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Who is going to pay for my accident? Determining liability

If you get into an accident here in Macon, and it was caused by another driver, you may be wondering how to make their insurance company pay for your injuries and damages.

To accomplish that, you must be able to show that their insured ā€” the driver who hit you or caused your accident ā€” was indeed the party at fault. While some cases are cut-and-dried, others can be challenging to establish liability.

How is liability determined?

To determine who is liable in an accident, the law looks at the degree of involvement of the parties, as there may be more than one person or entity who shares the liability.

For instance, suppose your accident occurred at a notoriously dangerous intersection where many wrecks had already occurred. Let's say it was a four-way stop, with signs at all points of entry. You stopped, and then proceeded normally into the juncture but were T-boned by a driver who blew through the intersection without stopping.

At first glance, it would appear that the driver who failed to stop bears all of the liability. But perhaps there is another side to the story.

The other driver may claim that he never saw any stop sign because it was obscured behind some overgrown bushes. If this is indeed the case, while it doesn't absolve this driver of all potential liability, it does open the door to additional defendants being named in any ensuing litigation from the wreck.

Who else could be liable?

In the above hypothetical case, the property owner who neglected to keep the bushes trimmed and clear of the stop sign can have liability for your accident.

Alternatively, if the state of Georgia failed in their duty to maintain public roads and keep adjacent state-owned property cut, it may then be possible to add the state as a defendant.

Your personal injury attorney will review all aspects of your case to determine which defendants share liability for your injuries from the accident.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Accidents," accessed April 20, 2018

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The Law Office of George O. Haskell, IV
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