June 21, 2024

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If a Car Accident Was Partially Your Fault, Can You Still Sue for Personal Injury Damages?

2 min read

Many individuals who contact a personal injury lawyer NYC have one question in common: Can I still sue for personal injury damages if I was partially at-fault for a motor vehicle accident?

It’s a common scenario. You were in an auto accident, and you were seriously injured. But you may have been partially at-fault for the accident. Does this mean that you will not get compensation for your personal injuries? The accident was not entirely your fault. Shouldn’t you still deserve compensation?

As with many legal questions, the answer depends on the state you live in. For the state of New York, there’s good news. Just because you were partially at-fault for the car accident, this won’t prevent you from possibly recovering damages for your injuries. This is because New York State practices a theory referred to as “comparative negligence.”

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Comparative Negligence: Examples

Comparative negligence is all about percentages. The percentage in question has to do with how responsible you were for a given accident. In some cases, a driver will be completely, 100% responsible for an accident. For example, if driver A was texting while driving, ran a stop sign, and T-boned driver B, who was driving at the speed limit and following all traffic laws, driver A would be 100% responsible for the accident.

This isn’t how all auto accidents occur, however. In many cases, two (or more) drivers are slightly at fault for any given accident. Here’s an example:

Let’s say that Sharon is texting while driving and accidentally runs a stop sign. She drives straight into the side of Jared, who was driving 10 miles over the speed limit. Both drivers would be at fault for this accident. Likely, Sharon would be more at fault, however. Let’s say she is 75% at fault — a percentage dictated either by a judge or jury when in the court of law. Jared would be 25% at fault in that case.

If this is the division of blame, Jared might sue for damages, but he’ll only receive 75% of what he sues for. Sharon would then receive 25% of what she sues for. This is comparative negligence in action.

Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer NYC

Naturally, you do not want to take the blame for an accident that was not your fault. But in many situations, the facts can be misconstrued, and you may be blamed for more of the auto accident than was actually your fault. In this case, you need a reputable and experienced personal injury lawyer NYC on your side. If you were partially at fault for an accident that caused serious injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area today to learn more about your legal options.