Legal Guide For Specific Types of Car Accidents in Georgia
Accidents happen every day. Sometimes there are only minor injuries, but too often the lives of entire families are uprooted and forever changed. Whether the accident was caused by somebody’s failure to yield, the result of a distracted driver’s carelessness, or unlawful behavior, such as drunk driving, the team of legal experts at the Millar Law Firm is familiar with the challenges of protecting innocent victims from the consequences of someone else’s negligence.
Each accident is different. So much depends upon the circumstances surrounding the accident and the severity of the injuries and damages caused, it is nearly impossible to determine how your accident claim will play out without careful, professional evaluation of the facts and the evidence. Nevertheless, listed below are some of the more common accidents and the causes.
The law in Georgia holds that all drivers should allow plenty of space between moving vehicles and, therefore, be able to stop in time to avoid an accident. That’s why, when somebody hits you from behind, it’s almost always the fault of the driver behind you. Nevertheless, even though that rule-of-thumb almost always applies, at-fault drivers will often maintain that the lead driver was at fault because:
- The car braked suddenly
- The brake lights were not functioning properly
- The driver was driving erratically and unpredictably
- Was stopped in the road without, emergency warning signals or flares
- Failed to use a turn signal where necessary
- The lead car suddenly reversed and backed into the following car
When these “excuses” are used, it’s not always easy to prove that the following car was in the wrong. Because Georgia has what’s called a modified comparative fault rule, if you were even partially at fault, your settlement may be reduced by the degree to which you are proven to be responsible for the accident.
Failure to Yield –
The law in Georgia, and most other places, requires drivers to follow this most basic rule you learned on day #1 of driver’s training. When failure to yield causes an accident, the driver guilty of that failure can be held legally liable for all of the damage and injuries that result.
When Must You Yield?
If you arrive at an unmarked intersection at the same time as another driver, the driver on the left who must yield to the driver on the right.
At four-way stops, first yield to pedestrians, then proceed in the order you arrived at the intersection. The vehicle to your right has the right of way when you arrive at the same time.
Yield the right of way to oncoming cars when you are making a left-hand turn
Always yield to emergency vehicles. You must also yield to highway maintenance vehicles and workers in a construction zone.
When you are entering a street or highway, you must yield to vehicles that are on the roadway already.
Always stop for a school bus with lights flashing and sign extended unless you are on the other side of a divided highway with a median.
Even if you think you have the right of way, you must yield to avoid a crash.
Pedestrians always have the right of way, even when they are not in a crosswalk
When a driver fails to follow the right-of-way rules, or doesn’t follow posted signs, (such as YIELD signs,) he has broken the law will usually be ticketed for that violation. This can be true when a car changes lanes without signaling or wanders into another lane of traffic due to inattentive driving. When his violation causes an accident, he or his insurance company will be expected to pay for any damages resulting from that accident.
Of course, it is never quite that easy when it comes to proving who is at fault. Insurance companies are eager to keep their money so they rarely settle a claim without at least a little tussle.
Head-on crashes –
Among the most devastating, injury-causing accidents in Georgia are head-on collisions. While there is no official definition of a head-on collision, they happen when the front-end’s of two vehicles smash into each other. Common causes of head-on collisions are; driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired, and drowsy driving. These accidents can also happen when a driver over-corrects and veers into the opposite lane of traffic. Inclement weather can also cause vehicles to leave their lane of traffic, causing head-on accidents.
While today’s cars are safer in these collisions because of airbags and seatbelts, horrific injuries still happen all too often. Broken bones, traumatic head injuries, and internal injuries are very common in this kind of accident. In these tragic accidents, the driver who failed to yield or who veered into the path of the oncoming vehicle will likely be found at-fault. This individual will also be held responsible for any injuries or fatalities that result from the collision unless he can prove that the other driver caused the accident.
These injuries and damages are likely to be challenged and questioned by the insurance company that represents the other driver.
T-bone collisions –
Side impact, or T-bone collisions usually happen because a driver fails to yield the right of way or fails to stop as required at an intersection. Due to the fact that the other driver is proceeding at speed through the intersection, these impacts can be extremely violent and cause devastating injuries because there is relatively little protection built into the sides of cars. About one-fourth of traffic fatalities happen to passengers and/or the driver of a vehicle hit in this way.
Multiple-Car Accidents –
As one might imagine, the accidents that present the most difficulty in proving cause are those that involve multiple vehicles. These are also called “chain-reaction accidents” or “pile-ups” and are increasingly common on today’s highways.
These accidents happen for many reasons, among them; Snow, ice, rain, or fog; impaired or blocked line-of-sight; speeding; intoxicated or distracted drivers; and road hazards.
The more cars that are caught-up in a chain-reaction accident, the more likely there will be serious or fatal injuries. Determining who is at fault, given Georgia’s modified comparative negligence doctrine, can be difficult. Where you were in the chronology of the pile-up will matter a great deal, as will the statements of other drivers and the other evidence available. Attempting to settle a claim in an accident such as this will be very difficult unless you have a very well-seasoned attorney with years of experience.
At the Millar Law Firm, we have decades of experience in settling claims accidents of all kinds. When it comes to our clients, we know there is nothing “common” about an accident in which they were injured or suffered financial or physical damages. We work hard to make sure our clients receive all the compensation they deserve – it’s our primary goal to help our clients get back to their normal lives without suffering financially because somebody else wasn’t paying attention.
Call our office today for a free case evaluation. We will review the facts in your claim and help you to know how to proceed. The advice is free and you will be under no obligation. Knowing where you stand is a very valuable asset. Let us help get you started on the journey to justice. Call today: 770-400-0000