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Proving Fault

Savannah Attorneys Explain ‘Proving Fault’ After a Car Accident

What you need to know about legal liability and victims’ rights in Georgia

Georgia is an-fault- state when it comes to auto accident claims. This means that to recover damages, an accident victim must prove that someone else was at more than 50 percent at fault for the accident and its consequences. Under Georgia’s modified comparative fault rule, the victim’s damages are reduced in proportion to his or her percentage of fault. At Owens & Mulherin in Savannah, our auto accident attorneys have extensive experience with proving fault of other drivers while defending our clients from allegations of contributory negligence. If you have been an accident victim, we will strive to maximize the amount of your recovery, so you receive the full compensation you deserve.

Gathering evidence of fault after a Georgia vehicle accident

In a motor vehicle accident case, a victim must prove the defendant’s fault by a preponderance of the evidence. This means it was more likely than not that the defendant principally caused the accident. Car accident attorneys look for facts that indicate negligence while driving and causation, which means that the negligent act led directly to the crash. Evidence can take many forms, such as:

  • Police reports
  • Surveillance camera footage
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Physical damage to vehicles
  • The physical nature of the accident scene
  • Verbal admissions from the defendant
  • Photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and physical injuries
  • Medical records
  • Expenditure receipts
  • Expert testimony

Accident victims can help their case substantially by acting immediately to preserve evidence and by contacting an attorney as soon as possible so that a timely investigation can start.

Assessing liability for your car crash

A driver is legally liable for damages if they breach their duty to operate a vehicle safely and that breach of duty leads directly to a crash. For example, a driver might allow distractions to interfere with safe operation of the car by using a cellphone or GPS, eating or drinking, applying makeup, reaching for an object or adjusting the sound system. Drivers can also fail to obey stop signs and red signals, fail to yield the right of way, drive too aggressively or drive under the influence. All of these behaviors can establish fault.

An important task for any attorney is to identify all potential defendants for the case. Parties other than the driver can be liable for an accident. At times, mechanical failures or poor road conditions can be contributing causes, the parties responsible for vehicle service or for road construction and maintenance can be found liable.

The law of negligence in a Georgia auto accident

Negligence is breach of the duty to drive with reasonable care. When negligence leads directly to a crash, the driver is liable for damages. Yet, the law also covers cases where both drivers breach the duty of care and contribute to the crash. This is called comparative negligence. In Georgia, a crash victim must be less than 50 percent responsible in order to receive compensation. Moreover, compensation is reduced in proportion to the victim’s fault. For example, if an accident victim sustained $100,000 in losses due to a crash, but was 20 percent responsible, the victim could only receive $80,000 in damages.

Navigating insurance claims for Georgia auto accidents

Because of the complexities of proving fault and defending against allegations of comparative negligence, you should not attempt to settle a car accident claim on your own. An experienced attorney at our firm can assess your case and help you pursue the maximum recovery possible.

Contact our experienced Savannah auto accident lawyers

Owens & Mulherin in Savannah provides trustworthy personal injury representation for victims of car accidents. Call us today at 912-212-2100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Reviews From Our Clients
  • "I was pregnant and injured in an automobile accident. Mr. Owens, personally, came to the hospital. He told me he would handle everything, I just needed to get healthy for the baby and myself. Mr. Owens did everything he said he would. I highly recommend Owens and Mulherin. Everyone in their office is friendly and informative. You're not just another client with them, they genuinely care." - Lindsay Chadwick

  • "Highly recommend working with this group!! They are very friendly, understanding, caring people and very easy to talk to. They Gave us plenty of time to talk with them. Did not make us feel rushed and explained everything thoroughly. Made the experience the best possible and we had a positive outcome during a tragic time. Thank you to the attorneys and entire staff." - Cindy Shuman

  • "I found Mr. Owens to be very professional and extremely sympathetic towards my needs as a result of my injuries. His experience helped guide me through my case and we ultimately won in the end...settled out of court! Thanks for all your help!" - Diane Calahan

  • "Following an automobile accident I sought representation from Wil Owens. Throughout the process he and his staff were always very kind, informative, and diligent in protecting my rights and interests. I knew my case was minor comparatively speaking, however, they never minimized the importance of my situation or claim. I would highly recommend this local law firm!!Sincerely,Christi (Fry) Vinyard" - Christi Fry

  • "This was my first time having to get an attorney and my experience was great. They make sure you fully understand everything that's going on and make sure the case is settled in your favor. I highly recommend this attorney office if you need one." - Dee James

  • "Absolutely 100% the best law firm around. I was completely blown away by the staff with all their generosity and helpfulness every step of the way. Wilbur Owens is hands down the best attorney I have ever met. He was caring, professional, and helpful in all aspects of my case, from the very begining with all my treatments to the very end with my settlement. He was highly recommend to me and I have heard nothing but great things about him and his firm. They truly are the best around and if ths need were to arise again in the future I will gladly come to the law firm of Owens and Mulherin. Wonderful people and they gave me my life back as well as piece of mind, and for that I am and always will be truly thankful." - Courtney Graves

  • "I had a good experience with Mr. Owens and Ms. Teresa. They were very professional and was on point. It was a long process but it was worth the wait. I would recommend anyone to this lawfirm." - Ashley Robertson

  • "My thanks to Mr. Owens and his crew. After getting injured at work , and not knowing what to do I found them thru a local web search. Everyone in the office was great, Will walked me thru my case and explained how it would go. After everything I would highly recommend this law firm. I can't say enough of Mr. Owens and his staff . Thank you for your help!" - Mark Kalla

  • "I worked with Mr. Ownens and his team for my most recent accident involving 2 uninsured motorists, and I am extremely pleased with the way my case was worked, as well as the outcome. I cannot say anything negative about the law firm whatsoever, but I can tell you that being hit by uninsured vehicles is a nightmare." - Nic Schuman

  • "Loved working with me. Mulherin. Didn’t make me feel rushed or pinned against a wall. He gave me the beat and worse case scenario. Went to bat for me when the insurance company thought they could get away with being cheap. Brooke was amazing to work with to. Always answered calls or emails in a timely manner." - Natasha Campbell

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Wilbur D. Owens Attorney Photo
Wilbur D. Owens

Mr. Owens devotes his practice exclusively to representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death claims. His primary focus is automobile/tractor-trailer accidents, dog bites, slip/trip and falls, medical malpractice, injuries from dangerous products, job injuries and nursing home abuse. Before joining forces with Mr. Mulherin to open Owens & Mulherin in 2001, Mr. Owens worked…

Joseph A. Mulherin Attorney Photo
Joseph A. Mulherin

Mr. Mulherin represents individuals in personal injury cases. His primary practice areas are automobile accidents, tractor-trailer collisions, medical malpractice claims and workplace injuries. Before forming Owens & Mulherin with Mr. Owens in 2001, Mr. Mulherin practiced at Bouhan, Williams & Levy, LLP, from 1984 - 2000, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases.…

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