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Understanding New York’s Negligence Laws

Lady Liberty

Negligence is a legal term that encompasses any act or omission (failure to act) that results in harm to another person or property. In this blog post, we’ll explain what New York negligence laws are, specifically concerning how comparative negligence can affect your personal injury claim.

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence is a legal principle that states that a person who is partly at fault for an accident or injury can still recover damages from the other party who was also responsible for the accident or injury. While states bar victims from recovering damages if they are even 1% at fault for an accident, New York allows plaintiffs to pursue damages even if they are partially at fault for their injuries.

How Does Comparative Negligence Work?

Let’s say you’re involved in a car accident and you sue the driver of the other car for negligence. The court finds that you were 40% at fault for the accident because you were speeding at the time, while the other driver was 60% at fault for running a red light. You may also be partially liable for your injuries in a car accident if you are:

  1. Texting while driving
  2. Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  3. Speeding or racing on a highway
  4. Not yielding to another driver at an intersection
  5. Running a stop sign or red light
  6. Distracted driving (e.g., talking on a cell phone)
  7. Ignoring traffic signals or signs
  8. Tailgating another vehicle too closely
  9. Making an illegal turn
  10. Failing to use headlights in low-visibility conditions

In this example, your comparative negligence reduced your damages award by 40%, which reflects your degree of responsibility for the accident. If the court awards you $100,000 in damages, you would receive $60,000 (60% of damages).

Establishing Comparative Negligence

If you’re a plaintiff in a negligence lawsuit, you need to prove that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries or damages. You also need to provide evidence that you were not entirely at fault for the accident or injury.

This might involve gathering eyewitness testimony, police reports, medical records, and other relevant evidence to show that the defendant’s negligence was the primary cause of the accident and that your proportionate share of fault was relatively minor. To maximize your compensation and protect your legal rights, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of New York’s comparative negligence law.

Injured in a negligence-based accident? The Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli are here and equipped to help you maximize your compensation and minimize your liability. Call (516) 628-6402 or reach out to our firm online to get started on your case today.

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