Personal injury law varies from state to state. Below are four facts a New Jersey personal injury lawyer wants you to know about the law in New Jersey.
First, there is a statute of limitations of two years. That means that you have two years from the date of your injury to bring a suit against the defendant (the person or organization that was responsible for your injury).
Second, New Jersey follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule in determining awards from a personal injury suit. There are always at least two parties in any personal injury suit. Sometimes the court will find that both plaintiff (the person who was injured) and the defendant are at fault to varying degrees. Under modified comparative negligence, any award a plaintiff receives will be decreased by the percentage amount that person is found to be at fault.
If, for example, you were rear-ended in a car crash, the police report and eyewitnesses might indicate that you were not wearing a seat belt at the time. The court may determine that the lack of seat belt makes you 10% responsible for certain of your injuries. Therefore, it you are awarded $10,000, it will be decreased by 10%, and you will receive $9,000.
Third, if you are found to be over 50% responsible for an injury, you cannot be awarded anything a personal injury case, even if other parties also bear some of the responsibility.
Fourth, in car accidents, New jersey has a “no-fault” law. That means that injury claims in car accidents must be paid by your own insurance company unless you are what the law deems “seriously injured.”