Georgia is somewhat unique in its negligence laws, which could have a big impact on your personal injury case. If you’re not aware of what negligence is, or how it functions in Georgia law, don’t worry – we’re here to clear up the confusion so you can understand the premise of your personal injury case.
What is Negligence?
In Georgia, negligence is when one party owes a duty to another party but doesn’t take the proper precautions or actions to prevent an injury to the other party, and therefore causes some sort of harm. A common example is that when driving, you have a duty to exercise care in ensuring that you don’t get into an accident. Driving through a red light would be a breach of that duty, as you would violating your duty to avoid an accident. Establishing negligence in a personal injury case is critical to proving liability.
Why Does Comparative Negligence Matter?
Comparative negligence means that you and the other parties involved in an incident can both be found at fault for an incident, at varying degrees. Georgia is also a modified comparative negligence state, so our laws work somewhat differently than most comparative negligence states. In Georgia, you can recover damages in an incident if you’re found to be less at fault than all of the other parties. This means that if you’re found to be 49% at fault in an incident with one other party, you can collect damages – but if you were found to be exactly 50% at fault, you would not be able to do so.
Comparative negligence becomes relevant in many car accidents, where fault is often not clean-cut. For example, consider a driver speeding through an intersection, and another driver who pulls out in front of them because they did not check for oncoming traffic before entering the intersection. Both drivers hold some level of fault, as they both have duties they failed to fulfill. Establishing who was more negligent is essential to determining the outcome of the case, and who is able to recover damages in accidents like these. Often in cases such as this, fault is determined by who was going faster, paying less attention, or had more disregard for what care they should have been taking during the incident.
If you were injured and aren’t sure of your level of fault, or need experienced legal counsel to assist in your personal injury case, Attorney Robin Frazer Clark, P.C. is here to help. Call us at (404) 873-3700 today to schedule your free consultation.