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Rochester Personal Injury: What Is the Contributory Negligence Defense?

When You Have Been Injured in an Accident That Was Not Your Fault, You Deserve an Attorney Who Is Committed to Providing the Highest Level of Personal Injury Service. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. is Recognized as a Best Law Firm in America, and It Is Staffed by Hardworking Attorneys Who Will Fight for Your Rights in Court to Help You Overcome the Contributory Negligence Defense and Secure the Compensation You Deserve.


Rochester Personal Injury: What Is The Contributory Negligence Defense?New York State law empowers accident victims to pursue recompense after sustaining serious and potentially life-altering injuries. If you, or a loved one, have been hurt in a Rochester-area accident, you could be entitled to significant compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. However, securing a fair settlement is not always easy, even if you have a seemingly open-and-shut case. The other party’s attorney could employ strategies designed to offload their client’s liability onto you, devalue your damages and jeopardize your right to relief.

If the defense attorney believes that your misconduct contributed to your accident and injuries, they could try to persuade the court that their client—perhaps a reckless motorist, irresponsible business, or careless municipal corporation—should not be wholly liable for your losses. While the contributory negligence defense does not preclude recovery, it could significantly reduce the value of an eventual settlement or award.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. believes that nobody should ever have to pay the price for another person’s poor decision. Our highly experienced team of attorneys knows that insurance negotiations and courtroom trials can be challenging, especially when the defendant is unwilling to admit they made a mistake. Fortunately, New York State affords you the right to retain competent legal counsel. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has a long-standing commitment to providing the highest level of personal injury service. We could help you investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and help construct a compelling and evidence-based case for recompense. Please send us a message online or call us at 585-939-3939 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.

Comparative And Contributory Negligence in New York State

Every state has unique personal injury laws designed to provide accident victims the right to legal recourse. In most states, an accident victim is entitled to relief if their injuries were caused by another person’s misconduct. However, some jurisdictions are comparatively strict. Four states completely preclude victims from filing personal injury claims if they made even a minor mistake that facilitated the accident. New York State takes a more reasonable approach to personal injury law. Since legislators appreciate that accidents are often complex, the Empire State adheres to the comparative negligence doctrine. States that adhere to the comparative negligence doctrine allow victims to file personal injury claims even if they were partially responsible for the accident.

However, comparative negligence laws do not always work in a plaintiff’s favor. New York Civil Practice & Law Section 1411 requires that comparative negligence claims be reduced in accordance with the defendant’s level of contributory fault. “In any action to recover damages for personal injury, injury to property, or wrongful death, the culpable conduct attributable to the claimant or the decedent, including contributory negligence or assumption of risk, shall not bar recovery, but the amount of damages shall be diminished in the proportion which the culpable conduct attributable to the claimant or decedent bears to the culpable conduct which caused the damages.” In other words, if the court believes that you bear some responsibility for the accident, your damages will be reduced proportionately to your level of fault.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. does not allow our clients’ lives to be ruined by another party’s negligence. We understand that, in the aftermath of a serious Rochester accident, any reduction of damages could compromise your recovery: the loss of 10%, 20%, or 30% of an award could prevent you from paying off your hospital bills, purchasing a replacement automobile, or getting the physical rehabilitation you need to regain your independence. When a defense attorney tries to reduce an accident victim’s deserved compensation, we push back. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. aggressively advocates for our clients’ rights to obtain a fair and equitable recovery. We pursue every available legal option to protect your potential compensation from claims of contributory negligence. Please call us at 585-939-3939 to discuss your best options for legal relief.

HAVE YOU OR A LOVED ONE BEEN INJURED IN A SERIOUS ROCHESTER ACCIDENT?

CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ., AND HIS TEAM OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS AT 585-939-3939 NOW TO OBTAIN THE HELP THAT YOU NEED!

An Attorney Could Help You Overcome Common Contributory Negligence Defenses

An Attorney Could Help You Overcome Common Contributory Negligence DefensesAlthough New York State’s comparative fault and contributory negligence doctrines do not preclude personal injury plaintiffs from receiving damages, they can significantly and adversely impact an award. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s experienced team of attorneys could help you overcome common contributory negligence defenses for:

  1. Automobile Accidents: The other motorist or their attorney could claim that you rolled through a stop sign, failed to stop at a red light, or were not wearing your seatbelt.
  2. Motorcycle Crashes: If the at-fault driver claims that you were speeding, reckless, or not wearing a helmet, their lawyer could try to devalue your claim by saying that you would not have sustained serious injuries if you had been riding safely.
  3. Premises Liability Claims: Everyone is required to take reasonable measures to ensure their safety, such as watching for and adhering to posted warning signs and not entering premises that are off-limits to the general public. Intentionally or inadvertently ignoring an obvious hazard could make you partially liable for any resulting injuries.
  4. Medical Malpractice: A physician could argue that you did not accurately report your medical history or that you provided informed consent to a treatment that could have serious side effects.
  5. General Personal Injury Accidents: Accidents can happen anywhere, for any variety of reasons. While individuals, motorists, and businesses have legal obligations to ensure the safety of others around them, accident victims are also expected to take reasonable precautions to avoid harm and mitigate injuries.

Ultimately, when you file a personal injury claim for credible damages, the defendant cannot allege contributory negligence without compelling, legally admissible evidence that your misconduct contributed to the accident. When we accept a new case, our attorneys investigate every aspect of an accident to bolster your chances of securing a full recovery. Please send the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. a message online or call us at 585-939-3939 to speak to a professional and schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.


Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 585-939-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Rochester, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

Client Reviews
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I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
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Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
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No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
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The definition of an "A" type personality-exactly who I would want to represent me in a serious personal injury case. E.S.
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