Georgia is a fault state, per O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33. Under this system, if another party is more responsible for an accident than you, you could seek damages for your losses. If you are even partially at fault for the accident, however, this could affect how much money you can pursue.
So, for instance, if you were 20 percent responsible for an incident, and your damages totaled $10,000, you would only be able to pursue $8,000. However, if you are found to be primarily responsible for an accident, you would be unable to recover damages.
How Is Fault Determined?
Fault is determined by the evidence in your case. Evidence that could help your case depends on how you were hurt. For instance, if you were hurt in a car accident, traffic camera footage could provide insight into how the collision happened. Yet, if you were hurt in a slip and fall, testimony from witnesses and the property’s accident report could provide useful information.
The following parties play a role in determining fault for a given accident:
- Police officers
- Private investigators
- Insurance agents
Depending on the specifics of your accident, other parties could determine fault and liability for your losses.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
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Is Fault Only for Car Accidents?
Fault can be assigned in any situation that arises due to the negligence of another party. So, for instance, suppose that you were hurt in a slip and fall at a grocery store. Maybe the store neglected to clean up a spill, but at the same time, you were wearing inadequate footwear. In this situation, a portion of blame could rest on you since you were not appropriately dressed.
Fault does not apply to product liability cases, however. These instances rest on the principle of “strict liability.” This term means that the product’s manufacturer generally has to pay for your losses if you were hurt due to a dangerous or defective item. However, if you altered the product’s function in any way, this could preclude the manufacturer from liability.
What Happens if the Other Party Accuses You of Causing the Accident?
In the aftermath of any accident, the financial recovery process can get complicated. To avoid paying for your losses, the other party might accuse you of acting negligently. Even if this is not the case, it could delay the claims process.
In these cases, you should consider partnering with a lawyer from our team. We can do the following things to prove that you did not primarily cause your accident and injuries:
Speak to Witnesses
If you were injured in a public place, like an intersection or shopping mall, witnesses might have seen your accident happen. Our legal team can use their testimony to prove that you were hurt. We can also use what they say to corroborate other aspects of your statements.
Consult Accident Reconstruction Specialists
If you were hurt in a car accident, for instance, we can talk with experts who can shed some light on how your collision happened. By using computer software, manipulatives, and diagrams, we can prove various details of your situation. They even may be able to show what act of negligence caused your injuries.
Review the Police/ Accident Report
Hopefully, you reported your accident to the proper authorities, such as law enforcement or a property owner. That way, you can verify the following:
- The time, date, and location of your accident
- The contact information of those involved
- Details surrounding your injuries
- What measures were taken in the aftermath of your accident (was an ambulance called, for example?)
In some instances, you are required to file a police or accident report. If you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision, you are required to report it if it results in any deaths or injuries, per O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273.
Advise You on Your Options
If you have never gone through the claims process before, understanding what you should and should not do can quickly get confusing. With our team representing you, here are some things we can explain throughout the development of your case:
- What information you should share with the insurance company
- The pros and cons of giving a recorded statement
- What constitutes a fair settlement offer
- Whether you are being treated fairly by the involved parties
- What legal measures could benefit your interests
- Whether filing a claim or lawsuit is feasible
We can also explain whether you can hold more than one party accountable for your damages.
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Connect With Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Now
While Georgia is a fault state, this should not be cause for concern. If you were hurt due to the negligence of another party, let our team fight for financial recovery on your behalf.
Your first case review is free, and you can ask us anything you want at no obligation. Dial (404) 888-8888.