Establishing Fault: Litigation Issues in Georgia Car Accident Lawsuits


November 18, 2012

While there has been a significant decline in the number of motor vehicle accidents in Georgia during the last 5 years, Georgia roads remain more deadly than those in other states with accident rates exceeding the national average. Many of these accidents are the result of preventable unsafe driving practices, such as, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, violations of traffic safety laws (i.e. speeding, following too close, unsafe lane changes, failure to obey traffic signals, failure to yield, etc.) and aggressive driving.

When a driver is injured in a Georgia car accident, an accident victim's ability to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disability or disfigurement, property damage and other related damages depends (with limited exceptions with respect to medical bills) on establishing the other driver is "at-fault," which means they caused the accident and that the collision caused one's injuries. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those who suffer serious injuries and wrongful death in Georgia car accidents since 1984.

If you are involved in a Georgia auto collision, the other driver's attorney or insurance carrier will typically dispute who was at-fault where the issue is unclear. Some common examples where the issue of fault is disputed include the following:

Rear End Collision: While generally a driver who runs into the vehicle in front of him or her will be considered at-fault, this generalization is often disputed. The driver that collides with the other vehicle will often claim that the vehicle that was struck from the rear stopped short. However, a Georgia driver has an obligation to anticipate that the driver in front may need to stop short to avoid a hazard so this will typically not change the issue of liability. Sometimes the driver who causes the collision will even claim that the car in front of them was backing up.

Intersection Accident: A driver going straight through an intersection may argue that another driver cut off the vehicle by making an illegal left turn into the car's path. The vehicle that is turning may claim that the driver going straight through the intersection failed to stop at a red light.

Competing Traffic Safety Violations: Sometimes both drivers engage in conduct that constitutes a violation of traffic safety laws. The parties may dispute which violation actually caused the auto accident. Even if one of the drivers is clearly at-fault, the violation by the other driver may result in a determination that both drivers shared fault to some degree, which would result in a reduction in recovery in proportion to the plaintiff's degree of fault.

While these are only a few example of how fault may be in dispute in a car accident, the point is that the issue of fault is often far from clear cut. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we offer a free consultation to advise you about your legal rights and to discuss liability issues. We have been helping accident victims and Georgia families get the compensation they deserve for nearly three decades. We advise injured parties to always speak with a qualified Georgia auto accident attorney before speaking with the other driver's insurance adjuster or attorney.

We are committed to providing you with exceptional services and to our ongoing goal of being the best Georgia car accident lawyers. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us 24/7 today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com where you can use our Free 24/7 Live Online Chat. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.