Just because you were partially at fault for your personal injury does not mean that you will be unable to pursue your claim. However, your percentage of fault will reduce the amount that you will be able to recover. So for example, if you were 30% at fault for the injury, then your claim would be reduced by 30%.
In Georgia, the law of reduction due to fault by the injured person is called “Comparative Negligence.” As mentioned, Comparative Negligence provides that an injured person’s claim will be reduced by the percentage they are at fault, but, only up to a certain point. If your level of fault for the injury is equal to, or exceeds the other person, than you will NOT be allowed to recover at all.
So for example, if your damages in a particular case are $10,000 dollars, and you were 49% at fault, then your award would be reduced by $4900, leaving you with an award of $5100. However, if you were 50% at fault, then you would be completely barred from receiving anything.
Still, you should be aware that while Comparative Negligence allows recovery even where you may be partially at fault, where possible, defendants may attempt to defeat your claim by asserting the defense of “Assumption of the Risk.”
Assumption of the Risk means that the injured person could have, but chose not to, avoid the negligence of the other person. For example, when two people voluntarily participate in an underground street fight, or take part in an illegal drag race, and one is injured, the other party may assert the defense of assumption or the risk.
The law surrounding Comparative Negligence and Assumption of the Risk can be very complicated. If you or a loved one have been injured, and you are not sure how your own actions may affect your claim, then please feel free to call and speak to an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer today.