After a car accident, most drivers want to know who will pay for the damages. However, finding the answer isn’t always cut and dry. Georgia passed “modified comparative negligence” laws, which can create uncertainty in liability cases. Understanding Georgia’s “at fault” laws can be difficult but can help drivers understand their situation and their settlements.
What is Modified Comparative Negligence?
Modified comparative negligence refers to how liability is determined after a car accident in Georgia. Under this law injury victims partially at fault for causing an accident can recover compensation, as long as they are 50% or less at fault, however, their compensation awarded will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
If someone is more than 50% liable for an accident, they cannot claim damages, no matter how severe the accident or the injury. Under Georgia law, even someone 49% responsible for the accident can receive compensation.
Because anyone 50% responsible for the accident cannot receive a settlement, insurance companies have an incentive to evaluate every detail. They will analyze police reports, hire forensic crash analysts, and seek recorded statements from all those involved. Drivers should take caution when speaking to insurance companies without an attorney, as the insurance company might misconstrue testimony to shift blame.
How Does Percentage Affect Compensation?
Although a driver 49% liable for an accident can file a claim, their settlement will come to just 51% of the actual damages. This is because Georgia’s comparative negligence law garnishes damages by an amount proportional to the driver’s percentage liability. This can have a devastating impact on those who need an insurance settlement for their medical bills and vehicle repairs.
Georgia drivers should never go against the insurance companies alone. An experienced auto injury attorney can guide victims through the liability investigation and help them avoid common traps that could result in a reduced settlement.If you suffered serious injuries in an auto accident or you’re unsure about who is at fault, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced attorney from Wood Craig & Avery to evaluate your claim, please give us a call at (404) 800-1837 or send us an email. We offer free initial consultations.