When multiple cars are involved in a car accident, things get complicated quickly. Assigning blame becomes much more difficult, although it remains important. Without a clear, cohesive account of events, how is fault determined in a multiple-car accident in New Jersey?
Because multiple-car accidents involve several parties, alerting the police is the best way to determine fault. The police will complete an accident report after interviewing witnesses and compiling information. Although New Jersey is a no-fault state, determining blame is still important should a victim decide to sue a negligent driver. In addition, New Jersey’s comparative negligence laws could implicate multiple drivers, not just one.
The New Jersey car accident attorneys at Legal Care are dedicated to fighting for victims. After a complicated collision, our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call the New Jersey multiple-car accident attorneys at Legal Care today at (732) 838-9769.
How Is Fault Determined in a Multiple-Car Accident in NJ?
After a multiple-car accident, the damage can be overwhelming. When several cars are involved in an accident, many people can be injured. The more people involved, the more complicated determining fault becomes. Whether your state is an at-fault or no-fault state will also contribute to the process of determining fault. However, the key to discovering who is to blame for a multiple-car accident is evidence.
Immediately after a multiple-car accident, it’s important to call emergency services. Not only can paramedics attend to potential injuries, but the police can quickly gather pertinent evidence. Witness statements will be crucial to determining which driver is at fault. The police will interview each party involved and anyone who happened to witness the accident. They will collect insurance information from every driver. The police will also survey the environment and note whether or not improper signage or the weather could have contributed to the accident.
Each piece of evidence collected by the police will be documented on the car accident report. This report is crucial in determining fault. It will likely point to one original driver whose actions impacted others, causing a multiple-car collision. Without involving the police after a multiple-car accident, it can be very difficult to determine fault. When so many drivers are involved, it’s hard for individual drivers to identify the driver to blame. The police can compare each person’s account of events to determine who is at fault.
Contacting emergency services is important for the success of your lawsuit, if you intend to sue. In some cases, fault doesn’t matter. That means that your own insurance covers damages caused by an accident. In New Jersey, there are no-fault insurance laws. So, after an accident, each driver files a claim with their insurance carrier to be compensated for their injuries. This happens regardless of who is at fault. However, determining fault can still be important should an injured victim decide to sue the negligent party responsible.
Why Is Fault Determined in a Multiple-Car Accident in NJ?
Although New Jersey is a no-fault state, sometimes filing a lawsuit is necessary after a car accident. Insurance can’t always cover a victim’s medical expenses and lost wages. Multiple-car accidents are especially dangerous and can result in serious injury. Victims might decide to file a lawsuit against the driver at fault to adequately compensate for their injuries. However, because these kinds of car accidents are complicated, it could be that multiple drivers are partially at fault.
Filing a Lawsuit
Without knowing whom to blame for your injuries, your lawyer will not be able to file a lawsuit. The New Jersey multiple-car accident attorneys at Legal Care want to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To accomplish that, there needs to be a driver at fault. Because of New Jersey’s no-fault laws, you’ll have to heavily rely on the police car accident report to determine fault. While your personal injury protection (PIP) will attempt to compensate for the expense of your injuries, there might be costs that it can’t cover.
Without determining fault, victims can’t always get the damages they deserve after a multiple-car accident. While PIP can attempt to cover injury costs, it doesn’t always adequately compensate victims for the pain and suffering they’ve endured. As lost wages and medical bills pile up, victims might be inclined to sue. When that time comes, knowing who is at fault is necessary.
Determining Comparative Negligence
It’s also important to know that New Jersey follows comparative negligence laws. This means that if you’re found partially at fault for a multiple-car accident, a percentage of blame can be deducted from your awarded damages. In New Jersey, each driver has a duty of care while operating their vehicle. That duty involves following traffic laws and regulations at all times. Comparative negligence might be applied if you violated certain laws that contributed to the accident but did not directly cause it by yourself. Comparative negligence can also implicate other drivers as well.
Understanding this is especially important after multiple-car accidents because there can be many people involved. The police accident report might include contradictory accounts of what happened, placing the blame on multiple drivers. While the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Legal Care can still help you file a lawsuit, be prepared to receive reduced damages if you were partially to blame for the accident.
Despite being a no-fault state, New Jersey does allow certain multiple-car accident victims to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. To do so, a plaintiff and the New Jersey multiple-car accident attorneys at Legal Care need to know the driver to blame for the collision. That’s why determining fault remains important, even in no-fault states like New Jersey.
Our Attorneys Can Help if You’ve Been in a Multiple-Car Accident in NJ
After a multiple-car accident in New Jersey, it’s important to determine fault so that you can get the compensation you deserve. For a free, confidential consultation, call the New Jersey multiple-car accident attorneys at Legal Care today (732) 838-9769.