Being Partially at Fault Does Not Negate Your Rights
Even good drivers can have some bad habits. It is all too easy to look back on an accident and think there was something you could have done to avoid it. Years ago, being partially at fault in an accident prevented an injured victim from recovering any compensation. Unfortunately, many people still believe this to be the case. The fact is, however, that Georgia law allows injured plaintiffs to recover even when their own negligence was partially to blame for their injuries.
The old law of contributory negligence — by which a plaintiff was barred from receiving compensation even if only one percent responsible for his or her own injuries — has been abolished in most states. Georgia follows the more forgiving rule of modified comparative negligence that allows recovery so long as the plaintiff is less than 50 percent responsible for his or her own injuries:
- Therefore, if a jury determined that a car accident victim suffered damages in the amount of $200,000 and that he or she was 30 percent at fault for the accident, the plaintiff could still recover $140,000 in compensation.
- However, if the jury determined that the plaintiff was 51 percent at fault, he or she would recover nothing.
While this system is not as forgiving as the pure comparative negligence system used in some states, it is still decidedly more plaintiff-friendly than the old rule of contributory negligence. Nevertheless, a finding of partial fault on the part of the plaintiff can still significantly impact outcomes and experienced Georgia injury attorneys must be prepared to aggressively meet this type of defense allegation.