Late last month, charges were brought against a 29-year-old woman who allegedly killed a pedestrian at the end of last year. According to one Georgia news report, the pedestrian was walking on the shoulder of the road at around 4 p.m. when the fatal accident occurred.
Evidently, the driver was proceeding south in her 2011 Chevrolet on Glade Road in Bartow County, Georgia, when she crossed into the shoulder. After swerving onto the shoulder, the woman slammed into the pedestrian. The police investigation as well as the driver herself confirmed that the victim was not in the road when the accident occurred, although she was walking in the same direction as traffic.
Unfortunately, the woman sustained serious injuries and died a short time after the accident. The driver was charged at the end of July with second-degree vehicular homicide, driving without insurance, and failure to maintain a single lane of travel. There is no information regarding whether a plea agreement will be reached or if the case will proceed to trial. The driver is currently being held without bond.
Contributory and Comparative Negligence Defense and Laws in Georgia
In cases such as the one above, victims or their families may bring a personal injury or wrongful death suit against the culpable party. In many instances, the defendant will face criminal charges in addition to the civil lawsuit. In the civil action, the defendant will likely attempt to defend themselves using the theory of contributory negligence. This defense essentially allows the defendant to present evidence showing that the plaintiff was also negligent, that this negligence either caused or exacerbated their injuries, and that therefore the defendant should not be responsible. For example, in the above case if it was found that the pedestrian was walking in the middle of the road when the accident occurred, the defendant may be able to assert a contributory negligence defense.
Georgia follows the theory of modified comparative negligence. In these situations, when a plaintiff brings a personal injury lawsuit and the defendant asserts a contributory negligence defense, the plaintiff can still recover. However, they will only be able to recover if they are found less than 50% responsible for their accident. The settlement will factor in the plaintiff’s amount of fault and deduct that from the total amount.
Have You Been Injured In a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has experienced the devastating after-effects of being a victim in a car accident, you should consider contacting an attorney to discuss your rights and remedies. In almost all cases, a defendant will have representation and will try and assert any possible defense. These defenses can significantly limit your amount of recovery. It is important that you contact an attorney at Miller Legal Services to assist you in your case. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries and suffering you sustained in the accident. Contact Miller Legal Services at 770-284-3727 to schedule your free initial consultation.
See Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Court Decides Important Case Involving Uninsured Motorist Protection, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 12, 2015.
Atlanta Driver Arrested After Driving Wrong Way on Highway, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 8, 2015.