If you intend to bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim, there are many factors that could affect the potential value of your case. If it turns out that you or your deceased family member was partially liable for the accident, the final settlement or verdict might be reduced.
New York follows a pure comparative fault rule. Under this system, the final settlement or verdict is reduced by the victim’s own percentage of liability. Read on to learn more about the state’s comparative fault law and how it might affect your case:
When You Are Not Liable
If you played no role whatsoever in causing the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for 100 percent of your damages. Unfortunately, even if the opposing party was entirely liable for the incident, there might still be ways for the insurance company to challenge your claim. For example, if you put off the medical evaluation or failed to mitigate your damages in some other way, the insurer might say that you should be held personally liable for at least a portion of your damages.
When You Are Liable
As previously mentioned, the final settlement or verdict will be reduced by your own percentage of fault. Unlike many other states, though, New York does not bar recovery when plaintiffs are more than 50 percent at fault. In fact, even if you were 99 percent responsible for the accident, you might still be able to recover compensation for 1 percent of the total damages.
How Can I Prove Liability?
Regardless of whether you were 0, 50, or 99 percent liable for the accident that led to your injuries, you’ll need strong evidence to prove liability in order to recover damages. Naturally, the strongest evidence of fault will depend on the circumstances, but it may include:
- Photographs from the scene;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Statements from accident reconstruction experts;
- The official police report;
- The results of any chemical tests conducted at the scene;
- Footage from surveillance cameras near the scene; and
- Cell phone records.
In the state of New York, people who are seriously injured due to the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of others have the right to seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Property damage;
- Other objectively verifiable costs like home care and alternative transportation;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and
- Loss of enjoyment in life.
Call 212-421-0300 for a Free Consultation with a New York City Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a member of your family has suffered injuries through the fault of another person, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny to discuss your case. Our attorneys are here to help you pursue the compensation you need to get your life back. Richard M. Kenny has more than 26 years of experience in legal practice. Call 212-421-0300 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New York City.