Georgia Auto Accidents Involving Disabled Drivers: Special Considerations


April 29, 2011

Disabled drivers who wish to operate motor vehicles in Georgia must take a driver’s test the same way as someone who is not disabled. Although examiners are trained to be aware of the fact that it may take someone with a disability a little longer to complete some maneuvers and that they may have specially equipped vehicles, the driver is still required to maintain the proper speed limit and abide by other traffic safety laws throughout their behind-the-wheel driving test.

The biggest concern of a driving school when someone with a disability is planning on driving a specially equipped vehicle is that the driver is in control of the vehicle at all times while driving. Proper use of the vehicle controls will need to be evaluated by the examiner so that they can decide whether or not to pass the person.

When the disabled search for insurance coverage for an adapted vehicle, they also can run into some challenges. The insurance company may take the position that the disabled person is a high-risk driver. Much like someone who has a poor driving record gets stuck with higher premiums and/or limited coverage, a disabled driver may not be able to get the same coverage at the same rate as a driver who is not disabled. The insurance company may require more than just proof that a disabled person has a driver’s license. The insurer will often require a letter from the disabled person’s physician indicating that a disabled driver can safely operate the modified motor vehicle.

A disabled driver is held to the same standards to drive safely and obey traffic safety law but may have additional restrictions imposed on his or her driving privileges. If a disabled person is involved in a Georgia motor vehicle accident, a disabled person is liable for any injuries resulting from inattentive or careless driving practices and failure to comply with any special license restrictions. A disabled person who is injured in a serious motor vehicle accident in Georgia is also entitled to recover damages if the other driver is at-fault or the negligence of a third party contributed to the Georgia motor vehicle accident.

When a disabled person is driving a vehicle and is involved in an accident, they can be faced with unique challenges and come under closer scrutiny. The insurance company for the other driver will examine and investigate whether or not the disabled driver was operating his vehicle, if an adapted vehicle, in a controlled manner. The insurance company may also attempt to establish that the disabled driver failed to comply with applicable driver’s license restrictions. The insurance company also may try to use these issues to support its position that the disabled driver was at-fault or to minimize the percentage of fault of its own insured. The other driver’s insurance company may claim that the disabled person's modified vehicle as well as any physical or mental limitations of the disabled driver caused or contributed to the Georgia motor vehicle accident.

It is important to seek the immediate advice of a Georgia personal injury attorney if you are disabled and have been in an auto accident with your adapted vehicle. There may even be product liability issues related to the equipment used to adapt the vehicle that make the manufacturer or installer of the equipment liable for the accident. Our experienced Georgia motor vehicle accident attorneys carefully investigate our clients’ accidents to preserve facts and evidence that will protect their rights and claims to compensation for their serious injuries.

If the careless or inattentive driving of someone in a Georgia motor vehicle accident has seriously injured you, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Montlick and Associates, we have been representing clients in Atlanta car accidents and car accidents throughout Georgia for over 27 years. Our knowledgeable and experienced Georgia motor vehicle accidents attorneys fight for our clients’ best interests. The Atlanta motor vehicle accident law firm of Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, 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. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

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.