Car Accidents: Liability in Rear End Collisions in Georgia
There are countless ways in which car accidents occur each year in the State of Georgia. Many times car accidents are the result of a driver's failure to operate their vehicle with caution or proper attention. The various factors that can come into play in a car accident can make it challenging to determine who is at fault and who should bear liability for the accident. However, some traffic accidents are not as easy to determine fault as others. Rear end collisions are a type of accidents that fault seems abundantly clear. It would make sense to think that the driver following another car would be automatically held liable if he or she hit the car in front. Further, it would seem that the driver was following too close and should have allowed more space between their car and the car they are following in order to avoid a rear-end accident if something unexpected were to occur. However, even in these simple types of accidents, liability can become a matter of debate. Here are two scenarios in which a driver may rear end someone, and yet manage to dodge some of the responsibility for causing the accident.
The Vehicle That Was Rear-ended Has a Flaw
If a driver gets rear ended after slowing down, that driver might bear some of the responsibility for the accident if his or her car had no brake lights. In this scenario, the second driver would not have had as much warning as he or she should have had before the car slowed. If it was dark or raining, it might have been even more difficult for the second driver to properly gage how fast the first car was going, or to see that the first car was slowing down. This is not to say that the first car would necessarily be completely to blame in this case, but the question of liability would not be settled simply because the second car rear ended the first. Here, the actions or inactions of each driver would be weighed against each other to determine who bore the brunt of liability for the accident.
The "Front Car" Driver Abruptly Changed His or Her Mind
Imagine the first driver is not completely sure they know where they are going, or perhaps they are just spacing out and listening to the radio when they realize they almost missed their exit or turn. They slam on the brakes and swerve. Alternatively, perhaps they were about to turn and realized they did not want to turn and pulled quickly out of the turn lane. In either of these cases, if the driver behind the indecisive front car driver hits the first car, the question of liability will have to be discussed. Did the second car have time to notice the first driver's move? Did the driver in the first car signal before switching in or out of a lane? Was the second driver speeding or following too close behind? Each of the drivers' actions would have to be weighed to determine who was at fault.
When it comes to car accidents, even situations that seem like they should be clear cut are often not as simple as they appear. Questions of liability can have great consequences for drivers, and how they are handled will vary based on the laws of the state in which the accident occurred. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should speak with an attorney at Montlick & Associates to determine the best course of action for you to take.
Tips to Help You Avoid Rear-end Collisions
- Pay Attention to Traffic Further Ahead
- Pay Attention to Your Driving and Avoid Distractions
- Check Your Mirrors Frequently and the Observe Traffic Around You
- As You Prepare to Stop, Look For an Escape Route
- Make Smooth, Progressive Stops.
- Keep Plenty of Distance Between You and the Car in Front of You at Stops for an Escape Route
- Ensure the Functionality of Your Brake Lights and Turning Signals.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 33 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!
Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Our firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-three years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
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