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Who is at Fault for a Rear-End Accident in Georgia?

Rear-end accidents typically occur when a driver tailgates or the vehicle in front stops suddenly. In most rear-end collisions, the driver behind is usually at fault. Georgia law prohibits drivers from following other vehicles too closely. Without enough stopping distance, the rear driver may not have time to brake to avoid a collision or chain-reaction crash involving multiple vehicles. 

If you got hurt in a rear-end accident in Georgia, you may qualify for compensation for your injuries. You don’t need to worry about negotiating with the insurance company to settle your claim. With a knowledgeable car accident lawyer at Kevin A. Adamson, P.C. on your side, you can rest assured you have a top legal team working to ensure you obtain every dollar you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What are the Top Reasons for a Georgia Rear-End Accident?

Tailgating is one of the most common reasons rear-end collisions occur. However, various negligent actions on the rear driver’s part can lead to a crash, including:

  • Violating traffic laws – Traffic laws aim to keep roadway users safe. Signs and signals direct traffic flow, and speed limits ensure drivers don’t travel too fast. Speeding creates challenges for motorists in slow-moving traffic or congested roads. Slowing down or stopping in time to avoid crashing a vehicle ahead is nearly impossible while traveling at high speeds.
  • Poor weather and road conditions – Drivers must adjust their speed, focus on their surroundings, and carefully navigate around others in bad weather. The roads might be wet and slippery, causing a car to skid if a motorist drives too fast, slams on their brakes, or swerves. This can cause drivers to lose control and strike a vehicle in front of them.
  • Distracted driving – Eating, texting, and other distractions prevent motorists from noticing nearby hazards. A distracted driver might not see someone slowing down ahead or stopping at a red light. By the time they hit the brakes, it could be too late.
  • Defective parts – Poorly maintained or faulty braking systems and other car parts can malfunction. When that happens, the rear driver might be unable to bring their vehicle to a complete stop when necessary. Despite trying to stop for a car in their path, the motorist’s failed brakes can cause them to barrel into the back of the other vehicle.

What Are Common Injuries From a Rear-End Accident?

Rear-end accidents can lead to numerous injuries varying in severity. Even low-speed crashes can cause whiplash when a driver or passenger’s head and neck abruptly snap forward and backward during impact.

The most common injuries in rear-end accidents include:

  • Whiplash and other neck injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractured ribs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Facial injuries, including disfigurement or scarring
  • Broken bones

Can the Driver in Front Be at Fault for the Accident?

The law presumes the rear driver is at fault for rear-end crashes. However, the front motorist can be liable under specific circumstances, such as:

  • Brake checking and other acts of road rage
  • Abrupt maneuvering or braking while under the influence of alcohol
  • Suddenly slowing down or stopping, rubbernecking, or inattention
  • Reversing without warning
  • Starting to merge into another lane and swerving back into the original lane without signaling
  • Stopping in the middle of the road due to a mechanical problem

What Happens if Both Drivers Are at Fault?

Sometimes, more than one driver is at fault for a rear-end accident. When that happens, the insurance company, judge, or jury will review the circumstances to determine the percentage of fault they should assign each driver.

Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law, the plaintiff’s compensation can be reduced by their degree of liability for the crash. However, if the plaintiff is 50 percent or more responsible, they cannot recover any money.

How is Fault Proven in a Rear-End Accident?

Proving fault after a rear-end crash can be complex. The other driver might try to blame you for what happened. Substantial evidence is essential to establish liability and show the rear driver should be financially responsible for your injury.

Crucial evidence might include:

  • Medical records
  • Photos from the accident scene, especially skid marks
  • Traffic camera footage of the crash
  • Statements from drivers and witnesses
  • Location of damage to each vehicle
  • The investigating officer’s opinions on who is at fault according to their filed police report
  • Cell phone records
  • Toxicology tests
  • Testimony from accident reconstruction specialists and other experts

Consult a rear-end accident lawyer as soon as possible after a collision. This is important for all cases, but especially those involving multiple vehicles. Determining fault is a considerable challenge in chain-reaction crashes. You want your attorney to begin collecting evidence while it is fresh.

What Should I Do If I Have Been in a Rear-End Accident in Georgia?

Begin building your case immediately. That means taking the necessary steps to prove someone else is at fault and that the crash directly caused your injuries. If you don’t need emergency transportation to a hospital, see a doctor as soon as possible. A physician can diagnose your injuries, rule out any latent injuries, and advise you of a treatment plan.

If your initial doctor advises follow-up care, listen to their recommendations. You must attend your appointments according to the treatment schedule. Deviating from this plan, skipping your appointments, or stopping the treatment too soon can delay healing and negatively affect your personal injury case.

Keep copies of all of your records while treating your injuries. Preserve documents such as physical therapy notes, prescriptions, billing statements, and hospital records. Medical evidence is valuable in rear-end accident cases.

Working with a personal injury attorney from Kevin A. Adamson, P.C., can be a significant advantage in your case. Although legal representation isn’t required to pursue compensation after a car crash, an experienced lawyer can improve your chance of securing maximum compensation.

How Much Can I Recover for My Damages?

Your monetary award will depend on the unique circumstances of your case, including the severity of your injury and total economic losses suffered in the crash.

The money you receive in a claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver might compensate you for your:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation costs
  • Cost of replacement services such as childcare and household services
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the rear-end accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage

Contact a Georgia Rear-End Accident Lawyer

At Kevin A. Adamson, P.C., we have secured more than $150 million in compensation for our clients. Let us put this experience to work for you. If you sustained injuries in a rear-end accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact us for a free consultation today. Because your health and well-being matter, we’re available 24/7 to help.