Georgia Comparative Negligence in Rear-End Auto Accidents

A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 25,580 people died and many more were injured in 2012 auto accidents from January through September. Being prepared before an accident can enable a victim to obtain all the necessary information that will be helpful to their case.

Consulting a Clayton County attorney after an auto accident enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident you should discuss your case with an accident attorney at Shane Smith Law.

Compensation for Georgia auto accidents is determined using the comparative fault system when determining how much a party (or his associated insurance company) should pay. In other words, a person or his insurance company will likely be held responsible for his proportion of the damages following a determination of his liability.

In Georgia, a claimant's damages are reduced by his fault percentage. The remaining damages are distributed among the other party or parties according to his fault degree. A claimant cannot receive damages if his fault degree is determined to be 50 percent or higher.

It is often easy to determine liability in Georgia rear-end accidents as the vehicle traveling behind and striking the one in front is often at fault. However, there can be exceptions that will limit liability and it is important to consider the totality of the circumstances in an accident.

Poor weather conditions require that a car leave additional stopping distance between his car and the one in front of him. However, a merging car may leave insufficient stopping space, an important factor in inclement weather. Vehicles may also make unexpected driving maneuvers, such as to avoid debris that falls from another vehicle, thereby creating a rear-end accident.

Georgia law requires that auto accident victims prove the other driver was negligent in order to collect damages. Victims must show:

  • The driver who caused the injuries had a responsibility to drive safely such that other drivers would not be injured and did not satisfy that duty
  • There is a connection between the other driver's violation of duty and the injuries
  • There are damages (financial loss) resulting from the accident.

Georgia law requires that the recovery amount should be reduced if a victim's carelessness contributed to the auto accident injuries.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in an auto accident, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer at Shane Smith Law. We can obtain the relevant evidence including police reports.

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