Discouraging as it may be, it’s actually common for more than one driver to be considered at fault. If this has happened to you, you may still be able to obtain significant compensation for any injuries you suffered because of the accident through Georgia’s comparative negligence laws.
The basics of comparative fault in Georgia
When two or more drivers contribute to an accident, a legal theory known as “comparative fault” or “comparative negligence” comes into play.
In a nutshell, if you’re less than 50% percent to blame, or if your percentage of fault is less than the combined fault of other involved persons, you can still file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your accident-related expenses (known as “damages” in legal terms).
Under comparative fault, your compensation will be reduced relative to how much of the blame you’re assigned. For example, if you have $100,000 in damages and you’re assessed 20% of the blame. Instead of receiving $100,000, your compensation will be reduced by 20% ($20,000), so you’ll get $80,000 instead.
Some potential pitfalls of admitting fault
A lot of people are good-natured, and they’ll admit when they do something wrong. However, when it comes to a car accident, this isn’t a good idea.
The biggest risk of saying you’re partially at fault for a car accident is that the other driver’s insurance company will pounce on that statement. They’ll argue that you weren’t only partially at fault, but you’re entirely to blame. If they’re successful, you could be on the hook for not only your damages but also those of the other driver.
By doing what you think is right and admitting fault, you could wind up suffering years of financial misery through increased insurance premiums and more.
So, what should you do instead? When the police show up at the accident scene, only give them the facts of what happened. Don’t lie, of course, but simply tell them what happened from your perspective, not your opinion. Let the investigation play out and let others decide what percentage of blame you should be assigned if any at all. Don’t make it easier for them to assign you more blame than you deserve.
Although it might sound counterintuitive, don’t apologize to the other driver. Simply check that they’re okay and call 911 if emergency personnel isn’t already on the scene. If you apologize, it could be used against you, and it could cost you dearly.
Talking to the other driver’s insurer could be a huge mistake
Finally, never talk to an insurance adjuster without an attorney by your side. Adjusters are skilled professionals with only one goal – to help the insurance company save as much money as possible.
When an adjuster calls or comes to your home, they’ll probably act very concerned about your health, but what they’ll really want to do is get you to admit fault. They’ll want you to say you’re at least partially at fault for the car accident. If you fall for their tricks and slip up, that would make the adjuster’s day.
Don’t make the mistake of speaking to any insurance company representative without an attorney. Don’t speak with them at all except to provide them with your attorney’s contact information.
Reach out to Shrable Law Firm to learn more
Please don’t assume that you won’t be able to obtain compensation if you’re partially at fault for a car accident. Let an Albany car accident lawyer with Shrable Law Firm provide the legal representation it will take to prove you deserve a significant amount of money. Use our online form or call (229) 349-6291 for a free case review.
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