Whether you were in a car accident, suffered injuries while working or you were hurt on another’s property, seeking full compensation for losses is not always an easy endeavor. There are details unique to every accident that could serve to impact the results of a claim or case.
Should you and your attorney take an accident injury case to court, for example, the court will examine the circumstances and evidence to determine the degree of fault each party possesses. Thankfully for those injured by another’s negligence, partial fault in an accident case does not disqualify you from collecting. This is because New York is a comparative negligence state.
What is comparative negligence?
To get into what comparative negligence means for your personal injury case, it may help you to have a good understanding of how the court views the term negligence in these cases. When you assume a role—say, as a driver or a worker—there is a reasonable standard of actions that you must make in your performance. That is, when you operate a vehicle, it is expected that you operate it safely, without the influence of drugs or alcohol and that you work to prevent distractions. When you fail to adhere to these basic expectations, you are acting in negligence.
New York’s comparative negligence laws come into play based on the degree of your individual fault in the accident. Sure, the other driver may have swerved into your lane but were you paying attention at the time? Could you have prevented your injuries and subsequent losses?
The good news is, with comparative negligence, this degree of fault is often proportionate to the amount you may recover. If the court determines you are 20% at fault for the accident that would award $10,000 in damages, you may only collect $8,000 in a successful case.