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What Happens if I’m Partially Responsible for a New York Car Accident?

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Thank goodness, you survived your traffic accident. However, you sustained significant, long-term injuries that will require compensation to treat. Unfortunately, you may share part of the responsibility for the accident. If so, please read on, then contact an experienced New York City and Westchester County car accident lawyer to learn what happens if you are partially responsible for a car accident in the Empire State.

Am I entitled to compensation if I share fault in a New York car accident?

Under the rule of comparative negligence in New York, accident victims can recover compensation for their damages in a car crash, even if they are partially at fault. To determine how much money should be awarded, the court will compare the negligence of each party, assigning each person a percentage of fault.

For example, the jury decides your total damages should be $100,000, including your medical bills, lost income, vehicle damage and “pain and suffering.” At the same time, the jury decides that you are 40 percent responsible for the accident. As a result, you will receive 60 percent of the $100,000 total, i.e. $60,000.

By the same token, if the jury finds the majority of fault is yours, say, 90 percent, you are still entitled to the percentage of the defendant’s fault. However, you will be on the hook for 90 percent of the other driver’s damages. If you need assistance determining your share of the fault, you should reach out to a skilled New York City and Westchester County auto accident lawyer today.

How is fault assessed in New York car accidents?

First off, we must inform you that New York has no magic formula for calculating the share of fault in car accident cases. Nonetheless, the court and investigating bodies will examine all of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Generally, they will rely on the following:

  • Traffic control devices: Did you run a red light or disregard a stop sign?
  • Speed limits: Were you driving too fast?
  • Weather conditions: Was it icy and/or slick, but you drove like it was not?
  • Cell phone usage: Were you talking on your phone or texting while your vehicle was in motion?
  • Witness accounts: Did you disobey the common rules of the road, i.e. failing to signal a turn or lane change? What do the police say happened?

Determining fault is a subjective process, so please give us a call to help the blame be assigned properly.


Baez Legal Group handles a wide array of injury claims, including those sustained in auto accidents, slip & falls, and construction and other workplace accidents. We also help those hurt because of defective products, acts of medical malpractice, and the families of wrongful death victims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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