Imagine you’re traveling down the highway maybe just a few miles over the speed limit (like many of us tend to do). Up ahead, a pile-up occurs due to someone texting while driving. You try to stop in time, but can’t and collide with a car, breaking your wrist and nose. Clearly, you didn’t cause the accident, but if you hadn’t been speeding, you may have avoided the collision all together.
Now you’re left with a critical question: can I file an injury suit against the distracted driver that caused the initial accident?
The short answer is: possibly. In Georgia, sharing some part in the negligence that injured you does not disqualify you from holding others accountable for their role in an accident. This is due to the law of comparative fault.
Comparative fault basically allows the court to distribute the negligence that caused an accident among different parties. This negligence is then represented in a percentage. That percentage of fault then subtracts from any compensation that the court awards a partially negligent party.
COMPARATIVE FAULT IN ACTION
To showcase how comparative fault would work, let’s continue to look at the theoretical car crash described earlier. Let’s say that you do file suit against the distracted driver for $10,000 of resulting medical bills and lost wages. In your suit, the court determines the following:
- The distracted driver was 75% at fault for your injury
- You were 25% at fault for your own injury
The court awards you the $10,000, but that compensation must be reduced by your 25% of fault. Hence, you receive $7,500 in relief.
THE 50% RULE
You’ll notice that, in the above example, the distracted driver receives no compensation even though your injury wasn’t completely their fault (and they did sustain damage from your car). This is because the state of Georgia uses “modified comparative fault.”
Modified comparative fault dictates that anyone found to be 50% or more at fault for an accident is barred from receiving compensation from others involved in the incident. This rule is in place to ensure that those who are found to be principally responsible for an accident cannot then benefit from it occurring.
If you were hurt in an accident you partially contributed to, you may still have options to pursue compensation. ContactMcMahan Law Firm, LLC to start assessing the circumstances of your case with proven and compassionate Dalton personal injury attorneys. Our team has recovered millions on behalf of injury victims and knows what it takes to properly secure the relief our clients deserve.
We’re ready to hear your story. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation.