When you are in an accident in New York, if you are partly to blame, the amount of your settlement could be affected. New York is one of thirteen states that follows the Pure Comparative Negligence Rule, adopted in 1975. This means that the damages you are able to recover are reduced in proportion to the amount that the court determines you were to blame. For example, if the court finds that the plaintiff was 30% to blame for the injury, that amount would be deducted in calculating the damages awarded.
Comparative Negligence is often used as a defense in personal injury suits resulting from car accidents. Whether the plaintiff was on their cell phone, used their turn signal, failed to wear a seat belt, ran a red light, or was distracted in any way are factors in determining whether they contributed to their own injury.
In a personal injury proceeding in which the defendant asserts comparative negligence as a defense, the jury will:
•· First determine the percentage of responsibility of each party involved in the accident
•· Secondly, calculate the total amount of damages
•· Third, subtract the percentage of fault from the total amount of damages
Even if a plaintiff is 99% at fault for the accident, they would still be able to receive 1% of the calculated damages. Damages that may be awarded include lost wages, emotional distress, medical expenses, property damages, punitive damages and loss of consortium.
If you have been in an accident, even if you partially are to blame, you may be able to recover damages for your injury. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out what your legal rights and remedies are. Call the attorneys at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171.