Who Is to Blame in a Car Accident?
Each year, in the state of Georgia, approximately 120,000 individuals are injured in car accidents and another 1,200 lose their lives. Car accidents often occur suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving the victim driver with little to no time to react. Despite this, they are largely preventable. Because many are caused by driver negligence, by practicing safer driving and reducing distractions, a vast number of car accidents could be avoided. With that said, Georgia state law allows victims of car accidents to seek compensation for their damages from the at-fault driver.
In some cases, fault is very cut and dry–the guilty driver readily admits responsibility, and his insurance company agrees to cover the costs of the injury in full. However, in the vast majority of cases we handle here at Grant Law Office, fault is a hotly contest issue. How do you determine what caused the accident, and how do you prove fault?
Law firms like Grant Law Office work with investigators, accident reconstruction experts, and other professionals. Working together, the team is able to gather evidence, depose witnesses and parties, and establish the cause of the accident. The lawyer then often constructs a timeline to present to the jury that maps out what prior to the accident. This may include documentary evidence, diagrams, witness testimony, or expert testimony that analyzes car damage or tire marks on the road. If the defendant’s attorney presents an alternate theory of the case in which he claims the plaintiff is responsible for the accident, the plaintiff’s lawyer will cross examine witnesses in order to prove the truth of what happened.
To prove fault, the plaintiff’s attorney must establish negligence. Every driver owes a standard of care to other drivers on the road, as well as to motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians. The driver must be vigilant, exercise caution, minimize distractions, and follow traffic laws. If the driver doesn’t obey a posted sign, violates traffic laws, or is otherwise careless while driving, the driver will have breached the duty of care. If the driver then causes an accident, he can be liable for damages sustained by the victim. The plaintiff must prove that the driver breached that duty of care by acting negligently and that his negligence was a direct or proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff must also prove the value of his injuries.
If the plaintiff is partially at fault, he may still pursue damages from the other driver. His damages award will simply be reduced proportionate to his level of fault.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Atlanta, Georgia, contacted the skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Grant Law Office today at (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955
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