Single Vehicle Accidents
Single vehicle accidents in Atlanta are somewhat unique in that they don’t typically involve a defendant-driver (though it is certainly possible). Generally, the defendant in a single vehicle accident situation is a property owner who negligently designed and/or maintained property such that it presented a hazard to drivers, or a manufacturer who defectively designed or manufactured the motor vehicle at-issue (or a vehicle part).
According to a report conducted by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, single vehicle accidents accounted for 775 of traffic fatalities in 2015 alone, thus constituting roughly 54% of total traffic fatalities for the year.
In Georgia, as in other states, manufacturers may be held strictly liable for the defective design and defective manufacture of their products, or for the failure to warn users of defects. This includes motor vehicles and their various parts.
For example, suppose that you are traveling on an Atlanta-area highway and you see traffic forming up ahead. You press on the brakes, but they don’t work. As a result, you are forced to swerve into the divider to avoid causing a rear-end accident. In this single vehicle accident situation, you could assert that the defendant-manufacturer defectively designed or defectively manufactured the brakes on your vehicle — you will have to investigate the facts further to determine whether the brakes were in fact defective, however.
Property Hazards in Atlanta
Property owners are required to maintain their property in reasonably safe condition for premises entrants, which includes vehicles. On a public road, for example, the controlling entity (for example, the City) is required to invest resources in inspecting and otherwise maintaining the road, traffic signals, lighting, signage, and other aspects to ensure that it is reasonably safe for road traffic. Failure to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition (i.e., by exposing travelers to hazards) could result in liability.
For example, suppose that you are driving on a local road at night and you are rounding a turn. The road is poorly lit and there is an overgrown tree blocking your sightlines. When you round the turn, you are unable to react to another driver in time to avoid them. You get into a collision and suffer injuries.
In the ensuing lawsuit, you would likely be entitled to sue the public entity that maintained the road and adjacent property on grounds that there were dangerous conditions of property in the form of inadequate lighting and obstructed vision. Had the defendant exercised reasonable care in maintaining the property, they would have installed lighting and trimmed the trees that had grown into the road.
Connect with a Qualified Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Attorney James Ponton is a plaintiff’s-side litigator who represents clients in a variety of motor vehicle accident claims, including single vehicle accidents. In the past, he has served as an insurance defense attorney, giving him a unique perspective on how to effectively litigate car accident claims.
Call (404) 418-8507 to get connected to an experienced Atlanta auto accident lawyer today. During your initial free consultation, Attorney Ponton will assess your various claims and will help determine how to best approach the litigation process.
We look forward to speaking with you.