Many personal injury cases involve situations where an injury victim is also partially at fault for an accident or injury. Under old legal rules, if you were even partly to blame for your injury, you wouldn’t be able to get any money for your losses it caused. Thankfully, most states now have changed that rule so that even if you are partially to blame, you can still get money. But, if you are mostly to blame—more than 50% of the fault is yours—then you cannot get money damages for your injuries and other damage in Georgia.
Why would I be partially at fault for my injury?
Fault or negligence isn’t always clear in injury cases. Let’s use a car accident as an example. There may have been several factors that contributed to the accident. Many cases are based on the fact that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Defendants may try to fault you for any reason to reduce the amount of damages that they have to pay for your losses, even if it’s slight. For example, they might indicate that the following factors contributed slightly to the accident:
- You were speeding
- You were following too closely
- You put on your turning signal too late, it was dim, or you didn’t use it at all
- Your vehicle had poor maintenance (such as headlights that were dim or brake lights that weren’t working properly)
- You did not obey traffic signs or signals
- You had an opportunity to avoid the accident that you didn’t take because you weren’t paying attention
- You should have reacted faster in general
If the other driver can show that you were partially to blame for the accident for any reason, then that will decrease the amount of damages that they have to pay because of comparative negligence. If they can chip away at their percentage of the fault enough, then you may be barred from getting damages altogether because you are more than 50% at fault.
How does modified comparative negligence work?
This type of negligence works just like traditional comparative negligence. That is, your amount of damages that you can recover is reduced by your percentage of the fault. If, for example, you are found 10% at fault for your injury, and your losses are $10,000, then the other party will only have to pay $9,000—which is 90% of your damages to correspond to their percentage of the blame.
The only difference between pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence is that if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, then you cannot get any money damages from the other party. Pure comparative negligence schemes don’t have this limitation.
John Foy & Associates can help you determine what percentage of the fault might be attributed to you at trial. Don’t let the potential of being partially at fault stop you from making a claim! Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get a FREE consultation today.