Many vehicle crashes aren’t exclusively the fault of one driver. Often, both drivers (or more if there are multiple vehicles involved) bear some responsibility. The amount of compensation that drivers can claim under the law depends on how that responsibility is allocated. That’s why it’s important to make sure that a crash is properly investigated.
States follow different legal doctrines around negligence in a crash (or other event that causes injury). These determine when and how much a person can be compensated for their injuries and other damages.
The “modified comparative” fault rule
Georgia uses what’s called a “modified comparative” fault rule. Let’s briefly look at what that means.
Comparative negligence means that the damages they could receive if the crash was completely the other driver’s fault are reduced by their percentage of fault. Georgia’s modified comparative rule (which is sometimes referred to as the “50% rule) states that as long as someone bears less than 50% of the responsibility for the crash, they can collect the percentage of damages they’re due.
For example, say that a driver ran a stop light and hit you as you were going through an intersection where you had the right-of-way. While that certainly appears to be their fault, maybe it’s determined that you were speeding and not looking both ways to make sure no one was entering the intersection as you approached. You might be assigned some portion of fault that would lessen the amount you can collect.
Thorough investigation and accurate findings are key
As noted, it’s crucial to be certain that the crash is fully investigated. That’s why it’s best to call the police to the scene and get a police report as well as to document it if possible with your phone.
By working to ensure that fault is correctly assigned, you have a better chance of getting the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses and damages. Having sound legal guidance can make a big difference.