The first thing most people want to do after their Georgia car accident is to point the finger at the other driver. Nobody wants to admit that an accident was their fault. It’s so much easier to blame it all on the other person. However, rarely ever is one person 100% responsible for a car wreck. It’s almost always possible to ascribe blame to both drivers. The Georgia courts understand this. That’s why they follow something called the comparative negligence rule. Your Macon car accident lawyer understands this rule and will craft a lawsuit that takes this into account.
As much as you don’t want to admit that you may have played a small role in your Georgia car accident, sometimes you have to swallow your pride. Even if the other driver was clearly negligent, it’s hard to argue that you are a perfect driver. Maybe you were driving a bit too fast at the time of the crash. Or perhaps you were texting and driving moments before impact. Be honest with your Atlanta car accident lawyer. The last thing you want is for them to get blindsided halfway through your case.
Your Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Needs to Prove Negligence
In order to get you damages, your Georgia car accident lawyer has to prove that the other driver was negligent. That’s how most personal injury cases are handled. In order to do this, you’ll need to show the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the other driver’s breach of duty
As hard as your attorney is going to try to prove the defendant was negligent, the other driver’s lawyer is going to try to prove the opposite. They’re going to search for evidence showing that you caused the crash. At a minimum, they’ll want to demonstrate that you were at least partially at fault.
Georgia Follows the Comparative Negligence Rule
Judges understand that, in most car accident cases, both drivers are partially to blame. Their job is to determine which driver was more at fault. In Georgia, as long as you’re less than 50% at fault, you can still file suit against the other driver. Under Georgia’s comparative negligence rule, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, if you’re suing for $200,000 and are found to be 20% at fault, your damages will be reduced by $40,000. This will bring your total claim down to $160,000.
How Does Your Partial Fault Impact Your Lawsuit?
As explained above, if you’re partially at fault, your damages will be impacted. Your award is going to be reduced by your percentage of fault. Your Georgia car accident lawyer knows this. So does the defendant’s attorney. This is why both attorneys want to work out a settlement rather than go to court. If you’re found to be 51% at fault, then your case will be dismissed, and you’ll get nothing. If the defendant is found to be 95% at fault, the insurance company will have to pay almost your entire claim amount.
Reach Out to a Seasoned Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
When you get into a car accident, it can be hard to figure out who caused the crash. Of course, you probably know who was mostly responsible. But rarely, if ever, is someone 100% at fault. Knowing this, it isn’t surprising that many car accident lawsuits in Georgia are settled long before trial.
Your Georgia car accident lawyer understands this. That’s why they’ll work hard to try to settle your case before it goes to court. If you were partially at fault for your accident, it makes even more sense to negotiate a settlement. Knowing there’s a chance that you could lose in court, it’s in your best interest to resolve the matter amicably.
In order to do this, you’ll need to talk to a seasoned Atlanta car accident lawyer. As soon as possible after your crash, give us a call so we can set up your free, initial consultation. Sit down with an attorney who’s handled plenty of cases just like yours. They know how to deal with the insurance adjustors. They also know the law.
A Georgia car accident lawyer at Bethune Law Firm will work hard to negotiate a settlement that is fair to you. The other driver is going to have a team of lawyers working for them and you should too. Since the initial consultation is free, you have absolutely nothing to lose.