Earlier last month, a young Atlanta driver was arrested after causing a fatal accident on I-75. According to one Georgia news report, the 20-year-old driver was under the influence of alcohol when the crash occurred. Evidently, the driver was proceeding north in the southbound lanes on I-75 during the early morning hours. The allegedly drunk driver ended up colliding head-on with a car that was traveling south on I-75. There were five people in the car that the 20-year-old hit. Three of the individuals were children.
Unfortunately, the accident caused the deaths of a seven-year-old, an eight-year-old, and an adult. A three-year-old child and another adult were severely injured and are currently hospitalized. The 20-year-old was arrested and subsequently charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. It is also possible that the driver will face additional charges in relation to driving the wrong way on the highway.
Every few years, Georgia’s Office of Highway Safety will release results regarding the number of accidents in the state. The Office categorizes the accidents by various factors, including DUIs, seatbelt usage, and time of day. The latest reports indicate that there were about a total of 1,223 fatal accidents in the state, of which about 277 were a result of a driver who was driving under the influence. Of those individuals who were killed, about 159 were under the age of 20, and six were under the age of 15. Considering the amount of education and prevention that goes into drunk-driving awareness, these numbers are startling.
Establishing Civil Liability in Drunk Driving Cases in Georgia
In cases like the one above, it is likely that the state will prosecute the drunk driver. However, the driver may also be civilly liable for the damage they caused. Many people are aware of the burden of proof in criminal cases–“beyond a reasonable doubt”–and that the burden of proof remains with the state.
The burden is different in civil cases. Importantly, the plaintiff only needs to establish their case by a preponderance of the evidence. Additionally, in cases such as the one above, a plaintiff may be able to meet their initial burden because it has already been established in a criminal case. In certain situations, a criminal case does not result in a conviction, but that does not preclude a civil plaintiff from bringing their case.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured or Killed in a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident because someone else was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should consider hiring an attorney to assist you in your claim. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your injuries. These damages may include payments for the medical expenses you have incurred as well as for future expenses you will be responsible for. Additionally, in situations where the defendant acted particularly recklessly, like drunk driving, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Contact Miller Legal Services at 770-284-3727 to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
See Related Blog Posts:
Georgia Court Decides Important Case Involving Uninsured Motorist Protection, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 12, 2015.
State Supreme Court Precludes Driver from Amending Complaint to Add Additional Defendant, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 28, 2015.