A car accident is a devastating experience. While most accidents only cause minor injuries, numerous collisions cause serious harm or even death. When accidents occur, it is important to accept responsibility for your actions just as you would want someone else to if they were at fault. The other driver is liable for damages if you were wounded in a crash that wasn’t your fault.
A victim can file a claim against the at-fault party and has the right to pursue compensation for all their losses in an accident where the other party is entirely to blame. However, the comparative negligence rule will be used when the victim is partially at fault.
This article covered all you should know about comparative negligence and how our Smyrna personal injury lawyer may help if you were partially at fault for an accident in Smyrna, Georgia.
What Is Comparative Negligence? A Smyrna Personal Injury Lawyer Explains
Personal injury cases are based on the concept of negligence. Car accidents are a common example of negligence. However, the defendant and the injured victim can share some blame or responsibility for the accident. This is known as comparative negligence.
You could still be eligible for compensation if you contributed partially to the accident. But the percentage of fault an insurance company or jury assigns to you could affect the amount of compensation you can receive.
Georgia is a state that uses modified comparative negligence. Under Georgia law, if a jury determines that you were 49% at fault, you can receive compensation equal to 51% of the damages.
Even though you shared some of the blame for the accident, you are still entitled to compensation from the party at fault as long as your share of the blame does not equal or exceed that of the other party. For instance, if the damages you caused were about 30%, your compensation will reduce to 70%. You will not collect anything if you are equally at fault.
What Compensations Are You Entitled to Get?
Again, you might be entitled to compensation for losses incurred due to the accident if you were partially at fault. Always remember that the type and amount of compensation you receive will depend on many factors, such as the severity of your injuries and the degree of the property damage. Before accepting any offer of compensation from the at-fault driver, it is always a good idea to speak with an experienced Smyrna personal injury lawyer because every car accident case is different.
Some of the compensation you may be entitled to include:
Typically, your car will sustain damage. Compensation for property damage covers the expense of repairing any damage your car sustained in the collision.
In certain instances, the damage to your car will mean it will cost more to fix than it is worth. In this case, you can be compensated with the same amount of money your car would have cost without the accident.
You must receive treatment for injuries after an accident. As a result, you will be entitled to compensation for the cost of medical treatment and any additional care that has been medically required.
You can receive compensation for treatment-related expenses, such as hospitalization, surgery, medicine, medical equipment, expert consultations, or follow-up appointments with a doctor. However, the extent of your injuries significantly impacts the compensation you receive and how complicated the claim process may become.
After an accident, it may be challenging, if not impossible, to return to work immediately. In addition, it may be challenging to pay for basic needs and accident-related bills without a reliable source of income. Compensation for lost wages covers the wages you would have otherwise been able to make but could not do so due to the accident.
You might also receive compensation for a portion of lost future earnings if your injuries are serious enough to prevent you from working at all in the future. Your settlement will also involve vacation or sales bonuses that you are entitled to.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident
Never assume you have no right to compensation if you were partially responsible for your accident. As mentioned, you can still get a settlement, so you must take steps to maximize how much you can get.
Take the following actions after an automobile accident to preserve the value of your claim:
- Call the Police and File a Report: It is vital to file an accident report after an accident. Therefore, ensure you provide a statement and sign it if the police are called to the site.
Your insurance claim and personal injury lawsuit require documentation, which can be found in an official police report. Depending on the report the police officer gives, it may also help reduce your degree of fault.
- Seek Medical Attention: Ensure you receive medical attention immediately following the collision and retain the medical report and any paid expenses.
- Document Your Evidence: Take pictures of the accident scene, your car’s damage, and any injuries you may have sustained. Record the accident scene. If there is a witness, don’t forget to have their contact information.
- Do Not Admit Blame to Anyone: The other party must establish that you contributed to the accident for the comparative negligence rule to apply. Therefore, you should never admit guilt as you are only helping them build their case.
- Contact an Attorney: Consult a knowledgeable lawyer who can assist you in getting the best outcome for your claim. A good attorney is always ready to help you win your claim.
Contact a Smyrna Personal Injury Lawyer for Excellent Legal Representation
Knowing who is at fault for an accident is not usually obvious, complicating determining the amount of comparative negligence fault. The more the other driver is responsible for your injuries, the less you are at fault.
Therefore, after being involved in an auto accident, consult an experienced injury lawyer in Smyrna, Georgia, as soon as possible. Tha attorneys in Jamie Ballard can provide further information about the entire procedure and will fight for you to ensure you are appropriately compensated.
Since every case is different, we assess yours to decide the appropriate line of action to pursue to achieve the greatest settlements for you. Therefore, you should speak with an injury lawyer in Smyrna, Georgia, for guidance on the specifics of your accident and whether you can commence legal action against the negligent party. Contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.