You may be aware that you can recover compensation for your damages after an accident caused by a negligent driver. But what if you contributed to the crash? Does anything change?
The answer to that depends on several factors. Generally, your contribution to the crash does not bar you from recovering compensation. Here is what you need to know.
New York’s no-fault insurance laws will come into play
New York is a no-fault state, and drivers are legally mandated to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Therefore, you will have to file a claim with your insurer first.
You can recover certain damages with your PIP, like medical bills, a portion of your lost wages and other covered losses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, the actual amount depends on your policy coverage.
It is worth noting that you may be ineligible for PIP benefits under certain circumstances. For instance, if you were riding a motorcycle or an all-terrain vehicle, got injured while committing a felony, intentionally caused your injuries or were in a vehicle known to be stolen, you might not be eligible for these benefits.
You can sue the other driver if you suffer serious injuries
Sometimes, your injuries may be so severe that PIP benefits are insufficient to cover your damages. As defined by law, serious injuries are those that result in a fracture, permanent loss of use of a body organ or significant disfigurement, among others.
While you can recover additional compensation by suing the other driver, your contribution to the accident will reduce the settlement amount due to you. For example, if you are 60% responsible for the crash, you will only get 40% of the damages awarded.
Learn more about how the law works
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in New York, seeking the necessary legal assistance is advisable. An informed assessment of your situation will help you take the proper steps toward getting the compensation you deserve.