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What happens if I am partially at fault in a car accident?

New York recognizes what is known as pure comparative fault. Under this theory, you can recover damages even if you are 99 percent at fault. However, your damages award will be lessened by your degree of fault. This means that if you are awarded $100,000 in damages, but are deemed to have been 90 percent at fault, then you will only recover $10,000.

However, determining fault is one of the most complicated areas of a car accident lawsuit. In many cases, witnesses will have to be interviewed and sometimes expert witnesses may need to testify. The other party or parties involved will also likely have their own experts and witnesses, which makes the matter even more complicated. Statutory and case law will also likely have to be utilized, which often requires a keen eye for legal rules and aggressive application.

With all that said, if you have been injured in a car accident you should consider your legal options. Even if you were mostly at fault, you could still recover significant damages, especially if you suffered serious injuries. Those awards could then be used to help pay for medical expenses, recoup lost wages, and ease your pain and suffering. It could, in short, provide you with the financial stability you need until you can get on your feet again.

Yet, it is no secret that the legal process can be a complicated one, fraught with difficult issues. Therefore, before taking action, it may be to your benefit to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you toward an outcome that supports your best interests.

Source: FindLaw, “Comparative Negligence,” accessed on Aug. 17, 2014