Earlier this month, a Georgia man was killed in a serious accident in Pope County, Arkansas. According to one local news report, two other people were injured in the accident as well. Evidently, a California man was proceeding east on Interstate 40 when he pulled over to the shoulder of the highway near Atkins, Arkansas. Another driver, who was a minor, was also driving east on I-40 when he attempted to exit the highway. He ended up slamming into the back of the man’s vehicle.
Unfortunately, the minor’s automobile ended up flipping over, resulting in the tragedy. One of the passengers in the minor’s car was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The minor driver and the other passenger were taken to a Georgia hospital after suffering serious injuries. The driver of the other car and his passenger luckily did not suffer any injuries.
State police reported that the weather conditions were fine, and the roads were not dangerous at the time of the accident. The most recent reports on the investigation do not indicate whether any charges have been filed against anyone involved.
How Comparative Negligence Laws Are Applied in Georgia Personal Injury Cases
If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may choose to file a suit against the culpable party. However, it is important that plaintiffs understand that their claims may be scrutinized by the other side, as well as by the judge, under the strict comparative negligence laws in Georgia. In fact, a plaintiff’s degree of fault can seriously alter the likelihood of success on their claim. It can also affect the amount of any recovery.
Georgia follows the legal theory of modified comparative negligence, which is generally considered a “50% bar” to recovery. This means that, in Georgia, a plaintiff may have some degree of fault for their injuries, but that percentage must be under 50% in order for them to collect any damages. In a case where the victim was considered to be more than 50% at fault, that victim will be completely barred from recovering any damages. If a victim is found to be at fault, but less than 50% at fault, they may still recover, but damages may be reduced by the degree of fault apportioned to them.
For example, in the above case, if the driver on the side of the road were injured, he may have considered bringing a car accident suit against the minor driver. However, it is possible that the minor driver may have defended against the suit by alleging that the other driver was unsafely stopped on the side of the road, thus contributing to his own injuries. If the stopped driver’s fault was determined to be more than 50%, he would be completely barred from recovering anything.
Have You Been Injured Due to the Fault of Another?
As you can see, Georgia’s modified comparative negligence laws are stricter than many other states, and as a result it is important that you contact an experienced attorney who can not only help you pursue a claim against a defendant, but also protect you and your claim in the process. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered. Serious injuries deserve serious representation, and the attorneys at Miller Legal Services can provide you with just that. Contact Miller Legal Services at 770-284-3727 to schedule a free initial consultation today.
See Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Court Decides Important Case Involving Uninsured Motorist Protection, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 12, 2015.
Atlanta Driver Arrested After Driving Wrong Way on Highway, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 8, 2015.