A victim of a car accident may be able to bring a variety of claims against a negligent driver. But Georgia law – like many states – sets forth certain limitations to recovery depending on the relative responsibility of the parties involved in the accident. For example, under a Georgia statute, which applies to actions arising in Atlanta and throughout the state, a plaintiff in a “tort” action is not entitled to receive damages if he or she is found to be 50 percent or more responsible for the injury or damages alleged. This issue and many others relating to car accidents involving negligent driving can be difficult to understand, especially with respect to how it applies to your particular case. If you have been injured in a car accident it is important to contact an experienced Atlanta injury attorney who understands the local laws and procedures and can help to protect your rights to a recovery.
In a recent case, Reed et al. v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Co. et al., (Ga. Ct. App. 2014), plaintiff brought a wrongful death action on behalf of his son who died in a car crash on Interstate 285. Plaintiff sought to recover damages for his son’s injuries and death. According to the facts revealed at trial, at about 2:00 a.m. back in August 2008, Rimantas Labeika improperly parked a tractor-trailer in a prohibited area – the emergency lane on the right side of the highway, just past the entrance ramp. He parked there to rest after driving the maximum number of hours regulated by law.
About an hour later, Thomas Reed, II, was approaching the intersection of Interstate 285 in rainy conditions. He had been drinking and had a blood alcohol level of .095. As he entered the Interstate, taking the curve too fast for the weather conditions and his rate of speed, he lost control of the car. He struck the guardrail and ultimately crashed into the rear of tractor-trailer parked at the side of the road. The impact caused the gas tank to rupture, resulting in a fire. The driver’s cause of death was blunt force trauma and thermal injuries. Continue reading