What Is a Last Clear Chance Doctrine in Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law can be complicated, making it difficult for individuals to understand their legal rights when they get injured. One of the legal theories that is often misunderstood is the last clear chance doctrine.
When filing a personal injury claim, it is essential to understand what the last clear chance doctrine is, how it works, and how it can affect your personal injury settlement. Our Cobb County personal injury lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers can explain what the last clear chance doctrine means and how it can affect your personal injury settlement.
What Is the Last Clear Chance Doctrine?
The last clear chance doctrine is a legal theory in personal injury law that shifts the blame for an accident to the party who had the last clear chance to avoid it.
In essence, the doctrine holds that if a defendant had a chance to prevent the accident, even if the plaintiff was also negligent, the defendant can be held solely liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. This concept is important because it allows plaintiffs who may have contributed to their own injuries to still recover damages if the defendant had the last opportunity to prevent the accident. In Georgia, the last clear chance doctrine is governed by Georgia Code § 34-7-42.
Example of the Last Clear Chance Doctrine
To better understand how the last clear chance doctrine works, consider the following scenario. A pedestrian is crossing the street illegally while looking at their phone, and a driver fails to see them and hits them with their car. Generally, the driver would be considered at fault for the accident because they had a duty to watch out for pedestrians. However, if the driver could have avoided hitting the pedestrian even though they were breaking the law, the driver may still be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.
What Is the Comparative Negligence Law in Georgia?
The last clear chance doctrine is one of several legal theories that can affect the outcome of a case. In Georgia, the state follows comparative negligence law, which means that the plaintiff’s damages can be reduced if the plaintiff is found to have contributed to their own injuries. Essentially, this means that if the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced by their percentage of fault.
How the Last Clear Chance Doctrine Can Affect Your Personal Injury Settlement
If you are involved in a personal injury case where the last clear chance doctrine may apply, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and obligations, as well as provide guidance on how to proceed with your case. Additionally, your lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement that takes into account the last clear chance doctrine and any other legal theories that may apply to your case.
Reach Out to Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers
The last clear chance doctrine can seem like a complicated legal concept, but it is a crucial one to understand when filing a personal injury claim in Georgia. If you are involved in a personal injury case where the last clear chance doctrine may apply, do not hesitate to reach out to Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers. Our lawyers represent injured victims in Cobb County, Gwinnett County, Fulton County, and cities across the state of Georgia, including Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Atlanta, Dunwoody, and Johns Creek. Call 770-685-6400 for a free case review.