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Can I seek damages if I was partly at fault for a car crash?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2022 | Injuries |

No one expects to be involved in a car crash during their daily commute to work or while running errands. However, on any given day many people in Garden City find themselves the victim of a serious car accident. Some of these accidents are very severe and very complex.

For example, let’s say you were struck when crossing an intersection at a green light. You may have had the right of way. But, say you were speeding through the intersection. This could have contributed to the crash. Does this mean you are barred from seeking damages? Not necessarily.

Contributory negligence

New York is a pure contributory negligence state. What does this mean? It means that a party seeking damages in a car crash lawsuit can do so even if they contributed to the collision. Their involvement will not bar recovery. Instead, the amount of damages they can recover will be reduced based on the proportion of their fault.

Negligence in car accident cases

What pure contributory negligence means is that a person can still seek compensation even if they were partially negligent. Therefore, it is important to understand what negligence is. Negligence occurs in the following circumstances. First, there must be a duty of care. All motorists have the duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Second, there must be a breach of duty. A motorist’s duty of care is breached if they crash into another person or vehicle. This breach must have caused the plaintiff’s damages, and the damages must have been foreseeable based on the type of breach. Finally, the defendant must have suffered actual damages.

Learn more about your rights

Ultimately, car accident cases are very complex, with many parties playing many roles. Serious car crashes can cause significant injuries leading to mountains of medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. For this reason, it is important that car accident victims speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help them pursue the compensation they deserve.