Different States Have Different Rules for Fault
The state where the accident happened can affect how fault is determined after a car accident and how compensation is calculated. There are two types of states when it comes to fault, no-fault states and at-fault states. Here’s how they differ:
- No-fault states: There are 12 no-fault states where each driver’s insurer pays for their damages, regardless of who was at fault. The involved parties cannot sue each other unless they meet certain thresholds of injury or damage.
- At-fault states: In these states, the negligent driver is responsible for paying for the other driver’s damages. The drivers can choose to file with the other driver’s insurance company or directly sue them.
When it comes to negligence, different states follow different approaches when assigning liability in negligence cases. The two broad categories are contributory negligence and comparative negligence.
- Contributory negligence states: In these states, a driver who is even slightly at fault cannot receive compensation, and drivers can only sue each other if they are entirely blameless.
- Comparative negligence states: There are two sub-categories of this doctrine, pure and modified. In pure comparative negligence states, a driver can recover compensation even if they are 99 percent at fault. However, in modified comparative negligence states, a driver can only recover compensation if their fault is less than a certain threshold. In Georgia, the threshold is 50 percent, so only those 49 percent at fault can recover compensation equal to the at-fault driver’s fault percentage.
Fault determination in auto accidents can be a complex and challenging process. It requires carrying out thorough investigations and being very familiar with state laws. Therefore, knowing your rights and responsibilities after a car accident is essential, and a car accident attorney can help with that.
The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!