When more than one driver is responsible for a crash, it can complicate the settlement process. Each driver’s contribution to the crash must first be ascertained before such a claim is settled, and it is not always easy.
Police reports, eyewitness accounts, surveillance footage and even statements from the drivers can help determine the circumstances of the crash. That way, it will be much easier to determine each driver’s contribution to the accident.
You can still recover damages
Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law, you can still claim compensation if you contributed to a crash as long as your contribution did not exceed the other party’s. You can recover damages if you are 49% to blame for the accident, while the other driver cannot as they bear the majority of fault.
In addition, your contribution to the accident will diminish the recoverable damages or compensation due to you. In a similar scenario to the one above, you can only recover 51% of the damages awarded, given your level of fault.
IMPORTANT: When giving your version of how the accident occurred to the police, be very certain and definitive in how things happened. The police will use bodycameras, and what you say at the scene of the accident will be on audio and video. And once your statements are recorded, you can’t change your story later on. So make sure the story that you tell the police makes sense, given how the accident scene looks. Also, do not waiver in what you believe happened. Finally, if there are any favorable witnesses to the accident, get their names and phone numbers because sometimes in all the commotion, the police do not get all the witness info correctly. So, if at all possible, do that for yourself.
Protecting your legal rights after an accident
You should be very careful with your actions or statements after a crash, even if you don’t know whether you had anything to do with it. Your words and deeds could come back to haunt you.
Do not admit fault or make any formal statements regarding the accident to anyone. They could be insurance adjusters out to protect their interests. Instead, maintain silence until you get legal guidance.
If you are past that, it is still advisable to have proper guidance when navigating the whole process. A lot goes into such claims, from assessing damages to establishing fault, and it’s best to learn more about how everything works before getting started.