CAN I RECOVER DAMAGES IF I WAS PARTIALLY AT FAULT FOR MY CAR ACCIDENT?
Hoffspiegel Law Blog
When a person is involved in a car accident, one of the first questions that may arise is, “Who’s responsible for the collision?” In fact, there may be multiple at-fault parties in some car crashes.
But can you still recover damages for your damages and losses incurred in the car accident if you were partially at fault for causing the crash? The short answer is, “Yes.”
However, whether or not you can still seek compensation after a car crash in which you are partially at fault depends on your degree of fault. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident and your negligence contributed to the crash, consult with a knowledgeable car accident attorney at Hoffspiegel Law to discuss your particular case.
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state
Like many other states, Georgia adopted the doctrine of “modified comparative negligence” to determine each driver’s degree of fault in car crashes (Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-12-33).
Under the rule of modified comparative negligence, you can recover damages if the other party was mostly at fault for the accident. In other words, you are entitled to compensation if you were partially at fault for the crash, but only as long as your share of liability is not greater than 50%.
While you can still recover damages if your own negligence contributed to your injuries, your financial recovery is reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
How does Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule work?
Let’s imagine the following scenario:
You are driving 20 mph over a posted speed limit on a multi-lane divided highway (where the speed limit is 65 mph) in Atlanta. All of a sudden, another motorist makes an unsafe turn and merges into your lane in front of you.
Since you do not have enough time to stop or avoid a collision, you crash into the back of that vehicle. An investigation concluded that the other driver was 70% at fault for executing the unsafe maneuver, while you were found to be 30% to blame for the collision due to speeding.
Your total damages (medical expenses, property damage, plus loss of income) are $100,000. However, since your financial recovery has to be reduced by the percentage that corresponds to your share of fault, you will only be entitled to $70,000 (70% of the total amount).
Why you need an Atlanta car accident attorney
Since your compensation can be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule, it’s essential to seek legal counsel from an experienced car accident attorney to help you determine fault. When multiple parties are at fault, it may be necessary to hire accident reconstruction experts to determine liability.
An Atlanta car accident attorney will investigate your car accident and analyze all aspects of your case in order to establish fault. Do not rely on the insurance company’s investigation, as the insurer may try to pin the blame for the crash on you in an attempt to undervalue or deny your personal injury claim.
At Hoffspiegel Law, our knowledgeable and results-driven personal injury attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve by conducting a thorough investigation and building a strong case to prove the other driver’s fault.
Schedule a consultation with our attorneys Lloyd and Alex Hoffspiegel to evaluate your particular case and determine how much compensation you can get if you were partially at fault for causing your car crash. Call (404) 760-8600 to schedule a consultation.