IIAG Launches Contributory Negligence Report Form
Has your client been involved in a not-at-fault accident, but the other driver’s insurer insists your client was partially responsible? If so, the IIAG Personal Lines Committee has created an online Contributory Negligence Report Form. This easy to use online form can be filled out by an agent or consumer and will help IIAG and the Department of Insurance see if there are certain carriers who abuse this practice.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Georgia's Contributory Negligence State states that in a legal action against a party for a personal injury in which the plaintiff is partially responsible for the injury, the courts will determine the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. Then, the judge will reduce the amount of the plaintiff’s awarded damages in proportion to the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.
In pure comparative negligence states, a plaintiff may be 99% at fault for injuries and still recover 1% of compensation. Georgia, however, follows a modified comparative negligence rule. The plaintiff may only be eligible for compensation if he or she is 49% or less responsible for damages claimed. If the courts find the plaintiff 50% or more at fault, he or she will lose the right to any recovery.
However, if the courts find the plaintiff less than 50% at fault, it will reduce the plaintiff’s award by an amount equivalent to his or her fault.
Section 51-11-7 of the law states that if a plaintiff could have avoided his or her damages by the use of ordinary care, the plaintiff may lose any right to financial recovery. However, if the plaintiff could not have reasonably avoided injury, the defendant cannot escape liability – even if the plaintiff contributed to the injury in some way. A plaintiff can still receive financial recovery despite his or her own negligence in Georgia.
Contributory Negligence Example
A plaintiff the courts find 10% responsible for the accident would receive $90,000 of a $100,000 award- only 90% of the total award amount.
Even if a person contributed to the personal injury accident, they may still be eligible for at least partial compensation.
How Can I Report Carriers Abusing This Practice?
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Has your client been involved in a not-at-fault accident, but the other driver’s insurer insists your client was partially responsible?