Determining liability in a Georgia car accident may seem to be a straightforward endeavor, and in some situations, that may be the case. However, when an accident involves multiple vehicles, establishing which parties are at fault and which parties are entitled to recover for their injuries can be a bit more complex.
To help judges and juries divvy up liability in Georgia multi-vehicle accident cases, courts use the comparative fault model contained in Georgia Code § 51-12-33. Under Georgia’s comparative fault model, any accident victim who is less than 50% at fault for causing an accident is able to recover for their injuries. However, in determining the appropriate amount of damages, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s damages award by their own percentage of fault. For example, if a motorist sustained $500,000 in injuries but was determined to be 10% at fault, the motorist’s total recovery amount would be $450,000 (the total figure of $500,000 less 10%).
Section 51-12-33 helps courts deal with other issues that can arise in a situation involving several potentially liable parties. For example, like the situation where a plaintiff is partly at fault, each defendant will be assigned a percentage of fault and will be responsible for their own share of the damages. This is regardless of whether there are other potentially at-fault parties that were not named in the lawsuit, for whatever reason. Additionally, a defendant cannot be held liable for amounts in excess of their own share, in the event that one of the other at-fault parties is unable to compensate a plaintiff. In other words, defendants will not be held jointly liable.
Four Georgians Killed in Texas Truck Accident
Earlier this month, a Georgia mother and her three children were killed in a chain-reaction truck accident on Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas. According to a local news report covering the tragic accident, the multi-vehicle accident involved a semi-truck, a pick-up truck, and a total of six other passenger vehicles.
Evidently, traffic had slowed on the highway, causing the chain-reaction accident. Several vehicles caught fire immediately after the collision, and police are unsure what caused the initial accident. It was determined that there had been an accident involving a pick-up truck about 45 minutes beforehand that may have caused a slow-down in traffic, although the cause of the slowdown has not yet been confirmed by police.
Although liability there will be determined by Texas law, it is interesting to note that under Georgia law, the injured parties can also legally assign blame to the initial crash.
Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Multi-Vehicle Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia multi-vehicle accident, contact Attorney Christopher Simon. Attorney Simon is a dedicated Georgia car accident attorney with decades of experience handling personal injury cases, including time working for several insurance companies. Through his experiences, Attorney Simon has come to understand how insurance companies view Georgia car accident claims, and how they defend against them. This has provided him with priceless insight, which he puts into every one of his clients’ cases. To learn how Attorney Simon can help you, call 404-259-7635 to schedule a free consultation today.
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