Visitor Question

Is more than one driver at fault in this 3 car accident?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Atlanta, Georgia)

At an intersection the lead driver A made a sudden stop in the middle of traffic, as a result driver B stopped completely behind her. Then driver C rear ended her SUV into driver B.

There was a loud crash causing extensive damage to driver B but also pushing driver B into driver A’s vehicle, resulting in very minor damage. Both driver B and driver C vehicles had to be towed and were undriveable at the scene. Driver A was able to drive the vehicle away.

Immediately following the accident, driver and passengers from driver B’s vehicle were transported to the hospital.

On the police report, in the narrative, driver A stated she stopped in the middle of traffic due to a vehicle in front who made a left turn but did not turn on any turn signal, which resulted in her suddenly stopping. Driver B stated her vehicle came to a complete stop only after driver A’s sudden stop. Then driver C rear ended driver B vehicle causing massive damages, pushing driver B into driver A.

On the report, police stated that driver B had NO Contributing Factors, driver A had OTHER, and driver C was marked SUSP At Fault.

So with the officer marking OTHER, can driver A be found negligent in any way? Also, will driver C be the only one found to be totally at fault? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

As an aside, it is important to note the difference between civil and criminal matters. Car accidents, including property damage, and personal injuries fall under the category of “Civil” cases. Assault, theft, drug and similar cases fall under the category of “Criminal” cases.

The term “Guilty” is only associated with criminal actions. For example, a person is found guilty or not guilty of a crime. A person is found at-fault (“culpable”) or not at-fault in a car accident.

Regarding your situation, the controlling factor in this set of facts is the Georgia Code Section 40-6-49 referred to as “Following too closely.”

Section (a) states:

“The driver of a motor car shall not follow another car more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such cars and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

Section (b) states

“The driver of any motor car which is drawing another car when traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residential district and which is following another motor truck or motor car drawing another car shall, whenever conditions permit, leave sufficient space…”

In almost all cases under Georgia Code Section 40-6-49, drivers who strike other drivers from behind are at-fault for their actions.

Based on the facts you presented, it can be argued driver B should have left sufficient space between his or her car and driver A’s car, and driver C should have left enough space between his or her car and driver B’s car. “But for” the actions of drivers B and C, driver A’s damages might not have occurred.

It is likely driver C will be found more at fault than driver B, but driver B may also be found slightly at fault. Each driver must report the collision to their respective insurance companies. The companies will determine each driver’s relative percentage of fault and will determine compensation accordingly.

Learn more here: Multiple-vehicle Accidents

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck with your claim,

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