Contributory Negligence in Atlanta Accidents
Damages is the legal term for the money a plaintiff receives from a defendant after being injured in an accident. The damages vary by accident and out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses include medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. In many Atlanta accidents, a defendant is clearly at fault. However, some accidents happen for which the plaintiff is partly at fault. The term “fault” means that an individual failed to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. According to Georgia personal injury law, the individual at fault for the accident must pay the injured party. If you have been injured in an accident and are unsure who is at fault, consult with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
If a plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident, he or she will not have to pay the defendant. Instead, the victim will receive less money from the defendant to cover his or her damages. This is called contributory negligence.Defendants Use Contributory Negligence to Reduce Damages
Contributory negligence is actually a defense used by a defendant wanting to pay less money to the plaintiff. The defendant will generally blame the victim for causing or being partially responsible for the accident. When contributory negligence becomes a factor in a personal injury case, a judge or jury will determine if the plaintiff contributed to the accident. In other words, the judge will look for fault on both sides. If the judge or jury finds that the plaintiff contributed to the accident, then they will determine the amount of damages to be paid. An experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta can help you navigate this complex process, if you are concerned about contributory negligence affecting your case.In Atlanta, Modified Contributory Negligence Determines Damages
In many states, contributory negligence bars a plaintiff from receive any damages if he or she is at fault for the accident. However, Georgia uses modified contributory negligence. Modified contributory negligence involves an accident victim contributing to their own accident, but that victim is not barred from recovering any money, with an exception.
The exception is determined by how much a plaintiff is at fault for the accident. A victim can recover damages only if he or she is not at fault for the majority of the accident. In Atlanta, the fault threshold for an accident victim’s contributory negligence is 51%. If an accident victim is responsible for 51% or more of the accident, as determined by a judge or jury, then he or she is barred from receiving damages. An experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta can help ensure that you receive the maximum damages possible for your unqiue situation.
If it is determined that the plaintiff did contribute to the accident, the judge or jury will decrease his or her award by the percentage he or she is determined to be at fault. For instance, an if an accident victim failed to yield at a stop sign, but the defendant was speeding when the crash happened, then a jury might find that the accident victim should receive $1,000. However, if the accident victim is deemed to be 20% at fault, then he or she would receive $800 instead.The Angell Law Firm, LLC will Fight to Get You the Money You Deserve
You were injured in an accident. Maybe you were at fault. Maybe you are unsure whether you were at fault. For help through this confusing time, reach out to an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. The Angell Law Firm, LLC is here to help you achieve the money you need to recover from your injuries. Contact us today.