As with all personal injury cases, liability is the foundation of a motorcycle accident lawsuit. As the plaintiff seeking compensation, in order to be successful, you must prove that the defendant caused your accident resulting in injuries. However, liability does not always solely belong to one party. If you share liability for the accident, you can typically recover a partial value of the damages.
States decide how shared fault affects the legal process of settlement or award distribution. For example, New York adheres to the comparative negligence law. The comparative negligence law allows you to receive compensation in cases of shared fault but only in the amount of the predetermined value of damages minus your percentage of fault. Additionally, there are two types of this law:
- States that abide by the pure comparative negligence rule allow you to receive compensation even if you are almost entirely at fault.
- States that abide by the modified comparative negligence rule set the threshold for eligibility at 50%, meaning that you are not eligible for compensation if your portion of blame is higher than 50%.
Only 12 states follow the pure comparative negligence rule, and New York is one of them. If you believe you are partially responsible for your accident and injuries, contact a motorcycle accident attorney about any questions concerning how that can affect your damages. You can still receive compensation, but an attorney can explain how your role in the accident may translate into a percentage of fault.