Georgia Ranks 6th on the List of Deadliest States for Pedestrians

Georgia In Top 6 Of Deadliest State for Pedestrians Personal Injury

Pedestrians walking near or across busy roadways are vulnerable. While that is true across the country, some areas are more dangerous for pedestrians than others. According to a recent study, Georgia ranks as one of the deadliest states for pedestrians in recent years.

Pedestrian Deaths in Georgia

According to the nationwide study of pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017, Georgia ranked sixth among states for the most pedestrian deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents. During that time, 1,782 pedestrians were struck and killed in the state, which is approximately 184 annually. That works out to exactly 1.76 pedestrian deaths for every 100,000 Georgia residents during that time frame. That is noticeably higher than the national average of 1.55 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people.

According to the data, Florida tops the list as the deadliest state for pedestrians during the time span studied. In Florida, 5,433 pedestrian deaths were reported, which worked out to 2.73 annual deaths for every 100,000 residents. That is nearly double the national average.

Atlanta Statistics

When it comes to pedestrian deaths in Georgia, the Atlanta area is far and away responsible for the majority of deaths. With 1.79 pedestrian fatalities in the Atlanta area for every 100,000 people, the city has a higher death rate than both the state and national average.

Some experts point to the nature of Atlanta’s transportation infrastructure. The area relies on motor vehicles over mass transit at a much higher rate than other large cities. The result is more congestion on Atlanta’s roadways, more accidents, and more fatalities.

Another issue raised in Metro Atlanta is the poor condition of many city sidewalks. In some places, the sidewalks are in such disrepair that it is necessary to walk on the road. While efforts have been underway to fund the repair of these sidewalks, those efforts have stalled due to a funding shortage. The result is a partial cause for the high rate of pedestrian fatalities in the city.

Trends

Despite advancements in car technology, the problem of pedestrian fatalities is not going away. While 2017 reflected a slight drop from the previous year, the annual death total has increased significantly across the 10-year study. On average, 13 pedestrians are killed in America each day. That works out to a death every one hour and forty-six minutes.

Injured in a Pedestrian accident? Contact One of Our Atlanta Area Personal Injury Attorneys Today.

It is the responsibility of Georgia drivers to keep a look out for pedestrians while driving. Even a brief lapse in judgment can lead to deadly consequences if a driver strikes a defenseless pedestrian with their vehicle. Whether caused by a drunk driver, distracted driving, or merely inattention, the result of a vehicle striking a pedestrian can be life-altering. If you have been hit by a car, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered. Your potential damages go beyond just your hospital bills, as the responsible party may also be required to pay your lost wages as well as pain and suffering. To learn about your options, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys with Williams Elleby at 833-LEGALGA.

Is an Apartment Building Liable for a Broken Security Gate?

Who Is Liable for Broken Security Gate and Personal Injury?

Georgia landlords have a duty to fix broken security gates in order to keep residents safe. This is especially true when they have notice of criminal activity nearby. If there is a history of break-ins or robberies in the area, your landlord may be required to provide heightened security. When a complex falls into disrepair, your landlord may be on the hook for injuries suffered as a result of negligent security. One of the most common cases of negligent security is the failure to repair a faulty security gate. And, unfortunately, the consequences of a defective security gate can be deadly.

Liability for Negligent Security in Georgia

The owners and managers of Georgia apartment complexes owe a duty to both tenants and visitors to take steps to prevent crime on their premises. O.C.G.A. § 51-3-1. Any apartment complex that fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their tenants could be held liable for the damages that result from crime on the property. Walker v. Aderhold Properties, Inc., 303 Ga. App. 710 (2010).

Landlords and property managers are not liable for every crime that occurs at a Georgia apartment complex. There are two primary requirements that must be met for liability to apply to a landlord:

  • The criminal actions must have been foreseeable
  • The landlord must have failed to take reasonable measures to prevent crime

Foreseeable Threat

To be liable to a crime victim, a landlord or property manager must have been able to foresee the possibility of the crime in question. Drayton v. Kroger Co., 297 Ga. App. 484 (2009). The best way to prove a crime was foreseeable is to determine if similar criminal activity has occurred on or around the complex. If the apartment has had a string of break-ins, or if the surrounding neighborhood has a history of muggings, the threat may have been foreseeable to the point that your landlord should have taken steps to prevent it. In assessing the foreseeability of similar crimes, Georgia courts will “inquire into the location, nature and extent of the prior criminal activities and their likeness, proximity or other relationship to the crime in question.” Sturbridge Partners, Ltd. v. Walker, 267 Ga. 785 (1997).

Reasonable Measures

The second requirement is that the landlord failed to take “reasonable” steps to address the threat. Whether or not a step is reasonable is entirely subjective and determined on a case by case basis. Matt v. Days Inns, 212 Ga. App. 792, 794 (1994). If a negligent security lawsuit ends up going to trial, it will be up to the jury to determine if the steps taken were reasonable. But when it comes to the failure to repair a broken security gate, a strong case can be made that it is unreasonable allow a gate to remain in disrepair. After all, the gate is there for a reason.

While landlords and management companies might point to the cost of maintaining security gates, those costs are less than other security measures that may be necessary in areas where violent crime is rampant. Additionally, any savings from failing to maintain a security gate can quickly be wiped away by one incident of vandalism or property damage. Plus, it is a small price to pay for a landlord to protect their tenants.

Discuss Your Case With A Georgia Negligent Security Attorney

If you were a victim of crime at your Georgia apartment complex, you may have a claim based on your landlord’s failure to provide adequate security. A Georgia premises liability lawyer can review your case and determine if your landlord failed to take reasonable steps to protect you. To learn more, contact our firm at 833-LEGALGA for a free consultation. If you aren’t ready to speak to an attorney, you can learn more about negligent security cases on our YouTube Channel.

Can a Car Accident Cause Scoliosis?

Scoliosis and Personal Injury Caused by a Car Accident in Georgia

Scoliosis is the curvature of the spinal cord and it can be exacerbated by a car accident. While the spinal cord is typically straight, a bent or curved spine can lead to issues like back pain. If a negligent driver causes or exacerbates your scoliosis, you may be entitled to recover damages.

Although some studies suggest that scoliosis can be caused by trauma, the majority of scoliosis cases have no known cause. The important thing to remember after a car accident in Georgia is that a pre-existing diagnosis of scoliosis will not bar a personal injury claim after a car accident. This is because Georgia law allows a person to recover when a pre-existing condition is made worse or aggravated by trauma.

The Effect of Scoliosis

Scoliosis can lead to debilitating back pain. But unlike some injuries, you can’t count on scoliosis to heal naturally on its own. Without proper treatment, it is possible that your pain will be so severe you could be unable to work, drive, or care for yourself.

The methods for treating scoliosis can vary. In some cases, regular visits to your chiropractor can successfully straighten your spine and relieve your pain. In other cases, you may need to wear a back brace for extended periods in order for your scoliosis to resolve. In the most severe cases, you may require surgery to relieve the pain.

The Causes of Scoliosis

There are a variety of causes of scoliosis. Many people are born with scoliosis or deal with the condition from a young age. In some cases, it is so minor that it does not affect your quality of life. But some studies suggest that scoliosis can be caused by physical trauma like a car accident. There is little doubt that physical trauma can make the pain caused by scoliosis worse. This can be a trying experience for anyone injured in a wreck who has not previously experienced back pain.

Filing an Injury Claim for Scoliosis

When it comes to an injury claim related to scoliosis, the help of an experienced Georgia injury attorney can be invaluable. The responsible party, their attorney, and the insurance company will normally deny your claim and argue that your car wreck did not cause the scoliosis. 

If you are suffering from the effects of scoliosis due to the negligence of another driver, you may have a case for damages. And if your pain is so severe that you are unable to work, those damages can add up fast. You could face the financial burden of medical bills and lost wages in addition to your pain and suffering. It is important to keep a log of any pain you are experiencing, as well as a record of medical bills. This will ensure that you are prepared should you decide to try to collect compensation. 

In many cases, a car accident attorney in Georgia may be able to negotiate a favorable settlement without ever filing a lawsuit. However, if the responsible party refuses to pay, an attorney can file suit and pursue your damages through the court system.

If you are dealing with the effects of scoliosis brought on by a vehicle accident in Georgia, attorney Joel Williams and his staff are ready to help. Joel is an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney with an extensive track record of obtaining favorable results for his clients. To learn more, contact Williams Elleby today at 833-LEGALGA for a free consultation.

Punitive Damages in a Georgia Personal Injury Case

Drunk Driving in Personal Injury Case Involving Punitive Damages in Georgia

A Georgia personal injury lawsuit is a civil case, not criminal, so there is no jail or prison time at stake; however punishment may be available in the form of punitive damages. Sometimes a defendant’s behavior is so shocking and appalling that the law wants to do all that it can to prevent it from happening again. One way the law can do this is by making a defendant pay punitive damages. Punitive damages are also known as exemplary damages — damages meant to make an example out of the defendant so that behavior doesn’t continue.

Punitive Damages vs. Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages in a personal injury case serve to compensate the victim for what they lost or spent, or any expenses accrued due to the accident. Compensatory damages are available to compensate a victim for a loss.

Punitive damages serve an entirely different purpose. Their purpose is not to compensate the plaintiff, although the plaintiff does receive the damage award. Courts and juries award punitive damages when the behavior of the defendant demonstrates an intentional disregard for the rights of another. Miller v. City Views at Rosa Burney Park GP, LLC, 323 Ga. App. 590 (2013). The purpose is to punish and deter the defendant from repeating the same action. As such, courts don’t award punitive damages in every personal injury case. Another important difference is that punitive damages have to be requested when the complaint is filed; otherwise, they cannot be pursued at trial — they are not automatically awarded.

Burden of Proof for Being Awarded Punitive Damages

The victim plaintiff must prove by “clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.” Caldwell v. Church, 341 Ga. App. 852 (2017) quoting O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5.1. A good example of clear and convincing evidence under Georgia law is evidence that an adverse driver was drunk or under the infuence of drugs when he or she caused a car crash. This meets the “clear and convincing evidence” standard required for punitive damages.

Limits to Punitive Damages in Georgia

In most cases where punitive damages are awarded, Georgia has set a maximum limit of $250,000.

This maximum limit does not apply to product liability cases. There is also no maximum limit when a court finds that a defendant “acted or failed to act with the specific intent to cause harm, or that the defendant acted or failed to act while under the influence of alcohol [or] drugs.”

This means that if the defendant intended harm either by deliberately acting or doing nothing at all and allowing harm to come to the victim, the defendant could face punitive damages. If the defendant harmed the victim due to being intoxicated on either drugs or alcohol, punitive damages are likely to be awarded.

Contact Our Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one is a victim of a personal injury, punitive damages can and should be explored. You will need an experienced attorney in Georgia who can help you navigate the complex system. If you have questions about the law and your rights, contact our firm to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

Obtaining a Car Accident Report in Georgia

Car Accident Report for Personal Injury Civic Case in Georgia

While a car accident is a stressful event, there is a very clear process in place to obtain a car accident report in Georgia. The first thing that you should do after a car accident is to call the police and report the accident. The police report will be a vital piece of evidence for your personal injury claim. If you file a personal injury claim with an automobile insurance company, the insurer will most certainly ask whether an accident report was filed and then ask for access to it.

What Is a Car Accident Report?

car accident report is a document that the responding police officers fill out while at the scene of the accident. It captures essential information about the who, what, when, where, and how of the accident. Specifically, this includes:

  • The names, addresses, contact number, and insurance information for those involved in the accident — this includes the drivers and passengers in both vehicles
  • Vehicle damage
  • The date of the accident
  • The time of the accident
  • The location of the accident
  • Contact information for any witnesses to the accident
  • Any injuries
  • Additional notes on behavior or circumstances surround the accident

How Do You Obtain a Car Accident Report?

There are usually two ways that you can obtain a copy of the police report: paid or free. If you do not want to spend any money, then after you file a claim with your insurance company, you can ask if they can obtain a free copy for you. If you decide to take the paid route, you will use the receipt number that the responding police officer provided to you at the scene of the accident and contact the traffic division of the police department to request a copy.

You will be required to pay a fee, but it is usually nominal. You can also access most Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Reports at the website https://www.buycrash.com.

If you do not have the police report receipt from the responding officer, you can still get a paid copy from the traffic division by providing specific details of the accident as well as your name.

Usually a letter with the following language will be sufficient to obtain the accident report and other publically available evidence you may need: “Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70 & 50-18-71), I am requesting a complete copy of the original motor vehicle accident reports, photographs, dash cam videos, and any additional documentation you may have regarding an automobile wreck I was involved in on [INSERT DATE OF YOUR WRECK] in [INSERT COUNTY] at [INSERT ROAD NAME WHERE THE WRECK OCCURRED].”

How Is a Car Accident Report Used in a Lawsuit or Settlement?

Prior to trial, a police report is extremely useful during settlement negotiations with the automobile insurance company. Unfortunately, the complete police report is usually not admissible evidence if your personal injury case ends up going to trial. Some portions of the report may be admissible while other portions are not.

For More Information, Contact Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers

Obtaining a car accident report is pretty straightforward and painless — which is a good thing considering how important it is to your Georgia car crash case. If you have recently been in a car accident in Georgia and think that you may want to file a personal injury claim, it’s best to seek out an experienced legal professional. Contact Williams Elleby to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

What Is an Attractive Nuisance?

Pool Safety and Attractive Nuisance Personal Injury Laws in Georgia

Children are naturally curious about their surroundings and can be harmed by what the law considers to be an “Attractive Nuisance.” Under Georgia law, any feature that could (a) draw the interest of a child and (b) potentially harm them is known as an attractive nuisance. The perfect example is a swimming pool. If a landowner fails to take appropriate steps to protect the public from this hazard, they could be liable for any injuries suffered by a child.

The combination of a child’s natural curiosity and the inability to identify potential hazards can be a recipe for disaster when a child is looking for a place to play and comes across a dangerous feature on another person’s property. If your child is injured due to an attractive nuisance in Georgia, you may be entitled to recover for your child’s medical bills. If your child dies after encountering an attractive nuisance, we can help you understand the challenges that are involved with bringing a wrongful death claim for the loss of a child.

Attractive Nuisance Liability in Georgia

For a landowner to be liable under the Attractive Nuisance theory, a few things must be proven. After all, not every nuisance is attractive and not every injury was feasibly preventable. A landowner is liable under the Attractive Nuisance theory if:

  • There is a dangerous condition on their property;
  • The hazardous condition was likely to attract young children;
  • A child, incapable of understanding the danger due to their age, was injured by the condition;
  • The landowner failed to take steps to guard against the injury; and
  • That preventing access to the condition or rendering it harmless was feasible without obstructing its intended purpose.

See Gregory v. Johnson, 249 Ga. 151, 154-155 (1982). In other words, a landowner owes a duty to any child that might be injured by a condition on their property that is attractive to the child. This is the case as long as it was feasible for the landowner to prevent access to the condition or render it harmless without obstructing the condition’s purpose. For example, an oil pump that might appear to a child as a teeter-totter may not be rendered entirely safe without affecting its ability to pump oil.

If all of the conditions described above are met, the landowner may be found liable for the injuries of the child. It is important to note that the duty owed to a child in these circumstances is much higher than that owed to an adult trespasser. In many cases, a landowner may be liable to a trespassing child for a dangerous condition but liability would not lie for injuries to a trespassing adult in the same situation. These nuisances can be either privately owned or public property.

Examples of Attractive Nuisances

Every premises liability case is different. However, there are a variety of examples that come up frequently in Attractive Nuisance lawsuits. Here are some of the most common examples of an attractive nuisance:

  • Railroad turntables
  • Empty swimming pools
  • Construction sites
  • Wells
  • Power lines
  • Man-made fountains
  • Abandoned cars
  • Farm equipment

These are only a few of the possible Attractive Nuisances that are common in Georgia. In many of these examples, the circumstances in each case could affect whether Attractive Nuisance liability applies. For example, farm equipment that was storable inside secure fencing might be an attractive nuisance, while equipment at a location where fencing is impossible may not qualify.

Premises Liability Attorney in Georgia

Every Attractive Nuisance case is different and will require extensive research and investigation. If your child or loved one suffered an injury on the property of another, it is possible that the property owner is liable for their damages. To discuss your options with an experienced premises liability attorney, contact us today at 833-LEGALGA.

Preparing for a Consultation with a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer

Legal Advice and Consultation With Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer

If you need to consult with a personal injury attorney in Georgia, there are some things you should know prior meeting with the attorney. There are many fine personal injury attorneys in Georgia but you need to find the one that is the best attorney for your case. This begins with the initial consultation.

What Is a Lawyer Consultation?

Most personal injury consultations are free of charge. The vast majority of Georgia personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and will only get paid if you win your case.

Think of your initial meeting like an interview — you are interviewing the attorney and the attorney is interviewing you. A bad lawyer can kill your case so be sure you are comfortable with the lawyer’s skills and professional accomplishments before you agree to hire his or her firm. It is a huge red flag if the attorney sends an investigator or paralegal to meet with you during the initial consultation. Stay away from attorneys that don’t attend initial consultations because they are likely too busy to handle your case if they can’t make time for an initial consultation.

During your initial meeting, you will share details and talk about your accident or injury. The attorney should be listening carefully to determine whether they can help you, and whether you have a valid claim. When sitting face-to-face with the attorney, you can get a feel for who they are and how they might work. Don’t overlook this point because you are entrusting them with your case.

What to Expect During a Consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer

During the consultation, you can expect to discuss the facts of your case, any evidence you may have, whether the facts of your case meet the legal requirements for a lawsuit, and your eligibility for any compensation. You should also discuss the steps involved in bringing a personal injury case as well as things you should and should not do in regards to your injury.

The Facts

An attorney will need to know the events that led to your accident or injury. Where you were, what you were doing, your relationship to the defendant, were you driving, were you a pedestrian, what sort of vehicles were involved, were there any warning signs of danger, was the floor wet, and many other facts that help create a picture of what happened. If you took notes immediately after your accident, this is one instance where they will be valuable.

Evidence

An attorney should not expect you to have every single bit of evidence at this stage in your case; however, do share with the attorney contact information for any witnesses, photos of the scene, police reports, medical records, and any other proof to support your case.

Legal Requirements

This is the part of the conversation where the attorney will assess whether the at-fault party should be required to pay you damages. If the facts of your case don’t meet the legal requirement to file a lawsuit, the attorney should let you know. At this stage, the attorney has only your version of the facts to go on, so you should answer all of their questions honestly and truthfully.

Compensation

If you have met the legal requirements for a lawsuit, the attorney will go over the types of compensation you may be awarded, either in a settlement or if you win your case at trial.

You should also discuss the importance of identifying all sources of insurance because the vast majority of defendants in Georgia personal injury cases do not have enough assets to pay a substantial judgment.

For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby

Our attorneys are here to help you figure out what to do next. If you have been injured in Georgia and have questions about the law and the facts of your case, contact Williams Elleby to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.ld

Atlanta City Council Increases Bikeshare Regulations Due to Injuries

Bikeshare Regulations Increase Due to Personal Injuries in Georgia

The explosion in popularity of e-scooters — dockless, sharable electric scooters that are rentable by the minute — isn’t hard to understand. These scooters are available on street corners throughout Atlanta and provide a cheap way to explore the city. But while initial reaction to the introduction of these scooters and bikes was positive, a high number of accidents led the city of Atlanta to consider additional regulation. In January of 2019, the Atlanta City Council took action by implementing safety regulations intended to curb the problem.

Wrecks and “Bike Litter”

The new ordinance, which passed almost unanimously, makes sweeping changes to the operation and storage of these vehicles. The ordinance bars riding on sidewalks and also operates where these bikes and scooters can be docked or parked. The ordinance also restricts e-scooters to a speed limit of 15 miles per hour. The ordinance does not apply to shared bikes, including those with electric power. The ordinance also sets requirements including a bar on more than one person riding a scooter at a time.

One of the significant issues the ordinance intends to address is the problem of “Bike Litter.” It has become commonplace in Atlanta for e-scooters to pile up in stacks of a dozen or more e-scooters or bikes. Often, these piles block pedestrian access to the sidewalk or are inches away from traffic. Bike Litter is more than a nuisance, as pedestrians attempting to avoid the sea of e-scooters have injured themselves trying to go around or through the stacks of bicycles.

New Penalties for “Bike Litter”

Under the new ordinance new ordinance, participating e-scooter companies must require riders to park all bikes and scooters in an upright position with plenty of room for pedestrians to pass. The consequences of failing to do so are severe. The city can levy a fine of up to $1,000 per day for each bike that is not parked according to the ordinance. What’s more, the patron of the e-scooter company must pay the fine, not the company itself. The city council hopes that these steep fines will help eradicate the issue of Bike Litter.

While support for the ordinance was near-unanimous, there was a vocal contingent within the council that the city of Atlanta needs to address the issues with their streets comprehensively to resolve some of the safety issues that surround e-scooters and bikes. According to the executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, the underlying cause of e-scooter riders traveling on sidewalks stems from the unsafe nature of the city’s streets.

Injured in an e-Scooter Accident? Discuss Your Case With a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney

While the Atlanta City Council is optimistic that these regulation changes will cut down on the number of injuries caused by e-scooters and bicycles, the sheer volume of these vehicles will inevitably result in injuries. If you suffered an injury in a collision with the rider of an e-Scooter or bicycle, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby can help. To discuss how an experienced attorney can help you recover damages stemming from your accident, contact Williams Elleby at 833-LEGALGA today for a free consultation.

Rapper TI’s Sister Killed in Georgia Traffic Accident

Shattered Windshield and Deployed Airbag Personal Injuries in Vehicle Collision

Precious Harris, the sister of rapper T.I. that regularly appeared on the reality show T.I.’s Family Hustle, died as a result of a vehicle accident in Atlanta on February 12, 2019. Her granddaughter, a passenger in the vehicle, was treated for chest pain but was ultimately released from the hospital.

The Accident

Harris, 66, was operating a 2013 Dodge Avenger owned by her brother on February 12 when she collided with a telephone pole in Atlanta. Emergency personnel rushed Harris to the hospital where she remained unresponsive in the intensive care unit. On February 22, Harris died from her injuries.

According to later reports, Harris suffered an asthma attack before the collision. According to her granddaughter, the attack was so severe that Harris passed out behind the wheel. After losing consciousness, the car crashed into a nearby pole. No other vehicles were involved in the collision. Although Harris was still breathing when emergency personnel arrived on the scene, she was quickly rushed to the hospital after she began foaming at the mouth.

Medical Emergencies and Traffic Accidents

The accident that cost Harris her life thankfully didn’t involve other drivers. However, if Harris had struck and injured another driver after her sudden asthma attack, Georgia law may have prevented the injured party from recovering damages from Harris.

A genuine medical emergency can render a driver incapable of controlling their vehicle. Because this loss of control is involuntary, a bona fide medical emergency is a complete defense to a negligence case under Georgia law. In other words, if a driver causes an accident that would otherwise constitute negligence, they are not at fault for the damages of anyone they injure if a medical emergency caused the crash. An emergency can be the result of an unknown medical condition or an unexpected reaction to prescribed medication. This is bad news for any injured party hoping to recover their damages from the driver or their insurance company.

While this defense may sound insurmountable, there is an important caveat. If the driver that suffered the medical emergency had notice that the medical condition could cause them to lose control of their vehicle, they are not entitled to use their medical emergency as a defense to avoid liability. That’s because any driver that was aware of the risk of driving with that condition and ignored it is not operating with the necessary ordinary care.

In cases like this, having a strong personal injury attorney can make the difference between recovering the damages you deserve and walking away with nothing. Whether a defendant had notice of their condition is a matter for the court, and it is up to your attorney to prove that the medical emergency defense should not apply in your case.

If You Have Been in a Georgia Traffic Accident, Contact Williams Elleby Today

Every driver has the duty to remain focused behind the wheel and drive in a safe manner; those who don’t will face liability for any people they injure or property they damage. And while it is a complete defense if an accident occurs due to an unexpected medical emergency, the truth is that some drivers use this excuse to avoid liability. If you suffered an injury in a car accident, you need a zealous advocate who will hold the other party responsible for their actions. If your accident occurred in the Georgia, the attorneys you need are at Williams Elleby. To discuss your case with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney, contact Williams Elleby today at 833-LEGALGA.

Who Is Responsible for a Georgia Rear-End Accident?

Responsible For A Rear-end Car Accident Causing Personal Injuries in Georgia?

It is a commonly held belief by many Georgia drivers that the fault in a rear-end collision is easy to determine and that the driver that rear-ends the other is always at fault. And while that is usually the case, the reality is that there are exceptions to this rule. Rear-end collisions make up a large portion of the more than 385,000 traffic accidents that occur in Georgia each year. That’s why it’s important to understand when drivers may share fault in a rear-end collision, as these accidents contribute to Georgia’s relatively high cost of insurance. Shared fault can have a major impact on a personal injury claim due to Georgia’s adoption of contributory negligence laws.

What Is Contributory Negligence?

Under Georgia’s contributory negligence laws, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit may recover a portion of their damages even when they bear some of the responsibility for the collision. The jury in the case will make a determination of what percentage at fault the plaintiff is. The jury will then take this “fault percentage” and apply it to the total value of the damage in the case. For example, if the jury finds there were $100,000 worth of damages but the plaintiff was 30 percent at fault, the plaintiff will lose 30 percent of their recovery. The end result would be an award of $70,000 for the plaintiff. In cases where the plaintiff is partially at fault for a rear-end collision, the total recovered will be reduced. If a jury ultimately determines that the plaintiff was primarily at fault for the accident, the award will be zero.

Examples of Shared Fault Georgia Rear-End Collisions

There are a handful of scenarios in which liability for a rear-end crash could be split. The first and most common is when the driver of the front vehicle makes a sudden maneuver. This can include anything from a rapid lane change or a sudden stop. While the following driver has a duty to not follow too closely behind the front vehicle, there may be a case for split liability if the driver of the front vehicle makes a move that is so sudden that a collision could not reasonably be avoided.

Another common example where liability for a rear-end collision could be split is the presence of a mechanical defect or failure. If the front driver knowingly operates a vehicle without working brake lights or turn signals, there is a strong argument that the front driver is liable. This includes both mechanical defects as well as a driver’s failure to activate a car’s headlights or blinker.

If You’ve Been Rear-Ended in Georgia, Contact Williams Elleby Today!

In the vast majority of cases, a driver can prevent causing rear-end collisions by traveling at a safe distance behind the car in front of them and paying close attention to traffic and road conditions. If you have suffered an injury from a rear-end collision, contact an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney right away. Your attorney will explain the process of recovering your damages to you and help gather evidence in preparation for trial. If your case ends up before a jury, your attorney will use that evidence to make the case that it was the defendant’s lack of care that caused the accident, not yours. To discuss your case with an experienced Georgia car accident attorney, contact Williams Elleby today at 833-LEGALGA.