Being involved in a car accident usually results in damages of some sort. The damages that you experience could be limited to property damage, but they could also include personal injury that requires medical attention. Even if you were involved in a minor accident, it is a good idea to get checked by a medical professional to ensure that you have not suffered whiplash or delayed-onset injuries.
When damages of any kind occur, you will need to go through the process of seeking compensation. This will involve the collaboration of your insurance company. New York has a no-fault car insurance system, which means that you will usually have all damages covered by your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault. However, this will only be true if the damages do not exceed the coverage offered by your insurance company.
If the damages relating to the car accident exceed the limits offered by your insurance company, you may need to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or you may alternatively want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you do either of these things, you will need to have a good understanding of comparative negligence law in New York.
What is comparative negligence?
It is not always the case that one party is completely to blame for causing a car accident. Often, multiple parties involved did things that were unsafe or negligent, and, therefore, these parties were at fault to some extent. It could be the case that one party was 25% responsible for a car accident, and the other party was 75% responsible. In states such as New York that follow comparative negligence theories, parties are responsible for damages respective of the extent to which they were at fault. In the aforementioned example, one party would be responsible for the coverage of 25% of financial damages, and the other party would be responsible for the remaining 75%.
Comparative negligence law applies in New York even if one party was 1% at fault and the other party was 99% at fault. If you want to gain back the damages that you believe you deserve, you should consider how fault might be attributed to your case.