What is Contributory Negligence, and How Does it Work in Georgia?
A central issue in almost any personal injury lawsuit involves proving that the defendant was negligent. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was not exercising the required level of caution to prevent the accident. Traffic laws and building codes provide specific rules and instructions that a defendant is required to follow. There are times where legal disputes arise because the rule the defendant violated was unclear, thereby prompting the defendant to allege it does not bear responsibility for the plaintiff’s injury.
The Law Allows for Nuances in Determining Fault
Auto accidents may not be 100% the fault of one person and 0% the fault of anyone else. Car insurance companies recognize this fact, and so do the sections of Georgia’s code that deal with personal injury lawsuits. For example, Georgia Code section 51-11-7 notes that a victim of an accident might be found to have acted in such a way as to preclude his or her ability to recover damages. If someone injured in an accident could have prevented the accident, but did not, then he or she may unable to collect compensation at all.
In other situations, a court may award damages to the plaintiff in a personal injury case who contributed to his or her own injuries, if the plaintiff was less than 50% responsible for causing the accident. This is known as contributory negligence. In fact, if more than two parties were involved in the accident, it is possible for one party to pay damages to another who was less at fault for the accident and also receive damages from a third party who was more at fault for the accident. This area of the law can be quite complex, which is why it is essential to get the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, so that you can maximize the compensation to which you are entitled after an accident.
You Can Still Recover Damages in Georgia, Even if the Accident is Partially Your Fault
If the majority of the responsibility of the accident does not fall on you, it is legal for a court to order the defendant to pay you economic and/or non-economic damages related to your accident. Economic damages are things that have a definite or probable dollar amount, such as your medical bills and the money you would have earned if you were able to work while recovering from your injuries. They also cover things that can easily be calculated, such as the accident-related medical treatment that doctors determine you will need in the future and the earnings you will miss out on in the future if you are still unable to work because of your injuries. Non-economic damages are things like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
The money the insurance company offers you as a settlement after an accident might not be enough to cover your medical bills and lost income. Before you speak with the at-fault parties insurance company and sign away your right to sue, you should consult the attorneys at the CP Law Group.
Contact CP Law Group About Injuries Resulting from Accidents
Consult one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys if you have been injured in an accident, even if you were partially at fault. Contact CP Law Group at 1-844-5-I’M-HURT (1-844-546-4878) to get the help you deserve.
(image courtesy of Andrew Schultz)