Over two million people were injured in passenger vehicle accidents across the U.S. in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Every accident and injury is unique, but whether you’re able to recover compensation for your car accident injuries depends heavily on state law. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, so it’s important to identify who was at fault for the accident and how much fault each driver was responsible for.
What Is Modified Comparative Negligence?
In some states, even one percent of fault in an accident prohibits an injury victim from recovering any compensation from insurance. However, most states operate under a comparative negligence paradigm. This divides fault between all parties involved in a car accident, while still allowing each to recover compensation for their injuries and damages. Georgia operates under the following modified comparative negligence system:
- Your percentage of fault in the accident directly affects the compensation you recover. If evidence shows you were 30 percent responsible for your car accident and you would have received $10,000 without any fault, then you’ll receive 30 percent less than what your full compensation would have been, or $7,000.
- Any fault exceeding 50 percent makes you ineligible for compensation. If you were 49 percent responsible for the accident, you are still able to receive compensation to help with injuries and damages. However, under the rules of modified comparative negligence, being 51 percent responsible disallows you from recovering any compensation.
How an Attorney Can Help
Because the amount of compensation you receive depends on your percentage of fault, hiring a skilled lawyer can help you build a strong defense. A lawyer can help gather evidence and argue the following:
- Negligence. An important component of winning an injury case involves proving negligence of the at-fault party. For example, negligent driving refers to a person’s failure to operate a vehicle carefully and responsibly for himself and those around him. Negligent actions include aggressive driving, speeding, impaired driving, and drowsy or distracted driving. A lawyer can gather evidence supporting the argument that the other driver acted in negligence.
- Causation. Not only must a lawyer prove that the other driver’s actions were negligent, he must also prove that the other driver’s negligence was the primary cause of the accident. By showing a judge or an insurance company that the other driver holds all or the majority of the fault, your lawyer might earn you fair, full compensation.
If you’ve been in a car wreck and were partially at fault, or you’re struggling to defend your total innocence, contact the experienced legal team at Duffy & Feemster, LLC, with any questions you may have. We fight for the rights of our clients, and we can fight for you, too. Contact us today by reaching out via live chat on our website.