Even though New York adheres to “no fault” insurance rules in car accidents, an injured motorist can sue an at-fault driver to recover a greater measure of damages–in certain circumstances. Determining fault in those circumstances is critical because New York also follows a pure comparative fault rule. It reduces the injured party’s damages in proportion to their relative fault.
The automobile accident lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman represent parties who have sustained injuries in car crashes in New York and Rockland County. If you have been injured, your ability to recover the largest available damages award will depend on assigning the entire fault for the accident to the negligent party.
What evidence is used to determine fault in a car accident?
Car accident lawyers look at five general categories of evidence to determine fault:
- Accident scene evidence, including tire skid marks and how debris from the crash might have scattered around the site of the collision
- Security camera footage, cell phone records, and other technology-based evidence
- Police reports and official records of the accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses who saw the accident
- Citations for traffic law violations that law enforcement authorities might have issued.
In certain collisions, such as rear-end crashes, the rear driver is generally deemed to be at fault. However, other evidence from the car accident can be used to refute that assumption. You can help your case and support your damages claim by gathering as much evidence as possible immediately after the accident. You should also promptly file your own report with local law enforcement authorities.
Does “no fault” insurance affect the determination of fault?
Under New York’s “no fault” insurance rules, each driver’s insurance coverage will reimburse that driver for accident-related injuries and other costs. Moreover, neither party has to put any effort into determining fault. If, however, a party suffers serious injuries and the cost of their medical treatments exceeds the limits of the “no fault” policy, they can file a lawsuit to recover their full damages.
When should you hire a car accident lawyer?
Car accident attorneys have in-depth knowledge of “no fault” laws. That knowledge extends to an injured party’s rights to collect a greater amount of damages than may be available under that policy. They should discuss the case with an experienced lawyer, regardless of how minor the damages and injuries might appear.
Contact us for a free case review
At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we have represented injured parties in New York car accidents for more than 40 years. Even if it is apparent that another party is at fault, the evidence used to determine it might be ambiguous. Therefore, your damages recovery may be limited if any responsibility for the accident is assigned to you. Contact us after a car accident to speak with our team of lawyers for a free consultation.