Atlanta, GA asked in Car Accidents for Georgia

Q: Can you be charged with following too close to a car when the other car was already in an accident?

Plus, the other car and wasn't out of the road?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jamie B Hernan
Jamie B Hernan
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Roswell, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: First, you can be charged with anything. Just being charged with something does not mean that the charge will hold up and that the State of Georgia will be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So, I assume you were in fact charged even though you came upon an accident and likely didn't have enough time to stop or avoid the car(s) you hit.

If you were charged with Following Too Closely in Georgia, the charge is based on Georgia Code section 40-6-49 which states in part: "(a) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway..."

The prosecutor will try to show that you were following the other vehicle more closely than was reasonable under the condition of the highway which, at that moment, became a highway with an accident. It is hard, but not impossible, to beat a following too closely ticket when you struck another vehicle from behind.

Now the good news. Assuming you are well insured and your insurance company is covering any claims made in connection with the accident, you can probably avoid points on your license and the charge ending up on your record if your driving history is not that bad. Bring proof that your insurance company is covering the claim (they know the type of letter you need) and ask the prosecutor to dismiss the ticket based on the fact that the accident came upon you so quickly there was nothing you could do. Assuming the prosecutor rejects that theory, you can request that he or she reduce the charge to a non-reportable offense to keep the ticket off your record and avoid points on your license.

You could always consider contacting a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case in specific detail. Best of luck to you. I hope you were OK and didn't get hurt in the accident.

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