Common Car Accident Scenarios: Causes & Determining Fault
Every car accident is unique. However, it can be helpful to explore common car accident scenarios for insight into causes and determining fault.
At Hasner Law, PC, we offer a free consultation to every client. If you were hurt in an accident, call our Atlanta personal injury lawyers today to get help recovering compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With My Car Accident Claim?
Georgia is a “fault” state when it comes to car insurance. Every driver is required to carry insurance, but the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying damages to accident victims. Because of this, insurance companies will do anything they can to blame a driver that they didn’t insure.
Insurance companies often try to blame the victim, hoping this will make them back down and drop their claim. However, under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule, you can recover compensation even if you share some (but not most) of the blame. A lawyer can help you understand these and other complex rules that might influence your ability to recover compensation.
There are several different things an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer can do to determine fault after an accident.
At Hasner Law, PC, we can:
- Hire accident reconstruction experts
- Interview witnesses
- Analyze police reports and other data
- Locate video surveillance footage of the accident scene
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by someone else, Georgia law gives you the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. At Hasner Law, PC, we can help you get justice and the fair compensation you deserve.
Collectively, we have over 80 years of experience fighting for accident victims’ rights across Atlanta. Give us a call today to learn how we can put our skills to work for you.
Determining Fault After a Car Accident
Car accidents can be messy. Sometimes you might not even know what, exactly, happened to cause the crash.
Of course, there are some common car accident scenarios where it might seem clear who’s to blame. However, once the insurance companies start investigating, determining fault can quickly become complicated.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to avoid discussing who’s at-fault at the accident scene. It’s always a smart idea to discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney before making any formal statements.
Below, the experienced lawyers at Hasner Law, PC, have outlined some of the most common car accident scenarios, causes, and how to determine fault.
Scenario One: Rear-End Collisions
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle accident. Of course, a rear-end crash happens when the car in the rear (the “trailing car”) smashes into the rear-end of another vehicle (the “leading car”).
Usually, the driver of the trailing car is blamed for a rear-end accident. That’s because all drivers have a duty to maintain a safe stopping distance between vehicles. Even if the leading car has to stop suddenly, the car in the rear should have left enough space to stop.
Rear-end car accidents commonly happen:
- At a red light, where the trailing car runs into another vehicle stopped at the light
- At a red light where both vehicles are stopped, and the trailing car accelerates before the leading car
- When one car stops to yield to another vehicle, and the trailing car doesn’t notice
- In a parking lot where vehicles are stopping and going to yield to pedestrians and other drivers
- In heavy traffic on the freeway or other roadways
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions. A driver who is texting, using the vehicle’s entertainment system, or having a conversation with a passenger may not see the leading vehicle until it’s too late.
Scenario Two: The At-Fault Driver Ran a Red Light or Stop Sign
When a driver runs a red light or a stop sign, the resulting accident is usually a sideswipe collision or T-bone crash. In other words, the driver collides with the side of another vehicle.
Red and yellow light accidents can be serious because the vehicle might not have airbags in the side doors of the vehicle. If the at-fault driver was speeding, the victims’ injuries can be even more severe.
The driver who ran the red light or failed to obey the stop sign is usually at-fault for the accident. These types of accidents are usually caused by:
- Speeding to get through an intersection more quickly
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving
- Driver distraction
Drivers often speed through yellow lights to avoid taking the time to stop at the intersection. Unfortunately, this can put everyone on the roads at risk. However, it’s not always easy to prove that the light was red or yellow. Our experienced car accident attorneys can help you get the proof needed to recover fair compensation.
Scenario Three: Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lots can be chaotic in Atlanta. Drivers are often distracted and paying more attention to finding a good parking space than the other drivers around them. That, of course, increases the chances that an accident will happen.
Many of these accidents are low-speed fender benders–but don’t discount the possibility of sustaining a serious injury in a fender bender. Airbags can deploy even at relatively low speeds and cause chest injuries. Even a “minor” whiplash injury can keep you off the job and in pain.
Some of the most common car accident scenarios in parking lots include:
- One driver backs into another vehicle exiting a parking space
- One driver hits another vehicle in a head-on crash driving through the empty parking space in front
- Two drivers collide at the end of a row of parking spaces
- A driver hits a pedestrian
- Two vehicles crash while trying to enter the same parking space
While parking lot accidents are common, no two are exactly alike. It can be hard to find out what actually caused the crash. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced lawyers for help determining fault. We have decades of experience and know how to investigate these types of accidents.
Scenario Four: Failing to Signal While Making a Left Turn
We all know that drivers often fail to signal before making a turn. This can be dangerous, especially when the driver is turning into oncoming traffic. In the absence of a left-turn arrow, drivers have to wait for traffic to clear before turning left.
Unfortunately, many people try to make the left-hand turn before traffic has cleared to avoid waiting through another red light. In moving traffic, this can cause a multi-vehicle car crash and serious injuries.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Atlanta, GA
Sometimes the cause of a car accident seems completely clear. In reality, you never really know what factors are at play. For example, a drunk driver in a leading vehicle could share the blame in a rear-end collision. A pedestrian darting into a parking lot could have caused a parking lot crash.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Atlanta include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Failure to yield
- Failure to signal
- Fatigued driving
- Unsafe passing or lane changes
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Defective vehicle components
- Road hazards
- Adverse weather conditions
Things are rarely as simple as they seem. That’s why it’s important to avoid accepting blame for a car accident before speaking with an experienced attorney.
Who Can Be Liable For a Car Accident?
Determining fault after a car accident can be critical to getting fair compensation. It can also be extremely complex. An experienced personal injury lawyer at Hasner Law, PC can help you get to the bottom of what happened.
We’ll identify all responsible parties, which may include:
- A driver in another car
- The employer of a negligent driver
- Government authorities responsible for road maintenance or intersection design
- The manufacturer of a defective vehicle component
Red light cameras and the widespread use of video surveillance can sometimes help prove what caused an accident. In other cases, we might have to retain accident reconstruction specialists to re-create the accident conditions.
Convincing the insurance company that they’re responsible for paying damages isn’t always easy. Give us a call today to learn more about what we can do to help.
Call an Experienced Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney for Help Today
After a car accident, remaining silent and neutral can be key to preserving your right to pursue compensation from an at-fault driver. Statements made at the scene of an accident can come back to haunt you later. Regardless of how common the car accident scenario is, identifying causes and determining fault can be tricky.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a crash, call an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer at Hasner Law, PC for help today. Your first consultation is always 100% free, so there’s no risk in getting advice from a skilled lawyer who knows the ropes.