A freak car accident in Georgia serves as a reminder that the “victims” in a crash are not always the people who were hurt the most. In fact, in some crashes, the person who got severely hurt was actually the person who was being negligent and caused the accident. In these cases, the person who was seriously hurt could still face a personal injury lawsuit and have to compensate the other driver – even if that other driver only suffered minor injuries.
In this particular crash, thankfully, no one was seriously hurt. The driver of an SUV was following a flat-bed truck carrying logs when he rear-ended it. The logs were jutting out past the end of the truck, though, and impaled the man’s car, breaking through the front windshield and sticking all the way through the car to the back of the trunk.
Miraculously, the driver of the SUV not only survived but walked away from the wreck with only minor injuries. The emergency responders who rushed to the scene found that the driver’s head was lodged in a gap in the logs.
“It was as if it was almost created just for his head,” one of them said.
The fire department had to use chainsaws to cut through 30 to 40 logs before cutting open the car to extract the driver.
While it is great that no one was seriously hurt in what could have easily been a fatal crash, the cause of the accident is damning for the SUV driver. In most rear-end crashes, the following car was responsible for the accident, and this one appears to be no exception: the driver of the SUV had apparently dropped something and was leaning down to get it when he slammed into the back of the log truck.
It is unclear if the driver of the SUV is going to face criminal charges for careless driving. What does seem clear, though, is that he was largely responsible for the crash. By taking his eyes off the road to pick up something that he dropped, he was unable to see the log truck in front of him slow down.
Unlike in Maryland, Georgia follows modified comparative fault rules for accidents and prevents people who were more than half at fault for a crash from recovering anything in a lawsuit. If the SUV driver in this case decided to file a lawsuit they would likely recover nothing because he rear-ended the car in front of him – an indication of negligent driving.
In fact, this could mean that the trucker would have a good claim against the driver of the SUV, even though the trucker does not seem to have been hurt at all. The truck driver or the truck driver’s employer could file a lawsuit and try to recover repair costs for their damaged vehicle. They could also likely recover property damage for any reduced value in the logs that were cut to get the SUV driver out of his car.