Driver's hands on the steering wheel of a car, with a seatbelt fastened across their chest. The car's windshield wipers are in motion, clearing rainwater from the windshield on a wet day. The view is from the inside of the car, focusing on the driver and windshield.

When suffering from injuries caused by a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to finance your recovery process. Continue reading to learn how comparative negligence can play in your favor and how one of the experienced Westchester County car accident attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

What are the comparative negligence laws in New York?

The state of New York follows a no-fault car insurance system. This means that you are required to have personal injury protection, which covers you and certain others. In other words, no-fault car insurance will cover certain car accident damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the crash.

New York is one of many states to follow a pure comparative negligence system, which holds each party liable for the role they played in the accident. Under these rules, you will always recover compensation from the other party’s insurance company, unless you are 100% at fault. However, the amount of compensation you will receive will be reduced to account for your role in the accident. For example, if the jury awards $100,000 in damages, but finds you were 20% responsible for the accident, you’re entitled to 80%, i.e. $80,000. Contrastingly, if you were found to be primarily responsible, at 80%, you are still entitled to 20% of the damages, but you will be responsible for 80% of the other driver’s damages.

How is fault determined and proven in a car accident?

The following are examples of how fault is determined in a car accident:

  • Hitting a car from behind.
  • Violating a traffic law, such as running a red light, turning at a no-turn on red, or going over the speed limit.
  • Making comments admitting or implying personal blame after the accident.
  • Displaying a level of impairment due to drugs or alcohol.
  • Failing to keep a proper lookout due to distracted driving.

It is important that you document your role in the accident clearly so that you can avoid maximizing any fault assigned to you. To build a successful case to prove the other party’s negligence, it is helpful to collect photos or videos of the accident, statements from eyewitnesses, and police reports. With this, you must retain the services of one of the skilled Westchester County personal injury attorneys that will help you in gathering evidence of the other party’s majority fault in the car accident.

How long do I have to file my personal injury claim?

To ensure that you obtain the compensation you require for your injuries, it is important that you file your personal injury claim within New York’s statute of limitations, which is three years from the date of your accident.


Hausman & Pendzick effectively represent victims of negligence in Westchester County and across the state of New York. We understand how challenging life can be without financial compensation for serious injuries you have wrongly sustained. If you need a knowledgeable and skilled personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation after an accident, contact Hausman & Pendzick today.