Partially at Fault Accident Victim Still Entitled to Compensation under Georgia Auto Accident Law


October 01, 2010

The consequences of being involved in a car accident can be overwhelming physically, emotionally, and financially. It is not uncommon that determining the driver who is at fault is a matter of dispute. Sometimes both drivers share some degree of fault for an accident. Even if you are partially at fault in an accident, it does not mean that you are not entitled to compensation for serious injuries you may suffer in an automobile accident.

The medical and rehabilitative expenses associated with a serious auto accident can devastate a family financially. Catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, internal organ damage, head and neck injuries, and paralysis can mean years of therapy and nursing care at a staggering cost. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been assisting those seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in Atlanta and throughout the State of Georgia for over a quarter of a century.

We get phone calls from people all the time asking about their ability to seek compensation for injuries suffered in serious car accidents years after the accident. The callers often explain that they did not pursue a claim at the time of the accident because they did not think their injuries were serious and thought they were at fault in the accident. Sometimes people assume they were at fault because of the police report or their own understanding of what determines fault in a car accident. However, the issue of determining fault is a complex fact intensive inquiry, and even the conclusions of a police report are not the final word on this issue. If you are involved in a serious car accident, the team of attorneys and staff at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, will do our own independent investigation of the circumstances of your accident and make our own determination regarding fault.

Even if you are partially at fault in an accident, it does not mean that you cannot recover the compensation you need to cover such things as your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. However, if you wait to seek compensation because you believe that the issue of fault bars your recovery, you may become permanently prevented from making a claim by not taking action within the required legal time deadlines- which is called the statute of limitations.

Partial fault does not necessarily impact your ability to recover for damages suffered in a traffic accident, but may affect the amount of recovery. Georgia auto accident law applies the principle of "contributory negligence" if both the victim and defendant are at fault in an automobile accident. If a case goes to trial, the court assigns a percentage of fault to each responsible party and then apportions the damage award between the parties based on their degree of fault. An accident victim is only precluded from obtaining compensation if the injured victim's apportioned fault is 50% or greater. If the injured driver is less than 50% at fault, the driver will still recover but will have his recovery reduced by the driver's percentage of fault. If the injured victim is determined to be 20% at fault and the defendant is 80% at fault, the compensation that would be awarded for the injuries will be reduced by 20%. Thus, if the judge or jury decided that the victim's damages were $500,000, the recovery would be reduced to $400,000.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our Georgia auto accident attorneys know that in any motor vehicle accident, whether a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, that fair compensation is necessary to rebuild one's life and obtain necessary treatment and rehabilitation. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities, towns and rural in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Montlick & Associates: Caring, Dedication, Experience, Results!

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.