A Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Queens County, NY Can Help When Both Parties Are at Fault

by | Feb 13, 2018 | Lawyers

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It can be enormously difficult to determine liability in an auto accident case. In some instances, the fault is clear-cut, but not all cases are so simple, and both parties may share the blame. In this guide, readers can learn how liability is established in these cases.

Varying Liability Laws

To establish fault for an auto accident, insurers and law enforcement officers may use the grounds of recklessness or negligence. Recklessness occurs when someone intentionally does something that may harm someone else, and negligence happens when someone does something that the average citizen would have been able to foresee and avoid. When both parties are responsible, the following rules may be used, depending on the jurisdiction.

•    Pure comparative fault rules stipulate that a victim can seek damages even if they’re partial to blame. However, compensation is diminished according to the claimant’s share of fault.

•    Proportional comparative fault rules say that the person who’s more to blame cannot collect damages. The party with the least guilt can collect compensation according to their share of fault. If blame is divided 50/50, neither side can collect damages.

•    Pure contributory negligence rules state that victims cannot sue even if they’re only one percent to blame for an accident.

As shown here, car accident liability laws are complex. A motor vehicle accident lawyer in Queens County, NY can help clients cut through the confusion and get what they deserve.

Establishing Fault in New York

New York is a no-fault state, which means an accident victim must first file a claim against their own insurance policy before pursuing the other driver for compensation. Attorneys typically use police reports to determine responsibility for an accident, looking for words such as ‘recklessness’ and ‘negligence’ to establish fault. There are two scenarios where the fault is cut-and-dried.

•    Rear-end collisions. When these occur, the following driver is almost always held responsible for their failure to maintain a safe distance between themselves and the car in front.

•    Left turns. If a crash occurs during the making of a left turn, officers will usually side with the other driver. Blame may be shared, however, if the other person ran a red light or broke another law.

New York’s laws on auto accident liability are subjective. Hire an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer in Queens County, NY to get the right compensation. Call the Law Office of Steven R. Smith or Browse website for more details.