Is the defendant in your auto accident claim stating that they had the right of way? Here is what you should know about right-of-way as a legal defense.
Following an accident, you may be thinking about bringing a claim for damages against the other driver or their insurance company. Before you do, though, it is important that you understand how the claims process works and some of the likely push-back you will encounter. For example, the defendant and their representation will likely try to put forth any legal defense that eliminates their liability. For example, they may claim that the defendant had the right of way. Here is an overview of what you should know about fault in a car accident and the legal defense of having the right of way.
Who is at Fault in a Car Accident?
When a car accident occurs, fault for the accident will be based on negligence – the failure to exercise the required degree of care for the situation. Examples of negligence might include, but are not limited to:
- Driving while distracted;
- Driving aggressively;
- Failing to yield the right of way;
- Driving while drunk; and
- Performing any illegal maneuvers.
Because New Jersey is a modified comparative negligence state, both parties in a car accident could be found at fault. When this is the case, the victim can still recover compensation from the defendant so long as their degree of fault is not more than 50%.
Is Right of Way a Legal Defense?
Having the right of way could be used as a legal defense in a car accident claim. For example, if the plaintiff is alleging that the defendant acted negligently and that the negligence was the proximate cause of the crash and the defendant’s harm and therefore should be held liable for damages, the defendant might be able to claim that they in fact had the right of way, and therefore the plaintiff’s claims are unfounded.
Note, as touched on above, that even if the defendant did have the right of way, something else the defendant did, such as traveling far too fast for conditions, could have contributed to the crash or the severity of injuries.
When fault is disputed, opening a thorough investigation into the case will be necessary. This investigation should rely on the opinions of various experts, such as vehicle design experts, accident reconstruction experts, and more.
Call the Office of Lomurro Law Today
If you have been in a car accident and have suffered a personal injury, you should plan on the insurance company putting up a fight before they pay out your claim. Part of this fight might include allegations that you were to blame for the accident, or that their policyholders were acting responsibly, in the confines of the law, or had the right of way. To help you stand up for your rights, negotiate, and walk away with a fair settlement, be sure to consult with the experienced car accident lawyers at the office of Lomurro Law. Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys can start working on your case today.