Partial Liability Concerns
Personal Injury Lawyers
Although it is generally a good idea to seek legal guidance after sustaining a preventable injury under a host of circumstances, it is particularly important to seek professional support when certain factors play a role in an injurious situation. For example, if you believe that an individual, business, or even a government agency is partially responsible for your harm, you need to speak with an attorney about holding them accountable.
However, you’ll want to keep in mind that you won’t be able to seek damages from others who were partially responsible for your harm in some states if you were more than 49 percent to blame for what happened to you. This is because some states are known as a modified comparative negligence state.
Modified Comparative Negligence
In a pure comparative negligence state – like Florida or California – injury victims can pursue economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit regardless of the degree of fault assigned to them. In theory, even if an injury victim is 99% to blame for their circumstances, they can still sue another party for 1% of their case value in damages.
In Georgia, protections for injury victims aren’t so broad. Instead, injury victims can only sue others for harm if they, themselves, were 49% or less at fault for their injurious circumstances. Once their case has been valued, the amount of compensation that they can collect will be reduced in direct accordance with their degree of fault assigned. For example, if a victim’s harm has been valued at $500,000 and they are assigned 20% of the blame for their situation, they can pursue $400,000 from others whose negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct also directly contributed to the cause(s) of their injuries. A lawyer can speak to the value of your case and how fault could alter the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled.
Determining Degrees of Fault
This information isn’t meant to scare you. It is entirely possible that you have a far stronger case on your hands than you have initially allowed yourself to believe. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to avoid resting on any assumptions about your situation until you’ve spoken with a lawyer. You may be under the impression now that you’re at least 50 percent to blame for what happened to you. But, as an experienced black personal injury lawyer – including those who practice at Council & Associates, LLC – can confirm, assumptions about the degree of fault that should be assigned to each party are rarely accurate at a glance.
Determining the degree of fault that should rightfully be assigned to each party requires a thorough investigation of the facts. Once the truth has been unveiled – whatever that truth may be – an experienced attorney can advise you about the genuine strengths and weaknesses of your case. At that point, you’ll be empowered to make an informed decision – if your case is viable – about whether pursuing legal action is worth your time, energy, and effort.