Accidents happen every day on our roadways in Atlanta. If you drive, chances are that you will be involved in a car accident at some time in your life. Fortunately, most accidents are minor and don’t involve serious injuries. Sometimes, however, there are injuries and other damages that require compensation. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, in 2016 there were 15.55 serious traffic accidents in Georgia for every 100,000 drivers. That number is anticipated to rise.
What If I Am Partly at Fault?
There are many factors that contribute to auto accidents and often more than one driver has done something that may be considered negligent. A negligent act is something that you knew, or should have known, could cause harm or injury to another. Some examples of negligent acts are speeding, disobeying a traffic signal, and improper lane changes to name just a few.
In general, the negligent party in an accident is responsible for payment for injuries and damages to others as a result of the crash. However, sometimes both drivers were partly responsible for the accident. When that happens, you are allowed to recover damages as long as you were less than half at fault. This is a part of the law called comparative negligence.
What is Comparative Negligence?
After an accident, a portion of fault is ascribed to each party involved. The comparative negligence rule states that you may receive compensation for damages even if you were partially at fault. However, you may not be more than 50 percent at fault. If so, you are not allowed to file a claim.
For example, if you were involved in an accident where you suffered damages of $100,000 but you were found to be 10 percent at fault, you will still be entitled to compensation but it will be reduced by 10 percent, or in this example, $10,000. Therefore, the money you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault ascribed to you in the accident. There are many instances where more than one driver was partly at fault for an accident. For instance, one driver may have run a red light while the other driver may have been speeding.
Insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine fault in an accident. They may review the police report, analyze the damage to the vehicles, read witness statements and more to find out what caused the accident. There are often several factors that contribute to an accident but in many instances, one driver is mostly responsible for the crash.
Not surprisingly, insurance companies often try to make as small a payment as necessary, or in some cases, deny a claim altogether. If you were involved in an accident in which you were partly at fault the situation may become complicated. One of the best ways to favorably resolve your claim is with help from an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will review every detail of the accident and work hard to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you were hurt in a car accident, contact our skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyers at The Bader Law Firm today for a free case review.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.