Traffic Safety Law Violations Resulting in Georgia Motor Vehicle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced the lowest motor vehicle accident fatality rate since 1950. Despite significant improvements in making our roads safer, traffic accidents claimed the lives of over 33,000 people last year. This recent report addressed all types of traffic accidents including car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, SUV rollover accidents, bus accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
Over 2.2 million additional people were injured in a motor vehicle accident which though an improvement is still a staggering number of traffic accident related injuries. Many traffic safety laws are designed to prevent accidents and make the roads safer. A violation of those traffic safety statutes can in and of itself constitute negligence if a driver is involved in a Georgia traffic accident. At Montlick and Associates, we have spent 25 years working with people throughout the State of Georgia and the SouthEast who have seen their lives permanently altered by an unexpected motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious or even catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Georgia law permits one to establish that a driver has committed "negligence per se" if one violates a law that is designed to promote public safety. This effectively means that unless the violation is excused, the driver is negligent as a matter of law. The legal affect of negligence per se for violation of a Georgia public safety law is that a driver is presumed to have been negligent. The driver can still present evidence to rebut the presumption that he was negligent, but the burden of proof basically shifts to the defendant to establish that he was not negligent.
Georgia courts have consistently treated the Georgia Uniform Rules of the Road as public safety statutes which form a basis for a finding of negligence per se by a driver who violates the rules. These rules address such areas as the following:
- Drunk Driving Prohibitions
- Unsafe Passing
- Obeying Traffic Signs & Signals
- Following too Closely
- Improper Turns
- Improper Lane Changes
A violation of any of the rules means that the defendant in a motor vehicle accident case must rebut the presumption that his violation of this rule was negligent. Even if the presumption is not rebutted, the injured driver must still establish that the violation caused his injuries and that the driver was actually injured. Often a police report or traffic ticket may serve as a basis for establishing a violation of the traffic law, but a violation may be proven even without such official evidence from law enforcement. Witnesses and physical evidence at the scene may also help establish a traffic safety law violation.
At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our Georgia accident lawyers have been helping those involved in serious car accidents with drivers who violate traffic and safety laws for over 38 years. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast 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 today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.