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Personal Injury FAQs: What Is Comparative Negligence

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If you have been involved in a personal injury accident in Nassau County, you might wonder how comparative negligence will affect your case. Unlike some other states, New York follows comparative negligence principles when it comes to personal injury cases. Essentially, this means that more than one party may be at fault when an accident occurs, and the courts will look at the amount of fault each party is liable for when making decisions.

As such, comparative negligence rules may affect the amount of compensation you are awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. In this blog, we will explain what comparative negligence is, discuss its impact on personal injury cases, and stress the importance of working with an experienced attorney.

How Does Comparative Negligence Work?

Comparative negligence refers to the legal principle of assessing and assigning fault when determining compensation in personal injury cases. The courts will consider the facts of the case and determine the percentage to which the liable parties are at fault.

New York law follows the principles of “pure comparative negligence,” meaning that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you had in the accident. So, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 30%.

However, because New York subscribes to this "pure comparative negligence" model, injured parties are able to collect compensation no matter what percentage of fault they bear. This is compared to other states where injured parties may only collect compensation if they bear less than 50% liability.

How Will Comparative Negligence Principles Affect My Case?

The impact of comparative negligence on your case will depend on the extent of your involvement in the accident. If you were partially at fault for the accident, the compensation you receive will be reduced accordingly, as described above.

In a personal injury case, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress

To identify the potential outcomes for your specific case, it is always recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, like ours at Foley Griffin. Your attorney can review your claim, discuss your options, and use their experience to help you determine if pursuing your case is in your best interests.

Is It Worth Pursuing a Claim When I Believe I Am Partially At Fault?

In cases where someone is significantly injured or when a loved one is killed, it is often worthwhile to file a personal injury case, even if you believe you bear a significant portion of the liability. Not only will doing so help ensure the other responsible party is held accountable for their part in the accident, but it can also help you recover the compensation you need to aid your recovery process.

We also believe it is worth noting that many times after an accident, the injured parties struggle to clearly remember what happened leading up to and during the accident. It is not uncommon for people to overestimate their own contributions to an accident or to assume they are at fault when they are not.

In short, no matter the circumstances of your accident, injured parties are always encouraged to speak with an attorney about their accident to ensure they understand the pros and cons of pursuing an injury claim.

Ways a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Navigating the legal system can be tricky, especially if you are unfamiliar with it. Having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side can help ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help determine fault in the accident, collect evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case. They can also help you understand the extent to which New York's comparative negligence laws impact your particular situation.

Your First Steps Post-Accident

If you are involved in a personal injury accident in Nassau County, there are a few steps you should take to protect your rights. First, seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident. Next, document any evidence related to the accident, including photos, witness statements, and police reports. Then, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident in Nassau County, contact the team at Foley Griffin for guidance. We are standing by to guide you.