If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know that it’s rare that only one driver is at fault. Usually, one driver is mostly at fault. The other driver, while not primarily responsible for the crash, may still have been partially at fault.
Often times, one driver makes a mistake that causes a chain reaction. It isn’t until your car accident attorney in Fayetteville gets a chance to review the evidence that they’ll know who was truly at fault.
Usually, one driver causes the accident but the other driver is found to be partly at fault. When this happens, the Courts try to be as fair as possible. That’s why, in Georgia, there is something called contributory negligence. This law is what keeps things fair when it comes to assessing damages.
If you’ve been in an accident, you’re going to need an experienced car accident lawyer in Fayetteville, Georgia.
How Can This Rule Hurt Your Case?
As much as we all want life to be fair, when it comes to your car accident lawsuit, you want as much money as possible. This is why there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you get into a crash in Georgia.
In order to preserve your right to damages you need to keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Never admit that you were at fault – When dealing with the other driver or the police, don’t say that the accident was your fault. Be honest and answer their questions. However, there’s no need to say you were responsible for the crash. Especially given that you really have no idea at that point who is responsible.
- Be honest with your lawyer – One thing that can ruin your case is if your Fayetteville car accident lawyer is blindsided. Make sure they know what happened. For example, if someone slams into you from behind, let your attorney know that one of your brake lights were out. It’s going to come out eventually. Let your attorney prepare for this rather than hear it from the defendant’s lawyer.
- Don’t accept a low settlement from the insurance company – If the insurance company thinks you’re partially at fault, they may offer you a very low settlement. Just because you’re afraid you may get less in court, don’t agree to a low settlement. Call and meet with an experienced car accident lawyer in Fayetteville.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have the best chance of preserving your claim.
What Happens if You are Found to Be Partially at Fault?
If the court finds that you’re partly at fault, it will affect your case. Even if the jury finds in your favor, they’ll discount your damages by your percentage of fault. For example, consider the following scenario:
You get rear-ended by a car. They were going well above the speed limit at the time of the crash. However, your left brake light was out. Your Fayetteville car accident lawyer has demanded damages in the amount of $250,000. The jury believes that you were 20% at fault for the crash. Had your brake lights been working, the car may not have hit you. Therefore, they’re going to reduce your award to $200,000.
The other thing you have to keep in mind is that the insurance company knows this may happen. When they see that your brake lights were out, they may expect the court to find you partially at fault.
This will lead the insurance adjuster to offer a lower settlement amount than they would have if your brake lights were working. The good news is, your attorney understands this too. They’ll enter settlement negotiations with an open mind and a clear objective.
Call and Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Fayetteville Today
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may need some help. Even if you think you’re partially at fault for the crash, that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer in Fayetteville will be able to review the evidence and see if you have a valid claim.
Call Wade Law and schedule your free initial consultation today. You can sit down with a lawyer who understands the law. They can also give you an idea of how much your case may be worth.
If you believe you were partially at fault, that’s okay. Be honest with your attorney. It’s better that they fully understand your case at the outset. This way, they can prepare for any issues raised by the defendant’s lawyer.