Have you been involved in an accident that resulted in bodily injury? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation, however, can be at risk if you contributed at all to the accident. It is critical to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Georgia so that a thorough investigation can be conducted and a detailed analysis of the facts and circumstances can be undertaken. You do not want to lose out on the compensation you deserve – the compensation that can help you recover from physical and mental harm – because the defendant argues you contributed to the accident.
At Lawson Law, P.C., our personal injury lawyer in Lawrenceville, Georgia or Gwinnett County understands the law and how to use it to maximize recovery of compensation in personal injury cases. Do not let time pass you by before starting your personal injury claim because the defendant is not waiting to build a case against recovery. Contact us at 866-492-7452 today to schedule a Free Consultation.
What Constitutes Contributory Negligence in Georgia?
Contributory negligence is a legal principle used to defend personal injury claims. It's an absolute defense – if a plaintiff's actions contributed to the incident and their subsequent injuries in any way, they are barred from recovering any damages.
Many states, including Georgia have abolished the rugged principles of Contributory Negligence and use a Comparative Fault analysis in case where a Plaintiff may have some degree of fault for causing any type of accident responsible for injury. In Georgia, a Plaintiff is barred from recovery whenever his or her degree of fault for an accident causing injury is 50% or greater. In situations, where the Plaintiff's degree of fault is less than 50%, the Plaintiff's total recovery is reduced by the amount of fault assessed to the Plaintiff.
What Types of Personal Injury Cases in Georgia Involve Contributory Negligence?
Defendants may raise contributory negligence in the context of the following:
- Car, truck, motorcycle, or other auto accidents, including those involving pedestrians and bicyclists
- Boat or flying accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice, e.g., where a patient doesn't follow a doctor's post-operative instructions
- Dog bites, e.g., where a plaintiff provoked a dog
- Wrongful death, including workplace accidents
- Product liability, e.g., where the plaintiff used the product in a way not intended by the manufacturer
- Premises liability, including slip and fall accidents
Who Determines Contributory Negligence in Georgia
Who is at fault in a personal injury case – including the issue of contributory negligence or comparative fault – is a finding of fact, not law. In most personal injury cases, if the matter goes to trial, the jury acts as the fact finder.
In a case where contributory negligence is raised, the jury hears the evidence from both sides to decide whether the plaintiff contributed in any way to their injuries.
In some cases, the judge will hear the evidence and decide whether contributory negligence applies. This is particularly true in bench trials as opposed to jury trials.
How Is Contributory Negligence in Georgia Used as a Defense in a Personal Injury Claim
Insurance companies often act on behalf of parties in personal injury cases. The nature of their business model means that insurers have a commercial interest in reducing the payouts they make.
Where the defense of contributory negligence or comparative fault is available, defendant insurers commonly raise it to try and defeat a personal injury claim. This can cause significant financial stress to a plaintiff who sustained extensive or serious injuries.
How Can a Plaintiff Protect Themselves against a Contributory Negligence Defense in Georgia?
If you're the plaintiff in a personal injury claim where the defendant alleges contributory negligence or comparative fault, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer.
At Lawson Law Firm, we are personal injury attorneys with extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and can review your matter to assess the strength of the contributory negligence claim. We can also advise you on how to best proceed to ensure you have the best chance of receiving adequate compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Lawrenceville, Georgia Today
If you or a loved one has suffered harm in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. You must act fast, especially if you live in a jurisdiction that adheres to the contributory negligence rule. Contact Lawson Law, P.C. at 866-492-7452 or by filling out our online form. Our personal injury lawyer in Lawrenceville, Georgia or Gwinnett County will schedule a Free Consultation to review your case.