Chain reaction accident cases can present challenging problems. Multiple people may be injured, and it can be difficult to determine who is at fault. Dedicated car crash lawyer Terrence R. Bethune has two decades of experience helping injured Atlanta residents seek compensation in complex accident cases. If you were injured in a chain-reaction crash, the Bethune Law Firm can explain what legal options you may have and help you hold any responsible parties accountable for your harm.
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Hold Negligent Drivers Accountable By Filing a Lawsuit
With overcrowded roads and aggressive drivers, chain reaction accidents are fairly common in Fulton County. An injured person can file a negligence lawsuit against the driver or drivers who caused his or her harm. To prevail, the victim must prove the following elements for each defendant who is sued:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim;
- The defendant breached this obligation by engaging in some careless conduct;
- That breach proximately caused the accident in which the victim was hurt; and
- Quantifiable damages stemmed from the injuries.
Georgia courts have held that everyone who gets behind the wheel has a duty to avoid unreasonable behavior that may injure nearby people. A driver could violate this obligation by following another vehicle too closely, not paying attention to the road, or speeding. Any action or failure to act that does not meet the legally required standard may be considered a breach.
To be liable, a defendant who breached his or her duty must have caused the victim’s injuries. In Georgia, this is proven by establishing factual causation and legal causation. A defendant is a factual cause of the harm if it would not have occurred had the defendant acted with at least as much care as the ordinary person would have taken when faced with the same situation.
Legal causation is often put in terms of foreseeability. Were the victim’s injuries a natural and probable consequence of the defendant’s behavior? If so, the defendant is a legal cause. There may be multiple causes — both factual and legal — of an individual’s injuries, especially in chain-reaction accident cases. The victim must prove each element of a negligence case against every defendant from whom he or she seeks damages.
What If There Are Multiple Liable Parties?
In 2005, Georgia abolished the legal concept of joint and several liability. This means that people whose injuries have more than one proximate cause should ensure that all potentially liable parties are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
If a defendant files notice that there are responsible third parties not named in the case, that defendant can present evidence to prove these parties’ fault, which could reduce the named defendant’s percentage of fault and thus what the victim may be able to recover. This could leave someone hurt in a chain reaction accident without full compensation. It is therefore vital to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that all responsible parties are included in any lawsuit.
Enlist an Experienced Atlanta Chain Reaction Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a chain-reaction collision, you may not be sure who holds liability for your injuries. An experienced attorney can help sort out the facts of your case and determine who is responsible. Capable auto accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune founded his legal practice in 1997 to help injured people in Atlanta and the surrounding communities seek the money they need to recover. To see if he can help you, call 1-800-INJURED or fill out this online contact form.