According to a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a truck is involved in one out of every nine traffic fatalities. For example, in 2008 alone, a total of 179 trucks were involved in fatal traffic collisions on Georgia roads and highways. In addition, trucks have a greater likelihood of being involved in multi-vehicle collisions. Multiple vehicles are involved in over 80% of fatal trucking accidents.
Earlier this month, a 27-car pileup occurred on Interstate 16 in Laurens County, Georgia. The multi-car accident killed four individuals, and injured many more. In total, the collision involved seven commercial trucks, including a petroleum tanker. The multi-car collision caused extensive fires and an explosion due to fumes inside the petroleum tanker. Foggy weather conditions are said to have contributed to the multi-car collision.
Recovering When You Are Partially At Fault
If you or your love one has been injured, or if your loved one has been killed, in a multi-car collision, it is important for you to contact an attorney in order to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Often, several parties are involved in a multi-car collision, and you own acts or omissions may have contributed to the accident.
Georgia is what is known as a “modified comparative negligence” state on this issue. That means that the law permits individuals to seek compensation for injuries and losses sustained during a car accident, even if their own acts or omissions were a contributing factor. For an individual to be able to recover for damages, they must have been less than 50% at fault for the injuries or losses they sustained.
If you file a negligence suit involving a multi-car collision, a judge or jury will be responsible for allocating fault amongst the parties that contributed to the injuries or losses, including yourself. From each responsible party, you will be able to recover the prorated amount of your total award for damages corresponding with their determined percentage of fault (so long as you own conduct is deemed less than 50% responsible).
There are many examples where you may be partially at fault for a multi-vehicle collision, but still entitled to compensation for some of your injuries or losses from one or more parties. Take for instance a situation where the driver of a speeding passenger car is sideswiped by a large truck attempting to change lanes. Now lets say a third car, which failed to maintain sufficient distance, rear-ends the truck and passenger car while they are stalled. Each of these parties engaged in negligent acts or omissions that contributed to the multi-car collision. However, they should be able to receive compensation for their injuries or losses as long as, the court determines that they were less than 50% at fault for the injuries or losses they sustained.
Not all states have the same negligence laws when it comes accidents where the victim is partially at fault. In a minority of states, a victim’s own negligence is an absolute bar to recovery. Other states allow victims to recover for 1% of damages from other parties even if they are 99% at fault. In some cases, victims of a trucking accident will have the option of filing their negligence suit in several states. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you determine where to file your negligence lawsuit in order to maximize recovery.