Imagine this situation: Somebody slams into your car at an intersection and then files a lawsuit against you. Maybe you had pulled out slightly past the stop sign, but you were not doing anything extremely dangerous. You end up paying for some of that driver’s medical cost.
Does that sound fair to you? Luckily, it did not sound fair to Georgia lawmakers.
In a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, such as a car accident case, one of your first tasks is to determine who is to blame. As explained on FindLaw, the concept here is comparative negligence. You would be examining how negligent you are in comparison to the other parties in your lawsuit.
The concept is relatively simple, but it would require some considerable work to enact a strategy. In court, all of the careless, reckless, incompetent and malicious actions add up to 100 percent. Then, you would determine who is responsible for each percentage point and apply that responsibility to the losses.
Modifying the system
There are many ways to modify this system. In Georgia, the law states that you could not recover damages if you were more than 50 percent at fault.
Going back to the example of the car hitting you at an intersection, you might be able to predict how the other drivers lawsuit might resolve. Your attorney would probably do some research and investigation to provide evidence that the other driver was much more to blame. That would keep the other side from compelling you to pay for injuries.
Turning the tables
The same concept works both ways. Imagine that you get into an accident and suffer severe injuries. It is likely that the other side would work diligently to prove you are to blame for the collision. It could seem spiteful — especially if you do not understand the system — but it is often just a strategic legal move.