Rear End Collision Article
Sharing the road is something that everyone needs to take seriously. That means driving on the right side of the road, passing others according to the law, and avoiding following too closely. Following closely, in particular puts drivers at the risk of a rear end collision. In order to discourage this, Section 40-6-49 of the Georgia code outlines reasonable rules on how to determine the proper speed to drive when sharing the road with other drivers. It also outlines that drivers should leave enough room between vehicles so that others may pass them if necessary. An exception to this rule applies in the case of funeral processions or parades.
For a free legal consultation with a rear-end collisions lawyer serving Kennesaw, call (770) 792-1000
When Drivers Follow too Closely
Unfortunately, not everyone follows this rule as they should, and rear end collisions happen as a result. This might affect a single vehicle, or it could have a chain effect where drivers of several cars become part of the accident. In these instances, it becomes necessary to talk to a car accident lawyer in Kennesaw who has the experience to handle the situation, such as Roger Ghai of The Law Offices of Roger Ghai. Roger serves not only as a personal injury lawyer in Kennesaw, but for Acworth as well.
If you’ve been hit from behind because someone was following too closely, you may not even realize the full extent of your injuries right away. Even in a minor “fender bender” you may find you have long term effects such as back or neck pain, or even some disorientation. That’s why it is so important to get as much information from the scene as you can so you can report back to your car accident lawyer in Kennesaw.
Kennesaw Rear-End Collisions Lawyer Near Me (770) 792-1000
Having Insurance Isn’t Enough
Even if you, or the driver that hit you, has good auto insurance, it often takes having the right personal injury lawyer in Kennesaw in order to assure that you get the compensation you truly need. There’s a lot to factor in. There’s the initial medical bills, Lost income from time taken off work, other care expenses, pain and suffering, and sometimes a reduction in long term earning potential.
Roger and his team have been handling various personal injury cases including car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents, and is well versed in exactly what your legal rights are no matter what the circumstances or if everyone has the insurance they should or not.
An Experienced Advocate
Roger Ghai is not new to the legal world. He’s licensed to practice law in both Georgia and Minnesota since 1989. He strongly values helping those who are facing a difficult situation, whether that is recovering from a personal injury due to a car accident or is in a financial bind and considering bankruptcy. After a quarter century in the business, he has a strong grasp on what it takes to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance companies and/or the person or persons responsible for the car accident.
If you’re in a car accident in Kennesaw or Acworth, it can seem simpler at first to just file a claim with the insurance company, and cash whatever check they offer. But in the long run, it can mean you will be paying for someone else’s mistake out of your own pocket for years to come. There’s a good chance Roger may be able to prevent all that. To learn more about your rights and the type of compensation you should ask for for your accident, call the Law Offices of Roger Ghai at (770) 792-1000.
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Georgia Icy Roads, Rear End Accident Laws In Acworth and Kennesaw
This winter has been an unusual one as parts of the country that do not usually see snow have experienced snow storms and unexpectedly long cold snaps. Georgia has been hit with her fair share of snow this year which has caused power outages, downed trees, and icy conditions. Frigid weather that turns streets into sheets of ice poses a serious danger to even experienced winter drivers as cars frequently slide out of control while driving on icy roads. When a vehicle slides out of control on an icy road it often collides with the car in front of them causing a rear end accident. But who is liable for the accident when inclement weather played such a big role in causing the accident? While each car accident is unique, the aim of this article is to provide a general answer to this question.
Determining Fault After a Rear End Accident in Georgia
When we were learning how to drive many of us were told that the rear driver in a rear end collision is always legally at fault. While this adage does often hold true, it is not always the case. In Georgia, there is a presumption that the rear driver in a rear end collision is at fault because Georgia state law requires drivers to leave a safe amount of room between their car and the car in front of them. In other words, the law requires you to maintain enough distance between yourself and the car in front of you so that you will be able to avoid an accident if the car in front of you stops unexpectedly.
However, the presumption that the rear driver is at fault is rebuttable in Georgia. This means that that the rear driver is presumed to be liable until they can prove otherwise by providing sufficient evidence to the contrary. This can be accomplished by showing that the lead driver is at fault, that both drivers are partially liable, or that the accident was unavoidable and not caused by anyone’s negligence.
Generally, the rear driver will claim that the lead driver negligently contributed to, or caused, the car accident by breaching his duty to drive reasonably in some way. Lead drivers can breach their duty to drive reasonably in a variety of different ways, for example they might:
- Unexpectedly slam on their brakes without due cause,
- Drive with broken brake lights,
- Suddenly drive in reverse,
- Drive recklessly or erratically,
- Stop in the road without putting out flares or notifying other drivers in some way that they are stopped, or
- Fail to use turn signals when required to do so.
Modified Comparative Fault in Georgia
If the rear driver can overcome the presumption that he is at fault for causing the car accident, then the court will apportion fault between all of the parties whose negligence contributed to the accident. For example, the court may determine that both drivers in a read end collision acted negligently and that the lead driver is 20 percent at fault while the rear driver is 80 percent at fault. But what happens next? Can either party recover compensation for their damages? The answer to this question differs from state-to-state depending on which theory of negligence a particular state subscribes to.
Georgia, along with 11 other states, follows a modified comparative fault theory of negligence with a 50 percent bar rule. This means that a plaintiff (i.e. the person suing) can still recover damages even if they are partially liability for causing the accident as long as they are not 50 percent or more at fault, however, their recovery is reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. This law may sound confusing at first, but it can clearly be illustrated through hypothetical examples. For instance, pretend that a court in Georgia determined that the lead driver in a rear end accident was 49 percent at fault while the rear driver was 51 percent at fault. Under Georgia’s modified comparative fault law, combined with the 50 percent bar rule, the lead driver would be able to recover damages because he is less than 50 percent at fault, however, the rear driver in this example would not be able to recover damages because he is more than 50 percent at fault. Now let’s make our hypothetical a little bit more complex. What if a Georgia court found both drivers to be 50 percent at fault? In this instance, neither driver would be entitled to recover damages because a damaged party in Georgia can not recover if they are 50 percent or more at fault.
Is Someone Always Liable in a Rear End Collision?
Now that you understand the basic laws that determine car accident fault and liability in Georgia we can get back to the question that was posed at the outset of this article: who is liable when inclement weather causes a rear end car accident in Georgia? Well, as noted above, the rear driver is presumed to be at fault until he or she can overcome this presumption by offering evidence to the contrary. If inclement weather causes black ice to form on the roadway, the rear driver may offer evidence of this and claim that the icy conditions caused the accident. In other words, the driver would argue that the accident was not caused by anyone’s negligence, and that therefore no one should be held liable. This argument can succeed if the court finds that the accident was inevitable given the circumstances, however, in practice this argument is only accepted in a limited number of cases.
Need Legal Advice?
If you have been injured in a car accident in Georgia be sure to discuss your legal rights with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. Determining fault after a car accident can be quite complicated in some situations and is exceedingly important to your recovery. Therefore, it is critical to have an experienced car accident lawyer by your side. Attorney Roger Ghai has years of experience successfully representing car accident victims throughout Georgia and knows how to effectively fight for the compensation that you are legally entitled to. To schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. today – (770) 792-1000.