Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which states that injured persons can recover damages even if they are partially at fault for the accident. However, everything depends on the percentage of fault assigned to them.
A higher percentage of fault can bar a person from recuperating damages, whereas in other instances, it’ll decrease their compensation accordingly. Attorneys helping the injured parties can help victims receive less fault by gathering evidence and strengthening a claimant’s case.
If you have been involved in an accident in Georgia, you are subject to its negligence laws, which will affect your overall compensation amount. Speak with a dedicated personal injury lawyer to prepare your case accordingly and have a fairer chance at maximizing your compensation. Here is what you should know about Georgia’s negligence laws:
The 50 Percent Bar Rule
In Georgia, an injured party can recover damages if their assigned percentage of fault is 49% or less. In instances where the injured party is found to be 50% or more at fault, they can be barred from recovering any damages.
The percentage of fault is determined by the specifics of each case and the strength of the available evidence, such as accident reports, medical documents, witness statements, videos or photographs of the incident, or professional witness testimonies.
The actions or inactions of an injured party during and after an accident can also influence their percentage of fault. For example, victims who don’t seek medical treatment may be assigned a higher percentage of fault for letting their injuries worsen.
Proportional Reduction of Damages
When you are involved in an accident in Georgia, the insurance company will launch a thorough investigation into the incident to determine who is at fault.
Injured parties will have their damages reduced in proportion to their assigned percentage of fault — so long as it falls below 50%.
For example, if you are found 10% responsible for the respective accident, then your awarded damages will be reduced by 10% regardless of the other party’s percentage of fault.
In many instances, accidents involve more than two parties. When there are multiple defendants involved in a personal injury case, each of them can be assigned a percentage of fault according to the available evidence.
The injured party’s damages are then allocated among the defendants based on their respective degrees of fault, which aims to facilitate the compensation of the most injured party faster.
Comparative negligence laws in Georgia may seem simple at first sight. However, they can be complex in their application, and the specific circumstances of each personal injury case can impact this as well.
Because of this and the risk of being assigned 50% of the fault and, therefore, being barred from recovering damages, it’s wise to consult with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal proceedings and strengthen your case with the available means.