Many people have questions about what happens if they are partially at fault for an accident that caused them to experience financial losses. They want to know if they can still recover compensation from the negligent party or parties.
The answer to this question can be complicated because different states use various systems of determining fault. For example, some states follow pure comparative negligence laws.
New York’s Comparative Negligence Laws
If you were injured in an accident and someone else was at fault, it’s natural to want to seek compensation for your losses. However, you may be wondering if it’s possible to bring a claim even if you were partially responsible for the accident.
The answer to this question depends on the laws of your state. In New York, comparative negligence law allows victims to recover damages even if they are found to be partially at fault for an accident. However, your share of liability will be deducted from your final damage award.
For example, let’s say you are involved in a car accident that the jury determines was 90% your fault and 10% the defendant’s fault. Your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault, meaning that you could still receive a substantial sum of money for your injuries. This is known as pure comparative negligence and is far more favorable than many states’ modified comparative fault rules.
New York’s Statute of Limitations
If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, the opposing party may be able to successfully argue that the statute of limitations has passed and your case is not valid. This is why you should consult with a New York personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Since New York is a pure comparative fault state, you can still sue if you were partially responsible for an accident but your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your liability. For example, if the jury decides you should be compensated for $1 Million dollars but also finds that you were 80 percent at fault, you would receive only $800,000.
While New York’s statute of limitations is generally three years, there are exceptions that could shorten or extend this timeframe. For example, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases have different statutes of limitations, as well as cases involving children. There are other circumstances that might trigger the statute of limitations to “toll” or pause for a period of time, so it is important to contact an experienced attorney immediately after your accident.
California’s Comparative Negligence Laws
In 1975 the California Supreme Court changed the state’s law from its old common-law contributory negligence doctrine to a pure comparative fault system. Under the new system if a plaintiff is found to be partially responsible for an accident and they can prove the defendants are 99% at fault they are still able to recover their damages awarded by a jury.
However, if the jury determines the plaintiff is more than 50% responsible for an accident they cannot recover anything. This differs from the modified comparative fault systems of thirteen states that adhere to the 50 percent bar rule.
Under the pure comparative fault system a plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by their percentage of responsibility in the accident. It is the jury’s job to apportion the percentage of responsibility between all parties involved in a personal injury case. This is why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. They will help you understand the complexities of comparative fault laws and how they apply to your case.
New York’s Contributory Negligence Laws
Some states are pure contributory negligence jurisdictions that will bar you from recovery if the jury finds you’re even one percent at fault for an accident. Others are comparative fault jurisdictions, such as New York.
In a comparative fault jurisdiction, the amount of damages you’ll receive will be reduced by your percentage of liability. For example, if the jury finds that you’re 30% responsible for the accident that led to your injuries and they award you $100,000 in compensation, the amount will be reduced by $30,000.
While these types of laws can seem confusing, they’re designed to balance fairness between liable parties in accidents. If you have questions about these laws and how they’ll impact your case, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help. This is one of the reasons why you should always work with an experienced attorney when filing a claim. They’ll be able to explain these complex laws in a way that’s easy to understand.