Earlier this month, an appellate court issued an opinion in a Georgia car accident case requiring the court to determine if the plaintiff’s case against the defendant contained sufficient evidence to survive a summary judgment challenge by the defense. Ultimately, since the court found that the plaintiff presented insufficient evidence to give rise to a material issue of fact, it granted summary judgment in the defendant’s favor.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was a truck driver who was heading east on a stretch of highway when the defendant’s vehicle, which was traveling in the opposite direction, crossed over the center median and crashed into the plaintiff’s truck. At the time, the plaintiff had no idea what caused the defendant to lose control of the vehicle, but it became evident after the collision that the defendant had collided with a bull that had escaped captivity and walked onto the highway.
The defendant filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, claiming that she was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout. The evidence also showed that the plaintiff was traveling below the posted speed limit and that it was dark outside at the time of the collision. It was also established that there was a line of cars on the side of the road belonging to the people who were searching for the bull.
The plaintiff’s testimony established that she did not see the bull until it was essentially on top of the hood of her car. She also explained that she did not notice the line of cars on the side of the road. She claimed that she was not negligent because the bull just appeared in front of her car.
The court hearing the case determined that there was no factual dispute about whether the defendant was negligent. The court began its analysis by stating that summary judgment is only appropriate when there is no contested issue involving a material fact. Thus, if the defendant could raise some issue that needed factual resolution, the plaintiff’s motion should be denied.
Here, however, the defendant’s testimony that she did not see the bull until the split-second before the collision was uncontested. In other words, the plaintiff presented no evidence showing how long the bull had been on the highway. Thus, since the only evidence before the court was the defendant’s, and under the defendant’s theory she was not negligent, there was no factual dispute in the case, and summary judgment in the defendant’s favor was appropriate.
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 dedicated team of Georgia personal injury attorneys at McAleer Law has extensive experience representing Georgia victims in a wide range of personal injury matters. We also deal with difficult insurance companies. Call 404-622-5337 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney at McAleer Law today.
See More Posts:
Georgia Court Determines Steep Stairway Without Handrail May Constitute Hazard in Recent Premises Liability Case, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, December 4, 2017.
Farm Accident Results in Wrongful Death Case, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, December 12, 2017.