Causation and liability following a multi-vehicle accident in Georgia

Each year automobile accidents are the leading killer of children, teens and young adults. Motor vehicle accidents are in the top ten causes of deaths for all ages. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that each year 30,000 Americans die in vehicle collisions.

In Georgia, about 1,000 people are killed annually in crashes. The costs from these Georgia motor vehicle accidents are estimated by the CDC at $1.55 billion in medical and work loss costs. This does not even include the accidents that result in severe life-altering injuries.

When an individual suffers a serious accident or a death in a car crash, there are often questions about the causation. In some cases, the cause might be straightforward. More often multiple factors and mistakes are to blame. For example, a driver may have been travelling at a higher speed than slick, icy roads might allow. That driver would likely blame the icy conditions on the accident rather than his or her speed.

Often an investigation is required to discover negligent conduct of another driver that caused or contributed to an accident. A recent Macon truck accident illustrates some of difficult legal causation issues that are common following an injury accident.

A log truck driver attempting to avoid a car that had pulled out in front of him flipped spilling logs that then hit a third vehicle. Reports indicated at least four people were injured. While the sheriff's office investigates, the cause remains unknown. It is possible that the negligent actions of one or several of the drivers may have contributed to the pile-up crash.

Proving driver negligence was a cause

To recovery compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of another driver, it is necessary to prove four elements:

  • The other driver had a legal duty (generally this is to operate a vehicle in a reasonable manner)
  • That duty was breached
  • A causal connection links the conduct to the injury or property damage and
  • Damage occurred (i.e. medical bills following a serious injury)

Uncovering a negligent act is often difficult. The driver of the car that pulled in front of the truck is unlikely to admit to a distraction. Review of phone records, however, could show that the driver had just sent or received a text message.

It might be that several negligent acts occurred. Maybe the truck driver was speeding and thus could not stop in time. The analysis of skid marks may provide information on how fast his vehicle was moving. Sorting out the various causes of an accident and assessing liability may required the assistance of experts, such as accident reconstructionists.

While an insurance company may want to settle quickly, protect your financial future by consulting an experienced personal injury attorney. Compensation may be available to cover past and future medical bills, lost earnings, as well as pain and suffering.