Fault in a Car Accident Case: How Is it Determined?

Home » Blog Section » Fault in a Car Accident Case: How Is it Determined?

Contrary to what most people think, it’s not always obvious who caused a car accident. Furthermore, it is very rare that one driver is 100% at fault. Very few of us are perfect drivers. When push comes to shove, we could probably all do something to become a safer driver. So, when it comes time for our Marietta car accident attorneys to prove fault, the standard is rather high.

In Georgia, if you expect to recover damages in a car accident lawsuit, your injury attorney in Marietta will have to prove negligence. We’ll explain what this is later in the article. Suffice it to say, while your lawyer is trying to prove the other driver was at fault, they’ll be doing the same thing. The defendant isn’t going to lie down and admit liability. Their goal is to convince the court that you were the one at fault. This is where your Marietta car accident attorney’s expertise will come in handy.

Our Marietta Car Accident Attorneys Know How to Prove Negligence

In Georgia, if you want to win your car accident case, you need to prove negligence. Negligence is just another way of saying that the other driver didn’t behave the way a reasonable person would have given the circumstances.

There are four elements of negligence. If you can prove all 4 elements, you’ll have a good chance of proving your case and recovering damages:

  • You have to prove the defendant owed you a duty of care. This shouldn’t be hard. All drivers owe other motorists a duty of care. At a minimum, they must obey all the local traffic laws. If they’re speeding or driving while they’re intoxicated, then they have clearly breached their duty.
  • This next element does require that your injury attorney in Marietta prove they did breach their duty of care. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can show that they broke the law. Or you can show that they were driving down the road the wrong way. Any number of things is sufficient to show a breach.
  • Your Marietta car accident attorney will have to prove that you suffered an injury. Some people they’re automatically entitled to damages because they involved in a car crash. The truth is that you can’t collect any damages if you weren’t hurt. The best way to prove you were hurt is to submit a copy of your medical records.
  • Your injuries must have been caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. This can be the hardest part of your case to prove. This is why we always tell our clients to go to the hospital immediately after their accident. This way, the other driver can’t come back and argue that something other than the accident caused your injuries.

If you can prove all 4 elements of negligence, then you should be able to win your case. The only concern will be if the defendant can prove that you were just as much as fault as they were.

What if the Other Driver Claims You Were Partly At Fault?

As mentioned above, it is rare that one driver is 100% responsible for a car accident. Undoubtedly, the defendant’s lawyer is going to argue that you caused the crash. They’ll cite whatever information they can find to prove it.

The good news is that, even if they can prove you were partially at fault, you can still collect damages. The way the law works in Georgia is that plaintiffs can still collect damages, even if they are partly to blame for the crash. This is because Georgia follows something called the comparative negligence rule. This rule dictates that you can still collect damages if you’re partly at fault in an accident. However, it also states that your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

What this means is that your initial demand may be reduced if the defendant proves that you were partly at fault. Imagine that you sued someone for $200,000 in a rear-end accident. Normally, the rear driver is 100% at fault, at least according to the law. However, the defendant can prove that your brake lights weren’t working at the time of the crash.

In this situation, the court would likely side with the defendant. They may find that you were 30% at fault. If this is the case, then your $200,000 demand will be reduced by 30%, or $60,000. Instead of collecting $200,000, you’ll only receive $140,000. This is still a significant amount of money. It is also better than nothing. There are many states that don’t allow you to collect any damages if you’re just 1% at fault.

Reach Out to a Seasoned Marietta Car Accident Attorney Right Away

If you’ve recently been hurt in a car accident, you may have a claim for damages, even if the insurance company doesn’t agree. The best way to know for sure is to meet with an experienced Marietta car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. When you sit down with one of our associates, you’ll have the chance to ask any questions you may have. You can also get an idea of whether your case is strong enough to prove the other driver was at fault.

The best thing to do is to call our office right away and schedule your free, initial consultation. We offer our potential clients this free consultation, so they get a a chance to decide if they want to move forward. Not everybody is comfortable filing a lawsuit. However, if this is the only way to get the compensation you deserve, the decision shouldn’t be that hard.

Call today and set up a date and time that works for you. Since the consultation is free, you have nothing to lose. The defendant will have an attorney working for them and you should too. There’s too much at stake to try to handle this all by yourself.