All personal injury cases have one thing in common: liability. Liability in a personal injury case determines who is responsible for an injury and directly impacts recovery amounts. Therefore, all Georgians should know how attorneys prove liability in car accident cases.
What Is Liability in Auto Accidents?
In auto accidents, liability refers to the persons or parties responsible for causing the accident. Every accident is different, which means liability is always up to interpretation given the facts of a specific case.
It’s important to note that multiple people or parties could be found liable for a single accident.
Persons or parties that could be found partially or fully liable for auto accidents include:
- Drivers: If a driver’s actions (speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, etc.) cause an accident, he or she could be found partially or fully liable.
- Manufacturers: If a car breaks down in some way (popped tire, brake failure, blown engine, etc.) the manufacturer of that part may be found partially or fully liable.
- Pedestrians: If a pedestrian acts recklessly (jumps into the street, jaywalks, intentionally scares a driver) and causes an accident, he or she could be found partially or fully liable.
- City or county governments: If a government fails to maintain roads (fix potholes, repair street signs, repaint traffic lines), then the government may be found partially or fully liable.
- Restaurants and bars: Under Georgia’s dram shop law, any bar or restaurant that knowingly gives alcohol to a minor or knowingly serves alcohol to someone who is noticeably intoxicated could be partially responsible for auto accident injuries caused by that patron.
Georgia’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule
When determining liability, Georgia follows a modified comparative fault rule. A modified comparative fault rule states that anyone can recover damages in an auto accident as long as they are less than 50% at fault. Additionally, a determined percentage of fault will impact how damages are calculated.
*Assume one driver T-bones another driver in the middle of an intersection. The driver who struck the other driver ran a red light, but the driver who was T-boned was speeding. In court, the judge determines that the driver who ran the red light is 80% at fault while the driver who was speeding was 20% at fault.
The driver who ran the red light would not qualify for recovery damages because he was more than 50% at fault for the accident. However, the driver who was speeding would be able to recover damages, but would lose 20% of those damages due to his determined percentage of fault.
*This is just an example and is not indicative of how fault percentages would be awarded in a real scenario.
How an Attorney Can Help
As you can see, determined liability will drastically impact one’s ability to recover damages from an accident. That’s why anyone injured in a Savannah auto accident should hire an experienced personal injury attorney for their case.
A personal injury attorney will:
- Examine the police report;
- Assess information from the scene of the accident;
- Gather testimony from the client; and
- Explain to the judge or jury the facts of the case.
With a trusted and experienced auto accident attorney on your side, you can rest easy knowing that your case will be handled with the utmost of care.
Have You Been Injured?
If you or a loved one was injured in a Savannah car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue just compensation. Scot Kraeuter is an award-winning personal injury attorney who can look at the facts and determine if you have a case.
Call (912) 209-6513 now for a free consultation for your auto accident injury.