What Is Comparative Negligence, and How Does It Affect Your New York Personal Injury Case?

Personal Injury Attorney in Syracuse, NY

One of the main requirements of a New York personal injury claim is to show that another party was negligent, and that the negligence caused or contributed to your accident. But what if more than one party is at least partly to blame for the accident? What if you were also at fault?  When that is the case, your claim will be subject to New York’s comparative negligence rules.

Comparative negligence is the assigning of a percentage of fault to the parties involved in an accident. It can be applied in many types of cases including motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls or other premises liability claims, and third-party claims involving a work injury. For example, if one driver did not yield the right of way and the other driver made an unsafe lane change resulting in a collision, both drivers were negligent and contributed to the accident. A comparative negligence determination can greatly impact the damages you may be able to receive as a result of your injuries.

To demonstrate another party's negligence, you must show that that party owed you a duty of care and breached that duty, which caused or contributed to your injuries. Witness testimony, photos or video footage, medical records, and expert opinions are just some of the forms of evidence which can be used to show negligence. Under comparative negligence rules, each responsible party will be assigned a degree of fault by a jury. If you, as the injured party, were also at fault, the amount of compensation you receive may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if one driver is 25% responsible for an accident, the damages he or she may recover is reduced by 25%.

The possibility of a comparative negligence claim is one of many reasons to seek formal legal representation if you are a plaintiff navigating a Personal Injury case. A skilled Personal Injury attorney can investigate your claim and gather and present available evidence demonstrating another party’s negligence, while also countering claims that you are also at fault. The attorneys at MCV Law have considerable experience when it comes to holding negligent parties accountable, using powerful strategies that are carefully tailored to the exact situations and injuries suffered by our clients. Our team is here to advise you on the best course of action, protect your rights, and ensure that you are awarded fair compensation for your injuries. For more information, connect with MCV Law’s experienced Personal Injury team today.

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