New Jersey Personal Injury Overview
Personal injury includes accidents and injuries such as work-related injuries and train accidents, injuries caused by malpractice, including nursing home neglect or abuse, and much more. If you have a basic understanding of personal injury law you are one step ahead.
The basic concepts are the same across the country, but each state has specific laws which may affect your case. New Jersey is no exception. If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you should talk to a personal injury attorney with experience in your state right away.
You may have a case even if you contributed to your injuries
Modified comparative negligence is a legal doctrine used in New Jersey, which allows you to be eligible for compensation, even if you were partly at fault for your accident or injuries. You must be 49% or less to blame and your compensation will be reduced by your portion of responsibility. If the other party was 65% to blame, you could receive compensation for 65% of your losses.
Collecting from multiple parties
Some lawsuits are fairly straightforward with one plaintiff and one defendant. Many cases are more complicated, with two or more parties sharing the responsibility for your injuries. When this happens, it can become more difficult to collect the money you have won. New Jersey applies a combination of joint and several liability to these cases. A party who is 60% at fault or more can be held responsible for the entire amount and it up to them to seek repayment from the other defendants. Defendants who are less than 60% to blame can only be held responsible for their portion. You cannot force them to pay any unpaid compensation owed to you by other parties.
Punitive damages are used to punish the wrongdoer in a lawsuit. They are not designed to compensate you for your loss. New Jersey limits punitive damages to five times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000 in most cases. Certain types of cases are exempt from these limits include those which involve:
- Sexual abuse
- Drunk driving
- AIDS testing disclosure
Punitive damages are determined in a separate hearing after trial.
Deadline for filing
You will always have a deadline for filing your case, no matter how much you deserve compensation. This is called the statute of limitations. In New Jersey, you have two years to file in most types of personal injury cases.
In some cases you may have less time, and certain circumstances may delay the date from which the time limit is calculated or tolled. If you do not file in time, you give up your right to sue, so it is imperative that you take action quickly. An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney can determine when you must file and make sure that you do not miss this crucial deadline.
Please contact one of our New Jersey personal injury lawyers right away if you believe that you may have a case. A free claim evaluation can help get you on the road to recovery.