Why is determining fault necessary after a car accident?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | Personal Injury |

New Jersey is a no-fault state that requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) so that after a car accident, each driver only needs to file a claim with their auto insurance provider. Who was responsible for the accident does not matter because you will still receive your PIP benefits. However, like any insurance policy, PIP policies have coverage limits that may not cover all the damages you incurred. Determining fault is necessary to obtain full and fair compensation, as the at-fault driver should compensate you for the pain and suffering they caused you.

How is fault determined?

You can file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident, but your right to sue is dependent on the injuries you sustained and the type of policy you own. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help assess your case and look for evidence to support your claims against the at-fault driver. Fault is determined by reviewing the facts of the case, which can include the following:

  • Photos and videos of the car accident
  • Police report
  • Medical records
  • Witness statements
  • The type of collision
  • Expert testimonies
  • Blood, breath and urine tests if applicable
  • Cellphone records

A thorough investigation of the car accident can allow you to hold the other party accountable. Even if you have limited rights to sue, you can still pursue a lawsuit if the car accident resulted in any of the following:

  • Wrongful death
  • Dismemberment (loss of a body part)
  • Significant scarring
  • Significant dismemberment
  • Displaced fracture
  • Loss of fetus
  • Permanent injury

Insurance companies may also send an adjuster to evaluate the accident because they will want to prove you were also at fault. The allocation of fault matters in New Jersey because it follows a modified comparative fault scheme.

What is a modified comparative fault scheme?

A modified comparative fault scheme means that a driver who is more than 50% responsible for the car accident cannot recover damages from the other driver. Therefore, determining fault is even more crucial.

New Jersey laws regarding motor vehicular accidents can be challenging, but you have a right to fair compensation, especially when someone caused you tremendous pain and suffering.