Usually, a personal injury claim involves an injured party proving that the party responsible caused the injury through negligence. Though there are some cases when one party is entirely at fault, there are many other instances where both parties share responsibility for an accident or injury. This is especially true in car accident claims.
Fortunately, Georgia law does not take an “all or nothing” stance on personal injury settlements. Thanks to State Code §51-12-33, you can still receive a settlement from a personal injury claim if you were partially responsible for the incident.
With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can seek compensation if you were involved in an accident or have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, even if you were partially responsible for the incident.
What Is Comparative Fault?
Comparative fault is a way for both responsible parties in an accident to take responsibility for the part they played. In these situations, the court agrees to hold each party responsible only for their portion of the incident.
In civil cases like personal injury, the defendant is the person who is being accused of wrongdoing and the prosecution is the person who is formally accusing. If you are pressing charges against someone who caused you harm, you are the prosecution or plaintiff, and the person who harmed you is the defendant.
In most cases of comparative fault, the defendant is still primarily responsible for the incident. The only difference is that the prosecution acknowledges the part they played in the incident.
For example, if you believe that a car accident was mostly the defendant’s fault for texting while driving, but you know that you also cut in front of them quickly, the comparative fault defense would help you to take responsibility for your portion. This may make it easier to conclude rather than trying to blame the entire situation on the defendant.
Determining Comparative Fault
When a comparative fault occurs in a case, the court will still review the evidence and see witnesses as normal. However, the objective will be to determine what portion each person is responsible for rather than just to determine whether the defendant acted negligently. You may need to provide different pieces of evidence to prove your claim.
It is important to have an attorney who has experience in comparative fault cases. These claims are unique and especially complicated, meaning that many attorneys lack the experience necessary to win them. Ask any potential attorneys whether they have experience in personal injury claims like yours, what their track record is, and if they have represented clients in cases involving comparative negligence.
Payouts for Comparative Fault Cases
If your claim involves comparative fault, you can still receive a settlement as the prosecution. However, the payout will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you carry for the incident. So, if you argue that the defense was 75% responsible for the incident and you were responsible for 25%, your payout would be reduced by 25% to account for the role that you played. For example, if the payout would normally be $10,000, but you take ownership of 25% of the blame, you could expect your payout to be approximately $7,500.
Contact Lamar Law Office, LLC
Looking for a qualified personal injury attorney in the Atlanta area can be difficult. Fortunately, our team provides reliable service to those who have been injured in Georgia. We have many years of experience in a variety of personal injury claims, and we are qualified to help you with your comparative fault claim if necessary. No area firm is better suited to your needs than we are.
For more information, reach out to Lamar Law Office, LLC online