When you are involved in an accident in Georgia, one of the first questions asked is “who was at fault?” The reason for that question after an MVA is because Georgia is a comparative fault state. This means there are restrictions on what you can collect for your injuries based on how much at fault you were for the accident.
What is comparative negligence?
Georgia actually follows the modified comparative negligence rule. Under this statute, you are able to recover monetary damages for your injuries as long as you were less than 49% at fault in causing an accident. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault after an MVA, you cannot recover damages. For example, you are making a left turn at an intersection and see another car approaching. You think you have enough time to make the turn but as you do, the car approaches much faster than expected because the other driver was speeding. You will likely be charged for the accident although the other driver may be found partially at fault for driving over the speed limit.
In this situation, suppose the other driver was traveling at such an excessive speed, the officer also charged them. The courts could determine that they were 75% at fault because you could not determine that they were traveling at such a high rate of speed. This means you are only 25% at fault. If your damages are $200,000, your compensation will be reduced to $50,000, 25% less than your damages to account for your error. This is one of the reasons you need to talk to an attorney after being involved in an MVA in Georgia, as fault can make a huge difference in your compensation.
Other types of comparative negligence
Some states follow the pure comparative fault rule which allows compensation for injuries even if you are 99 percent responsible for the accident. The amount awarded would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned. In a state that follows the strict contributory negligence rule, you are barred from collecting damages if you are even one percent at fault for the accident.
If you have been injured in an MVA, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.