Griffin Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are a near-daily occurrence in Spalding County. After the physical and emotional toll of a collision, it can be overwhelming to deal with insurance adjusters, vehicle valuations, claims representatives, police records, and hospital visits. On top of that, you may need serious medical care and might even be unable to work, causing bills and expenses to pile up.
Our experienced personal injury representatives at Scholle Law have helped thousands of car accident victims recover compensation for their injuries and undue hardships. Traffic accidents can cause serious injuries, missed time from work, substantial property damage, and prolonged psychological anguish — especially when the incident involves high-speeds or large commercial freight vehicles.
If you have been injured in a car wreck due to someone else’s actions or negligence, we are here to help. Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Griffin car accident lawyer.
What if I Am Partially to Blame for the Wreck?
The easiest car accident cases are ones in which it is clear one person was at fault. However, these kinds of cases are rarer than you may think. In many instances, all of the parties involved in a collision share some of the blame. The good news is, Georgia law addresses this concern in the same way that most other states do.
There are two general types of negligence statutes: contributory and comparative negligence. Under contributory negligence statutes, if you were even 1 percent at fault for your injuries, you cannot seek compensation. Because it is “all or nothing” and does not take all factors into account, contributory negligence is only used in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. Washington, D.C. also uses contributory negligence with a few exceptions.
Most states follow comparative negligence doctrines. This means you can recover compensation even if you were partially at fault for the wreck. However, the amount of compensation you recover is reduced by the percentage you are found at fault.
There are three main types of comparative negligence:
- Pure comparative negligence means you can file for damages no matter how much you are at fault. Even if you are 99 percent at fault, you can collect 1 percent of your total damages.
- 50% modified comparative negligence simply bars you from seeking compensation if you are 50 percent or more at fault for the wreck. This is the doctrine that Georgia follows.
- 51% modified comparative negligence is virtually identical to the 50% rule, except you can seek compensation if you are up to 51% at fault for the accident.
Understanding comparative and contributory negligence in car accidents
The easiest way to understand the difference between contributory and comparative negligence is to look at a simple example:
Allison is driving down West Taylor Street and is planning to make a right onto Hammond Drive, and she has a Yield sign. Jason is coming off the North Expressway and is headed straight onto Hammond Drive. The light for the North Expressway just turned green, and Jason rapidly accelerates through the intersection while finding music on his phone. Allison, believing she has time to make her right, does so, only to get rear-ended by Jason.
Because Allison turned right improperly, she is held partially responsible for the collision. Jason was driving too fast through the intersection and was using his phone while driving, so he is partially responsible as well. Under contributory negligence, neither party can recover compensation.
Now, say Allison is found 51% at fault for the accident, as it would not have occurred if she had not made her improper turn. Under pure comparative negligence, she can recover 49% of available damages. This amount is also available under 51% modified negligence law. Under the 50% modified doctrine (which is used in Georgia), she could not recover any amount, but Jason could, since he was only 49% at fault.
Instead, say Allison is only 40% at fault. The total damages available for medical bills, main and suffering, and more come out to $100,000. Due to her own role in the collision, she would only be able to recover $60,000. Out of the $100,000 that was awarded, 40% is deducted for Allison’s part in the wreck, equaling $40,000 — leaving $60,000.
Get Help from a Griffin Car Accident Attorney Today
If all of these numbers made your head spin, you are not alone. The good news is that your attorney will handle these details on your behalf. They can explain in simple terms what can impact your case, including your own liability, and what you can expect from the legal process.
At Scholle Law, our experienced lawyers understand the complexities that surround personal injuries and know how to maximize your compensation. If you have been injured in a car wreck due to someone else’s actions or negligence, we are here to help. Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Griffin car accident lawyer.