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Modified Comparative Negligence in New York: What you need to know?

Accidents with cars often happen in New York City, and they can have dire effects. If you get hurt in a car accident, you may be able to get paid for your injuries and other losses. But New York has a rule called “modified comparative negligence.” If you were partly to blame for the accident, your compensation might be cut. If you have been involved in a car accident, finding the right car accident lawyers to represent you is crucial. A good car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. One important factor to consider when selecting a car accident lawyer is their familiarity with New York’s laws.  

New York’s Modified Comparative Negligence Explained


Comparative negligence is a legal concept where both parties in a personal injury case are considered partly at fault. Some people believe they cannot sue for personal injury damages if they are partly responsible for the accident, but that’s not true in New York.

New York follows comparative negligence laws, which means you can still recover damages even if you are partly at fault. Car accident lawyers can assess your case and determine if you have a valid compensation claim. They will also help you get the most compensation while considering comparative negligence.

New York has followed the comparative negligence law since 1975. It is one of the few states that considers pure comparative negligence. It allows the injured party to recover damages regardless of their share of the blame. For example, even if the plaintiff is 99% responsible for the accident, they can still recover 1% of their damages from the defendant although pursuing a case in such a scenario may not be practical.

In modified comparative fault states, a plaintiff can recover damages only if they are less than 50% or 51% at fault, depending on the state. In states with contributory negligence, a plaintiff cannot seek damages if their negligence played any role in the accident.

Causes of Comparative Negligence

Seat belts are frequently cited in comparative negligence claims arising from car accidents. In New York, it is mandatory to fasten your seat belt while driving. The defendant’s lawyers may argue that the plaintiff’s injuries would have been less severe if they had worn a seat belt. This is even if the defendant appears to be entirely at fault for the accident. This argument holds strong, particularly if the plaintiff was thrown out of the car.

A similar situation arises in motorcycle accidents where the rider was not wearing a helmet. The same is true in pedestrian accidents where the individual crosses the street illegally. Additionally, in the event of a car hitting a cyclist at night, the latter may be partially at fault if they were not wearing reflective clothing.

Comparative negligence is not limited to car accidents. It includes slip and fall claims related to premises liability. In such cases, if a property owner has failed to maintain a parking lot or walkway, and the plaintiff sustains an injury, the owner’s legal team may argue that the plaintiff is partly responsible for the accident. The argument may be that the plaintiff was wearing inappropriate footwear. Or that they were distracted by their cell phone at the time of the accident. For instance, if a plaintiff trips, falls, and fractures a bone due to the property owner’s negligence, the owner’s lawyers may claim that the plaintiff’s actions contributed to the accident.

Car accident lawyers will meticulously examine all claims. They will gather relevant evidence such as surveillance footage, police reports, medical records, and witness statements.

Guide On How To File Car Accident Claims


Car accident lawyers can help you navigate the process of filing a car accident claim. Submitting a claim might be difficult, but an attorney can guide you.

To file an automobile accident claim, you must collect all pertinent facts. This includes all the people involved in the accident and any witnesses, their names and how to contact them. Documentation such as police reports, medical bills, and insurance information will also be required.

Following that, you must notify your insurance company about the collision. Your insurance company will need to investigate to determine who was at fault.

You could file a claim with their insurance company if the other driver was at fault. Your lawyer can help you through this process and ensure you get the compensationvomp you deserve for your injuries and other damages.

In some situations, filing a lawsuit to collect damages may be essential. Experienced car accident lawyers can help you understand the process and stand up for you in court.

Remember that filing a vehicle accident claim as soon as possible is critical. Contacting car accident lawyers immediately after an accident is crucial. This is because the statute of limitations in your state may limit the time to file a claim. Failing to submit a claim within the statute of limitations can bar you from recovering compensation for your injuries.


Roles of Car Accident Lawyers in Injury Claims


Car accident lawyers play a significant part in automobile accident injury claims. Their main job is to help people hurt in car accidents because another driver was careless.


1. Negotiations

Car accident lawyers are skilled negotiators who can help clients obtain a fair settlement after a car accident. They understand the tactics used by insurance companies and can negotiate effectively on behalf of their clients.

After a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may offer a settlement to the injured party. However, this settlement may not fully compensate the injured party for their damages. These include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Car accident lawyers can review the settlement offer and negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement.


2. Representation in court

It’s a good thing that the majority of vehicle accident claims are resolved before going to trial. The insurance company will probably offer the wounded person a reasonable amount of compensation if they have a lawyer. Even if you decide to sue, your attorney might settle with the insurance provider before the trial.

However, if you do wind up in court, a vehicle accident attorney will stand by your side the entire time. To help you receive the money you are due, they will put up a fierce struggle. Experienced lawyers are not alarmed by the antics of insurance firms. They’ll be prepared for whatever the insurance provider has in store.


3. Assist in investigation

Car accident attorneys may consult with many independent specialists. These include former police officers or their investigators. They will evaluate accident-related material, including photographs and witness accounts, as noted above.

If you have doubts about how certain events in the accident transpired, your attorney may recreate the accident scene. They aren’t afraid to go above and beyond to present their case in the best light.


4. Calculate the extent of damages

After an accident, it’s common to only think about your immediate expenses. But your attorney will consider all of the ways the accident will impact you, both now and in the future while constructing a claim. They will take into account the price of your current and upcoming medical care. It will also cover how your injuries have impaired your capacity to work and the psychological effects of the collision.

Your auto accident lawyer will determine the most accurate assessment of your total damages. This assessment of your damages is meant to keep you from having to pay for costs related to an accident that you hadn’t planned for.



To win a car accident lawsuit in New York, you must understand the state’s law on “modified comparative negligence.” Even if a plaintiff contributed to the accident, they can still receive damages, but the amount may be reduced based on their level of fault.

To make sense of comparative negligence and get the most money possible in compensation, it’s important to hire an experienced car accident lawyer.

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