NYC Contributory Fault vs Comparative Fault

Jul 08, 2022

Dealing with a case of personal injury in New York can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know the laws that govern it. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you get help immediately from a Brooklyn personal injury attorney.

There are two concepts that you should know about when considering or pursuing this type of claim: Contributory Fault and Comparative Fault. A Brooklyn personal injury attorney can explain them to you in further detail, but below is a simple breakdown of these concepts so you can have a basic idea.

What is the Contributory Fault in an Accident?

Contributory fault rules state that if the claimant has any degree of responsibility for the accident resulting in injuries, they will not have the entitlement to claim for or receive any form of compensation.

For example, the claimant in a car accident got distracted by a text message that came in when a truck rear-ended them. It could be an argument that they were off-guard because of the text message.

The alleged offending parties will not have to pay any compensation because the injured party presented themselves with a dangerous situation.

What is Comparative Fault in an Accident?

Meanwhile, comparative fault rules do allow the claimant to receive something, even if they were not fault-free in the situation.

In the car accident case, they may have been briefly distracted by the text message, but in fact, did slow down to prevent hitting anyone in front. So in a way, they were exercising due diligence, just not in the absolute sense. They could therefore have the 70% of the compensation.

Which One Does New York Follow?

New York is a pure comparative fault state, which means that contributory negligence will not prevent you from seeking damages for your personal injury. You could expect the awarded compensation to be less than what it should be, but that’s because of your part in the accident.

Whether you need a Brooklyn comparative fault attorney or a Brooklyn contributory fault attorney, you can consult with Levitsky Law Firm to find the legal help you need.