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There was a car that had run out of gas on the Jimmy Carter overpass. I hit them from behind. Whose at fault? See below.

Norcross, GA |

There was a car that had run out of gas on the overpass. I was driving behind a large truck and had no view of anything in front of me. I pulled around the truck and saw the car about 10 feet in front of me. I slammed on the brakes but it was raining and I slid into them. I am wondering who is at fault.

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Attorney answers 10


Were the police called, and was an accident report created? That will tell you who the officer believes was at fault. Based on what you posted, I'd guess that you would ultimately be held at fault for the accident.

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Dollars to Doughnut it is your fault since you rear-ended the vehicle in front of you. I don't think that the truck has any responsibility.


The general rule is that whoever hits the other car from behind, that person is the one at fault. There are exceptions to this, and it generally would be a question to be answered by a Judge or jury. If you were given a ticket, you need to consult with a criminal attorney to see if there is a circumstance under which you could have the charges dismissed or reduced. If insurance is involved, you should consider contacting your insurance company to see if they have a lawyer to defend the civil claim or if you should hire your own attorney to defend you from a civil claim.

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Probably both of you.


Your question has two aspects: criminal liability and civil liability. Under the traffic offense statutes, generally if you rear end someone, you're guilty of "Following too closely" - even in emergency situations. But if the facts are not in dispute by anyone and are just as you've described, I can see a jury or even a judge finding you not guilty. I would say there would be a good likelihood of the same outcome in a civil case so long as there was absolutely no other negligence on your part such as speeding, excessive lane changing, etc. In civil MVA law, there is the principle of true "accident". And a civil jury could find that you were not negligent and that the incident was just an accident. If you get a citation, make sure you talk it over with an attorney before you enter any kind of plea. And if you do enter a plea, make sure to tender a nolo plea so it can't be held against you if there is a civil case.


As to criminal liability (traffic court),you have described a classic following too close case, and since you have a duty to bve careful, and passing a truck on an overpass in the rain at Spoaghetti Junction is not being careful, a judge probably convicts you, although a good traffic lawyer might negotiate a more favorable outcome.

As to civil liability, you likely will be held responsible. If you have full coverage your insurer will fix your car (and the one you hit). Otherwise you get to fix your own.

Note that all of this is fact dependent and sometimes a tiny detail affects the answer. Let the insurers sort it out, and if you got a ticket, see a lawyer.

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Likely you, so report it to your insurance company to resolve.


You, so report it to your insurance carrier


Based upon the facts as you have stated them, you were at fault.

Disclaimer: This response is provided to you by attorney Robert G. Rothstein (404) 216-1422 for educational and informational purposes only.No attorney-client relationship has been created hereby. Other attorneys may have different opinions or responses. If you found this response helpful, please indicate Best Answer to Avvo. Thank you.


Probably a combination of fault. Obviously, one should "run out of gas" and not be able to get out of the travel lanes. That is negligence. You, on the other hand, potentially have a legal "excuse" known as the "sudden emergency" doctrine. In the end, you you were not seriously injured, the claim is probably not worth pursuing in court as the other insurance company will blame you and probably get some traction with a judge/jury and it would reduce whatever damages you proved in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to you. If the fact finder assigns 50% fault to you, you recover 0$. Georgia is what is known as an "equal fault bar" state.

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