What is the New Jersey Negligence Law?
Imagine you have a very stubborn neighbor who refuses to do his duties like shoving the ice from the sidewalk, trimming the old branches off the tree in his/her front yard, and so on. Unfortunately, you slip on the sidewalk near his house where the ice is and hurt your back. Can you sue your neighbor for not fulfilling his duties? Can your neighbor fight back saying you knew there was ice and yet you decided to walk there? Will you succeed in claiming compensation as per negligence laws by the state?
Negligence Law Definition
It is important to understand the negligence law definition to determine whether you can claim compensation for injury caused by negligence. Negligence is defined as a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. As per the negligence law definition, if your failure to fulfill your duty has caused harm to another, you are liable to pay for the damage caused. But the plaintiff has to prove that it was your negligence that caused the damage.
According to the negligence law definition, there are four elements to the law that need t be proved by the plaintiff to claim compensation from the defendant.
- Duty of care: the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- Breach of duty: the defendant failed to fulfill his or her duty of care
- Proximate cause: the breach of duty was the cause for the plaintiff to suffer damage which otherwise could have been evaded
- Damage: the plaintiff has suffered genuine damage and injury
The negligence laws by state are different from one another, but in all states in the U.S. require the plaintiff to prove the elements of the negligence laws to be able to claim compensation.
Negligence Law New Jersey
As per the negligence laws by state, the state of New Jersey follows the comparative negligence doctrine. As per the comparative negligence law New Jersey, the judge or the jury evaluate the relative degree of fault of all parties involved in any particular case. under the New Jersey negligence law, this evaluation results in a reduction in the damages recoverable by the plaintiff, instead of a total bar to the recovery.
Negligence law New Jersey’s statutory scheme is referred to as a modified comparative fault scheme. Under the modified comparative negligence law New Jersey, if the plaintiff’s fault is more than the defendant’s fault that resulted in the injury, the plaintiff cannot claim compensation against the defendant or defendants.
For example, if you are injured in an auto accident caused by one or more motor vehicles, if it is proved in court that your fault is more than the combined fault of the defendants, under New Jersey negligence law, you cannot claim compensation.
The negligence laws by state are different from one another, but the punishment for negligence in New Jersey is as severe as the other states.
Punishment for Negligence in New Jersey
The punishment for negligence in New Jersey is as per the New Jersey negligence law and depends on the severity of the offense. New Jersey negligence law recognizes civil negligence and criminal negligence that is punishable. The punishment for negligence in New Jersey is as under.
- Civil negligence occurs when a person’s negligence causes harm to another individual. The penalty for civil negligence is a hefty fine to compensate for the injury caused to the victim.
- Criminal negligence occurs when a person breaches his or her obligation to fulfill a duty. The penalty for criminal negligence can be fine as well as imprisonment.
The fine and the period of imprisonment depends on the severity of injury or damage caused by the offender.