New Jersey Woman Hit by a Forklift at the Grocery Store
By Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP | September 13, 2017
Personal injury cases in New Jersey are frequently in the news. A Ramsey, NJ woman recently filed a lawsuit against a corporate grocery store owner. She says that a forklift struck her when she visited one of the company’s stores in Bergen County.
After the incident, the woman reported painful injuries requiring medical treatment. She states that the injuries caused “great pain and suffering” and that the injuries caused incapacitation.
What a horrific accident. We don’t know the corporation’s response to the lawsuit. A representative said he wouldn’t comment on it.
However, it’s relevant to mention that, in many personal injury cases in New Jersey, the negligent party (in this case, allegedly the grocery store owner) seeks to hold you responsible, at least in part, for injuries sustained.
If an individual does share liability, it will affect the total compensation received from the at-fault party or parties.
In a shared fault personal injury case, state law follows the modified comparative negligence rule. In other words, the total amount of compensation is reduced by a certain amount (equal to the percentage of fault you’re assigned for the accident). If the court says you’re greater than 50 percent to blame, you won’t be able to collect from another at-fault party or parties.
Did the woman at the grocery store potentially have any liability for the forklift accident? It seems unlikely, but we don’t know for sure.
Another interesting fact about personal injury law in New Jersey is that personal injury damages are capped. Under NJ Rev Stat § 2A:15-5.14, punitive damages in a personal injury case are capped at the greater of five times’ compensatory damages or $350.000. Because punitive damages aren’t awarded very often in a personal injury case, this law probably won’t affect you.
However, take heed of one important law. The law mentions time limits for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey under NJ Rev Stat § 2A:14-2. You have just two years from the injury date to file a lawsuit against the negligent party or parties. If you’ve been injured, it’s extremely important to file your claim within the two-year window. After the two-year period ends, the New Jersey courts may refuse to consider the case. Your ability to claim compensation may be lost.