When you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash, you have the right to bring a legal claim for damages against any party who “caused” your injuries, either intentionally or through carelessness or negligence. It’s fairly common, though, for such an accident to be the result of a number of factors, including your own mistakes or wrongful acts. You may have been injured when another motorist turned left in front of your bike, but you may also have been speeding at the time of the accident. What is the potential impact of your own negligence in your right to recover after a motorcycle accident, as well as the potential amount of your damage award?
Under New Jersey law, if you have been injured in an accident where you may have some liability, the court will first determine the full extent of your losses. Once those have been calculated, the court will then identify the degree to which your carelessness or negligence led to the accident, customarily stated as a percentage of liability. For example, the jury may find that you incurred losses totaling $500,000 in an accident, but that you were 40% liable for causing the crash. In such a circumstance, your damage award would be reduced by the percentage of your liability, so that you would actually receive $300,000.
There is one important caveat under New Jersey’s “modified comparative negligence” laws. To recover any compensation, you must show that you were less than 50% responsible for causing the wreck.
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