Were you injured in an accident but feel as if it was partly your fault? Are you wondering if you have a personal injury claim or if you’re entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering? Even if you were partly at fault for an accident, you may still have the right to pursue compensation for your losses in a personal injury case.
The tort rule in New York is called “comparative negligence” or “contributory negligence”. A plaintiff, even if they are found to be partly at fault in an accident, can still receive compensation for their damages offset by the percentage they are found at fault.
For example, if you are in an accident, and bring a personal injury claim toward the other party in the accident, it must be decided if the defendant is at fault. The comparative negligence defense then takes place – an investigation into whether or not you shared fault with the defendant in the accident. Say you are a plaintiff and your damages are assessed at $100,000, but you are found 10% liable for the accident that caused your injury. You would only receive 90% of your damages, an award of $90,000. If you were found 20% liable, you would only receive 80% of your award – $80,000.
The comparative negligence defense takes place in car accident cases all the time. Say, for instance, you were making a left turn on green, but another car sped through the intersection and hit you. You would be liable for making what’s considered an “unsafe turn” but the other party would be liable for speeding. This defense may also take place in a slip and fall accident. Say you slipped on a patch of ice on someone else’s property or tripped over something, but you weren’t watching where you were going. It can be argued that your slip, trip or fall wasn’t fully the property owner’s fault, but that you shared fault because you weren’t watching where you were going.
If you do plan to file a claim, do so as quickly as possible. Following an accident, insurance companies involved will reach out to you. Don’t admit any fault. It’s imperative that you have an experienced personal injury attorney stand up for you and obtain the financial compensation you’re entitled to.