Bringing a Claim for Injuries When the Accident Was Partly Your Fault

In order to prevail in a personal injury case, you must be able to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the negligent actions of another. If you can prove that your injuries were at least partly caused by another, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, permanent physical impairment or disfigurement, lost income, decreased earning capacity, property damage, or other economic losses.

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation from anyone else who partially caused the accident, even if the accident was partly your own fault. The legal theories of “contributory negligence” and “comparative negligence” apply in cases where the plaintiff in a lawsuit was partially responsible for his or her own injuries.

“Contributory negligence” means the injured person’s actions, at least to some extent caused his or her own injuries. For example, someone who ignores a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign and subsequently slips and falls may be deemed to have been careless and, thus, at fault for his or her injuries. As such, contributory negligence can prevent the injured person from recovering any compensation, even when his or her carelessness was minor as compared to the fault of the other party. In some states, accident victims are entitled to recover compensation only if they can prove that the other party’s fault was greater.

In some jurisdictions, the concept of contributory negligence has fallen out of favor and is no longer applied. Instead, it has been replaced with the concept of “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence means that the fault for causing an accident is compared among all parties, typically broken down as a percentage of fault attributed to each party. When this occurs, the monetary recovery awarded to the injured plaintiff is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For example, if you were injured in a car accident that was determined to be 25% your fault, your monetary recovery from the other driver’s insurance company would be limited to 75% of the amount of your damages from the accident, an amount equal to that driver’s percentage of fault for causing the accident. By applying the concept of comparative negligence, each party is held accountable only for his or her percentage of fault for causing the injuries.

You may be deemed to be partially at fault for your injuries if you have failed to act with reasonably prudent care under the circumstances of the accident, or if you voluntarily assume a portion of the risk by exposing yourself to danger, such as by failing to use the available restraints on an amusement park ride or ignoring a posted warning sign.

The total value of your claim is based on many factors, including how easily fault can be apportioned among the parties, the seriousness of your injuries, medical treatments received and insurance coverage limits. Once the claim’s total value is established and the percentages are applied, a final figure for the injured plaintiff’s compensation can be determined.


 SJP Welcomes New Associate

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our newest associate, Hayley Skenien! In addition to a positive attitude and reassuring smile, Hayley brings invaluable experience working with serious injury cases in NYC and throughout the surrounding suburbs. Hayley graduated at the top of her class from Fordham Law School in 2006. Prior to joining our firm, she worked for both a large insurance company and a leading New York City law firm giving her unique insight into the goals and strategies of both parties in the legal process.

When she's not in the office, Hayley enjoys rock climbing, yoga, reading and is attempting to learn to cook in her very small NYC-style kitchen.

If you would like to welcome Hayley or contact her with questions, she can be reached at 212-111-1111 ext 399 or via email,

Deviled Crab Croquettes

Looking for a unique spin on seafood? Look no further. A variation of the popular crab cake, this treat is deep fried and is a perfect appetizer for any occasion. Originally started in France, these treats have rapidly gained popularity around the world and are now a fan favorite in many parts of the United States including Tampa where you will find the item on many local menus.


1 lb crabmeat
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup salad dressing
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped fine
1/2 medium red pepper, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped fine
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Vegetable oil


  1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Shaped into desired size patties.
  3. Coat with additional breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat 1 1/2” of oil in a heavy skillet.
  5. Fry patties 4-6 minute or until golden brown, turning once.
  6. Drain on a paper towel.


Crazy Lawsuits...

A Michigan woman who claimed that she was misled by the trailers for the movie ‘Drive’ sued Film District Distribution LLC, the distributors of the film. She said that she was disappointed by the lack of driving in the film and was expecting something more similar to the "Fast and Furious" films.


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