Determining liability in a blindside accident can be difficult. These cases are fact-dependent, and the other driver’s insurance company will no doubt try to blame you for getting caught in their driver’s blind spot. If you suffered injuries in a blind spot accident, having the right attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
New Jersey blind spot accident lawyers O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, are award-winning attorneys with a reputation for excellence. We are trial attorneys who have several decades of combined experience. We are ready to fight for just compensation for you and your family.
What Is a Blind Spot?
Blind spots are all over the vehicle. They are the areas surrounding the vehicle that a driver cannot see by looking through the windshield, rear windshield, and mirrors.
The rear pillars of a vehicle create the largest blind spots for drivers. However, the front pillars and the areas immediately behind and in front of the vehicle can be blind spots as well.
Who Is Liable in a Blind Spot Crash?
Every person on the road has a legal duty to avoid harming others. Consequently, each driver must follow the rules of the road. A motorist who fails to follow the rules of the road and injures another may be found liable for those injuries.
In New Jersey, the law allows vehicles to pass each other only when it is safe. Passing, changing lanes, or turning when it is safe to do so means that the driver has a clear path.
How Is Liability Determined in a Blind Spot Accident?
A thorough analysis of the facts of your accident can give you some insight into who is liable for your blindside crash. Determining how the incident occurred is the first step in assigning blame. Your attorney can rely on police reports, witness statements, and other evidence, like vehicle camera footage, to help. Furthermore, your version of the events is also critical evidence that will help you maximize your chances of making a full financial recovery.
Liability for a car crash resulting in personal injuries attaches to the individual who is responsible for the incident. New Jersey courts use the legal theory of negligence to determine which party might be responsible for your injuries. As the claimant, that means you have the burden to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries by a preponderance of the evidence.
Elements of negligence
To prove the other driver was negligent in a blind side crash, you need to show that the other driver breached the duty of care by turning or changing lanes unsafely. You also need to prove that the driver’s breach of duty caused your injuries and that you sustained damages as a result.
You can rest assured that the other driver’s insurance company will challenge your liability claim to either deny or reduce your financial compensation. Insurance companies have experienced lawyers who know how to argue that you contributed to the crash; therefore, you should not recover any compensation.
What If You Are Partially At Fault?
Under New Jersey law, a person injured in an auto accident can recover damages despite acting negligently and contributing to the incident. New Jersey law eliminated the legal bar to financial recovery known as contributory negligence, which was a complete bar to recovery. Now, the state uses the legal theory of contributory negligence.
According to New Jersey’s contributory negligence theory, you can recover damages for personal injuries even if your negligence contributed to the accident. However, you can only recover if you are less than 50% responsible for the crash. Your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
Common Causes of Blind Spot Accidents and How to Avoid Them
Check Your Blind Spot
Every driver must be aware of their blind spots when changing lanes or turning. A driver who changes lanes or turns without looking could be liable for a crash. Drivers who look over their shoulders before changing lanes could help reduce the risk of a blind spot collision.
Be Sure Your Mirrors Are Properly Adjusted
Legal liability for a blind spot crash could attach to a driver despite looking in the mirrors. Every driver must ensure they adjust the mirrors correctly for their field of vision. Mirrors must be adjusted for the driver’s height, seat position, and posture of the driver. Failing to check and adjust the mirrors properly could result in legal liability for a crash.
Use Your Blind Spot Notification System
Blind spot notification systems engaged in the vehicle could help reduce blind spot crashes as well. These systems cannot eliminate these types of accidents, however. Drivers can disengage these crash-avoidance systems or even ignore them.
Don’t Drive While Distracted
Blindside collisions can occur when people drive while distracted. Distracted driving limits a person’s ability to pay close attention to the road and what is happening around them. Consequently, when someone is distracted by texting, talking on the phone, or even distracted by their passengers, the driver will likely miss critical details about the traffic conditions around them.
Motorists may have liability even if no collision occurred between you and the other vehicle. When avoiding a car changing lanes, a person injured by colliding with another object may seek compensation from the other driver even though the cars never crashed into each other. Accordingly, you may have a valid negligence claim against a driver who pushed you off the road.
Call O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC for a Free Consultation
People who suffered injuries due to the negligence of another deserve compensation. At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, we fight vigorously to win compensation for your losses. We pride ourselves on establishing a good working relationship with all of our clients because we truly care about getting you the results you need. Call our award-winning lawyers today at 908-928-9200 for a free consultation.