Personal Injury Lawyer: Partial Fault and Compensation

If you’ve been partly responsible for an auto crash in Georgia, you aren’t alone. Even the most skillful drivers share fault in Georgia car accidents, requiring the help of a  Smyrna, GA, personal injury lawyer. However, the scary aspect of shared fault accidents is that even if you make a small mistake, some state laws may disqualify you from receiving compensation.

Some states do not allow the plaintiff to recover compensation if they have any degree of fault in the accident. However, in other states like Georgia, you can still recover compensation even when you are partly at fault for a collision. This article covers instances where this is possible.

Can I Receive Compensation if I Was Partly at Fault in Georgia? 

Yes, you can. Georgia uses a fault-based system for determining liability in auto accidents. Therefore, anyone responsible for an auto accident will be held financially liable for their role in the collision.

If you were involved in an auto crash, there are three ways you can receive compensation in Georgia.

  1. You can approach the other driver’s insurance company to pursue your claim.
  2. You can file a claim with your insurance company, which will approach the other driver’s insurance company to pursue a claim.
  3. You can file a lawsuit against the other driver in court.

What Are the Different Types of State Liability Laws? 

As previously discussed, state liability laws determine who can or cannot receive compensation after an accident. There are three categories of state liability laws that hold across the country. These are:

  • Contributory Negligence

  • Comparative Negligence

  • Modified Comparative Negligence

Contributory Negligence 

Contributory negligence laws prevent parties in car accidents who share any degree of fault from claiming compensation. So if you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you will lose all claims for settlement if you had anything to do with causing the accident.

If you file a claim in a state where this law applies, the defense attorney only has to prove that you are 1% at fault to get the judge to strike out your claim. Washington D.C, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia are the jurisdictions that subscribe to this system.

Pure Comparative Negligence 

Pure comparative negligence laws allow parties in a car accident to pay for their degrees of fault. For example, if you were 20% at fault for a car accident and were to receive $100,000 in compensation, your compensation will reduce by 20%. Ultimately, you will go home with $80,000.

Many people regard the pure comparative negligence system as the fairest because it punishes any fault on the part of the plaintiff and defendant. Even if you were 51% at fault for an accident, the pure comparative negligence system allows you to receive compensation for the accident. States that practice this type of liability law include; New York, California, Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Florida.

Modified Comparative Negligence 

The modified comparative negligence rule adjusts the pure comparative negligence system. Under this system, you can only receive compensation for car accident injuries if you were either less than 50% or 51% at fault for the accident, depending on what applies in your state.

Most states use the modified comparative negligence model. These include; Georgia, Arkansas, Maine, Connecticut, Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan.

Georgia’s Modified Comparative Negligence System 

Fortunately, Georgia practices the modified comparative negligence system under the 50% rule. This means you must prove that the other driver is more at fault for the accident to win compensation for your injuries.

Under this system, you will forfeit your rights to compensation if you are 50% or more at fault for the accident. The maximum percentage fault guaranteeing settlement for you is 49% and below.

Who Determines Fault in an Auto Accident? 

The insurance company adjuster is responsible for determining the percentage of faults for each party involved in a car accident. The adjuster consults the police report of the accident and any other helpful evidence to arrive at their finding. Also, the adjuster is at liberty to question you and the other driver to get a deeper insight into the accident.

If you aren’t satisfied with the conclusion of the adjuster, don’t fret. The words of an adjuster aren’t law. However, you can contest them with the help of an experienced and skillful Smyrna, GA, personal injury lawyer.

Your choice of legal representative will play a vital role in helping you to prove a more favorable percentage of fault. Therefore, work with an experienced attorney.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Georgia?

There are tight time limits for submitting a personal injury claim following a car accident. This limit is called a Statute of Limitations and is a crucial element of personal injury claims. You may not receive compensation if you file a claim after the Statute of Limitations has expired.

In Georgia, you generally have two years from the date of an accident to file a claim seeking financial compensation. If you miss the statutory deadline, contact a lawyer to find out if you can benefit from any exceptions.

When Should I Call a Smyrna, GA, Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident?

If you’ve shared fault in a car accident in Georgia, there is no better time to bring in a personal injury lawyer than as soon as possible. Getting legal representation immediately preserves your chances of winning compensation.

It would help if you remembered that the other driver’s insurance company would look out for only their client. Naturally, therefore, they would want to take advantage of your vulnerability.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company may employ several tactics to jeopardize your chances of winning your claim. These strategies may include convincing you to settle for less money than you deserve and recording any careless utterances you may make.

Therefore, you must resist the urge to speak with them directly, no matter how tempting it is. Instead, let your personal injury lawyer do the talking and the hard work on your behalf.

Jamie Ballard is the Smyrna, GA, Personal Injury Lawyer to Call

Depending on the quality of your legal representation, you can increase your chances of losing or winning a personal injury claim in Georgia. Therefore, you mustn’t settle for less when picking a personal injury lawyer. Jamie Ballard Law Firm is your best shot at getting maximum compensation.

Our legal team is aggressive, thorough, and experienced. We have a solid grasp of Georgia personal injury law, which, combined with our expertise, will ensure that justice doesn’t slip through your fingers. Reach out to our injury lawyer Smyrna, GA, for a free case review.