Determining who is at fault in an auto accident in NJ is sometimes a complicated process. Liability can be affected by a number of different factors. Understanding your rights and responsibilities in the state of New Jersey will typically help you to manage your liability more effectively. Contacting a personal injury attorney is a good first step toward determining who is really at fault in car accidents and automotive mishaps in and around Morristown, NJ. Here are some of the most common factors that could contribute to accidents in our area.
Faulty Road Design
Streets, highways and roads that are poorly designed can sometimes lead to an increased risk of accidents. In these cases, the government agency responsible for designing or building the road could bear some of the liability for the accident. If accidents frequently happen in one specific stretch of road, your attorney may explore the possibility that faulty street, road or intersection design could be to blame for your traffic accident.
In some cases, there may be a problem with the vehicle that results in an accident. Automakers can bear responsibility for accidents if defects in the vehicles they produce are partly or wholly responsible for the traffic incident. Problems with steering, brakes and other automotive systems can have a significant impact on the ability of driver’s to control their vehicles on the road, which could lead to partial or total liability being assigned to the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective parts.
Damaged or Missing Equipment
Issues with vehicle equipment can also contribute to auto accidents. Broken headlights, worn-down brakes and burned-out taillights are often contributing factors to automotive accidents. If these conditions are present on either vehicle, they may be considered when determining liability for accidents that could have been the result of poorly maintained vehicles. The driver of the faulty vehicle will typically bear at least some liability for the accident in these cases for failing to maintain their vehicle in proper condition.
Employers of Drivers
The employers of drivers may also be held liable for the actions of their employees if the accident occurred during the course of their regular duties. A drivers employer might also be held responsible for failing to train drivers properly or for hiring drivers who were not qualified to operate company vehicles safely.
Factors Involving Driver Behavior
The actions of the driver can also be considered when determining who is negligent in a particular accident. These activities could result in liability for the offending driver:
- Operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol otherwise known as DWI in Morris County, NJ
- Eating or drinking another substance while driving
- Fixing the GPS while driving
- Talking to others in the car
- Failing to adhere to traffic signals and signs
- Talking on the phone or texting while driving
- Changing the radio station
Engaging in these activities can be distracting for drivers, which can sometimes lead to a finding of driver liability in cases of car accidents.
When Multiple Parties Are at Fault
The modified deep pocket law applies in cases in which more than one party is deemed responsible for the accident. In these cases, if one of the parties is assigned 60 percent or more of the liability, the plaintiff in the personal injury lawsuit can go after that party for the entire amount of the damages. This is especially true if that individual, company or insurance firm is perceived to have the highest ability to pay, which is why the term “deep pocket” applies in this case.
When to Call an NJ Auto Accident Attorney
After any auto accident that involves possible injuries or extensive damage to vehicles, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney to determine the best approach to dealing with these incidents. This is especially important in cases where personal injury claims and settlement payouts are likely to be awarded against insurers and companies. Your attorney can typically deliver the best and most practical guidance and support for cases involving liability for car accidents in our area. Call the Di Lauri & Hewitt Law Group at (973) 285-3220. We understand how important it is for our clients to get the help they need when their legal rights are at stake, and we work to get our clients the best possible outcomes.