Read-End Accidents / Following Too Closely
Atlanta Car Accident Law Firm
Rear-end accidents can cause serious injuries and even death. Since 1997, Atlanta car accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune has helped Georgians seek compensation for harm sustained in a wide variety of car crashes, including rear-end accidents. If you have suffered injuries in a rear-end accident, or any other auto collision, contact us today to determine whether you can make a legal claim for damages.
Following Too Closely is a Leading Cause of Accidents
Following too closely is one of the leading causes of accidents in Georgia. Each year, more than 100,000 accidents are caused by tailgating, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. This amounts to about one in three accidents being the result of following too closely. Drivers who drive too closely to the car in front of them are breaching their duty to drive reasonably, and can be held accountable for their actions if they cause an accident.
Victims of Rear-End Collisions Can File a Lawsuit
A person injured in a rear-end collision caused by another person can file a negligence lawsuit to seek compensation for her injuries. Georgia law requires negligence plaintiffs to prove:
- The defendant, most times the other driver, owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- The other driver breached this duty; and
- The other driver’s actions were a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
All drivers have a duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. When drivers follow the car in front of them too closely, send text messages while driving, or are otherwise distracted, they have likely breached that duty. If such a driver rear ends another car and injures other people, that driver can be held liable.
Prevailing Plaintiffs May Collect Damages
A plaintiff who proves all the elements of a negligence case can be awarded damages by a jury. The plaintiff may be entitled to two types of compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate the plaintiff for her injuries. Economic compensatory damages reimburse the plaintiff for the direct costs of the accident, such as hospital bills, lost wages, and damage to her car. Noneconomic compensatory damages compensate the plaintiff for her less quantitative injuries, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. The jury will determine the amount of both noneconomic and economic damages based on evidence presented at trial.
A driver injured in a Georgia car wreck may still file a lawsuit even if he is partly at fault for the accident. Georgia law allows victims of car accidents to collect damages so long as they are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. These plaintiffs will collect an amount of damages inversely proportional to their fault for the accident. In other words, a driver 30 percent at fault for an accident can collect 70 percent of her damages.
Protect Your Rights with an Experienced Attorney
Read-end collisions can cause serious neck, back, and other injuries, including death. Fortunately, a person injured in a rear-end collision by a negligent tailgater has a legal right to seek compensation. Atlanta car wreck lawyer Terrence R. Bethune founded The Law Office of Terrence R. Bethune to help injured Georgians protect their rights. If you have been injured in an auto accident, schedule your free case evaluation by calling (404) 875-7800 or visiting our contact page.