We use the term “accident” to refer to most car accidents, as well as a variety of other unfortunate situations that result from a number of causes. However, most of the time an “accident” is really due to one party’s negligent or reckless behavior. This is certainly true in motor vehicle accidents.
However, on a rare occasion, a true accident occurs. This is a situation when, although someone has been severely injured or killed, no one can fairly be held responsible. The Georgia Court of Appeals recently heard such a case, titled Eatmon v. Weeks.
The facts of the case are fairly straightforward. Eatmon was driving her car north on Dawson Road, while Weeks was driving south on the same road. At some point, Weeks crossed over four lanes of traffic and collided with Eaton’s vehicle, causing her serious injuries.
Evidence came out at trial that Weeks had suffered a stroke immediately before the accident and was not conscious at the time of the collision.
How the Trial Played Out
At trial, both Weeks’ estate and Eatmon filed suits against each other claiming the other was negligent and should be responsible for the other’s injuries. In response to the charges, both parties asked the court to dismiss the case against them, arguing that there was no evidence that they were negligent. Eatmon claimed she could not have avoided the accident, and Weeks’ estate claimed that his stroke was an unpreventable act of God.
The trial court dismissed both parties’ requests and sent the case forward. However, both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals.
The Appellate Court Reverses, Granting Both Motions
The Court of Appeals explained that there truly was no evidence of negligence on either party’s side. The fact that Weeks suffered a stroke does not show that he was negligent in any way. And the evidence at trial showed that Eatmon only saw Weeks’ car when it was about six feet from her own. In other words, there was too little time to respond and avoid the accident.
At the end of the day, neither party will be able to recover because no one was negligent in causing the accident. While this is a unique case and largely will be contained to the specific facts therein, it does show the importance of having a skilled attorney to present the court with your side of the story. If either party had a more dedicated attorney, could they have persuaded the court to rule differently?
Are You in Need of a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious Georgia accident, contact a skilled personal injury attorney at Miller Legal Services. The dedicated car accident lawyers at Miller Legal Services have the experience and knowledge you need to feel confident heading into the courtroom. Whether it be a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, or a workplace injury, Miller Legal Services can help you with your case. Click here, or call 770-284-3727 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
See Related Blog Posts
“Rescue Doctrine” Discussed in Recent Court of Appeals Case, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 30, 2014.
Distracted Driving Cited as Cause for Georgia Traffic Death, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 7, 2014.