Contributory Negligence in Burlington County Car Accident Cases
Contributory negligence often comes into play in Burlington County car accident cases. New Jersey has a contributory negligence statute, which says if an individual is more than 50% at fault for an accident they cannot make any recovery against the other driver for damages. If an individual is 50% or less responsible, they can make a recovery against the person.
A common cause of car accidents in Burlington County is distracted driving. Cell phone usage while driving leads to many car accidents. Weather conditions, driver inattention, speeding, and drunk driving cause accidents, and those are often going to come up in these cases of negligence, because someone could have been more careful in many of these instances.
If there is any percentage of contributory negligence assessed to an individual, their amount of damages would be reduced by that amount. For instance, if someone was to have a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of damages and they were found to be 10% at fault, that award would be ninety thousand. If you are determining contributory negligence as it relates to your Burlington County car accident case, it is pertinent that you consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Factors of Contributory Negligence
The factors that come into play when determining contributory negligence in a Burlington County car accident case is simply the facts of the case. A judge will wonder how exactly the accident occurred. If an individual is stopped at a red light and gets rear-ended, the individual normally does not have any contributory negligence on their part.
If it is an accident that occurs in an intersection, an investigation will determine who had the right of way. If there is speeding involved, for example, contributory negligence will come into play.
Reconstructing the Accident
Many times, if the police conducted an investigation and an attorney has to get the full police report, they will have to take the deposition of the police officer to determine the facts surrounding the claim. Sometimes, a lawyer will have to get engineering experts involved to fully reconstruct the accident to determine how the accident occurred.
An attorney will reconstruct entire accidents to find out who, in fact, was at fault for that accident and whether or not there was any contributory negligence on behalf of the injured parties.
Importance of an Attorney
The most important thing to keep in mind when determining contributory negligence in a car accident case is to make sure that the individuals involved are in good health and receiving the medical treatment that they need. Following that, if the individual is able to contact an attorney, they will want to do so immediately.
Once an individual is able to physically contact a lawyer, the investigation should be conducted immediately. The insurance companies should be put on notice immediately so that they are dealing with the attorney rather than the individual involved.
Between all of the paperwork, phone calls, and recorded statements they are going to try and take, an individual should be sure they have a lawyer to assist them in handling all inquiries.
The only thing that you and your loved one have to worry about is trying to recover. An attorney will handle all other aspects of the case, including determining the element of contributory negligence involved in your Burlington County car accident case.