What is Comparative Negligence in an Accident Case? | Understanding At Fault State Laws

Claiming compensation after an accident is relatively straightforward when only one person is at fault, but oftentimes, more than one party is to blame. When multiple parties are involved, determining liability can be difficult – especially if the parties’ stories conflict. Plus, laws vary from state to state, adding another layer of complexity.

Comparative negligence often comes into play in personal injury cases, and while it can be complicated to understand, it is an important term to learn. Here at Ross Moore Law, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers will break down everything you need to know. 

Read on to learn more about comparative negligence in Georgia, or check out more personal injury terms here! Remember, if you’ve been injured in an accident, trust our personal injury lawyers in Atlanta to recover the compensation you deserve! 

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What is Comparative Negligence?  

Comparative negligence is a legal term that involves weighing the plaintiff’s contribution to the accident to the defendant’s contribution. Under this law, plaintiffs are eligible for damages, even if they are partially to blame. The compensation they receive will be reduced depending on the percentage of blame they have been assigned.

There are two types of comparative negligence laws:

  • Pure comparative negligence: Under this law, someone can seek compensation regardless of how much fault they have been assigned. As mentioned above, the amount they receive is reduced by the amount of fault.
  • Modified comparative negligence: In contrast, this law states that someone can only seek damages if their percentage of fault is below a certain threshold. Most states, including Georgia, observe this rule.

Under Georgia law, an accident victim is eligible for financial compensation as long as they are found to be no more than 49% at fault. Plaintiffs who are deemed 50% at fault (or more) may not recover damages. For instance, if you are 30% at fault for causing your car wreck, you will recover 70% of the damages awarded. To ensure you receive the maximum compensation, consult an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer – like the ones you’ll find at our law firm!

Determining Who Is At Fault After A Car Accident 

Because Georgia is an “at-fault state,”  the driver responsible for the car wreck must compensate the other parties involved for their losses. If the driver is insured, their insurance company will review the details before determining who is to blame. Because the adjuster may not consider all of the facts, it is crucial to have an Atlanta car accident lawyer advocating on your behalf. Be sure to file a police report, then let your accident attorney handle the rest, including all communication with the insurance company.

In addition to the police report, the adjuster will investigate the following:

  • Accident scene (skid marks, road signs, etc.)
  • Weather conditions at the time of the crash
  • Vehicle condition (all involved)
  • Driver and witness statements 

While the insurance company most often determines fault, these scenarios may occur:

  • Driver admits fault: Even if you know you are to blame, do not admit fault. It is best to seek legal advice from your Atlanta car accident lawyer first.
  • Police report determines fault: In some cases, the police report determines fault before word of the incident reaches the insurance company. This is not always a final determination, so be sure to consult your attorney immediately. 
  • Jury determines fault: If your case goes to trial, a jury will decide who is to blame. 

How Long Does A Car Accident Claim Investigation Take?

Waiting for the insurance company to determine who is at fault for the accident can seem like an impossible undertaking. Some cases take a few months while others drag on for years. It all depends on the severity of the car or truck accident, including the extent of vehicle damage and the amount of time required for you to recover from your injuries.

While every case is different, the insurance company must abide by this timeline:

  • Must acknowledge that it has received the claim within 15 days of receiving it.
  • Must provide the insured driver with the proper forms and instructions for completing them within 15 days of filing of the claim.
  • Must accept or deny a claim within 15 days of receiving the required forms, or 30 days from the date the claim was filed (if special forms are not needed).
  • Must make a final decision within 60 days.
  • Must pay the claim within 10 days of making the decision.

Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help keep your case on track each step of the way. In fact, Ross Moore Law will handle every aspect of your claim – from start to finish!

Speak with a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me, Choose Ross Moore Law in Georgia!

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, our qualified team is here to help! Let us worry about filing your claim so you can focus on recovery from your injuries. Our accident lawyers will gather the evidence needed to determine who is at fault for the accident – and to maximize the damages awarded.

Our personal injury law firm is based in Atlanta, and we are proud to serve clients throughout the state of Georgia, including the cities of Marietta, Athens, Downtown Alpharetta, and more. We also serve clients in Tennessee! Attorney Ross Moore and our team specializes in all types of personal injury for accident claims and personal injury lawsuits.

In addition, you only pay us if we win your personal injury case.

To schedule your free consultation, give us a call 844-404-7677 today!

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