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Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Georgia Appeals Court Reinstates Truck Accident Lawsuit After Case Is Originally Dismissed

Georgia Appeals Court Reinstates Truck Accident Lawsuit After Case Is Originally Dismissed


A Georgia appeals court has recently reinstated a lawsuit filed against a trucking company over the death of a 17-year-old girl. The case presents interesting legal issues concerning the application of comparative negligence when there is a factual dispute among witnesses.

Background of the case 

According to the lawsuit, the 17-year-old decedent was driving a minivan along Fort Howard Road within Effingham County not far from Savannah, GA when the accident occurred. She approached a stop sign where Fort Howard intersects with Old Augusta Road. At the same time, the defendant’s tractor-trailer was heading south on Old Augusta Road. According to the truck driver, the decedent’s vehicle entered her path.

However, different witnesses are reporting different things. One witness says that the decedent made a full stop at the stop sign before proceeding. Another witness claims that the decedent did not stop at all. A police report of the accident indicates that the impact between the tractor-trailer and the minivan occurred within the median area of the road. The appellate court appeared to interpret this fact against the trucking company, saying that this circumstance would only be possible if the tractor-trailer ventured out of its assigned lane.

During the lawsuit, the trucking company moved for summary dismissal of the case. Such judgments are legal decisions made by the court in favor of one party without going to trial. The judge can make such a decision when they find that no reasonable jury could find for the plaintiff under the facts. The truck company alleged that the minivan driver was primarily (if not completely) at fault for the accident. Under Georgia law, a plaintiff cannot bring a suit against a defendant if they are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident. The trial court found there was insufficient evidence to sustain the negligence allegations made in the suit.

The appeal 

The family of the young decedent appealed the decision arguing that there was a genuine dispute over material facts relating to the accident. For a judge to summarily dismiss a case, there must be no material dispute of the facts.

According to the family’s attorney, eyewitnesses provided conflicting testimony concerning the decedent’s driving. Some witnesses said the decedent came to a complete stop while others said she went through the stop sign. The police report indicated that the accident occurred in the middle part of the road indicating that the truck driver veered out of his lane and that the truck struck the driver’s side of the decedent’s van.

In this case, the plaintiffs were able to establish that there were sufficient “disputes of fact” that must allow the case to move forward. Ultimately, the appeals court agreed with the plaintiff and reinstated the case.

Talk to a Brunswick, GA Truck Accident Attorney Today 

Gillette Law represents the rights of those who have been injured in truck accidents caused by commercial drivers. Call our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing how you can recover damages related to your lost wages, medical expenses, and reduced quality of life.



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