Sometimes, the fault in a vehicle accident is clear, but other times, it can be tricky. Most states have negligence laws to help make determining fault easier and thus assign damages in a personal injury suit. Drivers in Georgia who are found partially at fault may wonder if they can still file an accident claim.
Overview of fault laws
There are 12 no-fault states, which means each driver covers their own injuries with their insurance. Drivers must purchase Personal Injury Protection in these states to pay for medical bills regardless of fault. While no-fault laws remove the burden of finding fault to save time, drivers can’t get compensated for pain and suffering.
The other states, including Georgia, are at-fault states, meaning the responsible driver pays for damages. In at-fault states, officers must find fault, and the driver can file a claim with that driver’s insurance.
Types of negligence
After a car accident, the responsibility for personal injuries is based on negligence, or which person’s actions contributed to the accident. However, both parties can share some blame for the accident, and they both get assigned a percentage.
One type of negligence is pure comparative negligence, which means that injured drivers found 99% at fault can still sue another driver. States such as Georgia that apply modified comparative negligence allow recovery for damages that do not exceed 50%.
Other states under modified comparative negligence bar drivers from collecting damages if they find the drivers 51% or greater at fault. Under contributory negligence rules, if drivers are found 1% at fault, they cannot file an accident claim. Only South Dakota uses the slight but gross rule, which allows drivers to collect damages if they are slightly at fault.
Injured drivers should not delay filing a claim since many states have time restrictions. Individuals seeking damages will have a limited number of months or years to claim compensation from the other driver or their insurance company.