Denlea & Carton


May 03, 2024

How is Liability Determined in New York Personal Injury Law?

Understanding Comparative Fault and Protecting Your Rights in White Plains

Accidents happen. But when those accidents result in injuries, the path to recovery can be complicated. Here at Denlea & Carton, we understand that navigating the legal landscape of personal injury cases in White Plains, New York, can be daunting. One crucial aspect you’ll encounter is determining liability– who is legally responsible for your injuries?

The concept of liability in New York personal injury law concerns the state’s “pure comparative fault” system. We will explain how Denlea & Carton can help you navigate this system and fight for the compensation you deserve.

The Importance of Determining Liability

In personal injury cases, determining liability is essential for establishing who is financially responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Without establishing liability, recovering compensation becomes significantly more challenging.

New York’s Pure Comparative Fault System

Unlike some states with a “contributory negligence” system, New York operates under a “pure comparative fault” system. This means that even if you are found to be partially at fault for your accident, you can still recover compensation for your damages.

Here’s how pure comparative fault works:

  • The court assigns a percentage of fault to all parties involved in the accident. This includes you, the injured party, and any other individuals or entities who contributed to the accident.
  • Your damage award is then reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault and your total damages are $100,000, you would be entitled to recover $80,000.

Benefits of Pure Comparative Fault

The pure comparative fault system offers several advantages for injured parties:

  • Fairness: It allows you to recover compensation even if you share some blame for the accident.
  • Incentive for Safety: It encourages everyone involved to act with caution, knowing that their actions could impact others and potentially affect their own financial responsibility.

Understanding How Fault is Determined

The court considers various factors when assigning fault in a personal injury case. Here are some common examples:

  • The actions of each party involved: The court will analyze the actions of all parties involved in the accident and assess whether they acted reasonably or negligently.
  • Traffic laws and regulations: Violations of traffic laws or safety regulations can be strong evidence of negligence.
  • Witness statements: Eyewitness accounts can provide valuable insights into the events leading up to the accident.
  • Accident scene evidence: Physical evidence from the scene, such as skid marks or debris, can help reconstruct the events of the accident.

Denlea & Carton: Fighting for Your Fair Share

While New York’s pure comparative fault system allows recovery even with partial fault, the process of determining liability and negotiating a fair settlement can be complex.  Denlea & Carton’s experienced personal injury attorneys in White Plains can help you navigate this process by:

  • Investigating the Accident: We’ll thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident, gathering evidence and identifying all potentially liable parties.
  • Building a Strong Case: Our legal team will meticulously analyze all evidence to establish your case and minimize your assigned percentage of fault.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often attempt to minimize payouts or shift blame. Denlea & Carton will fight for a settlement that reflects the full extent of your damages, considering both economic and non-economic losses.
  • Representing You in Court: If necessary, we will represent you aggressively in court to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

Don’t Let Partial Fault Stand in Your Way

New York’s pure comparative fault system allows you to seek compensation even if you share some responsibility for an accident. Denlea & Carton is here to help you understand your rights, navigate the legal complexities, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

Additional Considerations:

  • Shared Liability: In some cases, there may be multiple parties responsible for your injuries. Denlea & Carton can help identify all liable parties and ensure you hold them accountable.
  • Document Everything: After an accident, it’s crucial to document everything, including medical records, police reports, witness contact

Contact Denlea & Carton Today for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured in an accident in White Plains or the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact Denlea & Carton. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. 

Focus on your recovery, let Denlea & Carton handle the legal battle.


James R. Denlea

Jeffrey I. Carton

Robert J. Berg

Lindsey Leibowitz

Amber Wallace

John Leifert

Craig Cepler

Steven Schoenfeld

Stan Sharovskiy

Phil Smith

Martin McCann

Catherine Friesen

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