So, how to tell who was at fault in a car accident? Who is liable? This question is important because if want a strong claim and you want the adverse carrier (the other person’s insurance company) or perhaps your insurance company to pay for the damages.
This guide will instruct you on where to look and what to look for.
So, where do we begin?
1. Look for Citations: Who Got a Ticket for the Collision?
One easy place to begin, is to see if the other driver got a driving citation or ticket.
This makes it simple. Who got the ticket?
The citation might be for following too closely, causing an accident, leaving the scene of an injury accident, drunk driving, reckless driving or other reasons. Also, look if both drivers got tickets. This might complicate things.
2. What if the Other Driver Didn’t Get a Ticket?
The other driver does not need to have received a citation, so don’t completely worry yet.
The rules of the road in Georgia are the minimum requirements. Negligence cases require the standard of what a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have done.
REMEMBER: Whether or not the police wrote a ticket is not the end of the analysis.
3. Places Where Tickets Are Not Given After an Auto Accident:
If an accident happens on private property, the local police will not write tickets. Therefore, if an accident occurs in a parking lot of a local store, then there will not be a citation.
You are pulling into a Kroger grocery store when you are hit from behind. You can call the policy, and should, but no citation will be given.
You are at your apartment complex and someone’s door hits your car causing damage.
No citations on this day.
Even if the collision were on a public road, sometimes you have to look at all of the circumstances to make the determination.
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4. How to Tell Who is At Fault for the Car Accident?
In many Georgia auto injury cases, the liability or who is at fault is straightforward. You are at a stop sign, and someone slams into the back of your car. The classic rear-end collision case.
Perhaps, you are waiting at the red light and get hit. The liability here is clear, and the insurance company is not going to fight the issues of liability.
Well, they might not fight it as hard.
Let your Georgia Lawyer know all of the facts of you case. Another easier liability case or a case where it is simple to see who is at fault is when you are hit head-on by another driver in your lane.
The proof is there.
You can determine such accidents at the accident scene or with the use of an accident reconstruction specialist.
5. T-Bone Accident – Who is at fault?
Another typical, easier liability cases are when the driver is T-boned or hit from the side by another car. Atlanta law firms know that to be hit from such an extreme angle will almost itself determine who is at-fault or liable for the car wreck.
For this type of motor vehicle accident, someone was completely negligent driving their car. Discuss this with a Georgia car accident lawyer.
One example that happens quite often is when someone is at a stop sign, and they stop. The other driver is driving down the road without a stop sign.
The first driver pulls out or tries to cross the road and gets hit from side or does the same to the other driver. Who has the right of way is what is important in this type of case.
The better question is who had the right of way? If you had the green light and got hit from the side, T-bone style, then the other driver is to blame. If you hit someone in the side, but you had the green light, then they are still at fault.
BONUS ISSUE: Could you have avoided the accident? There is something in the law that equates to who had the last opportunity to avoid the accident.
In this example, if you had the green light, but the other driver was stopped or stuck in the middle of the road because of traffic and you could have just not hit them…you are at fault even though they had obstructed the road.
That makes sense, right?
6. Causation in Georgia Auto Injury Cases
Put simply, the injury must flow from the negligent act. So, if you were feeling fine, got in your car, got hit by another driver, and now you back hurts for the first time in your life.
That is easy.
You can draw a straight line from car wreck and your injury.
Insurance companies love causation issues. They raise them. “Oh, she waited to long to get surgery…it was probably her arthritis!” Or, “wasn’t he in another wreck…those bills are not for us. Call the other insurance company.”
Insurance companies are not doctors. Attorneys are not doctors. Doctors are doctors. Only doctors can truly diagnose certain causation issues, but many times they cannot.
As a Georgia Auto Accident Lawyer I can advise you in these situations where it is difficult to see who is at fault.