to speak with one of our car accident lawyers if you’ve suffered injuries in an accident in Rockland or Bergen Counties or elsewhere in New York or New Jersey. If you retain our services and we accept your case, we will fight to recover the full amount of damages you are entitled to recover.