Accidents happen, we all know that. Each party involved in a collision
may try to place blame on the other. Sometimes fault of one party is clear,
other times it takes some investigating to determine fault. Whatever the
case may be,
experienced Poughkeepsie motorcycle accident attorneys know that New York courts will ensure juries place fault on the appropriate
parties, and will even see multiple parties share in the blame.
Court jurisdictions typically fall within one of three common ways to attribute
fault and allocate damages. The theories are contributory negligence,
comparative fault, and modified comparative fault. Each will affect the
injured motorcyclist’s ability to recover civil compensation. Contributory
negligence jurisdictions bar a plaintiff’s recovery if he or she
was at fault, even if only one percent at fault. Modified comparative
fault jurisdictions will bar a plaintiff’s recovery once a certain
degree of fault is reached; for example, when the plaintiff is fifty percent
or more at fault for the
New York is a pure comparative fault jurisdiction. Therefore the injured
motorcyclist can recover damages no matter his or her degree of fault,
so long as it is not 100%. For example, a jury could find that the motorcyclist
was seventy percent responsible for the accident and the biker will still
have the ability to recover thirty percent of the jury award.
This type of system falls squarely in line with New York laws regarding
traffic safety. In New York, every roadway user is charged with obeying
traffic laws. Drivers and riders alike must use reasonable care when on
Poughkeepsie roadways. The prudent driver will obey laws and modify driving
habits depending on the circumstances.
In autumn this means that riders and drivers must use caution on wet roadways
because nighttime temperatures can dip below freezing. Fallen leaves are
slippery when wet, so motorists should slow down when driving on leaf
covered roads. Fallen leaves also obscure other roadway hazards such as potholes.
motorcycle collides with a motor vehicle on a leaf-covered road, logic would suggest that both parties could have
been affected by said road conditions. Juries will consider the totality
of the circumstances when apportioning fault. Following New York laws,
juries will be charged with determining how much fault each party holds.
If both sides did not act reasonably and prudently during inclement Autumn
weather conditions, their degrees of culpability will be assigned. But
the injured motorcyclist should still be able to recover some degree of damages.
Motorcycle accidents in the fall become common due to many cyclists riding
up and down the highways looking at the foliage. Read more about these
unique issues in
our article available here. Learn more about motorcycle accidents in the fall and liability by reading
our last blog post available here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.