New Jersey has adopted a modified comparative fault rule in cases where the plaintiff is partly at fault for their own injuries. Under comparative fault, each party is responsible for their own percentage share of fault in an accident and a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by his or her share. For example, let’s say Bob is in a car accident with Laura. Bob is found to be 80% at fault and Laura is 20% at-fault for the accident. Under comparative fault, Laura’s damages for the accident would be reduced by 20% to account for her share of fault.
In pure comparative negligence states, a plaintiff can recover some damages even if they are 80% or 99% at fault for an accident. New Jersey is not a pure comparative negligence state. New Jersey has modified the pure comparative fault rule with a 50% bar. Under this rule a person who is found to be more than 50% at fault is completely barred from recovery. This means if you are 51% at fault for the accident then you are unable to seek any damages.