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How is fault determined in a car accident?

| Feb 1, 2021 | blog, Car Accidents |

If you’re involved in a car accident, your New Jersey car insurance company will need to know who caused it. There are several factors that will be considered when determining who is liable for an accident, and in some cases, multiple parties may be responsible for any damages that a victim might incur.

Were you impaired at the time of an accident?

If you were under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances when a crash occurred, you may be deemed responsible for causing it. However, it is worth noting that you’re not necessarily responsible for an accident caused by someone else just because you were drunk or high when it occurred.

Was your attention elsewhere when a wreck took place?

The law generally requires you to keep your focus on the road at all times while your vehicle is in motion. Talking on your cellphone, eating lunch or looking back at your child could prevent you from meeting this obligation. Generally speaking, distracted driving is considered to be a negligent or reckless action on your part. Therefore, you’ll likely be held liable for an accident occurring.

What to know about comparative negligence

New Jersey uses a modified comparative negligence system to allocate fault among multiple parties. Let’s say that you were on your cellphone when another vehicle ran a red light and collided with yours. Based on those facts, authorities may determine that you shoulder 10% of the blame for the wreck. In such a scenario, you would be entitled to 90% of any damages obtained in a settlement. It’s important to note that you’re entitled to nothing if you are more than 50% responsible for a crash. A car accident attorney may provide more insight into how this rule might impact your case.