Under Georgia law, a violation of the Uniform Rules of the Road (the “Uniform Rules”) is deemed sufficient to establish “negligence per se.” This means that a defendant who violates the statute and causes an injury to someone else is automatically deemed to be negligent. At this point in a personal injury case, the burden would then shift to the defendant to show that the violation was not intentional and in the exercise of ordinary care. In order to understand how these laws and procedures could affect your right to a recovery in a car accident claim, it is essential that you contact an experienced injury attorney from the Atlanta area.
According to Section 40-6-48 of the Uniform Rules, a vehicle must be operated as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane on a roadway. Furthermore, the law states that a vehicle may not move from the lane until the driver has first determined that such movement can be safely made. A driver who fails to adhere to this provision may be deemed negligent per se, should an accident and injury result.
In a recent car accident case, Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., et al. v. Shepard (Ga, Ct. of App. 2015), a Whole Foods employee, Kevin Hulsey, hit a car that was driven by Richard Shepard as Hulsey allegedly attempted to change lanes. The evidence indicated that both drivers were heading south on Interstate 75 when the right front wheel of Hulsey’s truck hit the left rear wheel of Shepard’s vehicle, causing it to spin out of control and hit the truck two more times. Shepard testified that he was driving in his own lane and had no intention of changing lanes immediately before the accident. Hulsey, on the other hand, stated that he had just started to change lanes when he felt the cars collide. He also testified that he checked his mirrors to look for other vehicles before attempting to change lanes.