As one can imagine, when a passenger car collides with an 18-wheeler, it can be catastrophic for the driver of the smaller vehicle. Such was the case for one driver who was critically injured on Saturday, Dec. 19, in an accident in Augusta.
According to a deputy with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office who was at the accident scene at the intersection of Patterson and Bath Edie Roads, the woman failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection, and was struck by the driver in the big rig.
Due to the severity of her injuries, she was taken via helicopter to a local hospital.
After the crash, which occurred shortly before 7:30 p.m., both the west and eastbound lanes of Patterson Road were closed for hours while EMS rendered aid and police processed the accident site.
From the sketchy details of the aforementioned accident, it is assumed that the injured woman was at fault for her failure to yield at the stop sign. It is likely that if she recovers, she will be ticketed for her offense. As no mention was made of impairment on the part of either driver, it could have been a momentary distraction that caused her to blow through the cross street without stopping.
However, the state of Georgia recognizes the legal concept of contributory negligence. Essentially, this means that an injured party may still be able to recover damages in a civil action as long as the person was determined to be less than 50 percent responsible for the injury or accident.
Under the Georgia Code, if a defendant's negligence was unavoidable through the exercise of ordinary care, the plaintiff's damages are reduced by the amount proportionate to their determined fault.
In a similar case, a driver who failed to yield may file a damage claim if the other driver was speeding or inattentive when the impact occurred. Because many factors determine liability in a case, it is wise to seek legal counsel if you were injured in an accident with another vehicle.
Source: WRDW, "Driver in critical condition after an accident on Patterson Road," Dec. 19, 2015