Understanding Comparative Fault: Victims Partially at Fault in a Queens Car Accident Can Still Collect
There are many possible causes of a motor vehicle accident. This includes a defendant running a red light, failing to yield, speeding, and drunk driving, just to name a few common causes. Most of these types of accidents are unavoidable for a victim because there is usually just a split-second to avoid a collision. But some victims may second-guess themselves and think that they could have avoided the collision. Some victims may even believe that they may have partially caused the motor vehicle crash. This is particularly true if a victim was ticketed at the scene of the accident by police. Therefore, a common question that many victims ask if if they can still collect if they were partially at fault in a Queens car accident.
The lawyerly answer is, it depends.
Here at Cohen & Cohen Law Group, P.C., we understand that most victims of a serious New York car accident will want to know if they are partially at fault in a Queens car accident will prevent them from getting medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering paid for. This is a fair question as many victims may be seriously injured or suffer catastrophic damages. This usually translates into high medical bills and significant lost wages, as well as considerable pain and suffering. Sometimes a particularly devastating accident could result in the wrongful death of a loved one. Therefore, it is important to know that a victim who may have been partially at fault can still collect compensation. If you or a loved one were involved in any type of Queens car accident resulting in serious personal injury, ask our Queens car accident lawyers for a FREE evaluation to learn whether you may be entitled to compensation if you were partially at fault in a Queens car accident.
Understanding Liability and Fault: Being a “Substantial Factor”
Generally, when someone is “liable” in a motor vehicle accident we say that they are “at fault.” This means that they were a substantial factor in causing the subject accident. Essentially, but for their negligent actions, the motor vehicle accident would not have occurred.
However, there can be multiple substantial factors in a motor vehicle accident. For instance, if a repair shop puts bald tires on a car and the driver of the car loses traction and causes a collision, both the repair shop and the driver could be liable. This is because the repair shop has a duty to put road-worthy tires on a vehicle which are not bald, defective, or otherwise dangers. This means that the repair shop is likely a substantial factor to the collision.
However, all motor vehicle drivers and owners owe a duty to inspect and ensure that they vehicles are in good, working order before driving them on the road. For something like bald tires which a motorist could visibly see, failing to correct this mistake could result in a motorist also being a substantial factor in causing the collision.
Victims Can be a “Substantial Factor” Too
Not only can a repair shop, driver, owner, or other motorist be a substantial factor, but a victim who causes or contributes to a motor vehicle accident could also be a substantial factor. This means that a victim could be partially at fault. A victim could be a substantial factor by failing to avoid a collision, speeding, braking slowly, or otherwise engaging in conduct which may have contributed or caused the collision.
Can a Victim Partially At Fault in a Queens Car Accident Collect Compensation?
Generally, yes. A victim who causes or contributes to a Queens car accident could still collection compensation. This is because New York is a “comparative fault” state. Therefore, even if a victim is a substantial factor in causing a motor vehicle wreck, New York allows the victim to recover compensation that is reduced by the victim’s fault. Essentially, New York apportions fault between the victim and the defendant(s).
For example, if the victim was 10% at comparative at fault and recovered $100,000, the victim would be entitled to $90,000. This allows a victim to still recover compensation even if the victim may have caused or contributed to the happening of the Queens car accident. This can be a confusing topic which is why a lawyer should always be consulted to evaluate comparative fault.
Injured in a NYC Motor Vehicle Crash? Ask Our Queens Car Accident Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one were involved in a NYC motor vehicle crash and you believe that you may have been partially at fault, ask our Queens car accident lawyers for a FREE consultation to learn what your rights may be under New York law. It is very common for victims to have some comparative fault in personal injury accidents, including motor vehicle crashes. We can evaluate you case and advise you how to proceed. Learn more how our legal team can fight for your rights by calling 800-247-8164 for a FREE case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.