This is the third post in our series on the handling of car accidents in Atlanta, Georgia. Our last article provided information on what to expect after a car accident. We also discussed why it is important to retain an attorney that has experience in dealing with insurance companies. In this article we will discuss the role comparative fault or comparative negligence plays in car accident cases. If you require assistance, please contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Georgia is considered to be a modified comparative negligence state. A plaintiff will recover damages under this standard provided that he or she is found to be less culpable or responsible for the accident than the defendant. This means that even if the plaintiff is partially at fault, recovery is still possible. Some states permit a plaintiff to hold the same level of responsibility as the defendant, meaning that each party could be equally responsible and damages would still be awarded. However, Georgia requires that the plaintiff be assigned forty-nine percent or less of the total fault for the incident in order to be eligible for recovery. If such a case continues to trial, the jury will be tasked with the responsibility of determining the percentage of fault to be attributed to each party.
As an example of a lesser degree of responsibility, suppose that you are driving toward an intersection, but you fail to stop at the stop sign. The cars to your left now have the right-of-way, but one vehicle in particular is driving in excess of the speed limit by thirty miles per hour. That party slams into the side of your car, causing immense damage. Although you would likely be assigned a percentage of fault for the accident, the defendant’s percentage may be much higher. In fact, you may even have an argument that had you stopped completely at the stop sign before merging, you would have still been hit by the defendant. Therefore, the defendant would shoulder the majority of the blame.
Contact a personal injury attorney immediately if you have been involved in a car wreck. Even if you believe that you were at fault in the accident, there is a chance that you may be able to recover damages under our state’s comparative fault laws.The earlier you retain counsel, the greater the chance of preserving any evidence that supports comparative fault. Remember that you only have a limited amount of time to make a claim. Contact our office to speak with an Atlanta lawyer.
We service the greater metro area, including Macon, Savannah, Athens, Kennesaw, Marietta, Decatur, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain, Tucker, Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Norcross, Gainesville, as well as the counties of Bibb, Chatham, Clarke, Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Richmond.