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Even a small amount of fault for a crash can lessen compensation

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2023 | Car Accidents

If you were involved in a serious car crash, you may believe the other driver was completely at fault. That may well be accurate. 

Nonetheless, you can count on that driver’s insurer to look for ways in which you bear some responsibility for the crash. Even a small amount of fault on your part can lessen the amount of compensation the at-fault driver (or likely their insurance company) owes you.

Modified comparative fault and the 50% rule

State laws around negligence and compensation vary. Georgia law follows a version of the “modified comparative” fault rule known as the “50% rule.” What does that mean for how much compensation you can collect?

In a two-car crash, for example, one driver may be determined to be 75% at fault and the other driver 25% at fault. That means the driver with the lesser amount of fault’s compensation is reduced by 25% of what it would be if they had zero fault. 

The 50% rule simply means that as long as a driver has less than half the responsibility for the crash, they’re entitled to collect some compensation. They would be entitled to more if they’re 0% at fault as opposed to, for example, 45% at fault.

How is the percentage of fault determined?

The amount of fault of anyone involved in the crash, as you can see, is key to how much of your expenses are compensated. Fault is determined through things like police reports, photos and videos of the crash (or the aftermath), eyewitness accounts and more. 

Don’t just assume that everyone will see it your way. You can better protect your right to fair compensation by having experienced legal guidance to protect your rights and present your case.