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Determining liability and failing to brake

By Butler Prather LLP on March 29, 2017

Georgia motorists may be concerned about whether they can be held liable for failing to brake before crashing into another vehicle. They should know that there may be factors other than driver error that may have contributed to why a vehicle failed to stop, and they should all be considered to determine liability.

Drivers who failed to brake because they were being inattentive will most likely be considered liable for any resulting injuries or damages, at least in part. There are distracted driving laws in every state, and investigators can obtain information from a vehicle’s software that will detail the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash and if the brakes were engaged.

Mechanical failure is another reason a vehicle may fail to brake. Drivers are legally obligated to make sure that the brakes, tires and other vehicle equipment are functioning correctly before they get on the road. If the brake failure was the result of inadequate maintenance, the driver may be held responsible. However, a vehicle’s manufacturer may be liable if it is determined that a system defect caused the brakes to fail.

In many motor vehicle accidents, more than one driver will be at fault. This is where Georgia’s comparative negligence statutes will come into play when a determination as to the allocation of responsibility will be made.

A rear-end collision can cause serious injuries to occupants of both vehicles. It is not always the trailing driver who is at fault however, and an attorney representing an injured victim will have an array of evidence to review when determining who should be held financially responsible.

Posted in: Car Accidents


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