Athens Car Accident: Suing While Partially At Fault

Home » Blog » Athens Car Accident: Suing While Partially At Fault

When we first meet with a new client, we ask them to tell us their version of what happened. Most of the time, they insist that the other driver was 100% responsible for the crash. However, in the decades of combined experience that our Athens car accident lawyers have, we have seen very few cases where one party was completely at fault. Usually, there is one driver who was primary responsible. But the other driver often contributes to the accident to some extent.

Here, we will discuss what happens if the judge finds that you were partially at fault in your car crash. We will also explain how this can impact both your case and your damages. The good news is that we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down and discuss your case with an accident attorney in Athens. They can answer any questions you may have. They can also give you an idea of what your case is worth.

Very Rarely is Anybody 100% At Fault in a Motor Vehicle Accident

As briefly stated above, it is very rare that one driver is totally responsible for a car accident. Most of the time, the defendant in this type of case may have caused the crash initially. However, our client may have done something that made the accident worse than it had to be.

For example, imagine that somebody is drunk driving, and they crash into your vehicle. At the time, you are doing 70 mph in a 45-mph zone. When the cops arrive on the scene, they have both drivers submit to a breathalyzer test. The defendant blows a .12, clearly over the legal limit for DUI in Georgia.

When the cops complete their investigation, they find that you were speeding at the time of the crash. They issued you a speeding ticket. As you can imagine, this is all the defendant’s attorney needs to prove that you were partially at fault.

Georgia Law Allows a Plaintiff to Collect Damages Even if They Were Partially at Fault

The good news for most plaintiffs is that the State of Georgia allows you to collect damages even if you were partially at fault in your accident. The way it works is very simple. Once you file your lawsuit, the defendant and the court will be aware of how much you are demanding in damages. For purposes of explanation, imagine that your total damages are $100,000.

The defendant’s lawyer argues that you were 50% at fault for the crash. However, after your Athens car accident lawyer submits their evidence, the court finds that you were 25% at fault, not 50%. What this means is that your case will be reduced by 25%. Your damages will be reduced by $25.000.

Your Damages Will Be Reduced by Your Percentage of Fault

As explained above, if you are found to be partially at fault, your damages are going to be reduced. What you need to understand is that most of the time, these cases never make it before a judge. In fact, more than 95% of all personal injury lawsuits are settled long before your case goes to trial.

The fact that the defendant has information that shows that you were partially at fault will impact your settlement. However, since you would not have gotten your full demand anyway, your percentage of fault will only be one of several factors that play into your settlement amount.

Your Athens Car Accident Lawyer Must Prove Your Damages

As with any other car accident lawsuit, your accident attorney in Athens will need to prove your damages. Just because you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, that does not mean you are entitled to damages. It’s not enough that you were scared or felt traumatized. Your Athens car accident lawyer must prove each and every type of damages listed on your initial complaint.

In most of the car accident cases our accident attorneys in Athens handle, we demand the following:

  • Medical bills and future medical bills – The defendant will be liable for any medical bills you have already incurred. This includes any money already paid out by your primary health insurance carrier. In addition, your attorney can demand damages for any future medical care you may need.
  • Lost wages – If you are out of work for more than a week or two from work, you may be able to demand reimbursement for lost wages. It all depends on whether your employer already paid you for any of this time off.
  • Lost future income – If you are disabled as a result of the crash, or you can no longer do the same work you did before the accident, you may be entitled to lost future income. What your accident attorney in Athens will do is determine what the difference is between what you used to earn and what you will now earn. They will then multiply this amount by the number of years left before you retire.
  • Property damage – Obviously, if your car is damaged or destroyed, you can demand compensation for this as well.
  • Pain and suffering – If you sustained any serious injuries, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to demand damages for pain and suffering.

Since each case is unique, there is no way to know ahead of time which types of damages you may be entitled to. Our Athens car accident lawyer will need to review all the information related to your case in order to know that.

The Only Way to Know for Sure is to Talk to an Accident Attorney in Athens

If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, you may have a claim for damages. We suggest that you call our office and talk to one of our Athens car accident lawyers. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you the chance to discuss your case with a legal professional and decide what your options are.