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Comparative Fault Laws and Their Effect on Accident Claims

Georgia personal injury law allows victims of accidents to recover compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of other persons and companies.  If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to not only learn about our State’s laws, but also understand specific doctrines, like comparative negligence, that may affect your claim.

Accident victims are sometimes surprised when they are blamed for their own injuries. However, that does happen and in many more cases than most people realize.  The other party in your claim could attempt to point the finger at you, claiming that you were responsible for your own injuries by your own negligence.  For example, if investigations find that you were also negligent because you were on your cell phone at the time, or because you were also speeding, then Georgia’s comparative fault laws may apply to your claim, making it difficult for you to recover the full amount of your damages.

In a case like this, the courts will reduce the damages that you are eligible for by the percentage that you are at fault in the accident. For instance, if the court decides that the other person was 80% at fault in the accident, while you were 20% at fault, it will reduce the damages that are recoverable by you by 20%.

For this reason, it’s very important for you to be very honest when you meet with your personal injury lawyer, and begin the litigation process.  Hiding information about your own negligence, or your own actions that may have contributed to the accident could be counterproductive.  In most cases, insurance companies have trained investigators reviewing all the details of the accident, and it’s in your best to give your attorney all information that will help him or her maximize your recovery and protect your rights.