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What Happens if You Are Partially at Fault for a Car Accident in New York?

Car accident in New York

New York follows a "comparative fault" rule when both parties are found to be at fault for an accident. In most car accident cases, the jury is asked to calculate two things based on the evidence:

  • the total value of the plaintiff's damages
  • the percentage of fault of each driver

Under the comparative fault rule, the plaintiff's damages compensation is reduced by a percentage equal to his or her share of fault. For instance, if you ran a stop sign and was hit by someone who was driving a few miles an hour above the speed limit and the court decides that you were 75 percent at fault and that other diver was 25 percent at fault, you will be entitled to 25 percent of the total damages, while the other driver will recover 75 percent of the total damages.

In the case of 50-50 fault, the same comparative fault rule will be applied. Both parties will recover up to 50 percent of the damages. The comparative fault rule in New York applies even when you are found to be more responsible for the accident than the other driver. For instance, if the jury decides you are 90 percent at fault, you are still technically entitled to 10 percent of your total damages, and the other driver will be entitled to 90 percent of the total damages.

Not only does the comparative negligence rule bind New York judges and but also a car insurance claim adjuster when he or she is evaluating your case. A claim adjuster makes decisions based on what is likely to happen in court. Don’t let that prevent you from pursuing an auto accident settlement or lawsuit. Instead, talk to an attorney about your situation and the best course of action.

Car Accident Lawyer Ready to Help You

If you have been injured, or need FREE legal consultation, call Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. We will fight for you. Since 1960, we have been working solely on a contingency fee basis with no fee charged unless and until our client receives the maximum compensation possible. Our team of car accident lawyers is dedicated to providing exceptional representation to all our clients. Call 914-357-8911 or 718-619-4215 or email

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