If you have been in a car accident, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages for the injuries and damages you suffered. Under New Jersey’s no-fault laws, a basic Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance policy will cover your medical expenses and lost wages after an accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
However, in cases involving more serious injuries (e.g. permanent injury, dismemberment, loss of a fetus), your basic policy may provide you with a limited right to sue, or the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver responsible for your accident to recover non-economic damages, including damages for pain and suffering.
What is negligence?
When a car accident occurs, there’s a high likelihood that one or more parties was negligent behind the wheel. Anyone who operates a motor vehicle owes a duty to other people on the roadways to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Drivers who violate one or more traffic laws is considered a breach of their duty to other motorists. If that breach of duty causes a car accident and injuries and damages, negligence has likely occurred.
What if I was responsible for my own accident?
When a car accident occurs, there’s a high likelihood that one or more parties was negligent behind the wheel. For example, in an intersection collision involving two vehicles, there is a possibility that one driver was negligent in failing to yield the right-of-way, while the other was negligent in driving at an excessive rate of speed.
Under New Jersey’s comparative negligence law, an accident victim can sometimes recover damages even if they were partially responsible for their own car accident, as long as they are found to be less than 50 percent liable.
Accident victims can benefit from contacting a personal injury attorney about their case. An attorney can review your insurance policy, as well as the facts of your accident, to help determine what your next steps should be.