Generally, the car with the right-of-way is not at fault if a vehicle comes into its path from a side street. Those who enter from a side street often try to say that the vehicle on the main roadway must have been speeding so excessively that they did not see it, but that defense is rarely successful. A Georgia fatal accident that occurred in Gwinnett County may possibly illustrate the point.
A tractor trailer was traveling on Satellite Boulevard near Shawnee Industrial Way when a PT Cruiser turned onto Satellite Boulevard and was hit by the tractor trailer, according to Gwinnett County police. The 20-year-old driver of the PT Cruiser died in the tractor trailer accident. The front seat passenger, a 25-year-old female, also died. The back seat passenger, a 31-year-old male, was seriously injured and is hospitalized.
The driver of the tractor trailer was unharmed. Police did not charge anyone but the circumstances are still under investigation. They do not believe that speed or alcohol was involved. The factual description reported in the news indicates that the PT Cruiser may have entered the main roadway from a side street and intruded into the path of the tractor trailer.
The precise facts will have to wait until the detailed police report is issued. Pursuant to negligence law in Georgia, the facts as they now stand regarding this fatal accident would likely place primary fault on the driver of the PT Cruiser, making his estate liable for the other death and the seriously injured passenger. It’s likely that the surviving passenger and the estate of the deceased passenger will also claim truck driver negligence, in an attempt to place some of the financial responsibility on those who are more deeply insured.
Source: 11alive.com, 2 killed in car, tractor trailer wreck in Gwinnett, No author, Aug. 29, 2013