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Comparative negligence is a way in which we look at who’s at fault for an accident. Different states have different rules. In some states, if you’re even one percent at fault, you can’t collect. In some states, if you’re ninety nine percent at fault, you can still collect. New Jersey is what we call a comparative negligence state, which means that you have to be 50 percent or less at fault to collect for the damages you’ve suffered in the accident.
New Jersey has a two year statute of limitations for bringing a case, after you knew or should have known about the injury. With a minor, you have until their 20th birthday.
You absolutely should put your insurance company on notice of an accident immediately. It’s part of your obligation, under your insurance contract, to cooperate with them. It also helps them do a lot of things to get the ball rolling to investigate the accident. New Jersey is a no fault state. Your car insurance will be paying your medical bills. If you have been injured, you want them to know, so they can open a file open and start processing your bills.
As far as reporting the accident to the other person’s insurance company, you don’t have to do it. In our office, we take the initiative of contacting the other side immediately because many times, people just don’t tell their company that the accident was their fault. Also, depending on the type of insurance you have, you may need the other side to pay for your property damage as some people don’t have sufficient property damage insurance coverage on their vehicle and rely on the other side to get their car fixed.
It is possible to handle a personal injury case on your own. However, insurance companies go out of their way to make things difficult. Insurance companies spend a lot of time and a lot of money trying to not give people money. Your own insurance company will probably give you a hard time about getting your car fixed, which doctors you can see, and what they’re going to pay. New Jersey has exceptionally sophisticated laws regarding the reimbursement of doctors including the requirement that treatment be pre-certified.
The average person cannot navigate this system without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, who deals with this on a regular basis and knows the rules and laws. You are at a tremendous disadvantage without a lawyer. Can you fix your own car? Maybe. Would you be comfortable getting in it and driving after you fixed it? Maybe not.
For more information on Comparative Negligence In An Auto Accident Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (855) 208-3650 today.