Personal injury law is a complicated and tenacious subject for victims, juries, and even lawyers.
New Jersey state created an NJ Comparative Negligence Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.1, et seq., that allows jurors to determine the share of responsibility to each party. This is no easy task.
At Reinhartz Law Firm LLP, we understand and interpret this New Jersey comparative negligence law information for the benefit of our clients.
There are thousands of scenarios involving victims and defendants. It often comes down to he said, she said. In short, when you fight for your right to compensation, the defendant might claim you’re partly to blame.
This share of the blame is a percentage of your legal blame. The comparative negligence rule is a way of negotiating in shared fault injury cases. Your compensation is a representation of that equation.
If a jury finds your portion of the blame is equal to your percentage of the fault, the compensation amount reduces accordingly. However, you can’t collect any sum if you’re more than 50% responsible for the accident.
If you claim that your damages in an accident are $10,000, but the jury finds that you were 15% at fault, your compensation amount is $8,500.
These are standard proceedings in a New Jersey courtroom for accident and injury lawsuits. An experienced lawyer will negotiate for you when an adjuster raises the comparative negligence rule during an injury settlement negotiation.
New Jersey Personal Injury Case Procedures
Lawsuits are always complicated. Defending victims successfully requires skill, in-depth personal injury law knowledge, and time and resources.
An experienced lawyer begins building a solid case for the wrongfully injured person without delay as soon as the victim retains their professional legal services.
Once the process is in motion, a lawyer will:
- Establish a process of recording the pertinent facts
- Interview witnesses, family, and public members present at the scene
- Consult with medical professionals that substantiate the injuries
- Begin collecting valuable records from reliable sources (first responders, physicians, employers
- Investigate insurance documents
- Hire an outside investigator if deemed necessary to document & collect evidence
- Initiate negotiations with negligent parties & their insurance providers
- File a Complaint if a pre-settlement isn’t achievable with the court
These steps lead to filing the first document in a personal injury lawsuit. Complaints are statements of the injured’s legal claims. This statement also lists the defendants and potential defenants not yet identified. At this time, all defendants receive a notification.
Most civilians are not able to negotiate the complicated steps. Once the steps are set in motion, a defendant will serve their motion and file their Answer. A good lawyer will navigate these steps and provide their client with clear insight into the next phase of proceedings.
Once discovery begins, a defendant files an Answer to the Complaint. During this stage of the lawsuit, parties exchange and obtain information. A competent lawyer ensures every detail and fact finds its rightful place during this stage.
After each party responds, depositions begin. Depositions are interviews taken under oath. Expert discovery rounds out the discovery period, and a non-binding arbitration begins.
During arbitration, all parties present their case to a neutral arbitrator who prepares an award. If the parties vacate the award, the case goes to trial.
Hire a Professional
Don’t hesitate to bring your personal injury case involving negligence to an attorney. Interpreting legal text and understanding the nuances behind each law is vital to having a successful outcome in court.
Hiring a professional injury lawyer to navigate these steps is often in the injured party’s best interest. Professionals understand that discussing your circumstances is a daunting step. Good lawyers become entrenched in negligence laws in New York and New Jersey and personal injury claims, and they build their reputation on their success.
Rest assured, you can do so confidently and privately without obligation.