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Georgia Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendant in Recent Car Accident Case

Last month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in a case that was brought by a woman who was struck by the defendant’s vehicle at night. The court ultimately determined that the plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence to give rise to a material issue of fact, and thus the trial court was proper to dismiss the plaintiff’s case rather than allow it to be heard by a jury.

CrosswalkThe Facts of the Case

After returning home from work on a November evening, the plaintiff decided to talk a walk along the road near where she lived. The plaintiff was wearing all black, and it was about 7:30 at night. The plaintiff was walking alongside the road on a worn footpath, since there was no sidewalk in the area where she was walking. She passed a crosswalk, determining that it was not a good place to cross due to the fact that it was located at the top of a small hill, and visibility was reduced. Instead, the plaintiff walked for a few more minutes along the road before attempting to cross.

The plaintiff looked both ways before starting to cross the four-lane road. She noticed the defendant’s vehicle approaching but decided to cross anyhow. Once she reached the median, she again looked and saw that the defendant’s vehicle was still approaching. The plaintiff testified that she could not tell how fast the defendant’s vehicle was moving, but she would not have begun to cross if she thought the vehicle was speeding. However, as the plaintiff started to cross, she was struck by the defendant’s vehicle. The responding police officer cited the plaintiff for “darting” out into traffic and for walking on the roadway while intoxicated. The defendant was not cited.

The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, claiming that the defendant was negligently operating her vehicle when she struck the plaintiff. The defendant moved for summary judgement, and the trial court granted the motion. The plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The court explained that, in Georgia, a plaintiff must present evidence in support of each element of her claim in order to survive a summary judgment challenge by the defense, which must be based on more than speculation or conjecture.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendant must have failed to exercise due care, based on the fact that the defendant struck her. However, the court explained that there was no evidence that the defendant was negligent in any way. On the other hand, the court noted that the plaintiff was wearing all black, was crossing the intersection outside the crosswalk, and was intoxicated. As a result, the plaintiff’s case will not be heard by a jury and will not proceed to trial.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled Georgia personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the McAleer Law Firm have extensive experience representing injured clients across the State of Georgia. We understand the nuances and complexities of Georgia personal injury law, and we make every effort to ensure our clients are fairly compensated for their injuries. Call 404-622-5337 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney from the McAleer Law Firm today.

See More Posts:

Georgia Court Determines Fast-Food Restaurant Did Not Have “Superior Knowledge” of Hazardous Condition that Allegedly Caused Plaintiff’s Fall, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, June 6, 2017.

Georgia Appellate Court Clarifies When Accumulated Rainfall Constitutes a Hazard, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, June 27, 2017.