Proving fault is an integral part of any personal injury claim. In a car accident, the person or persons at fault for causing an accident can be held liable for compensating those injured as a result of the accident. In most personal injury claims, the at-fault party is deemed to be at fault because of his or her negligence. Negligence, legally speaking, is when a person owes a legal duty of care to someone else, fails to uphold that duty, and causes the other person to sustain damages as a result. Proving fault can be very difficult. Additionally, there may be the added complexity of more than one person being found to be at fault for causing the accident.
What If I am Partially at Fault for a Car Accident?
When more than one person is found to be at fault for causing an accident, states will vary on how to handle this situation. Some states follow a pure contributory negligence standard in these situations. With pure contributory negligence, any person found to have been in any percentage, no matter how small, responsible for causing an accident will be barred from seeking compensation for harm sustained in the accident. This is, obviously, quite a harsh standard and one that is rarely followed among the states.
There is also the modified comparative negligence standard. In a modified comparative negligence state, of which the majority of states are, the person who is found to be more than 50% or 51% at fault for causing an accident will be barred from collecting any compensation for harm sustained as a result of the accident. The other party, however, will be allowed to recover compensation, but any damage award will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to that party.
New York, on the other hand, follows a pure comparative fault standard. In fact, New York is one of 13 states that follows this standard. Under a pure comparative fault standard, a party to an accident can recover compensation for harm suffered even if he or she is found to be 99% at fault. Any damage award will, however, be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the party just as it would be under a modified comparative fault standard. So, if you are partially at fault for causing an accident in New York, you will still be able to seek compensation for any harm you sustained in the accident, but your damage award will be reduced by how much fault you are assigned. On the other hand, anyone seeking damages against you for harm that he or she suffered in the same accident will have his or her damage award reduced by his or her own percentage of fault.
New York City Personal Injury Attorney
The complex network of laws that impact personal injury cases can seem infinite and overwhelming. You need a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side. Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. is here to fight for the injured. Contact our office today.