The most common defense in a Georgia personal injury case is to blame the victim. In Georgia, you are barred from recovering damages if you are 50 percent or more at fault. If you are 49 percent or less at fault, the amount of your recovery is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
Early investigation can protect you from a reduction in your damages or a complete bar to recovery. Attorney Michael Gumprecht of the Gumprecht Law Firm is available 24/7 to begin an investigation immediately after your accident. We focus on recovering the maximum possible damages by countering defenses and developing a strong claim. Because of our unyielding representation tactics, our award-winning law firm has earned such prestigious honors as Million Dollar Advocates Forum membership, Georgia Trend Magazine Legal Elite designation and America’s Top 100 Attorneys® Lifetime Achievement award. We believe that you should be able to exert your rights without risk, and so, offer you a free consultation and contingency plan so you only pay attorneys’ fees if you win damages.
Understanding Comparative Fault
Georgia is a modified comparative fault state. In layman’s terms, this mean you can only recover damages if you are less than half to blame for your injuries, and your damages will be adjusted accordingly.
For example, if you slipped on a slick pool deck and broke your wrist, the property manager may be responsible for installing an unreasonably slippery surface in an area that is regularly wet. However, the management company will attempt to show how your own actions contributed to your fall by at least 50 percent, such as by running in the slippery area, despite warning signs and warnings from the lifeguard.
Even if the management company fails to reach the 50 percent mark, every percentage of fault the defendant attributes to you reduces your damages. For instance, if you entered an area clearly marked with “do not enter” signs and were subsequently electrocuted, the landowner might be at fault for not maintaining a safe electrical system in an unlocked area of the premises. However, you might be found 40 percent responsible for entering an off-limits area. Thus, if your damages are $100,000, you are entitled to only $60,000.
If two defendants are each partly at fault, both defendants are jointly and severally liable for paying you the full amount of your damages. In the above example, two defendants that were each 30 percent at fault would be responsible for the full $60,000 (60 percent) to you, but each could recover $30,000 from the other party. Joint and several liability is particularly important if one defendant is insolvent or has no insurance coverage.
Learn More About Comparative Negligence From a Georgia Liability Lawyer
A Georgia liability lawyer at the Gumprecht Law Firm can further explain the comparative fault doctrine and how it applies to your case so you know what to expect. Call 678-800-1050 to talk to an attorney who is accessible 24/7. Your first consultation is free and your claim is handled on contingency, so you are not billed for lawyers’ fees until we recover damages.