In many cases the determination of who is at fault in a car accident isn’t always clear cut. Sometimes both the plaintiff and the defendant can contribute in differing degrees to the cause of an accident. In Georgia this is referred to as comparative negligence and is principled on the concept of reducing the amount recoverable by the degree to which the plaintiff was the cause of the accident.
Georgia’s O.C.G.A 51-12-33 states that when an action is brought by a plaintiff alleging negligence on the part of a defendant the trier of fact shall determine the percentage of fault of the plaintiff and the shall reduce the amount of damages in proportion to his or her percentage of fault. The only bar to recovery under O.C.G.A.§ 51-12-33 is where the plaintiff is found by the trier of fact to be 50% percent or more responsible for the injury or damages claimed.
An example of the applicability of Georgia’s comparative fault statute is seen when plaintiff A is injured in an automobile accident and files suit against defendant alleging negligence in the complaint. The magistrate or jury hears the merits of the case and determines that the injuries are worth $100,000. However, the jury also determines that the plaintiff was 30% percent at fault while the defendant was 70% percent at fault. In this example the plaintiff would be eligible to recover $70,000 dollars in damages.
It is often extremely difficult to access who is at fault after an accident. In any case where damages are in dispute or a inadequate offer is received by an insurance adjuster it is important to consult with an attorney to assist with recovery for damages and injuries. Resources such as, investigators, accident re-constructionist, and witness interrogatories are tools used by personal injury attorneys to properly access a case. An experienced Douglasville Personal Injury Attorney will immediately begin gathering evidence outlining the defendant’s negligence and work tirelessly to build a strong case to obtain your desired outcome. The key is not to give up or accept a ticket or a police report as the final judge as to whether or not you are entitled to recover. Call us today for a free case evaluation.