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Following a car accident, determining fault can be challenging. However, fault allocation is crucial as it can hinder or diminish victims’ ability to recover monetary compensation for their damages if they bear some degree of liability for the crash. States either follow the comparative negligence or contributory negligence doctrine when awarding damages after a car accident. Keep reading to learn if New York observes the comparative negligence rule and how a proficient New York City Car Accident Attorney can help you seek reasonable compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages. 

How does comparative negligence work?

In the U.S. most states apply comparative negligence rules when awarding damages after personal injury accidents. However, other states follow contributory negligence rules. If a state follows contributory negligence rules, if a victim is found to bear any degree of fault for a collision, they are barred from recovering monetary compensation for their losses. For instance, if the jury finds the victim was even just 1% at fault and the other party was 99% at fault for the collision, they cannot receive any compensation for their damages.

New York is a pure comparative negligence state. Victims regardless of their degree of fault can recover monetary compensation for their damages. If a victim is partially at fault for the collision, their award will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if a victim is found 25% at fault, they can only recover 75% of their damages. Car accident victims are fortunate that New York follows pure comparative negligence rules as some states follow modified comparative negligence rules. Essentially, if a state follows a modified comparative negligence system, victims can recover monetary compensation for their damages if they are less than half at fault for an accident. If they bear more than 50% fault, they cannot recover compensation for their losses. However, as mentioned above, New York is a pure comparative negligence state. Victims can recover compensation for their damages despite having contributed to the cause of the accident that caused their injuries.

How long do I have to pursue legal action?

In New York, victims have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim against a negligent party. If a victim fails to file a claim within this time frame, they will be barred from filing a claim in the future to seek compensation for their losses. Essentially, if a victim misses the deadline, they forfeit their chance to recover monetary compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages. Following a car accident, it is imperative to retain the legal services of a qualified attorney who can ensure the claim is filed within the right timeframe.

For more information, please contact a skilled New York City car accident attorney. Our firm will work tirelessly to help you achieve favorable results. Allow our dedicated team members to represent your interests today!



Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.


Settlement to a man who was run over by a dump truck on a Brooklyn street causing him to sustain multiple injuries, including but not limited to a broken leg and detached urethra in 2019.


Settlement to a woman who slipped and fell down a wet stairwell in a New York City Housing Authority building requiring a back surgery in 2018.

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