Yes. New York State is a comparative fault jurisdiction. This means that in a lawsuit involving a personal injury, such as a bike accident, a jury can apportion fault to both the driver of a car and the bicyclist. In cases that settle or do not go all the way to trial, your attorney and the insurance adjustor will discuss the different levels of fault for those involved in the accident.
For example, let’s say a cyclist was riding a bicycle at night and was not wearing any reflective gear. Let’s also say the bicyclist was completely stopped at a stop sign waiting to make a turn when she is suddenly struck from behind by a car. In this example, the driver of the car would be at fault, but his or her insurance company would argue that part of the fault lies with the bicyclist for not having reflective gear on at night. Thus, if fault is apportioned 50/50, and the value of your case is $100,000, you will only recover $50,000.