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Know how Georgia negligence laws apply to car accidents

If you have been involved in a car accident, you should know how to hold the responsible party accountable for your damages. At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we have years of experience recovering compensation on behalf of victims of negligence. Our team knows how state laws will affect the outcome of your case and the damages to which you may be entitled.

As with any personal injury lawsuit, you will have to establish fault on the part of the defendant for your injury. This could include recreating the scene of the incident, providing eyewitness testimony and presenting medical bills and other costs. Should the jury determine that the defendant is 100 percent responsible for your injuries, you will be able to recover all of the award they determine you should receive.

However, Georgia operates under a contributory negligence law that states that if you as the plaintiff are determined to be partially responsible for the incident, your reward will be reduced by that percentage. If you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible, you will not be able to recover damages.

For example, say you were driving your vehicle and someone ran a red light and hit your car. At first glance, it may seem that the car that ran the light is completely responsible for your damages. However, if you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time, a jury may determine that your injuries were worse than they may have otherwise been.

In that situation, the jury could find that you were 20 percent responsible for the incident. The jury could also return a $100,000 award for you. According to the state law, you would only be able to receive $80,000, because the award must be reduced by 20 percent.

For more information on this topic, please visit our page regarding motor vehicle accidents.

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