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Macon, GA Car Accident Lawyer

Suicide-by-car leads to multiple injuries


osted on Thursday, June 11, 2015.

Most of the time in these posts, when we encounter accounts of car accidents the cause is often attributable to negligence. There are higher levels of culpable behavior behind the wheel, though, one of which is recklessness.

A recent case illustrates the difference: what happens when a driver causes a multi-car accident while driving in the wrong direction on a Georgia highway? What if we add to this real-life scenario that the wrong-way driver deliberately entered that way? Would such behavior be ordinary negligence, or recklessness?

Although no drivers died at the scene of the accident (in which the admittedly suicidal driver hit two other cars), one person, the suicidal woman in question, is in critical condition. The condition of another driver taken to the hospital was unclear at the time of the news account, but was less serious.

And although the Atlanta District Attorney�s office has claimed that it can charge her with nothing more than reckless driving and wrong-way driving, any victim of this incident will likely have a solid personal injury claim, which would survive against the estate of the person who caused the accident if she does not survive her injuries.

Causes of car accidents are varied and unpredictable. Regardless of how unusual the underlying facts may be, your ability to recover compensation for injury, property damage or the death of a loved one is something that your personal injury attorney may help you to make use of.

What happens if both drivers are negligent in a car accident?


osted  on Thursday, May 28, 2015.

Car accident personal injury cases trace their roots back to the early days of common law. Back then, courts could be and often were less sympathetic to plaintiffs than is the case today. Under a doctrine known as "contributory negligence" if the jury concluded that the plaintiff was even partly at fault for the accident, contributory negligence would act as a complete defense for the defendant. This could be the case even in extreme situations in which the defendant was 99 percent at fault; as long as the plaintiff was only one percent to blame for the accident, the defendant would win.

Over time, however, more courts and especially state legislatures came to realize that contributory negligence in its original form could lead to manifestly unjust results. This led to a modification of contributory negligence into a new doctrine commonly referred to as "comparative fault." This post will cover comparative fault as it is used in Georgia.

In Georgia, the comparative fault statute operates as follows:

?  If the plaintiff was at least equally at fault (50 percent or more), then the plaintiff is not entitled to any recovery.

?  As long as the plaintiff is less at fault for the accident than the defendant, then the plaintiff is entitled to recovery of damages upon prevailing in a lawsuit but the award will be reduced by the degree of the plaintiff's fault (for example, if the jury finds that the defendant was 65 percent at fault and the plaintiff was 35 percent to blame, then the damages award for the plaintiff will be reduced by 35 percent).

?If the plaintiff could by exercising reasonable care have avoided the harm caused by the defendant's fault, then damages recovery will be precluded.

As you can see, the comparative fault statute in Georgia is more flexible and fair than the old contributory negligence rule, but at the very least the defendant must be more at fault than the plaintiff for a damages award to ensue.

This post is but an overview of the Georgia comparative fault law. It is not intended to be comprehensive (for example, we do not address assumption of risk as a defense here), nor should you read it as legal advice. If you have questions about how comparative fault may operate in your car accident case, we recommend contacting a personal injury law firm for specific information and assistance.

Tracey L. Dellacona, Esq
R.N., M.B.A.


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