Whether or not you can sue if you share fault for an accident depends on the state in which you reside. In Georgia, you can still sue even if you’re partially at fault. According to the law, you must be less at fault than the other party to succeed in a lawsuit. The degree of fault that you share depends on many factors, including the quality and quantity of evidence supporting your claims.
Georgia’s Comparative Negligence Laws
The courts use the comparative negligence principle to reduce the amount of damages a person can recover in a negligence-based claim according to their degree of negligence.
According to Georgia Code § 51-11-7, Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence system. To file a claim or lawsuit to recover compensation, you must prove you have less fault in the accident than the other party. Then, the compensation you recover will get reduced. Typically it gets reduced by the percentage of fault you share.
For example, if you were deemed less at fault than the other party and were awarded $100,000, yet your degree of fault was determined to be 30%, then your final financial award would be $70,000.
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Do I Need an Attorney If I’m Partially At-Fault in a Truck Accident?
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident, an attorney could help. Especially if you believe you share some degree of fault. An attorney can take critical steps to determine the percentage of fault you had in the accident and build a strong case, including:
- Investigate the accident: An attorney will review available video and photo evidence, including video surveillance footage from street cameras or dash cams and photographs from the scene. During an investigation, attorneys can also speak to witnesses to get a clearer picture of what happened.
- Identify your percentage of fault: By using information from their investigation, an attorney will determine how much fault you had in the accident. If you have less fault than the other party involved, you could file a claim or lawsuit against the other vehicle’s driver. They will use that evidence to demonstrate exactly what role you played in the collision to the insurer, judge, or jury.
- Identify your damages: An attorney can identify your damages to determine how much compensation to seek in your case. Damages include the monetary and non-monetary losses you incurred because of the accident.
- Send a demand letter: Once the attorney determines how much compensation to seek, they can send a demand letter. The demand letter will include the total amount of compensation you wish to receive from the liable party.
- Negotiate for a settlement: If the opposing party does not agree to the terms of the demand letter, an attorney can try to reach a settlement with them. They can use negotiation techniques to reach an agreeable solution.
- File a lawsuit: If the negotiations don’t help the two parties reach a fair settlement, you can go to court. An attorney can file the appropriate paperwork and build a case on your behalf.
Having an attorney on your side when you share fault may impact your case. They can take care of all of the investigations and legal matters, so you don’t have to. They understand the laws surrounding comparative negligence and know how to fight through any legal barriers that could arise.
An Attorney Can Help You Recover Compensation
Since you can sue even if you are partially at fault in a truck accident, you could recover partial compensation for your losses. An attorney can identify your losses to determine the damages you could recover. Examples of recoverable damages in a truck accident case include:
- The cost of medical care
- The costs of rehabilitative treatments, including occupational therapy and physical therapy
- The income you lost if you missed work
- Pain and suffering damages for the physical pain you endured
- Emotional distress damages if you suffered from mental health issues because of the accident
An attorney can calculate your damages and provide an estimate of your case’s value. Then, they can send a demand letter seeking this estimated amount from the liable party.
Our Truck Accident Attorney Can Protect Your Right to Compensation
The legal team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can investigate your accident and determine your level of fault. We will gather evidence to ensure you aren’t assigned an inaccurate degree of fault, thereby protecting your right to compensation.
Contact an attorney from our firm today for a free consultation. Through the consultation, you can learn more about your legal options and how we can assist with your case. We can also explain how comparative negligence works so you have a better understanding of the compensation you could recover.