How do New York courts assess fault in personal injury cases?

Personal Injury refers to an assault to the physical and mental well being rather than to property. Each state varies in assessing fault in an accident. In shared fault cases, the defendant being held liable for the incident may claim the victim holds some blame. In such cases, New York follows a “pure comparative negligence rule.” This rule states the amount of damages awarded will be reduced proportionally to the victim’s fault in the incident. Additionally if a person falls victim to a motor vehicle incident, compensation may be limited due to New York State’s “no fault” law. This law forces victims to collect from their own insurance policies first regardless of who carries blame in the accident if the injuries sustained are not serious enough to qualify for a lawsuit.

In cases involving government negligence, New York State follows a different set of rules in order for a victim to recover damages. In such incidents, a victim will only have 90 days to file a formal claim and one year to file a lawsuit against the city. Lastly in personal injury cases involving dogs and other animals, New York does not have any specific law regarding liability. However the “one bite rule” states the owner may hold responsibility in an injury caused by their animal if the owner had known or should have known the animal was dangerous. If the particular breed or recent behaviors of an animal suggests behavior that could potentially be harmful to others the owner may be held at fault after an incident resulting in a personal injury case. But if the dog had never inflicted a bite before there might not be liability.

It is important to keep in mind after such incidents that each state has a varying statute of limitation. “Statute of limitation” refers to the maximum time in which a victim can bring a personal injury case to court. In New York, for personal injury cases the injured person is given three years from the injury date to file a lawsuit. If a case in not filed within the time limit the victim will lose the right to file a personal injury claim.

If you wish to learn more about how New York assess fault in personal injury cases, speak to an experienced and professional attorney to help you understand your rights – call 212-353-8700 and speak to one of our attorneys today.

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