Jordan S. Lipp

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Imagine approaching a stop sign in Hamilton, Georgia and illegally rolling through it. After you make your rolling stop and pull out into the road, a driver T-bones your car, and your gas tank erupts into flames. Can you recover anything for your injuries, and if so, from whom?

The answer could turn on the jurisdiction in which you live and, in Georgia, the number of people you name as parties to the lawsuit. Can you sue the car manufacturer, even though the driver probably sparked the fire? Can you recover damages, even though you could have avoided the accident by stopping at the stop sign? If you can recover, do you recover less because you are partially to blame?

As to the first question, you can sue whomever you please. However, states split on the second and third questions: your rolling stop might bar any recovery, and the number of people you sue might diminish or enhance the chances of your recovery.

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