When a person sues for injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall accident in Georgia, he or she must prove liability. In premises liability cases, many parties can share liability, including the plaintiff. In fact, it is not uncommon for the defendant or defendants to try to assert that the plaintiff was careless, reckless or negligent in some way, and that such inattentive behavior either caused or contributed to the accident. If the defendant can prove that the plaintiff was all or partially at fault, what does that mean for the injured party’s recovery? 

According to FindLaw, most states abide by a comparative negligence theory when it comes to premises liability accidents. What this means is that if the defense can prove the plaintiff shares liability for the accident, the jury or deciding party will reduce the plaintiff’s recovery by the amount he or she was comparatively at fault. 

Also according to FindLaw, there are two types of comparative negligence: Pure and modified. Under a pure contributory negligence theory, the judge or jury will reduce a plaintiff’s damages by the percentage of fault he or she shares. This is the case even if the plaintiff shares 99% of blame for the incident. However, in a modified comparative fault state, an injured party can only recover compensation is he or she was less than 50% at fault for the injuries. Georgia abides by a modified comparative negligence theory. 

In Georgia, the plaintiff’s negligence does not necessarily prevent him or her from recovering compensation after a slip-and-fall accident, so long as his or her share of fault does not exceed 49%. If the plaintiff shares fault, the jury or judge will reduce the award amount comparatively.