car accident

When both the plaintiff and defendant are partially at fault in causing an accident, New York courts use the comparative negligence standard to determine the compensatory damages each party can receive. If you were involved in an accident and had a part in causing it, you might be able to recover damages for your injuries. Do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at TonaLaw today for a free consultation. 

While there are some types of accidents that are caused entirely due to the actions of a sole person, the majority take place because more than one of the parties involved in an accident made certain contributing mistakes or errors. New York has rules in place which govern the compensation a plaintiff can recover if they are partially at fault for the accident which injured them.

Personal Injury cases in New York are evaluated using a strictly comparative negligence standard. This means that when looking at an accident, the court attempts to determine the percentage of fault attributable to each party involved. The amount of compensation that each person can recover is then reduced proportionally by the amount of fault they had in causing or failing to prevent an accident. 

Within the evolution of negligence case law, the emergence of comparative negligence has been one of the most beneficial changes for plaintiffs who seek to recover compensation for their injuries. Before comparative negligence, the primary legal theory utilized by most courts was called contributory negligence. Under contributory negligence, the court or jury would determine whether the plaintiff had any part to play in either causing or failing to prevent the accident at issue. If the plaintiff was attributed any portion of the fault in the accident, they would be unable to recover any compensation. This was a strict rule which was created in order to protect defendants. This led to harsh results such as when plaintiffs were found to be only nominally responsible for the accident.

There are many situations that could cause this to come into play. For example, the defendant might have made a dangerous left turn against oncoming traffic and you hit their car. That type of negligent turn could certainly cause them to be responsible for any of your injuries from the event. Generally, however, all individuals have a responsibility to prevent an accident if possible. 

The following are some of the most common ways that a plaintiff might be found to have contributed to a vehicle accident: (a) distracted driving, such as by using a cell phone; and (b) driving above the speed limit or otherwise violating the traffic law. If the defendant is able to establish that you engaged in either of these practices, it is likely that you will be found liable for a portion of the accident. This is because if you had been more careful, you might have been able to avoid the collision. Similarly, comparative negligence can be found for failure to wear a seatbelt. While a seatbelt would not have prevented an accident from occurring, it is possible that injuries would be less severe had one been worn at the time of the accident. This concept comes into play beyond motor vehicle collisions. For example, a pedestrian who is hit by a car might be comparatively negligent if they were jaywalking.

It is important to note that each party possesses the burden of proof with regard to the claim that the opposing party was negligent. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent in causing the accident, but then the defendant is responsible for establishing that the plaintiff was also comparatively negligent in failing to prevent the accident.

If you are found to be comparatively negligent in causing an accident, the damages you recover are reduced by the percentage of fault you were. For example, if you had injuries worth $100, but you are 30% responsible for the accident, then you can only recover $70 from the defendant.

Everything involving comparative negligence is very fact-specific. Everything described here has many exceptions and details that the skilled litigators at TonaLaw can provide. The fact pattern of your accident is extremely important in determining whether you can recover from any of your injuries. Call TonaLaw for a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation at 833-866-2529 (833-TONA-LAW).

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I highly recommended Tona Law if you are looking for a competent lawyer to fight for you! Do yourself a favor and get that “accident nuts” out of your head and give them a call. God sent!Thanks Tona Law!Joseph DadaboJoseph Dadabo ★★★★★ Tonalaw is great Lauren and Robin are such awesome people thank you guys for your helpKatelyn MccormickKatelyn Mccormick ★★★★★ I have know Lauren for years, she is a very professional and caring person, anyone working with her would be in good hands.joanne lursenjoanne lursen ★★★★★ Lauren is very knowledgeable in her field and focuses on getting the job done, producing the best results, and willing to going the extra mile.Brooke BirkeyBrooke Birkey ★★★★★ If you contact Tona Law Firm after an accident, you will be delighted to work with their team of professionals. They are caring, easy to talk to, and know how to get you quickly on the road to your best results. If you've been seriously injured in New York and you're looking for a great experience, look no further than Tona Law.jeanette devinejeanette devine ★★★★★ Lauren work ethics are exceptional. She is always extremely helpful with any questions. Tona law is very lucky to have her as part of the team.NicoleNicole ★★★★★ I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Tona Law. I highly recommend them. Dianna is amazing. She is personable, knowledgeable and extremely reliable and impressive. Thank you to the entire staff.Mike manasMike manas ★★★★★ Lauren was such a pleasure to work with! Super informative and helpful.Melanie RasmussenMelanie Rasmussen ★★★★★ I highly recommend Jeffrey Donato, personal injury attorney with TonaLaw! I've used Jeff personally, when we needed advice with two situations. He's professional, highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and responsive. I totally trust him.Educated MomEducated Mom ★★★★★ I would highly recommend Tona Law. 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I would highly recommend Dianna and her team for all your legal matters.Teresa DesimoneTeresa Desimone ★★★★★ I called Tona Law not knowing what to expect after my car accident. They were very kind and patient, made me feel very comfortable about the process while still undergoing surgeries. I know it isn't much, but when I came home from the hospital my husband showed me a little get well package that they sent. It made me feel like they cared that they went that extra step. Lauren and Jayda answered every question I had in a timely manner and if they weren't sure, one of the lawyers would call and would further explain it until I understood. Healing is already a stressful time, Tona Law made it a little bit easier. Thank you to everyone who helped.Bernhard SengstockBernhard Sengstock ★★★★★ Great people! So happy to know that they can be trusted! Will recommend! 😊👍Jeff HJeff H ★★★★★ Great experience with Tona Law. 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