Vehicle accidents occur with great frequency – a crash happens about once every minute in the United States. It is likely that you will be involved in an accident at some time in your life. Luckily, most accidents are minor. However, some are serious and result in severe injuries or fatalities. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there were more than 385,000 crashes reported in Georgia in 2015, the most recent year of the report. More than 1,400 people died and more than 19,000 people were seriously injured as a result of these accidents.
Who Is at Fault for the Accident?
Following an accident, the insurance company must determine how the accident occurred and which driver or drivers were at fault. A negligent driver should be held accountable for the accident. Negligence simply means that the driver failed to do something they should have or did something wrong that caused harm.
But what happens when more than one driver was negligent? Many people think that if they did something to partly cause the accident then they can’t collect compensation for their injuries and damages. This is not true. Georgia uses a modified comparative fault standard for determining negligence in an accident.
Georgia Modified Comparative Negligence
Georgia law (Georgia Code § 51-11-7) states that a plaintiff may recover damages even if they were negligent as long as their own fault is less than that of the defendant’s. The insurance company or the court will need to review the facts of the case and ascribe a percentage of fault to each driver. As long as your amount of fault does not exceed 50 percent, you may collect damages as a result of the crash.
It is important to note that the amount of compensation you will receive will be reduced by your own fault in the accident. For example, if you were found to be 10 percent at fault for the accident and your damages were $100,000, your compensation would be $90,000. Since your ultimate settlement will be directly impacted by your own negligence, it is of utmost importance that the proper percentage of fault is determined.
Some of the most common negligent actions by drivers include speeding, failure to obey a traffic signal, following too closely, failure to signal, or failure to avoid an accident. You do not have to receive a traffic violation to be found negligent in an accident. It is helpful to hire an experienced Atlanta accident attorney as soon as possible following the accident. Your Atlanta Car Accident Attorney is your advocate and will work to protect your rights and prove your case.
You may be entitled to compensation for your damages, which could include medical treatment, lost wages, money for pain and suffering, and more. You can get reimbursed for your injuries even if you were partly to blame for the crash. Contact our legal team at The Bader Law Firm for a free case review today.
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.