New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
How to Prove Fault in a Personal Injury Claim in New York
To prove fault in a personal injury claim in New York, you have to first determine who is the guilty party in the incident that injured you or caused you to sustain damages in any other way. But it is easier said than done because proving liability depends on you being able to provide fool-proof evidence of the other party’s carelessness or negligence.
When the other Party is Not at Fault for the Damages You have Sustained
You may have been injured in an incident but this does not automatically make the other party involved in the accident guilty and liable to compensate you. For instance, if you were harmed while you were at a construction site without proper authorization or were not wearing appropriate safety gear, you cannot hold accountable the site manager or the construction company for your injuries.
The defendant in this case, can argue that you had no business to be there in the first place and you did not wear safety gear despite knowing about the dangers of moving around at a construction site. He will, most likely, get away without being held guilty with these arguments.
When More than One Party is at Fault for the Damages You have Sustained
At the other end of the spectrum is a personal injury case where several parties can be held liable for the damages you have sustained. For instance, if several negligent drivers cause a road accident where you are injured, they can all be held accountable. However, many states specify that a personal injury lawsuit can be brought against only one careless party. This person would be responsible for compensating you wholly for your losses.
Personal injury lawyers advise that you notify all the “guilty” parties before you file a lawsuit against any one. Whom you press charges against depends on the evidence and information you eventually gather to figure out how the incident took place. You might even have to discuss with and find out which insurer is ready to compensate you before you file the lawsuit against one person.
The Comparative Negligence Cause
The comparative negligence clause comes into effect when you are also at fault, to some degree, for the accident that has harmed you. According to this clause, if you are partly responsible for your accident, you are still entitled to receive compensation from the other guilty party. The amount you receive depends on the percentage of the defendant’s negligence or liability compared to your own.
There is, however, no set formula to calculate the percentage of liability. It depends on a plenitude of factors like the role of both the parties in causing the accident, the extent of your injuries, the medical bills you have had to foot, and of course, the negotiation and persuasion powers of the attorney and the insurers.
It is usually challenging to prove fault in a personal injury claim in New York because of the myriad of ways in which one legal clause can be interpreted. You will want to have an experienced personal injury lawyer handle your case and put together the evidence so that you receive the compensation you deserve.