Georgia Is Not A Pure Comparative Negligence State

If you were 49 percent at fault for a car accident, you are eligible to recover damages. However, if you were one percent more at fault (50 percent at fault), you cannot recover any damages. This example illustrates the importance of building an effective case that demonstrates the other party is more than half responsible for the wreck.

The other party may argue that you contributed to the accident by failing to use a turn signal or neglecting to repair or maintain your vehicle. The insurer may look for small details like these as a means of increasing your percentage of fault, even if you believe the other party is fully to blame

Proving negligence is not just a game of pointing fingers. To establish the other party’s negligence, attorney Jason Schultz investigates your accident, compiles police reports and eyewitness statements, works with expert witnesses as needed, and takes other actions necessary to establish fault.

Your Percentage of Fault Affects How Much You Can Recover

But even if you were 49 percent or less at fault, it still affects the final settlement or judgment. In Georgia, your percentage of fault proportionally reduces the amount you can recover. So, if you were 40 percent at fault, it reduces your recovery by 40 percent. In such a case, you can only recover 60 percent of your damages.

This again demonstrates the impact establishing fault and minimizing your own comparative negligence can have on your case. If your damages total $10,000 and the other party can prove you were 40 percent at fault, then you can only recover $6,000 instead of the full $10,000. The $4,000 difference can be significant if you are dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Of course, if you suffered $10,000 in damages and were 50 percent at fault for the accident, you could not recover anything under Georgia law.

Need Help Proving Negligence and Liability?

The law surrounding comparative negligence is complex. Insurers and judges consider many factors when determining which party is negligent and what percentage of fault they hold for the accident. That is why your case needs to thoroughly present evidence of another party’s negligence and make strong legal arguments regarding negligence and causation.

Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.