Can You Recover Damages if You Were Partially At-Fault?

Categories: Car Accident

blackfin partially at fault car accident

According to statistics gathered by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, more than 112,000 persons will suffer injury in motor vehicle crashes in Georgia this year. If trends continue, those crashes will result in more than 1,200 deaths.

Common Causes of Fatal Car Crashes

The three most common causes of death in Georgia crashes are:

  •  Failure of passengers to wear seatbelts
  •  Alcohol impairment on the part of one or more drivers in the crash
  •  Excessive speed

Goal of Georgia Vehicle Law: Assign Fault and Move Forward

In an ideal world, the parties would discuss the matter, and agree that the accident was caused by the negligence of one of the drivers. That driver’s auto insurance company would then pay the damages suffered in the wreck. We don’t live in an ideal world, of course. Quite often all of the fault can’t be attributed to just one of the drivers. Who pays if more than one person is at-fault?

Georgia Uses a “Modified Comparative Negligence” System

Georgia uses a modified comparative negligence system, in which a motor vehicle crash “victim” is able to recover at least some compensation for his or her damages, as long as he or she was less than 50 percent at-fault. For example, assume that a passenger sustained injuries in a crash where the driver was speeding. Speeding is strong evidence of negligence on the part of the driver.

But what if the driver contended that the passenger was also negligent because he or she was not wearing an appropriate seat belt restraint? If the case went to trial, the jury would assign a percentage of blame to the driver and a separate percentage to the passenger – perhaps 80 percent to the driver and 20 percent to the passenger. The jury would then assess the passenger’s total damages – say $100,000. Since the passenger was 20 percent at-fault, the passenger’s recovery would be reduced by 20 percent. He or she would, therefore, still recover $80,000.

Insurance Company Wants to Assign as Much Blame as Possible to Victim

In the case of the speeding driver and the passenger, the driver’s insurance company wants to assign as much blame as possible to the passenger. In fact, if the company could establish that 51 percent of the blame was on the passenger, the passenger would receive nothing at all. The passenger needs a skilled, experienced motor vehicle accident attorney who will forcefully stand up to the insurance company, and help the passenger recover as much of his or her damages as possible.

You Deserve Skilled and Experienced Legal Counsel

A plaintiff can count on the fact that the insurance company has a team of legal counsel whose job it is to minimize that plaintiff’s recovery. You deserve a legal advocate who can stand up to them. That is what you have with the Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash, P.C. Clarke once worked for the insurance companies; he knows how they operate and how to reach the most favorable result. Most cases are settled far before trial. A plaintiff needs a skilled trial attorney like Clarke, however, since the insurance companies know that he has the knowledge and skill to take your claim all of the way, if necessary.

Clarke is professional, yet aggressive. With the Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash, you don’t get an office full of case managers behind a television face. You get caring, skillful, personal representation. Clarke has office availability throughout the state of Georgia. Contact Clarke  at (912) 200-5292 or use the online form to schedule a consultation today.