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A waving accident occurs when one driver waves or gestures for another to proceed, then that driver gets in a car accident. Although waving drivers have good intentions, their actions may make them legally responsible for any car accidents that result, even if they were not physically involved. It is important for New Jersey drivers to use caution when waving someone ahead, especially on congested multi-lane roads.
The laws on waving vary by state. Some states interpret waving another driver ahead as merely a common courtesy. If someone gestures for another driver to proceed and that person gets in an accident, the waving driver will not be liable for their gesture. Only the parties physically involved in the accident will bear legal responsibility for any resulting injuries and damage caused by the accident.
However, New Jersey law treats the wave as an assurance; the waving driver is indicating that it is safe to proceed. Therefore, if a collision occurs, the waving driver may be considered legally at fault.
The waving party may be deemed to have imposed a duty of care on him or herself to ensure that it was indeed safe for the other driver to proceed. If the jury decides that the waving driver contributed to the accident, he or she may be at least partially liable for any injuries resulting from the car accident.
Remember that even though a driver waves on another to proceed, a third car may still have the right of way, or there may be an approaching vehicle, cyclist, or pedestrian in the vehicle’s blind spot.
New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that those injured in car accidents must first seek compensation from their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Injured parties may only bring a personal injury suit against the driver who caused the accident if their injuries are determined to be serious or permanent.
If a party’s injuries are serious enough to warrant a personal injury lawsuit, a modified comparative negligence rule will apply. Under the rule, if the injured party is more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, he or she may not recover. However, if the injured party is less than 50 percent at fault, he or she may recover an award that is reduced by their corresponding percentage of fault. New Jersey car accident compensation laws can be confusing and complex; contact a qualified car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
If you were injured in a waving accident, contact a Collingswood car accident lawyer at Williams Cedar. You may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including payment for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide from our offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For a free consultation, please contact us online or call us at 856-470-9777.