Car accidents can happen in a variety of ways. Whichever way it happens, there will always be someone who is at fault. One of the most common types of collision is when a car rear-ends another. Even such an accident could lead to personal injury. That is why it is important that you look for only the best Atlanta injury lawyers when involved in a car accident.
A rear end collision usually happens when the front end of a vehicle impacts the back end of another vehicle. In most instances, the police will cite the driver of the ”following” vehicle to be the one at fault. In case you get a ticket for such an offense, it doesn’t always mean you’re the guilty party you can decide to content the decision in a court low of law. The big questions you should be asking yourself whether the facts support the conclusion of the case.
The Concept of Negligence
You can’t talk about car accidents without touching on the concept of negligence. A person is considered to be negligent if the actions are not at par with what is expected of a reasonable person.
You will be said to be negligent if a reasonable person would have better handled the situation that led to the accident. In Georgia, there are two rules that could potentially lead to rear-end collisions:
Failure to Signal
The rules state that no driver should stop or suddenly decrease the speed without properly signaling or when there is an opportunity to give such a signal.
Following Too Closely
The driver should not follow another vehicle too closely than it is prudent and reasonable.
Establishing Fault For Rear-end Accidents
The driver who is behind the wheel of the vehicle that rear-ends the other vehicle will almost always be considered at fault depending on the circumstances. It is the responsibility and the duty of a driver to follow another vehicle at a safe distance. This because there are occasions where the car in front could come to a sudden stop to avoid a dangerous situation or when there is traffic. A reasonable distance with the car in front is required so that there are no potential collisions if a sudden stop is necessary.
There are occasions where the fault is of the vehicle that is rear-ended. The scenarios will include:
∙ Sudden reverse by the driver
∙ The driver’s brake lights are not functioning
∙ The driver stops suddenly to make a turn but fails to do so
∙ A driver gets a flat tire, doesn’t pull over or engage the hazard lights
In the mentioned examples, the driver of the vehicle that was rear-ended will be at fault party. When it comes to the legal implications, the case will be determined by how much the driver’s negligence contributed to the accident. The case will also be determined by the state jurisdiction when more than one party is at fault for an auto accident.
Comparative Negligence and Contributory Negligence
The outcome of the case will vary from one state to another if more than one driver is involved in the accident. There are some states that will follow the contributory negligence system which is a little bit “harsh” compared to the comparative one.
Contributory Negligence: Only a few states that still follow this system. What this law implies is if Driver 1 can show in any way that Driver 2 actions contributed to the accident in whatever form, Driver 2 will be barred from recovering anything in the lawsuit against Driver 1.
Comparative Negligence: In this system, the fault is attributed to the parties involved in the accident. Even though a driver’s liability will be reduced, it will not be completely eliminated when the other party is also at fault. There are two possible outcomes for a Comparative Negligence System:
Pure comparative negligence: The liability will be divided depending on the fault of the driver. If driver 1 is 30% to blame, he has $20000 in damages, he can collect $17000 from driver 2 who is 70% to blame for the accident.
Modified comparative negligence: The liability can only be split depending on the level of fault to a particular degree. The plaintiff will not be allowed to exceed a certain level as he or she will be barred from recovery. The limit is usually set as 50% and the plaintiff is barred from recovering anything that exceeds it.
It Depends on Facts
Determining the fault will rely on nothing but facts. According to Georgia courts, each situation is different when examining the facts. The issues raised will be determined by the existing evidence. It will not be possible to raise a claim when there is not enough evidence to support the conclusion. If you’re a victim, you’re supposed to collect as much evidence as possible to help build your case. Make sure you’re taking pictures and videos at the accident scene. You can even video interview witnesses at the scene as that could help with the case.
You might rely on memory for the recollection of events. You can write them down or do voice recording so that you don’t leave out anything. The better the documentation at the front end, the more evidence you will have in building the case in your favor.
If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, it will be up to you to prove the liability of the at-fault driver. That is why it is important that you look for an experienced attorney. There are some cases that will require hiring accident reconstruction experts especially if it is a personal injury case. The experts will be able to evaluate all the factors that might have led to the accident and the damages incurred. There is also a chance that the cause of the accident might be a defective design and this will require that the vehicle is professionally inspected. An experienced attorney will help in examining the case in order to determine liability.