Savannah Rear-End Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and traumatic experience. If you or a loved one suffered an injury because of a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it’s time to consider hiring a lawyer. When you hire the right attorney, they will be able to walk you through the steps of filing a lawsuit if you determine that’s the right option for you. If you were hit by another car in a rear-end accident, consult with our Savannah rear-end accident attorneys today for a free consultation. Contact us today at (912) 335-1909.
When Should I File My Rear-End Accident Claim?
In order to file a claim resulting from a car accident, you must make sure that you file the lawsuit on time. In Georgia, personal injury cases, including car accidents, usually need to be filed within two years of the accident. This can change depending on the victim’s age. If the injured party was a minor, the statute of limitations does not start until they turn 18 (or are emancipated through marriage). Once they turn 18, they have an additional two years to file the claim.
Who Is Responsible In a Georgia Rear-End Accident?
The general rule in Georgia, based on the State of Georgia’s Driving Manual, is that the driver who hits a car in front of them is presumed to be at fault for the accident because most rear-end accidents are a result of the second car following the first one too closely. Drivers must leave enough space between their vehicle and the one in front of them so they can stop safely if the driver in front suddenly brakes or stops their car.
While the general rule is that the second driver is responsible for rear-end accidents, there are some exceptions, including the following scenarios:
- If the driver who was rear-ended was driving a vehicle with a defect – for example, their brake lights were out, and cars couldn’t see that they were braking – then the front car may be at least partially liable
- If the driver of the car in front makes sudden maneuvers that others on the road wouldn’t expect, such as swerving or reversing, the car behind them may not be held liable for the accident
What If Both Drivers Are At Fault?
In Georgia, car accident cases and other personal injury cases are governed by the rule of modified comparative negligence. Under this rule, a person cannot recover any compensation for an accident if they were 50 percent or more responsible for the accident.
For example, driver A was rear-ended, but he was at least partially liable because his brake lights weren’t working, and he made a sudden, unexpected maneuver. Driver A rear-ended the car as a result, partially because he was driving too close to the vehicle in front of him. If the court determines that both drivers were equally at fault, neither party will be able to recover compensation.
If Driver A files a lawsuit and the court determines that they were 20 percent at fault, Driver A will be able to recover compensation in the amount of the award minus their percentage of fault. If the awarded compensation was $100,000, Driver A would recover 80 percent of that, or $80,000.
Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions
Some factors that can lead to these collisions include the following:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving, such as driving while text messaging or using other electronics
- Reckless driving
- Mechanical failure
- Failure to obey traffic signs
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions, such as rain and snow
- Construction conditions
Georgia’s Hands-Free Law
The lawmakers of Georgia passed Georgia’s Hands-Free law, which took effect on July 1st, 2018. The law was passed due to increasing numbers of accidents that are caused by distracted driving due to phones and other electronics while driving.
Under this law, drivers are prohibited from engaging in any of the following activities while driving:
- Holding or propping an electronic device against part of their body
- Using the internet
- Reading or sending text messages
- Watching, recording, or broadcasting videos
- Posting on social media and surfing the internet
Drivers can listen to music on a hands-free listening device but cannot pick up the device to change songs.
Keep in mind that there are some exceptions to this law. Drivers can pick up their phones in the case of an emergency to call emergency personnel. Drivers are also permitted to use their electronic devices to record a crime they are witnessing while driving.
Common Injuries After a Savannah Rear-End Collision
Rear-end collisions are known to cause injuries, even those that occur at low speeds. You should always take an accident seriously. Some common injuries resulting from rear-end collisions include the following:
Whiplash is an injury caused by the sudden jolting of the neck backward and forwards. The main symptoms are pain to the neck and shoulders. It is one of the most common injuries in rear-end collisions.
Head injuries can occur in many different ways during a rear-end collision. Most often, head injuries occur when a victim’s head hits part of the car, such as the steering wheel or the window. This can cause mild or severe head and brain injuries.
Spinal fractures are seen more in high-speed rear-end collisions. With the seat belt securing the lower part of the body, the torso is thrown around violently when there is a collision. A fracture of the vertebrae can be the result of this abrupt, violent motion. Other back and neck injuries can easily occur as well.
The same violent movement that causes spinal fractures can also result in herniated discs. The discs that naturally provide a cushion in the vertebrae could slip out of their position, causing serious injury.
Rear-end collisions are often complicated because many victims do not experience symptoms immediately after these accidents. Therefore, they may assume that they aren’t injured and don’t need to visit a medical professional. The adrenaline released by the body often masks the effects of the incidents. For this reason, it’s important to seek medical attention even if there are no visible injuries.
Find An Experienced Rear-End Accident Attorney in Savannah
Rear-end accidents can be scary and often result in serious injuries. If you or a loved one was in a car accident and you need legal representation, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer right away. Our experienced Savannah car accident lawyers at Bowen Painter Trial Lawyers will help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Request your free consultation online or call us at (912) 335-1909.