After you are involved in an accident, the last thing you probably feel like doing is trying to untangle the complicated set of laws that may come into play. A basic understanding of these laws, however, can be very helpful. This is especially true considering several of them will dictate your ability to recover compensation for any injuries you may have sustained in the accident. One such law that can have a significant impact on your ability to recover compensation for personal injuries is New York’s comparative negligence law.
One of the central issues involved in any type of accident is who is at fault. Oftentimes, the blame lands entirely on one party. They are found to be negligent and, thus, responsible for the damages sustained by others involved in the accident. Negligence, in its broadest sense, is when a party owes someone else a legal duty, fails to uphold that duty, an accident ensues, and that accident is the direct cause of injury to the other person. In some cases, multiple people are found to be negligent and, thus, partially responsible for causing the accident.
When more than one party is found to be responsible for causing an accident, things can get even more complicated and different states have different ways of addressing this type of situation. The more traditional way is a contributory negligence approach. With contributory negligence, if a plaintiff, the injured party seeking compensation for harm suffered in the accident, was at all responsible for causing the accident, he or she would be barred from recovering compensation. Now, this approach is followed by a small minority of states.
Most states now follow some form of a comparative negligence approach. In comparative negligence states, plaintiffs may recover compensation for their losses stemming from an accident even if they are partially at fault in causing the accident. Their damage award, however, will be reduced by the percentage of fault they are assigned. Some states say that a plaintiff can only recover this reduced damage award if they are found to be 50 percent or less at fault. Others say that the recovery is only allowable if the defendant is 49 percent or less at fault. In New York, a pure comparative negligence approach is followed. This means that a plaintiff may recover compensation for harm suffered in an accident regardless of the amount of fault he or she is assigned. The plaintiff could be found 99 percent at fault in causing an accident and he or she would be able to recover 1 percent of the damages awarded.
New York City Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, whether it be a car accident, truck accident, slip and fall, or something else, let Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. take on the legal burdens that follow. Attorney Redenburg will tirelessly work on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained in an accident. Contact our office today.