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Court Dismisses Case Against Driver Based on Plaintiff’s Failure to Show Negligence

Earlier last month, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island decided a case brought by two parties who were injured in a three-vehicle auto accident. Ultimately, the court dismissed the case against the defendant driver, who was in the second car in a three-car pile-up.

car-crash-1442679Wray v. Green:  The Facts of the Case

In the case, Wray v. Green, the plaintiffs were two parties who were injured in a three-car accident. According to the court’s written opinion, Wray was stopped at an intersection waiting to make a left turn. A few moments later, Roy pulled up behind Wray’s vehicle and came to a complete stop. The record is silent as to how far Roy’s vehicle was from Wray’s when it came to a stop.

After a minute or two, a third vehicle driven by Green crashed into the back of Roy’s vehicle, slamming it into Wray’s. Both Wray as well as Green’s passenger were injured in the collision, and they both filed suit against Roy and Green, alleging that their negligence caused the accident.

Roy filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that he was not negligent in causing the accident. He claimed his role was that of a victim, and that as the driver of the second car in the three-car accident, he could do nothing to avoid either the collision between his car and Green’s or the subsequent collision between his car and Wray’s. The lower court granted Roy’s motion and dismissed him from the lawsuit. The plaintiffs then appealed.

The Verdict is Affirmed on Appeal

On appeal, the plaintiffs claimed that Roy was “tailgating” Wray and stopped too close behind him. Had Roy been the proper distance from Wray, the plaintiffs argued, the collision between Green and Roy would not have resulted in an additional collision between Roy and Wray. In support of their argument, the plaintiffs pointed to the statute that prohibited following too closely.

Ultimately, the court affirmed the lower court’s verdict, holding that there was no evidence that Roy was negligent in coming to a complete stop behind Wray’s vehicle. The court noted that there was no evidence as to how far Roy’s vehicle was from Wray’s. Second, the court explained that the statute cited by the plaintiffs applied to moving vehicles only, not stationary ones. Thus, there was no evidence whatsoever that Roy was negligent in coming to a complete stop behind Wray’s vehicle. In the end, the case against Roy was dismissed.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a Georgia car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation based on all that you have endured. Sometimes accidents involve many parties, and who is at fault may not be cut and dry at first glance. That is why it is important for accident victims to consult with a dedicated Georgia injury attorney prior to proceeding. While the defendant in this case was able to escape liability, that may not have been the case had the plaintiff been able to establish where exactly the defendant came to a stop. Regardless, it is crucial for an accident victim’s case to thoroughly research all potentially liable parties before filing suit. Call 770-284-3727 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Georgia personal injury attorney today.

See Related Blog Posts:

Causal Link Necessary in Georgia Premises Liability Claims, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 8, 2015.

Slip-and-Fall Injury Case Occurring at a Georgia Hospital Need Not Comply with Medical Malpractice Requirements, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 25, 2015.