What Happens if You’re Partially at Fault for Your Car Accident?

When our Atlanta car accident attorneys first meet with a new client, they insist that the other driver was at fault. Even when we ask if they could’ve contributed to the crash, they insist that isn’t the case. The truth is that it’s very rare that any one driver is 100% responsible for a car accident.

If you would like to know if you should hire a personal injury attorney for your car wreck, view this page.

The Defendant Will Argue That You Aren’t Entitled to Damages

Once the defendant finds out that you’ve filed a claim with their insurance carrier, they will swear they didn’t cause the crash. The statement they gave to the insurance adjuster likely blames you for the accident.

If your claim is denied and your car accident lawyer in Atlanta files suit, the defendant will reiterate this point. Usually, when this happens, the other party has very little evidence to back up their claim. Plus, your Atlanta accident attorney is going to present evidence that demonstrates the other party was responsible.

Your Atlanta Accident Attorney Must Prove That the Defendant Was Primarily at Fault

Before your Atlanta accident attorney files suit against the other driver, they’ll make sure they have their ducks in a row. They will make sure they have a copy of the police report. They’ll also talk to witnesses to see what they have to say.

As long as the evidence points to the defendant as the liable party, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages. Your car accident lawyer in Atlanta will put your case together so that it’s solid enough to convince the insurance company to settle.

Your Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Will Still Fight to Get You Damages

Even if the defendant can present some evidence that you were partly at fault, that doesn’t mean your case is over. As long as you’re less than 50% at fault, you should still be entitled to damages.

The way the law works in Georgia, a plaintiff can still collect damages. However, they won’t be able to collect their full demand.

Georgia Follows the Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

Every state has its own rules when it comes to comparative negligence. It’s very rare that one party is 100% responsible for the other party’s injuries. The judge may have to make a judgment as to which party was primarily at fault.

As long as they find the defendant primarily at fault, you will still be awarded damages. According to Georgia Statute §51-12-33, a plaintiff can still demand damages, even if they’re partly at fault. However, your damages may be reduced significantly.

no one will admit fault after a car crash

Your Damages Will Be Reduced by Your Percentage of Fault

If the defendant can prove that you were partially at fault, your damages will be impacted. Under Georgia law, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Imagine that you are involved in a car accident and hurt your back. Your Atlanta accident attorney sues the other party for $250,000. The judge finds that you were 10% at fault. Your damages will be reduced by 10%, or $25,000.

Plaintiffs Do Tend to Worry That They Won’t Receive Any Damages

When we explain how the comparative fault rule works, many of our clients start to worry. They fear that the judge will find them to be equally at fault as the other driver. They assume that they won’t collect any damages.

This is why our car accident lawyers in Atlanta explain that this isn’t the case. Of course, there are times when a plaintiff may be more at fault than the defendant. However, this is rare. Most Atlanta accident attorneys know better than to represent someone whose case isn’t strong enough to win.

There’s a Good Chance Your Atlanta Accident Attorney Will Settle Your Case

While it’s important to realize that your damages may be reduced, it may not mean much in the grand scheme of things. More than 95% of all car accident lawsuits settle out of court.

From the beginning of your case, your Atlanta accident attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s attorney. Going to trial doesn’t benefit anybody. Trials are expensive and time-consuming.

A Settlement is Usually Best for Both Parties

Usually, both parties realize that they would be better off if they settled their case. If you go to trial, there is always the chance you could lose.

For the plaintiff, this means you’ll walk away with nothing. For the defendant, this means they could be held liable for your full damages.

The other nice thing about a settlement is that you’ll get your money in one lump sum. Plus, you won’t have to wait for a year or two for your case to go to trial.

You Won’t Have Wait for Your Case to Go to Trial

Even though COVID-19 seems to be in the rearview mirror, the court dockets are still clogged. By the time your case is scheduled to go to trial, it could be well over a year away.

Even if you’re willing to wait that long, there are still other reasons to settle. If you insist on going to trial, your car accident lawyer in Atlanta will have to spend thousands of dollars on expert witnesses, exhibits, and other fees.

Contact a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Today

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages. Of course, your car accident lawyer in Atlanta will have to prove that the other driver caused the crash. They’ll also have to prove your damages.

Rather than risk having the insurance carrier deny your claim, you should call an Atlanta accident attorney right away. Once the insurance company realizes you have a lawyer, they won’t try to take advantage of you.

Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, it’s in your best interest to call. This way, you can sit down with a skilled car accident lawyer in Atlanta and find out if your case is worth pursuing.

Read More Related Articles